USPS wants real-time tracking by 2013
In special ABM webinar hosted on April 11, USPS vice president of product information Jim Cochrane discussed the Postal Service’s plan to sunset its use of the POSTNET barcode in January 2013 and begin requiring use of Full-Service Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) to qualify for automation discounts.
The use of IMb, plus investment in real-time scanners and other processing equipment puts the USPS on the path to offering customers real-time tracking data and allowing for corrective action before problems occur, according to Cochrane. “Tracking now stops at the processing plants,” he said. “We want real-time tracking at every level.”
By 2013, USPS will have real-time scanners installed and begin tracking delivery events based on GPS, including notice when periodicals have been delivered to mail boxes, said Cochrane. “This is one of biggest databases in the world, tracking millions of events.”
Moving to Full Service will be mandatory to qualify for automation discounts. Between October 2011 and February 2012, 1.5 million or 52.4 percent of the total commercial periodicals volume featured IMb (Cochrane also said that more than 70 percent of periodicals were on time in March 2012, compared to less than 50 percent in October 2011).
Financially, the USPS posted a net loss of $8.5 billion in 2010 and $5.1 billion in 2011. A recent report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office said that the USS has 461 centers but only needs 238 and out of 154,000 employees, there is work for just 119,000. (http://www.btobonline.com/article/20120416/DIRECT0202/304169990/usps-dealing-with-excess-of-infrastructure-)
USPS timeline for intelligent barcodes
IMb required for automation rates
Sunset POSTNET eligibility for automation rates
Restucture Full Service Discounts to increase incentives for participation
Sunset IMb basic eligibility for automation rates
Require full service for automation discounts