usps | pcc | insider

MAY 2010

FRONT PAGE WHAT'S UP INSIDE SCOOP
KEEPING POSTED SPOTLIGHT ON SUCCESS INFO@USPS

FRONT PAGE

POSTAL SERVICE REPORTS CONTINUING LOSSES

LEVELS OF SERVICE REMAIN STABLE

The Postal Service posted a net loss of $1.9 billion on a volume decline of 88.1 billion pieces of mail for the six months ended March 31.

Postmaster General John Potter says this is further evidence that USPS continues to face incredible challenges, and reinforces the need for legislative and regulatory changes necessary to maintain a viable Postal Service. Two of those changes could save the Postal Service more than $8.5 billion in the first full year they are implemented: restructuring the prepayment of retiree health benefit payments and eliminating one day of delivery service per week.

Despite the ongoing financial challenges, Potter commends employees for continuing to take costs out of the system and maintain high rates of customer service.

On-time delivery of mail during the past three months was largely steady with 96 percent of overnight single-piece First-Class mail delivered on time.

Overall, 85.7 percent of respondents polled in the most recent Customer Experience Measurement rated their experience in the top two categories — “very satisfied” or “mostly satisfied” — during the past three months.

DEFLECTION STANDARDS

HELPING YOU MEET THE REQUIREMENTS

drop test at 3 inches

Will your flats meet new deflection standards? The Postal Service is ready to help.

The new standards for commercial flat-size mailpieces take effect June 7. However, the Postal Service will delay implementation of revised price eligibility until Oct. 3 as it works to assist mailers with flats preparation that is compatible with USPS processing and handling.

The new standards reduce flats “droop” by 1 inch less than currently allowed. If a flat is too flimsy, it can jam postal automation equipment.

Business Mail Entry employees and Mailpiece Design Analysts will work closely with mailers to determine if their flats meet the new deflection standards.

These standards don’t apply to flats mailed at Periodicals or Standard Mail saturation and high-density prices, or for basic carrier route flats drop-shipped to destination delivery units.


DEPLOYMENT CHANGES

FLATS SEQUENCING SYSTEM GOING TO MORE SITES

The Postal Service is modifying its deployment of the Flats Sequencing System (FSS). Originally, USPS planned to deploy 100 FSS machines in 32 locations. Considering network changes and declines in flat mail volume, the Postal Service is redirecting machines and FSS equipment now will go to 47 sites.

Newly added sites include Brooklyn, NY, San Francisco, CA, Dallas, TX, Cleveland, OH, and Pittsburgh, PA. Currently a dozen FSS machines are operating at five sites. By September, 29 systems will be operational at nine locations. The deployment began in 2008.

The FSS automatically sorts flat mail in the order that letter carriers deliver their route. This is the way letter mail arrives for carriers today. By sorting large envelopes, magazines and catalogs in sequence order, FSS reduces the amount of time carriers spend manually sorting mail and increases the time available to deliver mail. Improving delivery efficiencies will help USPS contain costs.

In FY 2009, flat mail volume declined 13.8 percent. The Postal Service is handling 10 billion fewer flats annually than it did three years ago.

For a list of FSS locations, go to ribbs.usps.gov.

WHAT’S UP

POWER OF DIRECT MAIL

Direct mail is one of the most powerful ways to market your product or business. It’s targeted, personal, measurable and cost-effective. Want to learn more about how direct mail can provide your business with a competitive edge?

The PCC Communication/Networking Committee invites PCC members to attend a webinar, “The Power of Direct Mail.” For your convenience, the webinar will be offered June 8, June 9 and June 17 at both 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. ET.

To reserve a spot, e-mail webinar@mmpcc.org by May 28 with your preferred date and time, and include name, company and PCC affiliation. A confirmation e-mail will be sent. Approximately one week prior to your scheduled webinar you'll receive an invitation providing access information.

MAIL GOING TO HAITI AGAIN

Employees at Haiti Post sort mail at a temporary processing location in Delmas, outside Port-au-Prince.
Employees at Haiti Post sort mail at a temporary processing location in Delmas, outside Port-au-Prince.

The Postal Service has resumed international mail service to Haiti. In January, an earthquake destroyed much of Haiti Post’s infrastructure and service capacity.

Air transport of international letters and packages from the U.S. has resumed, allowing mail volumes to begin flowing to Haiti as airlift and operational capacity expand. USPS had been accepting and holding mail for Haiti at its five International Service Centers.

UPDATING FAST

The newest release of the online Facility Access and Shipment Tracking (FAST) system will be deployed May 23. It will enable customers to manage logistics and content information for recurring joint drop-ship appointments, or “shells.” Users also will be able to create Origin Entry one-time appointments. And there are updates that affect certain FAST Web services. Details about FAST Release 14.2.0 are available at ribbs.usps.gov. Go to Site Index, FAST/Surface Visibility, Important Links.

FYI

Start planning now for National PCC Day, Sept. 15. As a result of your suggestions, we’re making some changes in this year’s event. The live broadcast will begin at noon ET, but you’ll want to be in your seats ahead of time. At 11:45 a.m., we’ll announce the 2010 premier award winners as well as the honorees for communication and educational excellence. The latest issue of PCC Management Insights, now available online at usps.com/nationalpcc/resources.htm, has information on awards criteria.

Inside Scoop. The USPS retail network in America is larger than McDonald's, Starbucks and Walmart combined.

KEEPING POSTED

2010

  • In early June, watch for “Call for Papers” for 2011 National Postal Forum May 1-4 in San Diego, CA.
  • National PCC Day, Sept. 15.

INFO@USPS

YOUR LINKS TO MAILING RESOURCES

U.S. Postal Service: usps.com
National PCC Network: usps.com/pcc
RIBBS: ribbs.usps.gov
Questions? Comments? Send an e-mail to pccinsider@usps.gov
Sign up for PCC Insider at usps.com/pcc, select “PCC Insider Registration”
Back issues: PCC Insider online archive

SPOTLIGHT ON SUCCESS

NPF DELIVERS RESULTS

Peer-to-peer roundtable sessions proved popular at this year's NPF.
Peer-to-peer roundtable sessions proved popular at this year's NPF.

The recent National Postal Forum in Nashville, TN, delivered information, education and networking opportunities as promised — and then some — say PCC members who were among the 4,000 attendees at the annual event.

It was a “great opportunity to learn, network and discuss the latest issues important to our businesses and the mailing community at large,” says Lawrence Chaido, director, TransGlobal Consultants Inc. He’s a member of the Cleveland, OH, PCC.

“The newly designed PCC leadership track was excellent,” says Chaido. He noted it was standing room only for the opening session, at which Postmaster General John Potter praised PCCs as “conduits for reaching out into the community” and thanked them for helping ensure a strong and vibrant Postal Service for years to come.

Chaido also praised “top-notch” educational workshops and tracks and said “more than enough quality networking opportunities” were available. “All in all,” says Chaido, “my NPF experience more than met and exceeded my expectations."

A peer-to-peer roundtable session offered PCC members the opportunity to exchange ideas — and business cards. More than 200 people attended roundtable discussion groups and learned how to get started with Intelligent Mail services, leadership best practices, global business opportunities and much more.

“Being able to discuss business with your peers is just fantastic,” said Theresa Peterlein, director of Sales and Marketing at Presort Services, Grand Rapids, MI, who participated in a session on how to maximize the local PCC network. Peterlein is industry co-chair of the Mid-Michigan PCC.

Like other Forum attendees, PCC members left Nashville refocused, re-energized and reminded that nothing delivers success like the mail.

Looking forward to doing it again? The 2011 NPF will be held in San Diego, CA.

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