Cost versus productivity?

Over the past couple of days, I have been stuffing envelopes so that I can send my new book out to about 150 companies to whom it might be of some value. In order to ensure that each copy got to its destination successfully, I wanted to have the copies couriered out to their destinations so I printed out address labels for each company, stuffed 150 envelopes with a letter and a copy of the book, then affixed the label to the outside of the envelope. I had essentially two options in terms of how to get these packages to their destinations: I could use one of the bigger courier companies that would pick them up at my office or I could take all of the envelopes to the local post office myself and use their 2 day courier service.

While there was convenience in using the large courier company because they would take the packages right from my office, the company required each package be put into one of their envelopes and that a waybill be completed for each package. This meant that I had to manually fill out 150 waybills with the return address plus all of the different options that I wanted (signature, size of package, etc.). Not to mention the fact that this option would cost me more than twice the post office option.

The post office option required me to lug 150 packages to my local post office and wait while the clerk entered in each postal code, printed out a label and affixed it to each envelope. While seemingly easier for me, I would have to wait while this was done for each package, a process that would take almost two hours.

So what did I do? I went the post office route because it was less than half the price and they could affix the courier labels directly to my company envelopes, thus saving me the trouble of writing the return address on a waybill. But my question was, why did I have such poor options for something as simple as couriering a package? Should I not expect in this day and age that a reasonable priced courier would show up to my office, pick up all of the packages and bill me later, thus saving me the manual effort? Should there not be technology that scans a postal code and automatically prints a label? It was an eye-opener for me, because what was seemingly a simple process became two hours of my time, twiddling my thumbs at a post office. There has to be a better way!

I welcome your thoughts and your experiences.


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