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Postmaster General John Potter

In his National PCC Day speech today, Postmaster General John Potter outlined a roadmap for recovery and reaffirmed the Postal Service’s focus on adapting to changing customer needs and a changing marketplace.

Despite what Potter called “one of the most difficult economic climates any of us have ever experienced,” the Postal Service managed to cut spending by $6 billion in 2009, while maintaining record levels of customer service and trust.

The Postal Service ? already the Most Trusted Government Agency for the past five years ? yesterday was ranked the third Most Trusted Company for Privacy for 2009, according to Ponemon Institute consumer survey results. The Postal Service moved up three positions from last year, and only eBay and Verizon ranked higher in levels of customer trust.

“There’s no other business that has such an active, collaborative and productive partnership with so many great customers in so many communities,” said Potter. “And we’re going to keep working to make that even stronger.”

One of the ways the Postal Service is increasing customer value is by pursuing aggressive marketing strategies and pricing and product innovations. Earlier this year, the Postal Service launched one of its largest and most integrated advertising campaigns promoting ways businesses and consumers can simplify shipping with flat-rate boxes, one of the best bargains in the marketplace.

In addition, recent Summer Sale and Saturation Mail incentive programs have made it easier for businesses to continue results-driven direct marketing campaigns in a down economy.

The Postal Service also has been working closely with Congress and the administration on legislative actions that would help it manage huge statutorily-imposed cost mandates, provide greater flexibility and allow the Postal Service to operate more like a business.

“The simple fact is that the status quo is unacceptable,” said Potter. “The Postal Service must have the ability to manage its business, to adapt quickly to the needs of our customers and the marketplace. And our business model must change to reflect the reality of a volatile economy and a communications marketplace that has been undergoing a transformation as profound as anything that has ever come before.”

In the meantime, Potter said the Postal Service is staying focused on its mission to provide universal, affordable service to all Americans.

“Service is our priority. And we’ll continue to improve service as we implement more demanding service measurement systems,” he pledged.

The Postal Service also is implementing a new customer experience measurement system. The system replaces the current method of measuring customer satisfaction that has been in place since 1991, and is designed to evaluate the total customer experience, from mailpiece design to preparation to customer service to delivery. Insights and information from the new customer experience measurement system will allow the Postal Service to pinpoint areas of improvement as well as better adjust to changing customer needs.



As part of National PCC Day activities, the Postal Service recognizes outstanding achievement by PCCs around the country. Here are the award winners:

  • PCC of the Year — Greater Portland PCC (large market), Mid-Michigan PCC (small market)
  • PCC Industry Member of the Year — Chris Kropac, Long Island PCC
  • PCC Postal Member of the Year — Carl Karnish, Greater Baton Rouge PCC
  • PCC Mentor of the Year — Fort Worth PCC and Twin Cities PCC
  • PCC District Manager of the Year — Ken Hale, Long Island District, and Tony Williams, Northland District

Communication Program Excellence Awards:

  • Buffalo/Niagara PCC — Gold
  • Greater Portland PCC — Silver
  • Capital Region (Albany) PCC — Bronze

Education Program Excellence Awards:

  • Greater Portland — Gold
  • Buffalo/Niagara PCC — Silver
  • Fort Worth PCC — Bronze

Premier PCC Program Recognition:

Bronze: Austin, Central Arkansas, Central New York, Des Moines, Golden Spread, Greater Cleveland, Greater New Jersey, Greater New Orleans, Greater Philadelphia, Lexington Area, Midlands, Milwaukee, Northern Michigan, Puget Sound, San Antonio, Southeastern Pennsylvania, Southern Maine and Texoma.

Silver: Bay-Valley, Capitol City (Missouri), Chicago, Evansville River Cities, Greater Charlotte, Houston, Kentuckiana, Los Angeles, New Hampshire, Northern Virginia Metro, Santa Ana and Western Massachusetts.

Gold: Akron/Canton, Buffalo/Niagara, Capital Area (Harrisburg), Capital Region (Albany), Central Florida, Central Massachusetts, Central Missouri, Central Ohio, Erie, Fairfield County Connecticut, Fort Worth, Greater Atlanta, Greater Baton Rouge, Greater Boston, Greater Dallas, Greater Denver, Greater Hartford, Greater Hudson Valley, Greater Kansas City, Greater New York, Greater Oklahoma City, Greater Pittsburgh, Greater Portland, Long Island, Mid-Michigan, Nashville Middle Tennessee, Northeast Florida, Northern Illinois, Providence, Sacramento, South Central Minnesota, South Suburban, Southeastern Massachusetts, Tampa, Tulsa, Twin Cities, Van Nuys, Vermont and West Michigan.



The Postal Service has outstanding brands and terrific products, and these are key components to building success — and building strength, says Bob Bernstock, president of Mailing and Shipping Services, in the latest issue of Parcel magazine.

In the USPS-sponsored fall edition of the publication, Bernstock discusses his vision for the Postal Service. “In order to be a revenue-generating organization, we want to create a customer-facing structure and then, within that structure, organize by products,” he says. Another priority, according to Bernstock, is to take full advantage of USPS selling channels, and that includes building a world-class website that links all USPS retail opportunities together.

