Terms of Reference – Trial Surrounding The Operational And Workload Assessment And Impact In Line With The Move To Scan To Route At Prep Within Deliveries

Terms of Reference – Trial Surrounding The Operational And Workload Assessment And Impact In Line With The Move To Scan To Route At Prep Within Deliveries

As members will be aware, Royal Mail continue to progress an automation strategy via the introduction of Automated Parcel and Parcel Sort Machines (PSMs) in Mail Centres and have achieved a key milestone automating 50% (on one day) of parcels by the end of March 2022, as part of their flight path to automate 70% of parcels by March 2023 and 90% by March 2024.

As a direct consequence of the increase in parcel automation upstream, Delivery Units will see a change in how parcels are presented with a mixture of Tracked and Standard parcels. Whilst processing them together on the parcel machines, it allows them to be handled much faster than if separated, and helps in terms of the overall output from the machines. Mixing Standard and Tracked has not traditionally been done before and as a result, this will impact on the current indoor arrangements within most Delivery Units and will require a move to the indoor practice of the ‘Tracked Ready for Delivery Scanning’ taking place at the prep frame, as opposed to the IPS or at a separate dedicated Tracked scanning area.

In April 2022 and as set out in LTB 162/22, Royal Mail & CWU agreed to a ‘proof of concept’ trial on Scan to Route at Cranleigh Delivery Office, whilst noting there was already a small number of Delivery Units that performed the ‘Tracked Ready for Delivery Scan’ at the Prep frame, for local reasons.  Royal Mail and the CWU will continue to jointly review the outcome from Cranleigh Delivery Office in line with the agreed Terms of Reference.

Terms of Reference Trial Activity

Following on from the proof of concept activity at Cranleigh, both parties have now agreed to further extend the trial activity to other Delivery Units to secure a wider understanding surrounding the operational and workload assessment and impact in line with the move to Scan to Route at Prep.

These new sites are the Delivery Offices of:

  • Oldham DO
  • Sheepscar DO
  • Warrington DO
  • Morley DO
  • Derby MPU
  • Leicester MPU

These trial sites will adopt the following indoor change in process:  

  • Mixed Tracked/Parcel Yorks will be taken directly to IPS for sorting (replacing any separate Tracked Scanning activity)
  • The ‘Tracked Ready for Delivery Scanning’ will take place at the Prep stage by the individual responsible for the prep of the route
  • Employees will be required to collect PDAs in advance of starting their Prep
  • In-Flight activity will be picked up at the Prep stage

In line with these operational changes, both RM and CWU trained Industrial Engineers will be fully involved and will undertake direct IE study activity at all of the listed trial sites to understand the direct impact in terms of current Standard Operational Procedures (SOPs) and Indoor Planning Values (PVs) linked to this change in the process. In particular, the study will review any indoor time impacts linked to but not be limited to any changes in PVs and connected to the replacing of a separate Tracked Scanning activity at the IPS stage; any PVs changes linked to the activities being undertaken at the Prep stage, including the need to collect PDAs prior to Prep will undertake any resultant further activity linked to In-Flight instructions.

These new listed Delivery Units have also been selected as it will allow the trial and IE study to also review any resultant impacts from this operational change to include units which have a separate large Tracked/Parcel storage area and Units which use the RM2000 configuration of Base and 6 Wings (with more than one delivery).

The trial activity will also review the following: 

Does the later ‘Tracked Ready for Delivery Scan’ activity result in any of the required In-flight instructions being missed, e.g. due to go to another walk that has already commenced delivery?

In addition, are there any issues with regards to the inflight options and collect at Customer Service Points i.e. when customers arrive to collect before Scan at Prep has taken place?

Any other issues e.g: does removing the PDA from the cabinet earlier result in more low battery issues when out on delivery?

To support the trial, the indoor Tracked scanning app on the PDA is being amended to enable “scan at prep” which was trialled and tested at Cranleigh Delivery Office.

A high-level outline of the current and proposed Ready for Delivery Scan processes is provided in Annex 1.

The activity is expected to commence 13th June 2022 and be completed over a 6-week period, identifying and overcoming any challenges to wider deployment.

Health & Safety and Safe Systems of Work 

Health & Safety is of paramount importance to both Royal Mail and the CWU, therefore prior to any change to the current prep/RFD process it is agreed that a Safe System of Working, Standard Operating Procedures and all relevant safety compliance documentation will be fully developed and agreed between RM and the CWU National Health & Safety Department.

Equally, the trial will be subject to ongoing reviews in order to address any unforeseen health & safety issues or work area spare concerns resulting from the trial activities.

Review/ Summary

Both parties recognise the changing nature of the current operational requirements to realise the opportunities through the automation of parcels. Royal Mail and the CWU commit to undertaking regular reviews of the trial to ensure it remains fit for purpose. Any further roll out or National deployment of the Scan to Route at Prep for Tracked items, will be subject to further National Joint CWU/RM agreement and will need to occur in line with any agreed and required changes to indoor PVs, and up dates to the IWT and Standard Operational Procedures. It will equally need to be accounted for in any annual refresh of the WIPWH productivity measures.

Any local issues which arise during the trial will be subject to the IR Framework and any issues in relation to the interpretation or application and deployment of the Joint Statement will be raised with the signatories for resolution.

Any queries to the content of the above please contact the Outdoor Department reference 540 , email address: njones@cwu.org

Yours sincerely,

Mark Baulch
CWU Assistant Secretary

LTB 253-22 – Scan to Route TOR

TOR – Move To Scan To Route At Prep Within Deliveries final

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