Monday, April 02, 2007

Suggestion for Taiwanese government agencies- provide value and generate revenue

Directed at Taiwan government agencies, but applicable to other countries as well.

Health cards, ID cards, driver's license, passports....

No one likes providing photos to government agencies. Pain to either take a picture, or bring a file to the shop, return to said shop after a period of time to pick up the photos. Also photo requirements change from time to time so those that were printed before and laying in an envelope in a desk somewhere may not still be acceptable.

Since there's about 16 million Taiwanese between ages 15-64 (CIA World Factbook) , even if someone only had to update those listed above once every 10 years (not including lost or other reasons to update photos), that's still a whopping: 64 million pictures every 10 years or 6.4 million pictures/year.

Suggest government agencies have these photo machines inhouse and offer citizens the option to either:

a. provide their physical picture as usual
b. email a digital file (requirements/samples clearly laid out) for an additional fee

The proposition for option b is quite compelling because:

a. adds real value to customers (no need to find out specific picture dimensions, and saves time required to process pictures).

b. government has files on hand, can print exact size needed, and earn extra revenue while providing a valued service (could even flag the picture and then send out an automatic notification after x number of years to send an updated digital file).

Even if only 10% of people chose to pay the additional fee (say NT$50, roughly US$1.50) and let the government handle everything that's an additional NT$32 million/year (roughly US$1 million).

No idea what the initial or maintenance costs of these machines are, but if we say US$250,000 would cover machines, inhouse staff training, and maintenance within 12 months that's a 4X ROI. Plus customers are a lot happy.

Of course if more people choose the service or the pricing was slightly higher that's even a higher ROI.

A single government agency could pilot it and if it caught on replicate the model to other government agencies.

The benefit: happier citizens, price picture sizes for government agencies, and more revenue.


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