Thursday, November 3, 2011

Reinventing Post Offices in a Digital World

There is no question that technology is starting to put an end to certain products and services. Everything now a days is digital, a huge decline in the use of paper. In this new digital age that we are in, even mail is starting to decline. I believe many companies are trying to switch their mail systems to save time and money, and avoid losing important documents in the mail. Instead companies can use e-mail, they can pay their bills online, or they can use a service like the one that the Deutsche Post office is starting to provide.

The Deutsche Post office has sold off all but 24 of 29,000 post office buildings in the past 15 years. The German postal service is now located in banks, convenience stores, and even private homes. I think it is amazing to think about not having any more post offices. I consider myself a young kid, and remember growing up and being in the car with my mom when she ran errands. It just seemed like we would always make a stop at the local post office. It is hard to imagine their being no postal service, which could eventually happen if we continue to move towards only using online technology. Mail volume is declining one to two percent annually in many countries. Due to this, the United States Postal Service is looking for business restructuring. Post offices around the country are being closed because of new online mail technologies.

In a way, I can see this also as a good thing. With new information systems that allow you to open up you digital mailbox through the post office online, it would be more convenient to open your mail right online. Another system is customers can tell the post office what mail they actually want delivered to them. This saves paper, prevents junk mail that would just be thrown out, and saves time you spend going through the mail. I think it is a good idea, but perhaps is just making us more lazy.

Well some of you maybe wondering, what about stamps? People are always going to buy stamps. The truth is stamps are becoming more available at local stores. I also like a new information system that Deutsche Post office is developing. The German people can use this new information system that is being developed to buy digital stamps right from their phones through the Deutsche Post office website. This makes things easier for people who now do not have to go out of their way to a post office just to buy a stamp to mail their stuff.

The article also mentioned more on virtual mailboxes and how they can organize years of billing. I think this would be very helpful to businesses and could really help with the accounting side of business. Accountants often have to go through tons of statements and having an organized billing record could save time and money for the company by using this virtual mailbox technology. Overall, these new information services have improved customer satisfaction, have saved money, and have helped go green by cutting back on paper usage.

1 comment:

  1. Post offices are truly being reinvented, however the only question is: is it for the better? I would have to yes due to the fact that it is enhancing customer satisfaction, saving money and time, and helping the environment. The Deutsche Post office is going far and beyond the necessities to change the mailing tradition. For example, Clemens Beckmann, executive vice president of innovation of the German post office’s mail division says: “We realized that being a national postal provider was an endangered business, that we had to redefine the role of postal providers in a digital world." Beckmann makes his point clear that there was a need for change in the postal world therefore initiative was taken. This new information system is a way to make mailing more sufficient and less of a hassle for the customer. I believe this a brilliant way to utilize information technology. The only thing I can think of that this information system could harm is the experience. For example, doesn't every high school senior love coming home to seeing the big envelope containing his or her college acceptance letter? My sister experienced this over the weekend and her reaction was priceless. It would be a shame if moments like these had to disappear but if technology is rising and these are the consequences we have to deal with then so be it.