Berne, 28 April 2008
Swiss Post annually transports over 100 million parcels for its customers. To this end, it uses around 45,000 roll boxes - a standard means of transport for delivering and collecting parcels in post offices, distribution centres and for business customers.
Previously, there was no suitable method of optimally managing the roll boxes. To reduce the administrative workload associated with identifying the roll boxes as well as to achieve greater transparency of inventory and ultimately cut costs, Swiss Post opted for the introduction of an RFID based management system.
The contract for execution of the largest-ever RFID project in Switzerland was awarded to Swisscom in June 2007. By the end of 2007, the parcel centre in Härkingen and the Baar and Burgdorf branches had been equipped with RFID systems, and 35,000 trolleys were furnished with RFID tags. Integration into the Swiss Post's peripheral systems is carried out via an RFID middleware system. This software ensures that several thousand company transactions can be transferred daily in real time and in optimum data quality via Web services to Swiss Post's management system. The management system is a proprietary development of Swiss Post Solutions Ltd and will manage the technical and applicational operation of the yellowlog loading equipment applications.
Following intensive testing of the entire system, Swiss Post and Swisscom were able to successfully conclude the first phase of the project on schedule. By the end of 2008, the other main centres, branches and 45,000 PostLogistics roll boxes will be equipped with RFID technology.
RFID (radio frequency identification) is a procedure that enables automated, contactless identification of objects using wireless technology. Supply chain processes can therefore be more efficiently monitored and products more easily located. RFID technology represents a major step forward, as it offers significant benefits compared to other methods of automatic identification (e.g. barcode systems):
Swisscom is Switzerland's leading telecommunications operator. Swisscom is active nationwide, delivering services and products for mobile, fixed-line and IP-based voice and data communications. Swisscom also offers its customers innovative, scaleable and comprehensive Auto-ID solutions that include RFID-based solutions and systems based on other sensor technologies. www.swisscom.ch/auto-id-services
With 55,000 employees, Swiss Post is the second largest employer in Switzerland. It provides the public and the business community with postal, payment and passenger transport services. Swiss Post ensures a basic postal service, increases the company's value and operates a socially responsible human resources policy. Swiss Post has a branch network of around 2,500 post offices and last year the company delivered over 109 million packages and over 3.9 billion letters and newspapers.