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 (4)

  • anon

    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.

    Feb 11, 2014
  • anon

    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.

    Feb 10, 2014
  • anon

    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.

    Jan 14, 2014
  • anon

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

    Jan 14, 2014

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