As many people know, technology is not going away. Australia
Post has also recognized this, and their main visions for the future involve
increases in technology. Australia Post is spending over 500 million AU dollars
on new mail processing technology and 100 million AU dollars of that is being
spent on mail sorting and processing automation (one dollar Australian is about
60 cents US).
You may ask yourself why it would be necessary to spend all that
money on a couple of new computers and other gadgets, but the new technology is
far more than that. Australia has recently (on the 4th of October, 1999)
implemented a new bar-coding system. This new system means that letters and
other postal items can be sorted faster and more easily by computers. The
machines that read the barcode are also cheaper in the long run. The barcodes
are divided into fields, each field represents a certain character, or sorting
field or specific code.
So what does all this mean for the average Australian? Because
of the potentially lower cost of processing and sorting of letters, Australia
Post has said that the cost to the public of stamps will remain 45 cents. To
businesses it means that the cost of sending larger volumes of letters or
parcels will be 4% to 8% less, depending on the weight, size and destination of
the mail items. When you are sending 10,000 items that can be a big
One of the options that customers, especially business
customers, have at the moment is a service called PreSort. This service can be
used when you have 300+ letters or four or more kilograms of letters to send.
These "Trays", as they are called, save a lot of money and can be made
up, at most, of 20% unbar-coded letters. The number of unbar-coded letters
allowed in these trays will be decreased to 0 by the year 2002 when all letters
sent using the PreSort service will require to have a barcode.
Aside from just introducing new technology into the main postal
sorting buildings, Australia Post is also looking at refurbishing older post
offices. This is so there is a standard of service being provided to all of
Australia, especially the rural areas. This has a main focus on the giroPost and
Postbillpay service that Australia Post offers which allow customers to do their
banking and pay bills from their post office. The banking side of this will
become increasingly important as many banks in Australia are closing branches as
it becomes less profitable to have so many open.
Australia Post's visions for the future rely strongly on the
benefits that technology will have on