on Jan 13th, 2014 in Ideas Worth Exploring | 4 comments
 

What if the U.S. Postal Service tapped the vast array of available digital information technologies to enhance sales, operations, and new business development? The possibilities, it would seem, while not endless, are fairly extensive.

That’s the conclusion of a just-released white paper from the Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG), which collaborated with IBM to take a high-level view of digital information gathering to see where the postal industry might benefit. The white paper, Enriching Postal Information: Applications for Tomorrow’s Technologies, identifies those opportunities most relevant to the postal industry. We found more than 50 potential postal applications where gathering digital information could enhance the Postal Service’s sales, operations, and new product development, as well as improve its internal safety and security controls. Such items include banking services, traffic information, and assistance to elderly citizens.

A few highlights from the paper:

  • Cutting-edge organizations see digital information technology only as a means to satisfy market demands and control costs. Such organizations are focusing on mobile handhelds, barcodes, and Radio Frequency Identification applications to collect data about their customers and operations. Many are consistently researching and investing in a wide variety of information gathering technologies. For example, UPS invests more than $1 billion annually to design customer-centric applications, customized scanning tools, and advanced communication devices, as well as, to increase internal efficiencies.
  • The Postal Service is also exploring the potential of mobile devices but on a much smaller scale than UPS. For example, the Postal Service recently gave cell phones capable of texting and gathering real-time GPS data to about 95 percent of its street letter carriers. The information being collected should improve delivery efficiencies via better route designs, day-to-day adjustments, and monitoring delivery times. The Postal Service is planning to deploy 75,000 full-service digital mobile carrier devices by the summer of 2014.

So what information would you like the Postal Service to gather for you? How would you put it to use? Are there any areas of information technology that concern you? 

Comments

Sounds like after all these many years being called a 'corporation' we just MIGHT be trying to emulate one !

Instead of writing blogs and wasting tax payer money why don't the USPS do some work and handle complaints is it too much to ask. I have filed several complaints now and tried contact by phone but it seems USPS is too busy blogging instead of making sure they provide a service free of harassment. I do not appreciate this.

post office should host focus group or create surveys and questionnaires to determine what their customers want. the lack of technology could be the reason why customers keep using their service. it maintains simplicity in this sometimes confusing and overloaded digital age.

I like the idea of doing a survey and asking the consumer what THEY want from the Postal service. I know I would like 1) courteous service from my local post office instead of the rude and very unhelpful service I get even after going there day after day for a year. You'd think they would at least know my name by now. That's Delray PO on Military. 2) An explanation of why I can't ship parcel post ground service any longer since according to the postal employees at Delray PO it no longer exists and the post office no longer offers ground service???? but I'm still required by their own rules to ship Parcel Post ground service... 3) be able to print first class and ground service labels online so I no longer have to deal with the jerks at the post office. 4) Fine some nice, pleasant people who would appreciate having a good job and who actually have the skill level to work with consumers without being rude and nasty and replace the jerks at the Delray PO on Military with these new workers. The kind who smile when they talk to you, remember your name after coming in 364 times, don't talk down to you and call you sweetheart and tell you there's a whole line a people they have to get to and they don't care if you talk to their supervisor about them being rude.

PLEASE.

Add new comment

This site provides a forum to discuss different aspects of the United States Postal Service and how it can be improved. We encourage you to share your comments, ideas, and concerns.

This is a moderated site—we will review all comments before posting them. We expect that participants will treat each other with respect. We will not post comments that contain vulgar language, personal attacks of any kind, or offensive terms that target specific individuals or groups. We will not post comments that are clearly off-topic or that promote services or products. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted.

We ask that reporters send questions to the USPS OIG Media Office through their normal channels and refrain from submitting questions here as comments. We will not post questions from reporters.

We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. Given the need to manage Federal resources effectively, however, we will review comments and post them from 9:00 a.m—5:00 p.m Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. We will read and post comments submitted after hours, on weekends, or on holidays as early as possible the next business day.

To protect your own privacy, and the privacy of others, please do not include personal information or personally identifiable information such as names, addresses, phone numbers or e-mail addresses in the body of your comment.

Except when specifically noted, any views or opinions expressed on this forum (or any other forums available via an RSS feed) are those of the individual bloggers. The views and posted comments do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, or the Federal government.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy and disclaimer. We plan to blog weekly on as many emerging new media topics as possible. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.