Audit Report - DR-AR-14-002 - 01/21/2014

The U.S. Postal Service could cut workhours and save about $24 million over 2 years by better promoting its self-service kiosks (SSKs), according to a new U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) audit.

Our review of 2,500 SSKs in about 2,300 post offices around the country found inconsistent signage for the kiosks and obscure placement of them contributed to underuse. We also found that better training and increased use of lobby assistants could encourage more consumers to take advantage of the SSKs.  Some post offices only used assistants for that purpose when the inline wait time at retail windows was excessive. But we found it could be cost effective to use trained assistants more consistently to help consumers help themselves.

The Postal Service deployed the SSKs as part of its effort to provide anywhere, anytime service to the public and to cut costs. Consumers can use the kiosks to fulfill about 80% of the transactions normally handled by retail window clerks, including weighing mail and dispensing postage for First Class Mail, Priority Mail, Parcel Post, and Express Mail. In addition to reducing employee workhours, SSKs are typically available even when retail service is closed. 

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