The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) requires federal agencies to develop and publish a five-year strategic plan every three years. The Postal Service updates its plan annually to accommodate ongoing business environment changes. This annual planning process incorporates an assessment of recent performance, refinement of strategies and prioritization of objectives and programs.

In October 2008, we published Vision 2013, our five-year strategic plan, covering the period 2009–2013. Vision 2013 was designed to build upon the successes of the Postal Service’s Strategic Transformation Plan, which helped guide multiple improvements in service, efficiency and workplace conditions. With Vision 2013, the Postal Service commits to continuing this progress. It acknowledges that continued service improvements and cost reductions are crucial. The Postal Service will seek to continue to strengthen its core operations and services, balancing an immediate and urgent need to reduce costs with a continued commitment to strategies such as Intelligent Mail, that are essential to the future of mail service to the country. However, in the long term, the Postal Service cannot survive on cost cutting alone, and service improvements will not, by themselves, halt revenue diversion or attract new customers. Growth is crucial to the future of affordable universal mail service.

Vision 2013 also offers a broad perspective of what it will take to continue to provide affordable, universal service and sustain a strong, viable Postal Service for future generations. It describes strategies to grow the business by adapting to changing customer needs; to create new customer value by the Postal Service leveraging its strengths; and to embrace change — incorporating new technology and approaches to respond more quickly to a rapidly evolving business environment.