August 26, 2021 (RISC-WP-21-007)
- Over the past decade, the Postal Service has focused its technology development efforts on two areas: mail innovations and data analytics. Advancements in these areas will continue to lead transformation in the postal industry going forward.
- Other emerging technologies that have not yet had a major impact on the Postal Service, either in terms of revenue or cost efficiencies, are the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, and blockchain; these innovations will become increasingly impactful in the coming years.
Technological innovation has advanced at an increasingly fast pace over the past decade, creating both opportunities and disruptions in virtually every industry, including the postal industry. In this paper, the OIG revisits some of the technological developments discussed in its previous work to assess which remain relevant today, where the Postal Service has implemented or piloted new technology, and which are important for the Postal Service to consider for implementation in the future.
The OIG found that, over the past decade, the Postal Service has focused its technology development efforts on two areas: mail innovations and data analytics. The Postal Service’s recently released Delivering for America: Our Vision and Ten-Year Plan to Achieve Financial Sustainability and Service Excellence indicates that these technologies are and will continue to be a priority going into the future. Other emerging technologies that are expected to grow in importance in the near future are the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, and blockchain. Making effective use of new and emerging technologies will enable the Postal Service to become a more efficient organization that exceeds its customers’ expectations.