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Chapter 2
postal operations

DPP sequences and merges letter and flat mail into a single bundle or package for each delivery point. This strategy would almost eliminate carriers' in-office sorting time, reduce mail handling time during delivery, and allow more street time for the carrier to deliver mail to more addresses.

DPP requires that high-speed mail sorting and packaging equipment be able to handle the diverse range of mail characteristics consistently, reliably, and accurately. DPP concepts and methodologies were developed and simulated during 2004. Development of test bed systems will begin in 2005 and be completed in 2006. Should DPP technology prove viable and economical, it may supercede FSS development and deployment.

2. Managed Service Points

In November 2003 work was completed on integrating the Managed Service Point (MSP) program into the Delivery Operations Information System (DOIS), eliminating the existing stand-alone Web-based system.

The MSP program is intended to improve consistency in the time of day that mail is delivered to customers. The program uses mobile data collection devices to scan barcodes placed strategically along the city carrier's line of travel.

DOIS was designed to provide actionable information, enabling the delivery unit supervisor to make sound business decisions in the day-to-day operations of the delivery unit. Currently the Postal Service has approximately 7,660 delivery units and more than 11,000 individuals a day accessing this business solution.

3. Carrier Optimal Routing

The Postal Service has developed city carrier routing and travel optimization programs similar to those used by private sector delivery firms. The Carrier Optimal Routing (COR) system is a computer program that uses algorithms to configure compact, contiguous, safe city carrier routes and uses volumes from route surveys in order to create efficient travel paths for city carriers. It also reduces park points and relays. COR has completed the training phase with more than 450 personnel trained in database preparation and route adjustment procedures. The national roll out of the program began in May 2004. A new DOIS compatible version of the program was sent to field units in September 2004.

4. Delivery Performance Achievement and Recognition System

The Delivery Performance Achievement and Recognition System (DPARS) is being used to recognize performance and track progress toward improvement. DPARS is a delivery operations breakthrough productivity tool that has become an earned workhour system for city and rural carriers. In 2004 this tool was made available at the district level of analysis.

The benchmark for DPARS is based on the demonstrated performance of top quartile offices within peer groups of like-sized offices. The actual performance compared to the target performance serves to identify opportunities for improvement. The opportunity hours will be used as the basis for allocating local management initiative savings for the next year. Scorecards providing detailed delivery operation performance information, as well as opportunities for improvement, are published weekly.

5. Electronic Publication Watch System

The electronic Publication Watch (ePUBWATCH) system is a tracking tool and resolution system for Periodicals mail. ePUBWATCH was designed to replace the existing paper-based publication watch system in those delivery units which have computers. Registered publishers can enter a subscriber's Postal Service-related complaint and request an electronic publication watch. By completing complaint resolution worksheets, publishers can also receive assistance from one of the Periodicals service improvement coordinators. The second year in operation resulted in a steady increase in the number of registered publishers. In 2004, 14,331 complaints were posted to the database and over 25,195 electronic publication watches were monitored and completed.

6. Collection Box Management System

The Collection Box Management System will be replaced by the Web-based Collection Point Management System (CPMS). This Web-based system provides a monitoring tool for delivery unit management to ensure adherence to collection box schedules and policies. The system consists of a data collection device that scans a barcode located inside a collection box to collect time, location, and date information. The information collected by the scanner is placed in a data transfer device at the delivery unit and is then routed to the CPMS software program, which allows management to quickly ascertain the status of each collection point. In 2004 22 sites served as pilots to test the system.

7. ADVANCE Notification and Tracking System

The ADVANCE Notification and Tracking System (ADVANCE) is designed as a manual Delivery Confirmation system to meet the time-sensitive mailing needs of qualified Standard Mail and Periodicals mailers in more than 7,500 delivery units and 11,000 5-digit ZIP Code locations. In 2004, 5.8 billion mailpieces were tracked using ADVANCE which represents a 5.5 percent increase over 2003.