Bernstock also discusses the USPS response to a challenging economy, new initiatives such as the Standard Mail Summer Sale, and the Priority Mail flat-rate shipping advertising campaign, as well as other topics. In addition, the magazine explains how Sales Vice President Susan Plonkey has led the effort to align the sales force with the field operations structure and headquarters business units to better support customer requirements, and put more “feet on the street.”

You can view the magazine online at http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/rbpublishing/parcel_2009fall/#/0


The Move Update standard for presorted First-Class Mail and Standard Mail requires that mailers use a USPS-approved method to update the addresses in their mailing lists. These approved methods compare address records in a mailer’s list to change-of-address (COA) orders filed with USPS. Compliance with Move Update decreases the number of undeliverable-as-addressed (UAA) mailpieces.

At acceptance units where Mail Evaluation Readability Lookup Instrument (MERLIN) is available, USPS has deployed a process that determines how well mailers are complying with Move Update. The process includes sampling of mailings and generating Move Update reports via the PostalOne! system. The reports provide mailers with substantive feedback on their Move Update process. BMEU employees review the reports with customers to help them improve their address quality.

For more information, go to the RIBBS website at ribbs.usps.gov.


Implementation of new deflection standards for flat-size mailpieces has been postponed until Jan. 4, 2010. The standards originally were to take effect Sept. 8. Mailers are encouraged to take this opportunity to ensure their flats will meet the new deflection standards.

Beginning in January, USPS will extend the deflection (or droop) applicable to automation flats to all flat-size mailpieces. This will decrease the allowable deflection — 3 inches for flats 10 inches long or more — tested with the length placed perpendicular to the squared edge of a flat surface. This does not include flats mailed at saturation and high-density Periodicals or Standard Mail prices.


The Postal Service has tested and found an acceptable design for smaller booklets within specific physical dimensions and weight restrictions. This is a two-tab sealing option for smaller, simple spine "wallet-style" booklets 4 inches high and between 5 inches and 8 inches long, mailed as automation and machinable letters.

The Domestic Mail Manual incorporated this new wallet-style booklet into its exhibit in DMM Customers with these smaller booklets may mail them with three tabs or with glue lines or they may mail them immediately with two tabs if they meet applicable requirements under the new option.

The DMM and other mailing publications can be found on the Postal Explorer home page at pe.usps.com.


The National Postal Forum is hosting a daylong symposium Oct. 6 in Columbus, OH, that will help customers make the most of Intelligent Mail services offered by the Postal Service. The “Intelligent Mail University” is a unique opportunity to hear from USPS experts, learn about requirements and get answers to questions about Intelligent Mail services. You must pre-register to attend. The cost is $79. Get registration information at npf.org/IMb or call 703-218-5015.


The Postal Service is building on its vision for Intelligent Mail services. The focus going forward will be to “enhance the value of mail by using information and insight from the mail to deliver increased customer value and drive operational efficiency,” according to United States Postal Service Intelligent Mail Vision, July 2009. The document, which outlines strategies for the future, is available on RIBBS at ribbs.usps.gov.


Workshops-in-a-box are an integral part of PCC education. Check the PCC website monthly to find updated versions of presentations you need the most. If you have any suggestions for new workshops, send an e-mail to pcc@usps.gov.

Inside Scoop. USPS delivers mail to 149 million residences, businesses and PO Boxes.



  • The National Postal Forum is hosting Intelligent Mail University Oct. 6 in Columbus, OH. Get registration information at npf.org/IMb or call 703-218-5015.


  • National Postal Forum, April 11-14, Nashville, TN. For information, go to npf.org.



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RIBBS: ribbs.usps.gov
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Theresa Peterlein Dorothy Cottrill
Theresa Peterlein Dorothy Cottrill

From quarterly roundtable discussions to online surveys to innovative workshop ideas, the two newest members of the national PCC Advisory Committee will bring fresh perspectives for building membership and meeting the needs of PCC members.

The PCCAC is the oversight body for councils across the nation. Its newest members were announced today during National PCC Day. They are Dorothy Cottrill, manager of Disbursements Operations for the California State Controller’s Office, and Theresa Peterlein, director of Sales/Marketing for Presort Services Inc. in Grand Rapids, MI. They replace outgoing PCCAC members Tony Racioppo and Lou Ann Warren.

“This is a time of economic crisis for American businesses and the key ingredient for PCC attendance is relevance,” says Peterlein, who has been Mid-Michigan PCC industry co-chair. “We need to do our homework and find out what our customers — small and large — want, and provide it.”

Peterlein says surveys are a good way to receive valuable input. Additional ideas for improving the PCC experience include expanding workshop topics to include personal and professional development, tailoring workshops to level of experience in the mailing industry and offering “track” certifications from the National Postal Forum at the local level over the course of a few months.

Cottrill has been industry co-chair of the Sacramento PCC, which has seen its monthly attendance more than double. In a recent initiative, the PCC established an annual Express Level Membership for large business partners. “This support allows us to provide educational meetings at little or no cost to our members,” she says.

Cottrill says all PCCs can benefit from quarterly roundtable teleconferences that bring together PCC co-chairs from across the country. And she wants to further develop tasks for mentoring PCCs.

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