Until a few years ago, the postal sector only used metadata from the operational process. In the meantime, all machines and means of transport have been connected to each other in real time, so all their data are available and the possibilities of digitalization are opening up more and more. This offers opportunities for process improvements, increasing customer satisfaction and experimenting with new business cases.
Challenge: (re)use inexisting formation from the process more intelligently
AI and Vision technologies are used in the operational process of processing parcels by our customer. To apply these technologies, images of parcels are needed, among other things. Until a few years ago, our customer used these images exclusively for automatically reading the recipient information. Our long-standing collaboration made joint brainstorming on how to further use existing information from the process more intelligently a logical next step.
This led to the question: how can this data contribute to new business?
Implementation and challenges
Following these brainstorm sessions, we arranged for the realization of a secure and central place to store images of all sorted parcels. This image store became the basis for several experiments that were conducted to validate the different business cases. This central and secure image storage place is called ‘Smart Store’.
The now operational case is relevant, given the volume growth in parcels: since this year last year, our customer has been showing images of parcels in the special checkouts of their Parcel Points. This allows parcels to be dispensed faster by the parcel point staff, reducing waiting times for recipients and increasing customer satisfaction. Together we are continuously working on other, new applications of this secure storage of images in the Smart Store.
- Faster delivery of parcels to customers at pickup points.
- Increased customer satisfaction.
- Process improvements.
- Experimenting with new business cases.
In summary, customers can leverage the Smart Store to connect multiple sorting centers and securely archive, share, and aggregate images and metadata. After deploying the Smart Store in their local or cloud infrastructure, users are able to start reaping the benefits of advanced Computer Vision on a national scale.