Edited by Michael A. Crew, Paul R. Kleindofer and James I. Campbell Jr
Chapter 10: Technological Innovation and Postal Reform
Jean-Philippe Ducasse,† Luis Jimenez‡ and Marc Morelli‡ 1. INTRODUCTION In this chapter we look at the ways in which advanced technology can aﬀect the future of the postal sector. The progress of technology implementation among postal operators (POs) has been reported on various occasions in the last two decades. Jimenez (1988) identiﬁed the factors that inﬂuence the use of technology by POs. Two articles separated by a decade reviewed the progress of mail-processing technology by POs (Jimenez and Garcia, 1996; Jimenez and Morelli, 2006). Other interim reports developed a prognosis for the evolution of postal technologies over the next 10 years (Jimenez, 2002, 2004a and b Poga, 2003). In this chapter we look at the future more broadly. In the future, POs can expect to face increasing pressures from more sophisticated and empowered customers. An array of Internet-based changes will reshape operations and sales. These trends will certainly have signiﬁcant implications for both the technologies that POs select to support internal operations and the relations between POs and their customers and suppliers. The background to these trends and the challenges they imply for postal service providers are the focus of this chapter. The role of new technologies will also be aﬀected by the interplay between innovation and postal reform. One of the principles underpinning postal liberalization in Europe is that competition promotes innovation, leads to better services, and helps to reduce costs. Liberalization should provide stronger incentives for incumbent operators to meet user needs and...
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