Counter Culture: Retail Standardization
is more than just a pretty place
More than 7.5 million customers visit Post Offices each
day. Every time a customer
steps into a Post Office lobby,
it's an opportunity to increase
revenue and improve customer satisfaction. The goal
of the Retail Standardization
initiative is to make the most
of every one of these
"This isn't about lobby
beautification," says Customer Service Vice President
Susan Plonkey. "It's a systematic process to ensure
we're doing the right things
across all Post Offices to keep our customers' business
and generate the revenue we need."
Simple steps like cleaning up clutter and properly placing menuboards and product information can make a big
A new electronic newsletter from the Retail Standardization team at Headquarters, Counter Culture, aims to share
success stories, tips and other information to help Post
Offices provide the best across-the-counter experience
possible for their customers. Read it online at
http://blue.usps.gov/advertising. And, while you're there,
sign up your retail office to be a part of "Team Makeover."
Memorial funds established for Goleta
victims: Community memorial service
Two memorial funds have been established by the
Goleta community to benefit the families of the postal employees killed in the shootings at the Santa Barbara Processing and Distribution Center:
GOLETA POST OFFICE MEMORIAL FUND
COMMUNITY WEST BANK
5827 HOLLISTER AVE
GOLETA CA 93117-3631
(Funds going to postal and non-postal victims' families.)
FAMILIES OF GOLETA POSTAL CENTER
SOUTH COAST COMMUNITY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION
5784 CALLE REAL
GOLETA CA 93117-2316
(Funds going to postal victims' families.)
The Postal Service is providing information on these two
community-initiated funds for your information only, and is
not involved in collecting or disbursing the funds.
VOE survey deadline approaching -
If you're among the quarter of Postal Service employees
who received a Voice of the Employee (VOE) survey
mailed out Jan. 26, don't forget to complete it and send it
back before the deadline. When you fill out your survey,
you're helping USPS identify workplace issues that need to
be improved. That's good for employees and for
Let your voice be heard. Fill out your VOE survey, on
Postal Service time.
Completed VOE surveys must be received by Feb. 22.
Snowbird spotting: "Snowbird Mail
Patrol" catches errant packages
Ending informal "snowbird" forwarding agreements is
one of the key components of Premium Forwarding Service's (PFS) two-year test period. And for good reason -
we can't accurately measure the success of this service if
offices offer something similar for free.
When the program went into effect in August, any prior
agreements to forward mail in a manner similar to what
PFS does - a weekly shipment of mail inside Priority Mail
packaging - were to be discontinued.
In Fort Myers and Cape Coral, FL, letter carriers take
their revenue protection responsibility seriously. Ever since
they learned about Premium Forwarding Service - and its
additional revenue potential - they voluntarily formed a
"Snowbird Mail Patrol" and discovered more than 88 ZIP
Codes sending down unauthorized snowbird mail packages. The offices have been contacted and reminded to
end their own version of snowbird mail forwarding and offer
PFS to customers.
Thank you, Snowbird Mail Patrol. Revenue protection is
everybody's business. Questions on PFS? Check out the
PFS program on usps.com. Under "Receiving Your Mail,"
click on Premium Forwarding Service.
Setting the Record Straight: Costs not
the reason for price increase
"Baloney!" was what came to mind when Public Affairs
and Communications Vice President Azeezaly Jaffer read
the opinion piece in a recent Christian Science Monitor
titled "Instead of Raising Stamp Prices, the USPS Should
Cut Costs." Author Sam Ryan - a frequent critic of
USPS - suggested that the recent price increase is related to postal costs.
Jaffer's letter to the editor stated the facts. USPS has reduced its costs by a stunning $5 billion during the last three
years, and the 5.4 percent rate increase had nothing to do
with postal costs. The increase resulted from the federal
mandate requiring USPS to establish a $3.1 billion escrow
Jaffer said, "Congress has had this topic under discussion for the last 10 years and has never entertained any of
the suggestions advanced by Mr. Ryan. The column did not
merit a place on the Monitor's editorial pages."
Boise earns a star: First under new
OSHA Corporate Voluntary Protection
From left, Maintenance Manager Joe
Williams, NPMHU Safety
Representative Pete Tomaszewski,
Manager of Distribution Operations
Glen Umland, Plant Manager Dennis
Draney, Acting Safety Advocate
Annette McBride and APWU Safety
Representative Steve Viera.
Add the Boise, ID,
Processing and Distribution Center (PDC) to the
growing list of USPS facilities that have earned
the Occupational Safety
and Health Administration's (OSHA) Voluntary
(VPP) Star status. The
award was recently presented to the facility to
recognize its commitment to employee safety.
"The Boise Processing and Distribution Center has exhibited excellence in effective safety and health program
management," said OSHA Regional Administrator Richard
Terrill. "Their outstanding efforts have included significant
management commitment and employee involvement."
Significant indeed. The Boise PDC has an injury and illness rate that is 64 percent lower than the average postal
facility and has reduced that rate by more than 60 percent
in the last three years.
Boise is the first postal facility to be accepted as a VPP
Star site under the new OSHA Corporate VPP, designed to
streamline the process for large corporations with standardized safety and health programs, allowing for multiple
facilities to apply for and enter the VPP.
Business Connect takes hold:
Wrestling supply company pinned down
Suplay employees show the Priority
Mail, Express Mail and Global Express
Mail supplies they use to ship between
500 and 1,000 parcels a day. Elma,
WA, Postmaster Bill Carlton, far right,
scored a reversal through Business
Connect - showing Suplay the
benefits of switching to USPS from
Elma, WA, Postmaster Bill Carlton didn't use
any fancy moves to
sway Suplay Wrestler's
World to switch to
The amateur wrestling supplier simply
didn't know all that the
Postal Service had to
offer. But the business
owner had seen the
"Angie" TV commercial
and was intrigued about Carrier Pickup service.
That preparation helped Carlton make his move through
the Business Connect program and a follow-up meeting
with the customer and Seattle District Small Business
Specialist Rhonda Kelly.
The sale may bring in as much as $1 million in new
Keepers by the dozen: Lunar New Year
souvenir sheet reissued
One of the Postal
Service's most popular
souvenir sheets, Lunar
New Year, is available
now at the new 39-cent
The images on the individual stamps are intricate paper-cut designs
identifying the Years of the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Hare, Dragon,
Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Boar.
The Lunar New Year is celebrated by people of Chinese,
Korean, Vietnamese, Tibetan and Mongolian heritage. The
Postal Service issued the first of the 12 stamps in its award-
winning Lunar New Year series in 1992 in observance of
the holiday. Since then, additional stamps were issued until
all 12 animals associated with the Chinese lunar calendar
Also known as the Spring Festival, the traditional Chinese New Year is a time of renewed hope for a prosperous