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Box Uz Leuven 1

How a leading hospital manages thousands of parcels

With a bouquet of flowers at the ready, we're visiting the most famous and largest hospital in Belgium: Campus Gasthuisberg Leuven University Hospital. At least 9000 (!) people work here. We have an appointment with Herman Homblé, head of the postal service. Thousands of parcels pass though here on a daily basis and yet Herman's still a happy man. We want to know how he does it...

The University Hospital Leuven has been the reference point for quality and innovative medical care in Europe for 75 years. During those years, and with its 1995 beds, it has become the largest hospital in the country. It's divided into four campuses: Pellenberg, St. Peter, St. Raphael and Gasthuisberg.

The largest of the four is the Gasthuisberg campus. Homblé Herman is assigned to the postal service there. Herman is responsible for ensuring that distribution of both the internal and outgoing mail runs smoothly. Between 2000 and 3000 parcels pass every day. These days, the packages aren't just delivered in the traditional way. A few months ago, a brand new Bringme box was installed just opposite the post office. We're really curious about how it's been received.

What was the reason for choosing Bringme?

Herman: "There are about 9000 people working here and I think that at some point, almost everyone has received or sent something. Although obviously, they don't all use the service intensively. Theoretically, our employees aren't supposed to have their private parcels delivered to work. But I noticed that the deliveries were often from companies like Amazon or Coolblue. Considering how many people work here, and that they often have very unsociable hours, the management didn't want to forbid it. That's why I was immediately in agreement when the management decided to install a Bringme Box. It's essentially a token of appreciation, an acknowledgement for the employees."

How many UZ Leuven employees use the Bringme Box?

"It is very difficult to estimate exactly how many people use the box. We believe strongly in discretion so we only intervene if something goes wrong. I can tell you that the locker is regularly full, and that more and more new names are appearing in our user list. The box is only used for personal packages, nothing work-related. That's delivered locally."

How did the start up go?

"First of all, everything was communicated via intranet; what Bringme was, how it was going to work and that we would be offering it soon. The guys from Bringme even popped by themselves to hand out flyers in the cafeteria, where most people congregate. From the first day that we started using the Bringme Box, a leaflet was attached to every delivered Bringme parcel. These leaflets gave a clear and concise explanation and encouraged people to use Bringme Box themselves in the future. Most of the staff was like me, very enthusiastic from the start. It is so simple to use, everyone was immediately on-board."

Do things sometimes go wrong?

"Of course, sometimes, something goes wrong. To give you an example: there are lots of people working here. Some of them have identical names. Like the three women who are all called Liesbeth Peeters. In this case, the courier doesn't know if the parcel is for Liesbeth 1, 2 or 3, and it could be delivered to the wrong person. However, once we had reported this problem to Bringme, they started looking for a solution, which they will undoubtedly clarify soon.

We are also in direct contact with Bringme support, so when something does go wrong, we can immediately determine what has happened and with what package. That's about the only problem that we have ever had to deal with."

What do you like the most about the Bringme Box?

"You can receive your package at any time. There are various other options, but you either have to buy a special postbox, or you need a specific pick up point. That's just not an option for us. At UZ Leuven, people literally walk past the Bringme Box at least twice a day. That makes it very easy to use. And if the parcel is too big for the box, it's simply delivered to the UZ Leuven postal service. Offering discretion for our employees at UZ Leuven is very important to us. Thanks to Bringme, we can guarantee that even more. It was different in the pre-Bringme era. Once there was a parcel that for one reason or another couldn't be delivered to the right person. It spent a few weeks being bounced between departments until it was finally opened. It turned out to be sexy underwear."

What improvements would you like?

"As I mentioned earlier, a system that separates identical names. We also want to increase the size of our locker, and I wouldn't mind if it had compartments that are even larger than the current XL size."

We are working on it, Herman! Thanks for the interview. One last question: Would you recommend Bringme?

"Yes absolutely! And definitely for any company with lots of employees, I don't know how you can manage without it."

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