Quality can be improved only if measured. The Global Monitoring System is a state-of-the-art measurement system managed by the UPU International Bureau.
Its primary objective is to provide each participant with accurate, high-quality operational results. This information can be used to determine UPU terminal dues remuneration, according to a performance bonus system established within the UPU, and to contribute to informed decisions on operational and quality improvement.
How does GMS work?
External panelists to the Post exchange test items for the participating countries.
The test items, containing a radio frequency identification (RFID) transponder, are read by RFID antennae installed at operational facilities where the postal traffic is received and processed. This process generates the main portion of information required to determine the quality of service.
A reporting system called GMS Statistical System for Analysis and Reports (GMS STAR) has been put into place for the provision of the above information. Thanks to this newly developed IT platform and industry open-standard RFID technology, GMS is very affordable.
How to join GMS?
GMS is open to all UPU members, including those taking part in UPU continuous testing, that wish take a step forward in monitoring their quality of service and operations on the basis of a state-of-the-art measurement system.
An application form can be found under "Key documents". Once it has been filled out and sent to the UPU International Bureau, a contact will be made to initiate the practical arrangements for installing GMS.
UPU member countries needing help to finance their participation costs are eligible for funding from a Quality of Service Fund (QSF) Global Project that will be prepared on their behalf by the International Bureau.
Find out more about the Global Monitoring System by viewing this short video.
When a designated operator has experienced an event or occurrence that is considered Force majeure, it must inform the International Bureau according to a specific process whose details are provided in the heading “Force Majeure” opposite.
Additional information is provided below.
UPU Global Monitoring System General Parameters: the vision, the concept, the challenges.
The RFID tags will be contained in anonymous DL format envelopes hidden in normal letter dispatches. They will be read as they pass through the entrance door at the receiving Postal Operator.
GMS STAR (STatistical system for Analysis and Reports)
GMS STAR will measure, monitor and control the test letters and the external entities (RFID Supplier and Panel Management Company) involved in the GMS project in order to:
- Execute calculations on the test letters
- Perform analysis and produce reports concerning the delivery on time performances of each Postal Operator
- Measure the performances of the Panel Management Company and the RFID Supplier
Organization of the Global Monitoring System.
Project Activity Cycles
Roll out of the UPU Global Monitoring system.
Main role and responsibilities of a GMS Country Manager.
The UPU GMS Technical Design
The design improvements that are elaborated in this 2nd edition include the possibility to use validated real international mail volumes for city selection, adjustment provision to the valid mail allocation, etc.
The UPU GMS Technical Design provides the technical specifications and procedures for the provision of a measurement compliant with the fulfillment of the UPU quality of service link to terminal dues.
Report to the 24th Congress
Report to the 24th Congress on the UPU Global Monitoring System (GMS).
Proposal of a general nature
Proposal to develop and pursue a GMS pilot programme in order to test the technical specifications and make appropriate revisions, in accordance with the findings and the input of the member countries.
Global Monitoring System 5
This issue provides an update on the successful completion of the GMS pilot phase; the key points for deriving maximum benefit from the GMS; GMS in 2010 and new participants.
Global Monitoring System 4
This issue provides updates on the selection of the GMS service providers, the progress of the GMS pilot and on the work on integrating the current Quality Link Measurement System (QLMS).
Global Monitoring System 3
This issue provides information on what the GMS means to the UPU community and what benefits members will derive from it. It introduces the new GMS Implementation Group.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Force majeure is an event or occurrence which prevents a designated operator to fulfil its obligations relating to quality of service or performance owing to reasons external to its control and which are not attributable to any act or failure of the designated operator.
In most cases this includes events such as war, acts of nature, destruction of facilities, and labour strikes.
When a designated operator experiences an event or occurrence that may be considered force majeure for letters, parcels or EMS, it must:
- Fill out the below form, Force majeure – Open case, with all required information
- Send it to the International Bureau within 24 hours of the event taking place by either fax +41 31 350 31 10 or e-mail.
- When the event has ended, open the same document and fill in the second part of the form, Force majeure – Closed case, and send it as provided on the form.
Specific rules and procedures
End-to-end quality testing
The Global Monitoring System end-to-end (GMS E2E) testing measures the transmission times for international priority/airmail letter-post items.
GMS E2E provides designated operators with a simple, effective tool for measuring international quality of service.
The main characteristics of the testing are as follows:
- The tests are of "end-to-end" (test letters posted in letter boxes and delivered to test participants)
- The testing is of the "city-to-city" type; Participants are located in towns or regions with the most favourable delivery standards
- On links where participating designated operators so wish, the testing can be external (the testing work is carried out by people who do not belong to the designated operator)
- Data on posting and delivery are processed separately and are only merged by the independent body (the International Bureau)
- The testing is continuous (the test letters are posted continuously, five days a week)
- The testing is limited to standard-format letters
- On links where technical conditions permit, the testing may be diagnostic (using transponders to identify the passage of mail through offices of exchange, or possibly other mail processing points)
- The use of the Internet as a means of communication ensures low-cost testing and rapid communication of results
- The results are processed confidentially, unless the designated operators concerned agree to publish them to restricted target group or to the general public
GMS E2E Internal Operational Guide - 2014 Edition, v1.0
Operational guide for GMS end to end testing of transmission times for priority/airmail letter-post items.
Registering posted letters ("P" form)
Participants provisionally register posted items on this form.
Registering received letters ("R" form)
Participants provisionally register received items on this form.
GMS audit reports
Improving the quality of international letter-post items is a core UPU objective, and a basic element of the terminal dues system. Article 30-109 of the Convention Regulations defines the link between terminal dues remuneration and quality. The results used for this link need to be calculated using a UPU-agreed quality measurement system. The Global Monitoring System (GMS) Technical Design, approved by the Postal Operations Council (POC), contains the specifications of the UPU-agreed system.
Two UPU-agreed systems are currently used to link terminal dues to quality: GMS, run by the UPU International Bureau (IB), and a module of the UNEX system, run by International Post Corporation. Article 17.1 of the UPU GMS Technical Design provides for a yearly audit of UPU-agreed systems, the results of which are used for calculating terminal dues.