Intelligent mail management

New working methods require modern and flexible environments. This also sets demands on working methods and processes. For two years, Coor has been working on its own test environment ‘Concept Office’ so it is able to provide specialist advice to customers. It is now testing new mail routines to modernize and tailor delivery to flexible offices.

A lot of people thought that maybe, the days of letters and paper mailshotting were numbered. "Actually, that's not the case," says Mårten Lagerstedt," mail and freight manager at sites including Coor's head office in Solna, Stockholm.

"Basically the same amount of mail is sent now as before email made its big impact. The difference is just the type of information that is sent by post now. Now, a lot of direct mail advertising is sent by mail."

Constant mail volumes and greater staff mobility require a new type of flexible mail delivery. That's why Coor is testing a new mail system, which registers all incoming mail a unique code that is linked to its recipient. Mail is then distributed once daily to a mail station, or sent to an external address, as the recipient wishes. If you've got mail, you receive a notification, via e-mail or text, which states the code number of the item and the name of the mail station.

"The best thing about this system is that users can go in and designate where they want their mail sent. If I'm going to be at another office for a while, or on-site with the customer, I just enter the address my mail should be sent to. If I'm off sick or on vacation, I designate a recipient for my mail instead," explains Mårten.

Users can also easily de-select advertising mail shots, for example. For the future, there are plans to be able to set whether users want to let mailshots from some suppliers through but not others.

"In the mail function, we can see a lot of possibilities for achieving more effective, intelligent and environmental mail management. For example, we can de-register individuals from the advertising mailshotting they don't want," adds Mårten.

In the first phase, the system is now being piloted in Coor. Items like user behavior profiles, how quickly recipients pick up their mail, how long it should be left uncollected and processing uncollected mail are under analysis. Further ahead, ideas such as designating sender, or scanning envelopes to filter according to user needs are being considered.

Helena Gustafsson, Project Manager of Concept Office at Coor, is looking forward to evaluating the pilot after two months.

"The idea is that we should create a system that any customer can use. It should be easily manageable and have a quick start-up phase. Despite its simple implementation, the system's flexibility will help achieve significantly enhance workplace services."

As for Concept Office, this successful lab is continuing to develop and pilot flexible working methods. Coor sees customers showing great interest in creating more effective premises and expedient workstations. A lot of customers are coming to visit the site, and want assistance on introducing flexible offices.

"When we get an enquiry from a customer, we bring all our knowledge to assist them. For a project to succeed, it's important that the issue has the support of management. Then we start to look at specific departments, their working styles and needs, that managers are sufficiently committed and the different gains that can be expected."

When Concept Office was started, Coor succeeded in increasing the number of workstations by 68%, and in a smaller area—the area per workstation was halved. In addition, staff were very satisfied with the office, thought it was easier to talk and make contact with people, or get answers to questions quickly. Simply put, it's a more efficient way of working, especially on projects, where lead-times can be cut heavily.

"We're working really hard on measuring occupancy, in Concept Office and other premises. We measure whether a workstation is in use or if there are any other signs of life by reviewing areas once hourly over a two-week period. This gives us a very clear picture of how workstations are used, and any potential bottlenecks."

One big advantage of Concept Office is that people that come in to work for shorter periods don't get sidelined, but get just as good a place as everyone else.

"We've noticed that people come here from other officers to sit down for a while if they've got a meeting in town that day. It's great to be able to offer an inspiring environment that also facilitates contact between colleagues," concludes Helena.

Read previous articles on flexible working methods

Read 'Concept Office—Coor's own laboratory' in Nova no. 2/2009

Read 'The office (r)evolution' in Nova no. 2/2009

Want to read more about Coor's new mail management concept or work or new, flexible offices?

Contact Helena Gustafsson, Coor's Contract Developer, on tel +46 8 553 952 87 or email