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Friday, January 25, 2013

About Project Arrow

India Post has undertaken a Quality Improvement Project called ‘Project Arrow’ to transform India Post into a vibrant and responsive organization. This was launched in April, 2008. In specific terms, Project Arrow entails comprehensive improvement of the Core Operations of Post Offices (set the core right) as well as the ambience (Look and Feel) in which postal transactions are undertaken. Enhancing the quality of services in ‘core areas’ envisages focus on Mail Delivery, Money Remittances, Savings Bank and Office Service Levels. This is helping the Department to emerge as a one-stop shop for retail products and offer a single window facility for banking, money remittances and other financial products and services including social and civic initiatives. The monitoring of ‘core areas’ of operations has been extended to more than 15,500 computerized post offices and ‘Look & Feel’ has been improved in 1,736 post offices across the country.
Project Arrow – Objectives, Strategy and Deliverables: 

Project Arrow was conceived in April, 2008. The project envisages upgradation of Post Offices in urban and rural areas both in terms of upgrading and enhancing the quality of service in ‘core areas’ and improving the ‘look and feel’. The project aims at creating a conducive and friendly work environment both for the staff and the customers visiting the Post Offices, providing all IT enabled services through secure connectivity, improving the service quality levels in the core business areas e.g. Mail delivery, Remittances both electronic and manual and Postal Savings schemes. To test the concept, a pilot consisting of 50 Post Offices in 10 Postal Circles was launched in April, 2008.

This project has two components: ‘Get the Core Right’ and ‘Look and Feel’.

Improvement in “Core Activities”:
  • Mail delivery- Delivery on the day of receipt.
  • Savings Bank - Reduction in transaction time at counters.
  • Remittances - Delivery of Money Orders on the day of receipt.
  • Office Service Level - Improvement in customer satisfaction- cleanliness, public forms, CCC, citizen charter.

Improvement in Ambience “Look and Feel”:
  • Branding - Ensure uniform brand hierarchy.
  • Technology - To enable all post offices to provide ICT enabled services.
  • Human Resource - Enhancement of operational and soft skills of the staff.
  • Infrastructure - Standardization of interiors and exteriors.

Advantages from the Project:
  • Enhancement the appearance of post offices under ‘Look & Feel’ to establish a unique brand identity.
  • Simpler and faster Money transactions through web based remittance services.
  • Reduction in the waiting time at the counter by improving the efficiency through induction of IT and soft skills training to the staff.
  • improvement in the percentage of mail sent out for delivery on the day of receipt;
  • Improvement in the percentage of mail dispatch to other offices.
  • Almost 100% Signature scanning of Savings Bank accounts in Phase I to IV Post Offices and up to 97% in Phase V Post Offices.
  • Faster transactions at counters & timely settlement of all cases of Deceased claim, Account transfer and Account closure request received in the Post office.
  • Formation of “Local Citizens’ Forums” for evaluation of the performance for the respective post offices.
  • Online public grievance handling and timely settlement of complaints.
  • Development of friendly environment in the public hall through proper signage, writing ledge, citizen charters and adequate availability of forms in the post office.
  • Reduction in the number of post offices with high percentage of missent and sent back articles.
  • Sustainability and higher performance is ensured by monitoring through Video Conferences.
The Project Arrow experience is a working model for ushering in an integrated and lasting improvement in the postal system and awarded with “Prime ministers’ award for Excellence in Public Administration” for 2008-2009 in 2010.

Monitoring Mechanism:

A Web-based monitoring mechanism (through Data Extraction Tool) has been devised to collect data from the field units directly from the server without any manual intervention. The data analysis is presented to all the Chief Postmasters General of 22 Postal Circles through a video-conference every fortnight (earlier every week). Data on all Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is minutely scrutinized and gaps in implementation and remedial measures thereto are discussed in the video-conference. Dedicated Program Offices have been set up at the Headquarter level and at all 22 Circle Headquarters. Data exchange from Post Offices and all communications with Circle Program Offices are through e-mail only. The KPIs are prescribed with 0% to 5% tolerance level depending on the nature of activity.

The impact of Project Arrow on Revenue of the Postal Department and on the footfall in Post Offices:

Comparative data is available for the 1724 Project Arrow Post Offices covered under Phase-I to IV. The revenue of these post offices has increased from Rs. 1346 Crore in 2010-11 to Rs. 1596 Crore in 2011-12with a 18.55% growth. Public footfall in these post offices has also increased which is evident from a 20.39% growth (from 11.87 crore articles in 2010-11 to 14.29 crore articles in 2011-12) in the mail volume of accountable articles booked at these post offices. Improvement in the core operations through Key Performance Indicators from the inception of Project Arrow are shown in the graphics as under:
  Current Status:
  1. Number of Post offices monitored under Project Arrow for “Core Activities” as on date are 15582 as follows.
In Phase I to IV = 1,724
In Phase V = 8,724
In Phase VI = 5,134
Total No. of Post offices = 15,582

 Number of Post offices covered under Project Arrow so far in “Look & Feel” are as follows:
Started with 50 post offices in April 2008 and have covered 1840 post offices so far in 5 phases by 31/03/2012.

Proposed initiatives: 

3,000 more computerized post offices are being included for monitoring of ‘Core Operation’ in this year and activities under ‘Look & Feel’ will be undertaken in 2500 more post offices during the 12th plan.

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