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Chapter 2 Postal Operations
D. ADVANCED FACER CANCELLER SYSTEM
Letter mail can double-feed on automated processing equipment when envelope glue is misapplied or the feed mechanism is misaligned. When this occurs, the mailpiece identification code on the back of the pair of letters does not match the address on the front letter. Costly manual handling is then required to correct the error. The doubles detector for the Advanced Facer Canceller System (AFCS) reduces the associated re-handling and improves delivery performance. Deployment of doubles detectors on all 1,083 AFCS machines began in 2005 and was completed in 2006.
The AFCS Ink Jet Canceller (IJC) system replaced the current hub and die cancelling mechanism with an ink jet printer. This upgrade is more reliable and requires less maintenance. It automates date setting and introduces a time stamp to enhance mailpiece tracking, tracing, and security. It provides flexibility in cancellation appearance and content without the need to manufacture, deploy, and inventory new dies for each cancellation mark. Deployment on all 1,083 AFCS machines began in 2005 and was completed in 2006.
E. BUSINESS MAIL ACCEPTANCE
Upgrades continued for the PostalOne! system for transactions processed in the business mail channel. Electronic capabilities for large volume Periodicals mailers were enabled and the Postage Statement Wizard option was deployed for small volume mailers. PostalOne! electronic data exchange capabilities were deployed to additional customer sites to support Standard Mail service.
Other PostalOne! innovations included elimination of dual entry for Business Reply Mail transactions, pilot testing of eDropship, and a performance-based verification model. Increased use of Electronic Mail Improvement Reporting drove improvement of customer bundle preparation. Expansion of the PostalOne! transportation management system continued, allowing large First-Class Mail mailers to directly assign transportation for their mail.
The Electronic Verification System (eVS) continued to attract national parcel shippers as a paperless alternative to traditional manifesting with more product offerings and improved ease of use. Improvements included reports to facilitate online monitoring and postage payment. Regulations governing eVS were published in the July 10 Federal Register, mandating participation by August 2007 for all Parcel Select mailings. The Postal Service also developed a new customer outreach program and a comprehensive curriculum for Business Mail Entry analysts and Mailing Standards specialists to promote participation.
4. Material Handling
Deployment of new material handling technology continues to increase efficiency and reduce costs. Development and production activities included equipment for receipt, dispatch, and material transport operations within processing plants. Integrated Dispatch and Receipt (IDR) program expanded deployment to more than 200 mail processing facilities. The IDR program provides up to ten different types of machines and automates the functions associated with letter tray and flat tub preparation. It also provides tray transport equipment to integrate both new and existing systems in order to streamline the flow of materials. The IDR program reduces cost in incoming and outgoing dock operations and in receipt and dispatch operations. Deployment is on schedule for completion in 2007.
To support the planned network changes, deployment continued for a new generation of high-speed tray sorters that automates letter tray sortation at large plants and transportation hubs. The Postal Service has also developed specialized de-palletizing equipment for mail trays to be deployed in conjunction with high-speed tray sorters. New equipment has been developed to automate the sortation of sacks, large parcels, and other bulky items, which is critical as obsolete sack sorters are removed from service.
Deployment continued on the Powered Industrial Vehicle Management System (PIVMS), which is designed to facilitate the safe and efficient management of powered industrial vehicles, such as forklifts and tuggers. Capital funding has been approved for nearly 60 sites to date. The Postal Service expects the number of participating sites to exceed 100 by the end of 2007.
5. Support Systems
The Transportation Optimization Planning and Scheduling (TOPS) system began providing output to reduce transportation costs in 2006. TOPS enables managers to perform both long-range and week-to-week transportation optimization planning and analysis of the movement of all mail traveling on all modes, contracted or postal.
The Surface Air Support System (SASS) integrates scan data received from air transportation suppliers with existing transportation systems to support service performance accountability and accurate payment verification. The central visibility database receives assignment data from the Surface Air Management System and scan data from Postal Service facilities and transportation suppliers. This data is used for reconciling payment for air carriers and measuring supplier performance. The SASS database will be updated to accommodate the terms of the new UPS, FedEx, and CAIR contracts.