Even though customer satisfaction with MIT's mail system is high, costs are also very high and major problems exist.
MIT's mail reengineering team, given a head start by the work of last year's ad hoc mail committee, is launching a campaign to educate the community about ways in which individuals and departments can implement solutions to some of MIT's mail problems. The team is also preparing pilot programs to test new processes, and organizational changes to streamline mail operations.
Mail at MIT is a big item. The combined volume of interdepartmental, incoming and outgoing postal mail has reached about 25 million pieces per year. The annual cost for processing all of this mail is about $6 million.
Among the problems faced by the MIT mail delivery system is overload caused by unwanted and duplicate "junk" mail from both internal and external sources, totalling about 8 million pieces a year. Also hampering delivery are poor and inconsistent addresses on incoming mail, inefficiently sorted interdepartmental mail, and mailing lists that include people no longer at the Institute.
For outgoing mail, costs are often higher than necessary because departments don't take advantage of addressing and sorting procedures that can lead to discounts in processing, postage and delivery.
Individuals and departments can start now to take steps to increase efficiency and reduce costs in MIT's mail service. Beginning next week and in future issues, Tech Talk will publish tips that can lead to improved mail service.
The mail reengineering team is also planning presentations for the community that will outline how departments can make better use of MIT mail and realize cost savings. These presentations will outline upcoming changes in MIT's mail operations, all with the aim of maintaining high customer satisfaction.
Anyone with questions, comments, concerns or suggestions about MIT mail is invited to contact the mail reengineering team by electronic mail at
Team captain is Dave Lambert, manager of computer operations in Information Systems' Operation and Systems (x3-7095), and the sponsor is William R. Dickson, senior vice president. Team members are Glenn Johnston, production manager at Graphic Arts (x3-4765); Michael McNamara, senior purchasing agent in Purchasing and Stores (x3-7247); Austin Petzke, operations supervisor in Physical Plant's Building Services (x3-3927), and Paula Suvanto, administrative office in the Center for Space Research (x3-6103).
A version of this article appeared in the December 7, 1994 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 39, Number 14).