Forgot your password?
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Postal Service Starting To Use Mobile Point of Sale Tech

Comments Filter:
  • Too labor-intensive (Score:5, Informative)

    by Animats (122034) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @01:23AM (#45843151) Homepage

    Many USPS locations already have a kiosk with a scale and a vending machine type arrangement to do that, without the need for a postal employee. Or you can get a USPS account (which is free) and print your own bar-coded package labels with postage. Just like FedEx. There's even a discount for that, and you get free tracking.

    When you use either of those methods, no postal employee has to do any data entry.

  • Re:Competition (Score:5, Informative)

    by blackraven14250 (902843) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @04:21AM (#45843773)
    Specifically, what the parent is referring to is the retiree prefunding required of the USPS. They have to fund health benefits for retired employees for 75 years in advance, far beyond what any other company or government agency has, or chooses, to do. Consider that the USPS is currently funding health benefits for employees who haven't even been born yet, and you can see how absurd this concept is - yet Congress still decided this was a smart idea. The USPS appears to be floundering to the outside world, but that's because of that particular $5.5 billion payment they have to make yearly, not due to some competitive pressure, or environmental change like "lower delivery volume". AFAIK, at the beginning of 2013, they had about $44 billion banked for these retirement benefits.
  • by bob_super (3391281) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @05:20AM (#45843927)

    On the other hand, I went to a major retail chain (formerly renowned for their catalog) and the guy told me he "had to" use his Apple-powered checkout gadget, because of some kind of quota.
    It took at least 5 times longer than if he had use a good-ol' cash register like the one right next to him, on which he still had to type a couple things, and which printed my receipt. Actually, it was the machine 8 feet away which was linked to his toy, making the whole thing patently ridiculous as he went back and forth. He had to scroll on the tiny apple screen to input data which has dedicated keys on the productivity-optimized dedicated hardware.

    I'm glad there wasn't a line, because this was a perfect example of not-an-upgrade. As an "extra cashier" tool during black Friday, maybe it's useful, but the place was empty and the registers were running.

"From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere." -- Dr. Seuss