Tracking data is driving business, USPS CIO Cochrane says

From USPS News Link:

The Postal Service is embracing electronic commerce and new technology to better serve today’s customers, Chief Information Officer Jim Cochrane said during an interview at the HP Vertica Big Data Conference in Boston this week.

“E-commerce has been a tremendous boon to our shipping business,” Cochrane said. “It has really helped us as we convert from delivering mail and packages to delivering more packages and a little less mail.”

Cochrane said the Postal Service’s network offers advantages that appeal to online retailers like Amazon. “We are on every street in the United States,” he said. “The network creates some real interesting opportunities,” including Sunday and same-day delivery.

The Postal Service uses Mobile Delivery Devices and other technology to provide up-to-the-minute tracking. “People track pizza [deliveries], so you know they track packages,” he said. “We capture over 1 billion tracking events on mail and packages each day [helping to drive business].”

Cochrane continued: “We can confirm to L.L. Bean that its catalog is in the mailbox. They can then send a text message to the customer or align it with other forms of media. We use data to help businesses understand their customers, to drive behavior, to make people buy. It’s an interesting collaboration.”

In addition to his live interview, Cochrane gave a keynote address Tuesday that earned a standing ovation. Live tweets using the hashtag #HPBIGDATA2014#USPS included: “Fantastic presentation,” and “#USPS CIO Jim Cochrane is owning this keynote right now.”

  • Whoopee!

    Maybe Mr. Cochrane will be the next PMG! He knows the importance of tracking! That qualifies him!

  • bill ridenour

    Actually, he is well versed in all aspects of the business. He is a former district manager and plant manager so he understands the entire operation. I worked with him briefly prior to my retirement and I believe him to be an outstanding manager who would make a great PMG.

  • old letter carrir

    The next PMG needs to be recruited from the private sector. There are a lot of “insiders” in the USPS that need to retire.

  • Tony

    We need to promote a Hispanic or African American man or woman next! The good old boy network needs to change, along with all their cronies!
    Clean house! Fresh ideas and new perspectives are needed!

  • Marty McGuire

    We said Bill. Jim understands the business from many different aspects.

  • getridofdonahoe

    Right now, a monkey could run the USPS better that Donahoe! He is doing the complete opposite of what he was promoted to do!

  • TomU

    The USPS is quietly turning the tables on Big Brown and Big Purple, as the team has a built-in desire to survive – and excel. With visionary leaders like Jim Cochrane, they are positioning themselves to leverage the data in a way that their competitors could only dream about. Unlike IT leaders in most organizations, he has vast knowledge of the inner workings of his entire organization, and more importantly, of his customers. He has been, and remains, a driving force in taking the USPS to the next level. Well done.

    For those not in the know, there are zero organizations that are forced to fund retiree healthcare benefits at a level remotely close to the USPS. Ask your CFO what would happen if they were forced to spend >8% of gross revenue for a retiree healthcare fund.