Each year Canada Post delivers billions of letters and packages to Canadian households, businesses and institutions. With a network of over 700 carrier trucks, plus air transportation, there are a lot of details that need to be watched on a daily basis to ensure Canadians receive their mail.
It’s up to the officers at the National Control Centre in Ottawa to keep an eye on the urgent issues that need to be dealt with right away. They are the nerve center and watch dog of the company. They also act as an Emergency Management Centre in times of crisis. For example, when the flu pandemic hit in 2009, they proactively monitored daily staff attendance levels and hospitalizations across their national network to stay on top of the situation.
Canada Post needed to update their tracking and monitoring processes. In the morning, officers focus on mail delivery from ground level including the trucks and carrier activity. After a 1:00 p.m. national conference call, their attention switches to flight monitoring since the bulk of the mail is shipped via air in the late afternoon and evening. If there is a critical situation they are alerted by phone, then the officers escalate the information as necessary to senior executives and work off of a contingency plan to coordinate help where and when it’s needed. They also report to senior executives the daily and weekly information such as daily plant inventory.
Due to the incredible volume of data and information, it is nearly impossible for the officers to keep on top of everything from computer screens. The previous monitoring system consisted of 20 screens, most of which were taken up by a static map of Canada that was rarely used. The only interaction was a truck icon that would appear and flash when a truck was behind schedule. This was a system that was clearly not suited to maximizing efficiencies of the tracking and monitoring process.