An international network is only as strong as its weakest station. The Operations Upgrading Committee (OUC) has a shared vision of ensuring consistent performance levels are achieved against a range of market-driven standards which demonstrate the competence of global operators within the postal network.

Initially, the OUC was tasked with driving up the performance of letter mail to achieve the required service standards. The OUC remit has now expanded into managing all performance aspects of international postal items including e-commerce items for international postal flows between IPC member posts. It is mandatory for the OUC to ensure that operationally an excellent service is provided to customers. There are many challenges and complexities in the international postal pipeline; it is therefore hugely important for all OUC members to have shared views and strategies on how the international postal pipeline is managed, performed and improved. The OUC focuses primarily on Quality of Service, Capability, Visibility, and Streamlining Processes.

How does it work?

To facilitate improvements in operational performance, the Operations Upgrading Committee (OUC) meets with operational executives from all member posts three times per year. The core agenda is driven by current performance results against an agreed set of KPIs covering letter mail, packets and parcels moving through international tracked or untracked networks. In addition, agenda topics
on transformational activities and new operational projects under trial are discussed and agreed. The OUC also periodically requests to broaden the range of metrics required or adjust the targets to reflect the future needs of the international operational pipeline or international customer requirements.

The OUC does not only look at performance results but is also a platform to share best practice within member posts so that operational improvement activities can be discussed. The OUC will occasionally also ask industry experts to attend their meetings to understand future developments in the logistics industry that could identify improvement opportunities for IPC’s member posts.

IPC – through its IPC Performance Centre, Process Harmonisation team and Operations Department – provides support to the Operations Upgrading process. Some of the support services provided include:

  • transferring the latest requirements of the postal industry into the meeting agenda;
  • providing proposals of new concepts;
  • delivering preparation material and follow-up with individual action point process or any relevant improvement plans, and
  • providing data or performance reports according to permanent or new needs.

Benefits

Ensuring consistency in International Operations

The OUC forum have a collective responsibility to ensure network performance is driven to the highest possible performance levels by adopting a joint working collegiate approach. The collective aim is to achieve consistency and standardisation in operational solution developments or project deployment and any planned operational improvement activities. The Mail Registration Device (MRD) solution is a recent example of this approach working in practice. Some other examples would be the IPC Tray and Bag Pool, the IPC Sprinter Network and the IPC Pallet Box.

Additionally, on an annual basis, the OUC will agree on the operational standards and targets for letter mail products by taking a consistent and balanced approach to ensure the requirements of all stakeholders are delivered.

Providing a platform for perfomance upgrading and best practice sharing among executives

The OUC provides a peer-to-peer knowledge-sharing platform for its members. Experts from the international operations environment meet collectively to discuss issues and plans to uplift performance or share good operational practice.

OUC performing operational studies

OUC members may periodically undertake operational studies at other OUC member international facilities. This can be performed by a single OUC member or by a number of OUC members. IPC can be involved in supporting this process. OUC members can be invited to participate as members of the study team to strengthen the overall team by drawing on their field operational experience. The on-site studies generally focus on operational or other issues impacting on international mail service performance levels.

More information

For more information about the OUC, contact helpdesk@ipc.be.