MIT Mail Services was named Mail Center of the Year by the International Publishing Management Association. Established in 1998, the award spotlights corporate mail centers for outstanding improvements in the areas of new technology, cost savings and processes.
"MIT was selected as the winner because of its dramatic improvements in the overall mail operation," said Cindy Larson, chairperson of the organization's awards committee.
In 1993, former Senior Vice President William R. Dickson created a team to review the mail delivery process at MIT. With the advent ofre-engineering, mail distribution became a prime area to be reconfigured.
A series of 38 distribution mail centers were created around campus, receiving deliveries twice a day. The arrangement was designed to free up more time for the Mail Services staff to prepare outgoing mail and take advantage of postal discounts.
Mail Services has reduced the number of postage meters on campus from 140 to just five and has also expanded its offerings to include certification of mailing lists for address accuracy, shipping services and on-campus drop sites for express shipments.
The changes have delivered substantial savings. "During fiscal year 2000, we saved over $1.4 million; the year before that, $1.2 million," and a total of nearly $4 million since Mail Services was established in 1995, said former manager Penny Guyer (who recently left MIT to accept a new position with U.S. Bank in Minnesota). "We've made such major strides. The staff really deserves the recognition. It's a great way to close the door on six very productive years."
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on July 18, 2001.