USPS PCC Insider

May 20, 2009

SPECIAL EDITION

CREATING VALUE

FLATS SEQUENCING SYSTEM DELIVERS IMPROVED EFFICIENCY, SERVICE

As nationwide deployment of Flats Sequencing System (FSS) equipment continues, the Postal Service is revising its timeline and evaluating the redirection of installations to facilities where it makes the best business sense, says FSS Executive Director Rosa Fulton.

“With the decline in flats volume mirroring the overall decline in letter mail, we don’t want to over-deploy equipment to where we don’t have sufficient volumes,” Fulton told mailers attending a National Postal Forum “flats strategy” workshop this week.

Flat volume in FY 2008 declined by 7.2 billion pieces (11.1 percent) compared to FY 2007, and that trend continues, according to Fulton. Year-to-date for 2009, total flat mail volume has dropped 12.9 percent compared to the same period last year.

But there’s no doubt FSS will continue to revolutionize the way USPS sorts flat-sized mail, and what a tremendous effect it will have on improving service and helping control costs.

FSS equipment deployed at the Dulles, VA, P&DC currently sorts flats in delivery point sequence for 13 delivery units and 23 zones within the Northern Virginia District. The three machines at Dulles each are capable of sorting 16,500 pieces per hour with two passes, sequencing some 280,500 pieces per day to more than 125,000 delivery addresses.

Because there are fewer flats for letter carriers to case manually, delivery units have seen significant changes. Route adjustments in FSS offices have eliminated full-time routes, the downsized casing equipment has freed up workroom space, and excess delivery vehicles have been redeployed to where they’re needed.

This summer, FSS installation and acceptance testing occurs at the Old Columbus (Ohio) P&DC, Kansas City P&DC and the West Valley (Phoenix) L&DC.

“Change is coming,” said Fulton, “and our investment in new technologies and equipment will allow us to continue providing the excellent service our customers expect.”

“Just as importantly,” she said, “when the economy stabilizes, there will be a renewed demand for shipping and mailing services. By continuing to invest in the future, we’ll make sure our customers get even more value from the mail, through the Intelligent Mail barcode and the state-of-the-art Flats Sequencing System. They’ll both contribute to improved service and reduced costs.”

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