With over 25 thousand employees, bpost is the leading national provider for mailing and distribution of parcels in Belgium. According to EU legislation, a contract between the Belgium government and bpost regulates all compliance standards such as the measurement of transmitting times of letters and packages. This compliance is verified by the Belgium Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications or BIPT, which uses standards EN 13850 (first class mail standard) and EN 14534 (second class mail standard) for its analyses.
Run-Time Shipment Tracking
Under its own initiative, between 1998 and 2001, BIPT carried out the measurement of first class mail or priority shipments. During this time, this government agency implemented a bonus-malus system. This helped in providing evidence of consistent quality achieved, but also in turn helped to incentivize proactive improvements of the postal system. Every 3 years since 2002, the tendering of this measurement is awarded to an external market research institute, which is now the responsibility of bpost itself, in agreement with BIPT.
Sensor and Letter Tracking
In 2010, Spectos participated in the tendering process. As of March 2011, Spectos has been maintaining the measurement system for first class and non-priority mail, such as parcels and regular items. For this measurements, Spectos utilizes private households as well as panelists as test senders and recipients. These participants are recruited by Spectos’ in-house support center. The panels are organized to coincide with the most important transit routes for bpost (462); these are further broken down by regional delivery centers. 100% of all priority shipments are equipped with RFID transponders. Using this method allows for all mail to be traceable and gives bpost the opportunity to see any irregularities in their services. Spectos is partnered with Lyngsoe and IPC in integrating the RFID readings directly into bpost’s monitoring system. In this way, the test data is automatically validated and enriched.
bpost receives daily results and reports about panel status, RFID equipment and awareness of the target distribution. Once a month, Spectos generates a report that is directly sent to BIPT. BIPT orders and audit every four years to inspect quality, which is than audited by an outside company (PwC).