USPS extends contracts for POS One initiative

USPS extends contracts for POS One initiative

Addition of 13,400 customer service terminals will help gather retail sales information for analysis

By Patricia Daukantas

GCN Staff

The Postal Service will install 13,400 additional customer service terminals in post offices under an extension to the Point of Service One (POS One) initiative.

IBM Corp. and NCR Corp. of Dayton, Ohio, each will install 6,700 workstations at USPS retail windows under the Stage IIB contract extension award.

Both companies already have deployed about 31,000 retail terminals in previous stages.

The POS One program is building an integrated network of 73,000 retail terminals at the nation's post offices [GCN, Aug. 9, 1999, Page 12]. POS One collects the retail sales information into a central data mart for later analysis [GCN, Nov. 8, 1999, Page 33].

Extensive network

When Stage IIB is completed, POS One will have 44,772 networked terminals in nearly 11,000 locations, said Pam Gibert, the Postal Service's vice president of retail, consumer and small business.

The Stage IIB contract extension calls for NCR 7452 retail workstations and IBM 4694-244 point-of-sale terminals, USPS spokesman Jerry Kreinkamp said.

The IBM terminals have 266-MHz K6 processors from Advanced Micro Devices Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif. The NCR machines have processors with clock rates up to 233 MHz.

POS One terminals will go in first at the largest-revenue post offices and work down to smaller offices, Gibert said. By the time Stage IIB is done, POS One equipment will take in 68 percent of retail postal revenues.

The retail terminals have a help function that lets postal clerks access USPS regulations, Gibert said. Clerks previously had to look them up in printed manuals.

Eventually, USPS officials hope to provide video training for window clerks through the networked terminals, Gibert said.

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