There are many ways of achieving a higher level of automatic sorting with new technology but each postal operator will require a different approach based on existing infrastructure, business aims and opportunities and the particular needs of its markets. This is why it is so important to consider all possibilities to achieve the best combination of measures for the individual business.
We have recently completed an analysis project for a customer that provides a good example of how Prime Competence can provide valuable and unbiased input to assist in the forward-planning process. Our first job was to map out the current IT infrastructure - both hardware and software – and how it links to various departments such as support, administration and back office systems.
The next step was to determine future IT requirements based on business objectives. In doing this we considered two possibilities. The first was to use an independent postal automation platform - from any supplier - and the second, a choice of solutions from the supplier of the post’s existing sorting machines.
Our analysis resulted in a 40-page report that described the necessary IT requirements for both scenarios. As well as a plan-of-action, it also contained a gap analysis to contrast existing against potential performance. It gave the client a detailed guide to what steps needed to be taken and what needed to be acquired.
This complete IT scan later became the foundation for the tender document issued by our client.
Prime Competence then turned its attention to sorting hardware. First on the list for the customer was a new CFC (culling, facing and cancellation machine), investment in which would lead to greater revenue recovery. This type of machine typically performs the initial step of sorting letters collected from street mailboxes; its big drum sorts them according to their size and weight.
Our team defined the requirements and necessary specifications for the CFC machine so the client could get in touch with possible suppliers and invite their proposals. Prime Competence then conducted a similar exercise for mixed mail (XMS machines) and dedicated rest mail sorters. Rest mail consists of mail items that are not envelopes or parcels but everything in between, such as small packets and padded envelopes, that are currently handled by this postal operator’s letter sorters.