When was the last time we sent a postcard to a friend? Or posted a letter to a relative? While we may have made an easy switch to emails and whatsapp, the world still largely relies on a stealthy and robust system of post offices. Not to forget, the nooks and corners within countries that are relatively untouched my modernity still rely on post offices. So do those who rely on post office savings accounts for their earnings. And in keeping up with contemporary headlines, the USA is also relying on the efficient functioning of its post offices for the elections to be held this year. What with the looming threat of COVID which might keep most of the folks from visiting voting centres.
While the post office has sort of made a comeback in general conscience ever since the pandemic unleashed itself on the world, here are some ways the post office has changed face over the years.
EARLIER last year, the 165-year old India Post was subject to elaborate plans of modernisation by the information technology multinational company Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). The plans included changes to the delivery system of mails and packages and making the postal network a multi-service digital hub. The Core System Integration (CSI) program, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) feature, has also been in the pipeline to streamline mail operations, finances, accounting and HR functions, among others. The programme also had plans to connect over 1,50,000 post offices all over India.
Here’s a piece on how the Indian postman made a comeback in recent months.
Finland isn’t far behind too. Finland’s state run postal service Posti has plans to modernise core mail delivery and logistics business. With plans to ramp up its digital offerings, Posti is looking at increasing its revenue from its services. It has also incorporated an identity and authentication pilot scheme to better identify and assist its users both online and offline. Similarly, the postal service is also contemplating incorporating a biometric authentication tool to validate documents from customers – all subject to the consent of the customers. There’s more. Finnish citizens will soon be able to avail services on kiosks that would need them to simply take a selfie, verify their identity and get going.
Similarly, Norways and Netherlands are also advancing modernisation efforts of their postal services. Albeit, by using robots. Both in delivering mail as well as to automate administrative tasks.
ALONG with plans to increase efficiency of its postal system, An Post, vis a vis increasing operating hours in a day to tend to a barrage of services, Ireland is boosting up the tech element too. The efforts however are the streamline varied tasks into the hands of the post office. These include accepting payments for local authorities, fines, planning applications and ID authorisations. The effort is primarily around automating the administrative tasks, amongst a ton of other transactions.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE has percoluted almost all walks and streams of life. Making life interesting. Making life easier. Why not jazz up post-offices too then? Sedish postal service PostNord for example, employs the technology to scan real time transactional data. How does this translate itself to benefits to the user? By allowing the back end workers at the post office to identify possible delays in a process before the delay has even occurred. To identify potential incidents such as a service interruption. All to ensure that you, the customer doesn’t suffer from a delay. How? The post office has a remedy in place before or close to when the delay might happen and fix it.
The post office for many brings back images of a uniform clad postman riding past our homes on a bicycle, dropping by mail along the way. That needn’t change. The postman might just be a more welcome sight – by being on time, giving you the right parcel and offering to solve a lot more of your problems, in a snap.
Posted something in recent times? No? Head to the Post Office now!
Or maybe not. Sorry Corona.