Problem introduction

The problem that we focused on was inefficient mailing package distribution systems.

These mailing systems are rooted into organizations and a defining characteristic is that these systems rely on paper and written contracts for managing packages.

Specifically, all of us having lived in the Residence Halls at the University of Arizona at least once before, and some of us working as resident assistants, know of the package distribution system employed in each hall today.

Packages are managed manually by desk assistants. A binder with hand-written logging of package and student related information on sheets of paper sit at the mailing desk. Residents discover that they have packages ready for them at the desk when they see yellow package description slips in their mailboxes (slips of information that are filled out by hand, also by desk assistants).

Solution

Our vision is of a more automated and fully digitized system for distributing packages. Desk assistants use our developed mobile application that includes use of open source text recognition software to scan packages. This information is immediately logged into our postgresql database supported by a django server with an angular-material frontend interface for digital management of the database through a table view with export CSV functionality for keeping track of information and add/remove operations, used when necessary.

The django server is able to interface with the database as well as other applications. Cross-references to student information as well as error checking is handled in the server. Given scanned package information (address block) and referencing student information, all the information related to the mailing packages is known, and the server interfaces with Amazon EC2 queuing services and is tasked with using Cisco Tropo APIs to send SMS notifications to the owners of the packages received by the organization.

Overall, this designed system would allow for enhanced mailing package management, that within seconds, is able to log and determine package information and send SMS/Email notification to receivers, thus bypassing hand-written methods of logging mail and manual notification systems.

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