High priority programs and initiatives

The Postal Service is a large and complex organization with many programs, activities, initiatives and functions. The purpose of this section is to highlight initiatives identified in 2011 as particularly important to the organization. These are long-term, cross-functional programs that support multiple goals and strategies.

Nine key initiatives were identified based on their contribution to strategic performance goals, the cross-functional collaboration required to accomplish them, the length of time it would take to implement them and the amount of resources they would require.

While achieving balance among the service, financial, and workplace goals remained important, our focus in 2011 was primarily on improving financial viability. Many of the key initiatives focused on achieving dramatic cost reductions.



Progress in FY2011

1. Intelligent Mail

We made substantial progress in improving our scanning infrastructure and processes. In addition, we improved collaboration with mailers and the mailing industry. In FY2011, the percentage of eligible workshared mail containing an Intelligent Mail barcode increased from 52% in quarter 1 to 72% in quarter 4. Mail using Postnet codes decreased from 44% to 25% for the same period.

2. Flats Sequencing Systeml

We also increased the percentage of flat mail sorted in delivery point sequence. As of Sept. 30, 100 flats sequencing machines had been deployed to cover nearly 1,400 zones and 43,000 routes. Twenty-three of the 46 sites have been operating six months or more. These sites cover more than 770 delivery zones and almost 20,000 routes. At these sites, 59% of flats on average are sorted in delivery point sequence with two sites scoring 79%.l

3. Expand Accessl

While retail revenue from customer visits to Post Offices declined by 10%, revenue from alternate channels increased by 12.1%. The effort to expand convenient customer access to postal services through these channels has successfully increased the share of revenue they generated to more than 35%. For example, PC Postage led the way with 28% revenue growth. Alternative access transactions have a lower per-dollar transaction rate than similar transactions at postal windows.l

4. Optimize Networkl

Network optimization is a complex and dynamic process that requires effective real estate asset management. In FY2011, interior space was reduced by over 4.4 million square feet from property disposals, lease terminations and leased space reductions. The annual rent paid to landlords was also reduced by over $140 million compared to FY2010.l

5. Flexible Workforcel

Our goal is to effectively manage complement and scheduling to reduce work hours and the cost of those hours. We have successfully reduced both in FY2011, and our agreement with the American Postal Workers Union will enable further improvements in flexibility and cost. In FY2011, the average work hour rate was $41.60, which was below the FY2011 Integrated Financial Plan rate for bargaining unit and casual employee wages, benefits and contractual wage increases.l

6. Reduce Energy Usel

From FY2008 through FY2010 the Postal Service reduced Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions by 8% — the equivalent of taking more than 204,000 passenger vehicles off the road. Since the baseline year of 2003, USPS has reduced facility energy use by 29.4% and energy intensity 28.3% for EPAct goal subject buildings.1l

7. Reduce Delivery Costsl

The Postal Service increased the average number of deliveries per route to 592 from 569 despite 636,530 more delivery points and the overall decline of mail volume. The implementation of our Flats Sequencing System resulted in a reduction of about 4,250 routes and 154,000 rural work hours. Non-FSS route evaluations identified about 2,100 more routes that were also eliminated. Sequencing performance of letter mail also improved, which saved even more time in the office for letter carriers.l

8. Expand Products, Services, and Featuresl

In FY2011, the Postal Service unveiled 23 new products, services and features, exceeding our goal of 15. Renewed focus on responding to customer input, and to suggestions made at our innovations symposia, contributed to this achievement. Eleven of the changes we made were aimed at improving service to mailers by providing easy and convenient ways to develop direct mail online and manage customers’ mail more efficiently. Twelve new products, including multiple new shipping services, were created to attract new mailers by making it easier for them to use mail to help grow their businesses.l

9. Address Legislative Requirements for Fundingl

The Postal Service has supported an extensive outreach program to Congress and stakeholders, along with the Postal Regulatory Commission, the Postal Service Office of the Inspector General and others. Legislation addressing several of the critical issues is under development or has been introduced (HR2309, HR2967, HR3174, S1625 and S1688).l

1The Annual Sustainability Report for FY2011 will be available in the spring of 2012. The data referenced is from the FY2010 report.