OIG says kiosks missing targets due to poor placement, inadequate training for lobby assistants

kiosksThe USPS Office of the Inspector General has released a report critical of the USPS’s implementation of self-service kiosks in post office lobbies. The OIG found that poor placement of the kiosks, and inadequate training for staff cost the USPS $24 million in potential savings:

BACKGROUND:

Self-service kiosks (SSKs) are in about 2,300 post offices nationwide. The majority of the kiosks are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. SSKs enable customers to buy stamps and postal products and to process about 80 percent of those transactions normally handled by retail window
clerks.

The U.S. Postal Service evaluates the effectiveness of an SSK by measuring the customer adoption percentage, which is the percentage of applicable transactions performed at an SSK instead of by a retail clerk.

Our objective was to assess the SSK initiative in customer service operations.

WHAT THE OIG FOUND:

Customers were not using SSKs as anticipated. As of June 30, 2013, the SSK performance rate was 26.11 percent, 8.9 percentage points below the fiscal year (FY) 2013 nationwide customer adoption percentage target of 35 percent. This occurred due to several factors, including inconsistent signage, positioning of some SSKs in partially obscured locations, and lobby assistants who were not always trained and used effectively to promote SSK usage. The Postal Service could eliminate over 249,877 customer service retail window workhours and save about $12 million annually if it improved SSK promotion and customer assistance on the use of SSKs.

WHAT THE OIG RECOMMENDED:

We recommended the vice president, Delivery and Post Office Operations, and the vice president, Channel Access, establish a national initiative to train additional lobby assistants, and assess SSK signage and placement. We also recommended deploying lobby assistants to promote and educate customers on SSK usage and eliminate 249,877 workhours to achieve cost savings of about $24 million over 2 years. Finally, we recommended evaluating industry best practices using SSKs and identifying any barriers to implementation.

Link to review the entire report.

  • MOOMOO

    WHAT GOOD IS TRAINING, WHEN THE MACHINES BREAK DAILY

  • LloydStreetMarty

    consolidate smaller post offices under one postmaster to save money.

    • steve

      eliminate PM positions in smaller offices and have a clerk in charge

    • OldPM

      They are already doing that

  • Rich 08830

    The Postal Service spent $3.5 Billion in overtime this year. I personally worked 250 hours in overtime making an additional $10,000. For this same $10,000 they could have used new hires who make $15 per hour and gotten a total 650 hours of mail delivery vs. paying someone senior making $40/hr and getting less productivity with 250 hours.

    • Bocco

      Rich,
      You sure love to make this same exact post over and over don’t you? 250 hours equates to about 5 hours per week. You do realize that you could easily take your name off the OTDL, right?

  • Retired Mailman

    The topic is the APC not your solutions to the grand equation. Maybe if the APC accepted cash, and there was a straightforward way for the patrons to buy stamps, these machines would be used more often.

  • ONE O ONE

    IRONIC THAT THE OIG IS NOW THE “AUTHORITY” ON MARKETING PILOT PROGRAMS, DEMOGRAPHIC STUDIES ETC. PERHAPS THOSE THAT HAVE BEEN HIRED BY THE USPS FOR THEIR MBA’S ARE UNSHACKLED AND ALLOWED TO DO WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN HIRED FOR AND NOT LED AROUND BY THOSE THAT HAVE COME UP THROUGH THE RANKS AND ARE BIASED AND SUFFER FROM TRYING TO APEASE THOSE THAT PROMOTED THEM. PLEASE..GO BACK TO BUSINESS 101 AND REVIEW THE AWAKENING OF COMPANIES SUCH AS TRW AND LINCOLN ELECTRIC AND THE IDEAS THAT SAVED THESE COMPANIES AND HOW AND WHERE THESE BUSINESS SAVING IDEAS CAME FROM. THOSE COMPANIES WENT TO THEIR EMPLOYEES FOR IDEAS AND SOLUTIONS. THE USPS HAS A TOKEN SUGGESTION PROGRAM…IT IS NOT WORTH THE PAPER IT IS WRITTEN UPON. USPS EMPLOYEE HAVE LITTLE IF ANY TRUST IN THOSE THAT STEER THE FUTURE OF THE USPS AND JUSTIFIABLY SO. ONE LAST EXAMPLE…AT&T WAS ONCE THE LARGEST COMPANY IN THE FREE WORLD. CEO’S CAME AND WENT AND ALONG WITH THEIR “YES MEN”…WERE ALL DOGMATIC TO EMPLOYEES AT LOWER LEVELS. AT&T IS GONE!!..NO MORE !. TRW LISTENED, AND IS WORLD WIDE AND VERY SUCCESSFUL…AND REWARDED EMPLOYEES FOR VIABLE IDEAS. LISTEN TO YOUR TROOPS IN THE TRENCHES…NOT ALL IDEAS WILL BE WORLD SHAKERS BUT FOR THOSE THAT TAKE THE TIME TO SUBMIT IDEAS THAT HAVE MERIT…REWARD THAT INDIVIDUAL..AND NOT WITH A PLAQUE…MONEY TALKS.