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You might be wondering:
Is there a cost-effective and efficient way for your airport to manage lost and found items and reunite visitors with their lost possessions?
You’re in the right place if you’ve ever asked yourself either question.
We understand the importance and value of lost and found software.
More importantly, we know how it can solve your airports lost and found problems.
You’re reading this article which means you’re probably in the market for a software solution or at least recognize the need for a change on how your airport manages lost and found items.
Good news: you’re still in the right place.
We’re going to highlight the functionality, benefits, and value of a superior software solution – one that you’d want to implement throughout your airport property.
At an airport, the lost and found process is inherently disorganized.
Nothing makes any sense.
It’s uncontrolled and overwhelming.
The stress of managing lost and found items comes down the line to your staff.
It makes their job a lot harder.
No one gets peace of mind at that point.
Especially not you.
Let’s think about it.
Verifying ownership and getting items to their owners is a dreaded obstacle for staff since there hasn’t been a way to manage and operate this department for your airport effectively.
The gravest problem with your lost and found department is the process for which items are received, documented, tracked, and returned.
Most of the time, there isn’t a process.
Are we close?
Turned in items become misplaced within the department itself!
Items become the possessions of your staff.
It’s counterproductive, resulting in less than a happy visitor.
But we have good news.
You might even consider it great news.
Software companies have recognized the return-to-owner ratio problem so you can correct it.
You can correct this issue and enhance your complete process using lost and found software at your airport.
Keep reading, because we’re going to show you how.
Companies have developed a web-based software solution to eliminate the need for pen and paper and disorganized management.
We agree that managers need order and a user-friendly process.
It ensures that the staff will consistently use the system.
So, the fact that many of these systems are web-based is great!
You can access them from anywhere anytime.
Now, you and your staff can organize all aspects of lost and found, fitting the needs of your airport operation.
Using a lost and found software solution, lost item claims can be submitted in two ways:
How’s that for Proactive Operations?
When a matching item is located, the guest will receive a notification to verify whether the matching item is theirs and to reclaim it.
Lost claims are then added through the software with claimant and item details.
The claimant details consist of the name and contact information of the person claiming any lost items.
This type of system will let you email and print a receipt for the claimant’s records.
For the longest time, this was unheard of in lost and found management.
Most lost item details will include the airport information and an item’s associated details including, the item name, the date your visitor lost it, and when and where the item was lost.
The ability to attach documents and pictures to the record is also available. (A picture is worth a thousand words!)
The found item records will afford you and your staff the ability to enter details of items found by staff or visitors to match with possible lost claims.
Details of the found items can be submitted along with the ability to print a receipt and attach associated documents too.
Therefore, we believe documentation is so important – and you should too.
Efficiency enters with the ability to identify storage locations easily.
Lost item location is easily stored on the item details, making your staff’s job of finding lost items easier.
Actively track where all your items are located.
Remove the ambiguity common storage methods create.
Realize the true value of lost and found software.
‘Matching items’ is an example of the robust functionality of most software solutions.
It allows your staff to compare item details to identify matching items for visitors efficiently.
It gets better:
Staff can populate and then select a found item.
Once the found item is selected, all possible matches will populate.
Claim a found match, fill in additional details of the item if needed, and have your staff add a signature to verify the issue of the item to its owner.
Software companies created a system that takes the ‘extra’ out of the extra work required to manage your lost and found department effectively.
Use a system to make raising the return-to-owner ratio an effortless process.
When choosing lost and found software, there should be a firm requirement: Reporting and analytics.
If you can’t generate reports to review comprehensive statistics – what’s the purpose of having the system in place?
We get it; you want to create a seamless process for returning lost items to their owners.
But improving your lost and found operation over time should be a close second.
Analyzing all reports for the lost and found department can be a simple and effortless activity.
If your software solution can't improve your service to visitors, now is certainly a good time to see what you’re missing.
Of course, all the features of these software solutions are great.
They help you proficiently manage your airport.
You’ll no longer use up valuable time to train staff or force them to manage inefficient processes.
We get all that.
But improving visitor satisfaction should be your goal.
We want to help you help your visitors get reunited with their lost items.
We understand the stress of losing something, and the time it can take to report a lost item.
We also understand how it can be a horrible experience for your visitors.
Giving your visitors the ability to report lost items via a web form on your airport’s website will augment your operation and be the impetus for increased efficiency.
It gets even better now:
Your visitors no longer need to call your staff over and over asking whether their lost items have been found.
Does this sound familiar?
Put up the web form; let your visitors check the website for status updates.
Set it and forget it!
Manage your system with ease so that you can ease the pressure of returning items to your visitors.
Similar lost items and found items are identified by these systems populating the items in a top-to-bottom comparison of details to determine if a match is likely.
It reduces the number of items being overlooked and influencing the time it takes to return items to their owner.
A key to exemplifying professionalism is the ability to return lost items to their owners quickly.
You need a system that will record item found dates and define an expiration date for holding each item.
Once the date passes, go ahead and discard it or donate it.
Now, your staff can move the items efficiently through the process.
For your airport, this will reduce unnecessary inventory and give the organization an extra opportunity for tax write-offs.
Print and email receipts as soon as lost item details are entered.
Provide your staff with real-time documentation and historical records of all items moving through your system.
Staff can print the tags and attach them to items for storage, along with the receipts for claimed items.
Comprehensive reports for tracking and analysis give you as the manager the ability to meticulously measure your operation’s performance.
The most value occurs when you can look at the inner workings of the lost and found department to enhance your visitors’ experience.
It’s important to know:
If you’re going to diagnose return-to-owner ratio data, this is where it’ll be.
In the end, it’s imperative to know how lost and found software can benefit your airport. These software solutions are a cost-effective means of helping your lost and found department run efficiently now and into the future.
So, will you use these guidelines to identify the best lost and found software for improving lost and found operations at your airport?
Editor's note: This post was originally published in August 2015 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and freshness.