Discussion Papers

Uwe Rabe

Konzeptionelle und operative Fragen von Zustellnetzen
Nr. 177 / November 1997


Delivery networks are complex structures whose conceptual design and day-to-day management create substantial problems. The main reason for this lies in the dominant influence of the human workforce.

Mechanization and automation of delivery work are very limited. Deutsche Post AG is currently testing the introduction of automated Delivery Point Sequencing, building up a Computerized Forwarding System for letter mail and increasing the use of Information Technology for control and optimization of it’s delivery networks.

One current focus of modernization is the use of Geographical Databases in connection with Operations Research tools to create optimal delivery network structures (locations, routes). This will also increase Deutsche Post AG´s flexibility where the adjustment of delivery networks to a changing business environment is concerned.

Work conditions and collective bargaining agreements concerning postmen`s salaries have to be adjusted to the requirements of competitive delivery markets together with the trade unions. First agreements on team work and piece rate payment for specific mail items have been reached. These new performance-related pay models won much support amongst postmen.

If there is a recipe for success for delivery networks, this must at least contain, from the point of view of the author, the following three elements:

1. Efficient network structures (optimal delivery office locations and routes).

2. Competitive work conditions and payment schemes for postmen.

3. Motivated postmen.

In this service industry motivated postmen are an indispensable precondition for customer satisfaction and customer loyality. Deutsche Post AG will increase its efforts to remain the first choice for customers. The enterprise does not need to fear competition as long as legislation sets fair and reasonable terms for all market participants.

Only German language version available.

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