09-08-2008 04:01 PM
Sept. 8, 2008
We have two kinds of mail machines in Mail Centers, DM500 and DM1000. I would like these machines to help me understand ALL my costs.
All machines (mail machines, inserters, letter openers, folders, etc.) designed to be used in a mail center should include clock/timers and operating systems that can store operator profiles and passwords, and job history.
The manager would store the parameters of the jobs or operations on the device. Operators would sign on and specify a job or an operation. At completion, the operator would sign off.
The software would report how much time the operator consumed for each job or operation. The manager could accumulate this information to compare efficiencies of several operators or compare an operator to an internal production standard or accurately charge back labor costs to customers.
As this became more widespread, the industry could develop standard operations. Pitney Bowes or an independent organization, such as MargolisBecker (http://www.margolisbecker.com/ratio.html), could receive input that would be tabulated anonymously to show for various machines and operations what the four quartiles of performance are. Organizations already contribute wage and salary information anonymously into surveys, which shows it can be done. A quartile analysis would be something like:
Machine 123, Operation 456
Quartile 1: over 550 per hour
Quartile 2: 519 - 549 per hour
Quartile 3: 505 - 518 per hour
Quartile 4: less than 517 per hour
With a lot of organizations contributing it would be possible to segment the data by parent company industry. This would enable Mail Center to be more than just a source of costs, it could also be a source of competitive edge. For example, a Mail Center could strive to be in Quartile 1 for the industry in which its parent is a part.
These ideas were developed with internal Mail Centers in mind because they lack objective benchmarking. For-profit companies could also use these tools even though they already have a benchmark, they win enough jobs with enough profit to survive.