Over sixty years ago, Professor John McCarthy coined the term “artificial intelligence.” At the time, no one could have foreseen that AI would radically transform the way we live and conduct business. Today AI permeates all areas of society – from the personal to the professional- and new applications and uses of it arise almost daily. However, despite its ubiquity, there is still some confusion around what it is and what it does.
At its heart, AI is a technology that mimics human behavior and takes over the cognitive processes, critical thinking, and decision-making at specific points. For example-
• Voice/speech recognition
• Predictive analysis
• Performance optimization
It is present in everything from robotic warehouses and unmanned drone delivery to data analytics and business process development
While most postal leaders acknowledge and recognize AI’s powerful possibilities, many have not yet fully unleashed or integrated AI to improve the customer experience, reduce costs, and increase sales- the areas it can most benefit to the postal sector.
Already 94% of Posts are either using or planning to use data analytics to enhance their customer service awareness. Whether that means expanding their PUDO and/or self-service kiosks networks or scheduling additional employees during peak hours to reduce wait times, the result is that Posts are applying data analysis directly to their business operations intending to enhance the consumer’s experience.
Again, the overwhelming majority believe that digital solutions will play a critical role in improving branch productivity. Postal leaders agree that automation is a key driver of this escalation, and AI is instrumental in developing the new business model. Additionally, Posts can look to AI to identify peak traffic periods and recommend or even automatically allocate resources such as additional staffing or trucks.
Post offices deliver millions of letters and packages daily and use a network that simultaneously carries out millions of transactions daily. Therefore, already Posts are collecting vast amounts of data. However, rarely is it analyzed or interpreted in any meaningful way. An alarming 60% to 95% of the data collected by companies lies dormant. AI is irrevocably changing this and giving Posts the means by which they can extract data to determine how they can add additional streams of revenue.
Leveraging machine learning tools, AI can evaluate and identify high performing employees based on transaction volume, upsells, or other attributes. Conversely, the same tools can identify lower-performing employees and make recommendations for additional training or performance improvement plans.
In many locations, post offices serve multiple roles in their community. Financial services, such as sending money orders, bill payments, and other electronic payment services are standard. However, these services are ripe for fraudulent activity. AI tools can detect suspicious activity, including transactions, and flag them for later review. These tools can also recommend changes in operation to prevent or further investigate other transactions with similar attributes. Occurring on the back-end, this removes the need for counter personnel to function as “police” and investigate transactions at the point of interaction.
Sixty-three percent of business leaders say the pace of transformational change in their organizations is too slow. To assist postal leaders and accelerate the pace within the postal industry, Escher has developed the tools for the easy adoption of AI technology by your Post. Posts can very quickly begin to reap the rewards of AI with customer preference tracking, post office volume tracking and analysis, product/service suggestion and prompting, and more.
Leveraging Escher’s AI Solution Post can: