A glimpse of SingPost’s future: smart postboxes and postmen rating
SingPost is reportedly working with government agencies to introduce smart letterboxes and other infrastructure upgrades that will make receiving mail and parcels more convenient and efficient, reports Strait Times.
In the meantime SingPost will be launching a new product that will allow customers to be notified when an item is delivered to their letterbox and a system so residents can rate postmen in a bid to win back the public’s trust after a spate of service lapses.
A new feedback channel will let residents read short biographies of their neighbourhood postman and leave a rating and comments.
“The main motive is to have community engagement between postmen and residents, to put a face to a name,” head and chief executive of postal services Vincent Phang told the media when he announced the initiatives on Friday (May 31) at the SingPost Centre.
A microsite will be launched in July, when the feedback programme will be on trial in Bukit Timah and Yishun. It will be rolled out nationwide in October, and residents will be given QR codes that can be scanned for quick access to the site.
The new “trackable mail” product due to roll out in the same month will provide an alternative to registered mail, which requires a signature to acknowledge receipt.
“A good proportion of customers that require high confidence deliveries use registered articles… a tracked letterbox product would essentially improve on that experience. So if it goes into the letterbox it’s scanned, and there’s verification that it’s delivered,” said Mr Phang.
Shifting some demand to this service would lead to fewer overall doorstep deliveries that postmen need to make, and fewer missed encounters, he added.
To make deliveries more efficient, postmen will specialise in either letterbox or doorstep deliveries, instead of doing both currently. This will entail a pre-sorting process “to segregate what’s doorstep and what’s letterbox”, said Mr Phang.
Roughly two-thirds of SingPost’s more than 1,000 postmen will focus on letterbox deliveries. Together with the current doorstep delivery hours of 9am to 6pm being extended to 9pm beginning in August, delivery success rates will hopefully increase, said Mr Phang.
The new initiatives come as part of a longer-term review of SingPost’s operations, which include discussing with the authorities the possibility of making letterboxes bigger to accommodate the changing profile of mail items.
“I do foresee that in a country like Singapore, there’s potential for us to have all deliveries tracked. Just think of a day that without some level of authentication you cannot retrieve that letter from a letterbox.
“All that is within our grasp…whether it’s cost-effective is another thing, but we certainly have to discuss some of these areas to build the infrastructure so it can sustain the future,” he added.