Challenge: Quality of Service and Security
New Zealand Post’s core postal operations are much the same as those of the U.S. Postal Service. They differ in that New Zealand Post is a private organization and operates in a deregulated environment. They subcontract their mail collection services to private subcontractors that are responsible for channeling large volumes of mail to New Zealand Post’s central processing centers.
Quality of service was an issue. Subcontractor clearance agents are required to collect the mail from New Zealand Post’s network of about 5,000 street receiver boxes during scheduled hours of each day. New Zealand Post had no way to determine if and when the mail was being collected. Security was also a concern. Each route includes 20 to 30 street boxes and sometimes clearance agents service multiple routes. If a key was lost, all the locks in that series of street boxes had to be re-keyed at great expense. Also, the time required to re-key the boxes put customer mail at serious risk.
New Zealand Post began looking for a system that would allow them to monitor the service performance of the subcontractors in clearing mail from their street receiver boxes. Ian Bekhuis, Letter Acceptance Network Manager, says, “We put a tender out to industry with a list of our requirements inviting companies to present their solutions. We selected CyberLock because it was cost-effective and met our requirements in terms of measurability and auditing.”
In the spring of 2006, New Zealand Post implemented a successful 4-month trial of the system in the City of Wellington. Next, they converted 3,500 of their street receiver boxes to CyberLock electronic locks. “The national networking capability the system provides is a great benefit to us,” says Bekhuis. “The system’s Enterprise software allows us to perform audits over the network and manage the performance of our subcontractors, even at remote collection sites. Also, we can disable a key immediately should one be lost,” adds Bekhuis. Enterprise provides daily reports of box clearance times and exceptions such as attempted access to a box outside the scheduled collection time.
“The CyberLock system has greatly enhanced the security of our customer mail and allows us to manage subcontractor service performance,” affirms Bekhuis.