International Postal Big Data: Discussion Forum Recap

May 12, 2014 (RARC-IB-14-002)

“Big Data” — large, complex datasets combined with sophisticated, powerful analytics — is helping transform science, research, and many industries by providing a level of insights  previously unavailable at unprecedented speed. For businesses in particular – including the mail and shipping industries – the knowledge gained from the real-time analysis of vast quantities of data has the potential to spur innovation on a higher scale as well as improve efficiencies and customer satisfaction.

Like, Share, Tweet: Social Media and the Postal Service

April 21, 2014 (RARC-WP-14-010)

No doubt about it, social media has revolutionized the world of communication and commerce, radically changing the way people decide what, where, and when to buy. Accordingly, most businesses and organizations now view social media as an opportunity to reach and engage large customer audiences in ways impossible before: directly, in-real time, and at lower cost.

Enhancing the Value of Mail Follow Up: Discussion Forum Recap

April 3, 2014 (RARC-IB-14-001)

Hard copy communications, and mail specifically, are not not the relic some claim them to be.  Mail can still create a powerful connection with people of all ages. This is especially true when it is well designed and digitally interactive. Although senders pay for mail to be sent, catching recipients’ eyes determines the value of the communication. Without consumer interest in mailpieces like direct mail, catalogs, or bill reminders, the mail value chain breaks down.

Downsizing Postal Service Should Step Up Knowledge Management

Audit Report - DP-AR-14-002 - 03/07/2014

The Postal Service is getting leaner. But as it trims its workforce it is also losing some of its most valuable resources: long- term employees with extensive knowledge that is vital to running a vast organization.

What America Wants and Needs from the Postal Service

February 18, 2014 (RARC-WP-14-009)

In May 2013, the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) commissioned a survey to gain insight into what Internet-connected Americans want from the Postal Service, as well as what future role it could play in their lives. The OIG recently followed up with focus groups, to determine not only what people want, but also to identify particular kinds of service they need from the Postal Service. The results are detailed in a new white paper, What America Wants and Needs from the Postal Service.

Providing Non-Bank Financial Services for the Underserved

January 27, 2014 (RARC-WP-14-007)

More than a quarter of Americans live partially or completely without access to mainstream financial services and are often forced to rely on costly services like payday loans or check cashing to cover their everyday expenses. These households spent $89 billion in 2012 just on fees and interest – an average of almost 10 percent of their income.

Enriching Postal Information: Applications for Tomorrow’s Technologies

January 13, 2014 (RARC-WP-14-005)

To understand how the Postal Service might better adapt to increasing market demands for information in the Digital Age, the Postal Service Office of Inspector General worked with IBM to take a high level view of a variety of information-gathering technologies, highlighting those most relevant to the postal industry.

We found industry leaders are technology neutral; in other words, they:

Readiness for Package Growth - Delivery Operations

December 11, 2013 (Report Number: DR-MA-14-001)

Strong customer demand for goods purchased over the Internet has driven growth in the package market. From fiscal years (FYs) 2010 to 2012, U.S. Postal Service package revenue increased by $1.4 billion and volume increased by 445 million mailpieces. The package volume increased in the first three quarters of FY 2013, compared to the same period last year. This growing package segment provides the Postal Service an opportunity to expand services and increase revenue.

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Audit Identifies $120 Million in Revenue at Risk

November 8, 2013 (Report Number MS-AR-14-001)

During a recent audit, the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that significant improvements to the Postal Service’s internal stamp ordering and fulfillment processes are needed. The audit was initiated because of concerns that postal retail units (PRUs) were running low on or out of stamps to sell to the public.

Towards A Postal Service Intellectual Property Strategy

December 18, 2013 (Report Number RARC-WP-14-003)

The U.S. Postal Service has substantial intellectual property (IP) assets. The ZIP Code is one of the best known assets, but they also include optical character reader technology and address management techniques, among many others. The Postal Service has secured patent protection for some IP assets but lacks a fully developed strategy for all its IP – and that could ultimately pose some serious problems for not just the Postal Service but the entire mailing/shipping industry and the public as well.