A new dawn
The last mail centre in the country to manually sort its post has been brought into the 21st century.
Inverness mail centre transferred into new premises, three times the size of its old base, in time for Christmas. The extra space means colleagues can work more efficiently, deal with higher mail volumes and offer a better service to customers.
The previous office was cramped so couldn’t accommodate machinery, and lorries struggled to make deliveries. But colleagues are getting to grips with equipment such as Compact Sequence Sorting (CSS) machines and an Intelligent Letter Sorting Machine (ILSM) is being installed next month.
Jonathan Wilson, operator, said: ‘In terms of the job, personally, it’s easier. In terms of getting to work, it’s a little bit more out of the way. I think everyone’s finding their feet and long-term it will absolutely be better.’
Steve Wiseman, project manager, is confident that with the extra space, Inverness will soon be hitting its quality targets. ‘Automation really does give the plant capability,’ he said.
Shona Cameron, people change manager, added: ‘It’s going to change working processes across the Highlands and Islands with a positive impact on delivery units with the introduction of sequencing.’
The investment in the unit is already paying off, demonstrated by 2018’s ‘fantastic’ Christmas.
David Noble, plant manager, said: ‘For the first time it was a much more modern operation. Putting 200,000 letters a night through sorting machines makes a real difference.’
Benefits for customers include a revamped customer service point and on-site parking. The team’s ability to handle more parcels is another boost for local customers.
‘There’s a massive reliance on Royal Mail here because customers can’t just pop out to shops,’ added David. ‘We get the second largest volume of Amazon Direct parcels in the country.’
Process relocated in November and will be followed by Delivery, Collections and admin functions in March.