Very interesting news blurb from Reuters newswire this morning regarding some computer problems yesterday at the USPS:
Computer woes briefly hobble Postal Service
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Glitches in the computer network that links U.S. post offices caused delays and limited services across the United States for several hours on Thursday, a U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman said.
The 37,000 U.S. post offices rely on centralized systems that process credit card payments and automate services such as weighing letters and packages.
“We had a network issue that caused some system freezing,” said Sharon Mayall, a postal service spokeswoman in San Francisco. “They receive information and downloads and updates from this system and apparently they were doing a download last night and there were some network issues that caused some delays this morning.”
She said the computer problems were fixed after several hours and normal service eventually restored.
According to its Web site Ohio-based NCR Corp. has installed automation systems in 8,500 U.S. post offices and the company has announced that it is expanding the use of its software to 15,000 post offices this year.
Company officials did not return calls for comment late on Thursday.
Situations like this one faced by the USPS happen to just about all of us at one time or another. Unplanned system events can cause a disruption. As Postal Service consumers, we need the USPS to implement new technologies in order for them to keep pace with the private sector. Growing pains will occur, they are a natural part of the improvement process no matter how many precautions are taken. The best insurance for a mailer to be able to react and change gears when needed is for them to have a system in place like DAT-MAIL, which allows you to switch from electronic to paper back and forth at will. That versatility, coupled with the ability to create mailing statements via Mail.dat or via manually entered data, is going to be crucial for mailers in the weeks and months (and years!) to come.
Food for thought,
Have a great weekend!