Introduction to the Postal Service Supplying Principles and Practices

In order to institutionalize supply chain management (SCM) throughout the Postal Service™, these SPs and Ps were developed to replace the interim Internal Purchasing Guidelines. These guidelines are intended for internal use only to assist the Postal Service in obtaining best value and to efficiently conduct its SCM functions. They are advisory and illustrative of approaches that may generally be used by Postal Service employees to conduct SCM activities, but are intended to provide for flexibility and discretion in their application to specific business situations. They are designed to supplement the Postal Service’s purchasing regulations contained in 39 CFR Part 601.

The Supplying Principles are the overarching business principles which the Postal Service will follow in its SCM efforts. The Supplying Practices are the business practices the Postal Service will follow to fulfill the intent of the Supplying Principles. The Supplying Practices are organized according to six process steps and those process steps are further organized according to tasks and topics. While the process steps and tasks are organized sequentially, some Supplying Practices are sometimes carried out simultaneously, and others may not be applicable to a specific business situation. The purchase/SCM team is responsible for selecting the Supplying Practices that are applicable or relevant to a specific business situation.

In addition to the specific Supplying Practices organized by process steps, tasks and topics, there are General Supplying Practices which inform the entire supply chain process, and Commodity-Specific Practices. The General Practices address overarching topics and include subjects such as laws and material and property accountability. The Commodity-Specific Practices discuss business practices relevant to a specific commodity such as mail transportation or design and construction.

The VP, SM, is responsible for ensuring that Postal Service supplying activities further the business and competitive interests of the Postal Service and for approving and issuing the SPs and Ps, and supplemental guidance. Proposed changes to enhance the SPs and Ps are welcome from all supply chain stakeholders, including suppliers and the general public.