Does the ID Mail Systems Dispatcher mail sorting system deliver? If you ask Marsha Smickle, manager
and owner of Delivery Solutions Jamaica, you will get a resounding ‘Yes!’ Delivery Solutions Jamaica was founded in 2007 by Smickle in an effort to provide a more professional and customer-friendly service to Jamaican courier and mail clients. DSJ employs a staff of 165, of which 140 are couriers, and is based in Kingston, Jamaica. DSJ couriers deliver mail to all 14 parishes on the island and almost all addresses.
Specialising in routine mail and special delivers, sorting and delivery of bulk mail, bearer-assisted banking and tax office transactions, emergency deliveries after 5 p.m. and on weekends, bearer outsourcing, mail-room management and intra-island courier services, Smickle knew that she needed technology to compete and expand her company. After growing to the point where hiring more manual sorters was becoming difficult to manage and was limiting her ability to expand her customer base, in 2010 she turned to ID Mail Systems after looking at a number of other sorting system suppliers but not finding a solution that suited her business.
Smickle needed a machine that was easy to use and maintain, reasonably inexpensive and would significantly reduce the manual sorting effort. And being a company that helps clients transition to affordable outsourcing solutions that reduce capital expense on non-core business requirements, DSJ found the affordable remanufactured ID Mail Dispatcher to be a perfect fit.
The Dispatcher provides an economical solution that processes mail at up to 10,000 pieces per hour. Its two-pass sorting and 12 sorting bins enable Smickle to finalise mail sorting on the Dispatcher to all 140 delivery routes. She valued the increased capacity of the Dispatcher and was surprised to find that it also improved the accuracy of sorting over the manual process staff. She was also very pleased to find out how easy it was to offer her clients the added ability to have track-and-trace on high value mail. By choosing the Dispatcher, Smickle said she has been able to ‘“process mail at a faster rate… going the technology route”. The Dispatcher is also a powerful selling advantage for her delivery service as she can promise “faster processing, quicker sorting and better accuracy”.
Smickle added that the Dispatcher is also “quite user friendly”, easy to train her staff to use, and all anyone would have to do is “read and follow the directions”. But for technical maintenance “some technological background is required”.
Jerry Fenerty, president of ID Mail Systems, noted, “Smickle and her team have embraced the Dispatcher and tackled the implementation with enthusiasm and focus. ID Mail appreciates the opportunity to help businesses like Smickle’s make the transition from manual operations to automated processing and sorting.” Another strong point of the ID Mail proposal to DSJ was the flexible financing plan that ID Mail offered, with the assistance of the Small Business Administration department of the US Commerce Department.
There has been only one challenge but it is an important one: the OCR coding database. Jamaica’s postal system is very different from North America’s and other developed mail markets, and mailing addresses are not standardised nor was there a central address database for Jamaica that Smickle and ID Mail could use to create the OCR coding database. This posed a challenge in capturing every single person’s address, as many of her clients have different versions of the same address for the same person or family.
Smickle, her staff, and ID Mail put together a plan to use available resources to create an initial database, and then through tools provided by ID Mail created a process of capturing addresses that wouldn’t code. DSJ identifies the variations that ID Mail adds to the database each month, thereby continuously improving the coding results and productivity of the system. The database challenge does not worry Smickle, who feels the project is “near perfect”. She also has found the ID Mail team “great to work with and very helpful, and always available when needed”.