Cover Story

Scanning = Visibility to Our Customers

One of PMG Pat Donahoe’s core business strategies is “competing for the package business.” Package visibility plays a big part in how the Postal Service™ is going to become more competitive — and scanning is one of the keys to making that happen.

At the Tampa, Florida, Logistics and Distribution Center (L&DC), employees recognize the importance that scanning and visibility play in the Postal Service’s ability to win new package business.

“We have an edge on our competitors with pricing,” says Tampa Plant Manager Jim Chiarella. “Where we lack is in our scanning. So we need to improve our scanning throughout the organization to give our customers more service.”

L&DC Operations Specialist Chad Lawton agrees. “The customer wants to see a scan,” he says. “They’re paying for a piece of mail to go from point A to point B, and what they want to see is ‘Where’s my mail?’”

Helping increase this visibility is the deployment of a new Intelligent Mail® device — the ring scanner, which already has proven its worth in Suncoast district.

Since receiving the ring scanners at the Orlando, Florida, Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) several weeks ago, the Suncoast district has raised its originating enroute score from 89 to 91percent. While the district already had a number of effective processes in place, it wasn’t able to pass the 90 percent mark until the scanners arrived. Now, the district is on its way to meeting a goal of 100 percent visibility.

The hands-free devices have been similarly well received by plant employees at pilot sites in Tampa and Orlando, Florida, as well as in Fort Worth, Texas, and Merrifield, Virginia.

As these devices reach other plants, the visibility they and other scanning tools give customers will benefit USPS® as well, as it gains a better view of its own operations.

Employees at the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Network Distribution Center (NDC) have noted this benefit.

“Scanning helps us track the volume for our business along with the customer’s business,” explains Frank Pierantozzi, manager, Distribution Operations. “It helps us in planning for staffing and transportation.”

“It gives us a good chance to test ourselves as far as our quality,” adds Plant Manager Thomas Kelly. “It gives our cus­tomers the opportunity to look at the service we’re providing for them.”

That service will come under even more scrutiny as customers increasingly use smart phones to track packages and USPS’s competitors dedicate themselves to scanning, according to Keith Kale, a transportation dock clerk.

“There’s no doubt scanning is the wave of the future,” says Kale.

USPS intends to ride this wave of greater visibility as it works to grab a greater share of the package business.