I found one of the most significant developments in commerce in modern society that started in the 20th century has been the postal code system. It been scientifically proven that merchandise from businesses will travel more efficiently, and therefore more quickly, when the business uses an implemented code in the postal address system.
Postal codes are very important because they provide the most effective means of locating an address, when looking at a very large region say a city, local government area or state. In the United States postal codes are called zip codes (Zone Improvement Plan Codes). This is a numbering system that contains a separate code of numbers in that are used by all the cities. The U.S. has been using this five digit system since it began on July 1, 1963 and has since revolutionized U.S. industries by proving a simple coding system that assigns codes on maps to all addresses to speed up the sorting and delivery of mail and packaged goods, therefore reducing delivery time and improving stock and inventory maintenance.
Interestingly enough most Nigerians do not know that Nigeria has a postal code system not based on the post office box or the private mail box, but a numeric system like the U.S. that consists of six digits numbering system. The exciting possibility for businesses is with a postal code system like this implemented into your delivery process you like can make accurate and timely deliveries over vast regions of Nigeria deciding where and when your products are needed, leading to better management of your sales ratios and sales trends. Just by putting in the right postal code you can see actually see on the map which region your product will be heading to, you can even pinpoint it down to the sector (postal code) it will be delivered too.
The progress that a postal code system can brings is enormous. This includes areas like;
In the United States there are just over 42,000 postal codes (zip codes) while in Nigeria there are just over 54,600 postal codes. This is an already proven system and other countries it is used as a reliable way of gathering geographical statistics. Because all postal codes also have a longitude and latitude you can calculate the approximate boundaries of the postal code areas which can be used for statistical census data.
This data can be provided commercially to businesses to provide statistic data about customers in your regions like age group, sex or language. Now you have data the can help you better market your products.
Incorporating Credit Card System
Postal codes are essential for credit card systems because it provides a level of security in the system. Since every credit card user and businesses they purchase goods or services has an address with a postal code, it is much easier to track transactions made through the system.
Postal codes are essential for direct marketing campaigns. This is a process that allows businesses to communicate straight to the customer, with advertising techniques such as mobile messaging, email, promotional letters, and address mail. Large chained stores can now ask their customers for their home postal codes, that the stores can use to provide purchasing-pattern data useful in determining your customer base. Postal codes are also used by insurance agencies to analyze geographic factors in risk called redlining.
If any on-line business company wishes to make it easier for customers to locate them from any part of the world, then they require dealer/store locator software added to their site. Since all postal codes have a longitude and latitude they can be easily plotted into maps and geo-location devices.
Unfortunately this system has not been utilized to its full potential due to various factors. One of the factors is public knowledge of the postal system. In other for the postal system to work there has good dissemination of the information for commercial and public use. There needs to be knowledge of the exact zone areas for each of the postal codes and an implementation of the postal codes for each local government area or ward. A Nigerian does not need to know all the postal codes in Nigeria, but everyone having the knowledge of the postal codes in their own area will go a long way in spreading the information. For businesses a detailed map of postal code zones in Nigeria, this might help encourage new technologies and avenues of commerce in Nigeria that might ultimately attract outside investors.
I have not been able to find an application that extensively uses the Nigerian postal system. NIPOST (Nigerian postal service) has gone a long way to provide public access to postal codes by state, local government area, town/city or street. But I have not found it very helpful, especially the maps, the information is too general and do not provide exact postal code zones. That’s a problem any ambiguity in the system especially perceived by those trying to use the system, leads to failure.
I am hoping this note will cultivate to interest in the issue because I believe and over benefits out way the huge cost of successfully implementing this system throughout Nigeria.