The Postal Service collects millions of data points a day, using barcodes, scanners and processing equipment. But what does all that data do besides feed dashboards?
“Data allows us to separate the fact from the fiction,” said Network Operations Vice President Robert Cintron. “It gives us information for the customer to understand where a package or piece of mail is in the system at any given point in time.”
Speaking at the National Postal Forum (NPF) this week, Cintron explained how a range of postal systems — including Surface Visibility and Informed Visibility — work together to give customers continuous real-time updates.
Customers agree that’s critical in today’s marketplace.
“We know when a mailpiece is actually in the mailbox,” said Richard Gebbie, chief executive officer of Midwest Direct, a mail service provider based in Cleveland and Pittsburgh. “That really starts to generate the customer experience.”
Midwest Direct receives more than 2 million data messages a day as barcodes are read across the mailstream, according to Gebbie.
“With the data breadcrumbs, we’re able to send an online ad to the customer at the same time the physical mail is delivered,” he said.
Bridging physical and digital mail channels was a theme of this year’s NPF, which concluded May 8 in Indianapolis. Other sessions focused on growing Informed Delivery, integrating mail into digital marketing efforts, and using technology to improve customers’ shipping experiences.
Gebbie urged other mailers to work with USPS and take advantage of the organization’s technology-driven services.
“It allows you to broaden your business horizons,” he said.