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.

OIG Releases Semiannual Report to Congress

In the face of competing technologies, such as the telegraph, telephone, and computers, the U.S. Postal Service‘s mission to bind the nation together has remained largely unchanged. Likewise, the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) commitment to integrity, accountability, and transparency remains steady, even as the tools we use to achieve our goals continually evolve.

Enhancing Mail for Digital Natives

November 18, 2013 (Report Number RARC-WP-14-001)

So what does the generation born and raised in the age of the Internet think of something like regular mail? Do so-called Digital Natives, who have little experience with life pre-World Wide Web, have any interest in it? Did they ever? The questions raise critical implications for the future of the U.S. Postal Service, as mail volume has plummeted with the rise of digital communications and the postal reform debate continues.

The Postal Service’s Use of Social Media

September 9, 2013

Social media is changing the way organizations communicate with their audience. Integrating technology, social interaction, and content creation, social media is an online communications tool that helps facilitate communication and collaboration. It is an increasingly popular business tool for sharing information with diverse stakeholders and a vehicle for receiving and addressing customer suggestions and complaints. Organizations can become more engaged than ever with their audiences by using social media to create and share content.