Worldwide, postal organizations are developing new services using the workforce that has an incredible presence in every street almost every day of the week. In January 2015, Accenture estimated the market value of “proximity services” as a 10 billion market within four years.
Last week I shared the project of the Spanish postal company: mailmen were hired as data collectors for the municipality of Santander. This week, the Belgian postal company announced that their cars will be used to measure air quality. Bpost has the largest fleet of vehicles in Belgium.
The network of a postal company is very interesting: it is a combination of a static network of letterboxes in the street, able for 24/7 measurement which is complemented with a dynamic network of vehicles and mailmen in every street of an entire country.
Postal companies, thus, have an incredible local presence with different networks (static and dynamic) and have the possibility to implement new strategies on a nation-wide level within a short period of time. Their workforce have a great reputation – proven by the fact that people open their door when the mailmen is at the doorstep.
Although the initiatives of Bpost and Correos are yet to be proven business cases, it is my firm belief that the future for postal organizations delivering proximity services focused on data collection is a bright one!
Check this interesting article on using the mailmen as data collector in the city. Worldwide, postal companies are looking for opportunities in proximity services; mowing the lawn (Finland), checking the quality of the roads (US Post) or visiting elderly people (Belgium).
If you know other examples of Smart City Mailmen or if you have interesting thoughts on this topic, please share them here!
In June 2016, mailmen of PostNL started monitoring weed growth in Twente, an area in the Netherlands. Twente Milieu, the company responsible for keeping the City clean, asked the mailmen to take a picture of +/- 100 spots once a week. Twente Milieu uses the pictures the mailmen take for evaluating different sustainable methods for removing weed. The results of the pilot are expected in the fourth quarter of 2016.