You’ve got mail: post office upgrade

Base Info
A new Trackpad handheld device is displayed in the base post office at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Jan. 24, 2013. The Trackpad system makes postal work easier because the device is merged with the post office database, which consists of base populace mailbox numbers, and makes tracking mail more efficient. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Kee)
A new Trackpad handheld device is displayed in the base post office at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Jan. 24, 2013. The Trackpad system makes postal work easier because the device is merged with the post office database, which consists of base populace mailbox numbers, and makes tracking mail more efficient. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Kee)

You’ve got mail: post office upgrade

by: Airman 1st Class Zachary Kee, 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs | .
Public Affairs | .
published: January 31, 2013

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- It's 2013 and a new year brings new beginnings. The base post office is starting the year off with a big change by working smarter, not harder, which includes upgrades to the way they handle customer's mail.

The post office has advanced to a new Trackpad server that will make tracking mail easier and executing their job simpler.

This updated software electronically merges the post office's database, which contains the base populace mailing and contact information, along with package storing locations. What is even more sophisticated about this upgrade are the handheld devices, which act as extensions of this program. Now, because of this technology, all postal workers have to do is scan incoming packages for documentation.

In the past, postal workers would write package information by hand into a book, which would take two people to accomplish. Now, they scan the barcode on the package and have the information immediately loaded into a designated Trackpad computer. This way, it only takes one person.

With the new upgrade, the post office doesn't have to do everything completely hands on, as they did before, and can save time delivering people their mail and packages.

"It decreases our processing time and gives us accountability of the mail," said Staff Sgt. Christopher Steinberg, 35th Communications Squadron custodian of postal effects. "Now we know exactly when the package came in and the exact date and time it was delivered."

Previously, the post office had yellow slips to inform you of a package. When you came to the post office to get an insured package, you would put a number and your name into a green book. Now, they have a yellow paper that includes your name, the package tracking number, the package arrival date and where the package was stored. To replace the old green book, the new paper has a barcode and when customers come in to get their package, it is scanned to indicate when the package was picked up.

Another exciting feature that comes with this upgrade is the ability to receive email notifications when a package is delivered to your mailbox. Since the post office now works on their new handheld devices, they have the ability to plug them into a computer and send the customer an email notification. To receive email notifications, go to the post office customer service counter and provide one valid email address.

To give the post office enough time to get packages ready, they ask customers to wait two hours after receiving email notification before coming in to receive their packages.

"One thing we ask of our customers is to stay patient with us," said Steinberg. "With a new process like this there are going to be little problems we encounter along the way."

If you have any questions about the post office upgrade or how to get email notifications, call the Misawa post office at 226-3492.

Tags: Misawa Air Bae, Base Info
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