chapter 2
postal operations
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quarter of 2004, for area and field use. This toolkit will be a comparative analysis tool with the option to select national performance data, individual area data or site specific data to track and monitor mail processing workhours versus volume within each of the Priority Mail operations.

2. Other Direct Labor Reviews and Standardization (LDC 17)

     Breakthrough Productivity Initiative Performance Achievement has proven its ability to focus efforts on opportunities, improve efficiencies, and reduce costs. Labor Distribution Code 17, Other Direct, activities within plant operations have been an area of concern. Other Direct workhours are more than a third of total plant workhours. These activities are primarily material handling in support of direct distribution, with limited workload measurement or productivity indicators.

     New workload measures have been developed for opening unit, flat mail preparation, and platform operations that will improve our ability to identify opportunities and reduce costs. The workload measures will be incorporated into the Plant Performance Achievement model for 2004. Benchmark productivities will be developed and used to determine opportunity workhours and savings for 2005.

     In addition, efforts to standardize processes within Other Direct activities are underway. These activities include identifying and implementing proven practices, standard industrial methods, and technology solutions that contribute to operational efficiency.

F. Delivery Unit Operations

1. Delivery Point Sequencing

     Today, over 13,000 units receive their letters in Delivery Point Sequence (DPS) order. These 13,000 units account for over 95 percent of all city carrier routes and 74 percent of rural routes, with each route averaging

approximately 1,310 DPS letters daily. Table 2-3 shows the total number of delivery points for 2003.

a. Flats Sequencing System

     During 2003 the Postal Service initiated development of two alternative strategies aimed at fully automating the flat mailstream. These development activities are for a Flats Sequencing System (FSS) and Delivery Point Packaging (DPP) which is discussed in a later section.

     FSS would finalize the automation of flat mail by sorting machinable flat mail into carrier walk sequence. This type of sortation is referred to as delivery point sequencing and has been used in our letter mail operations for over a decade. Presently, flat mail is sorted only to the zone and carrier level. This mail then must be manually sorted into delivery order by the carrier prior to beginning

table 2-3 total number of delivery points — 2003

Delivery Point Number

City 84.6
Rural 34.6
Post Office Box 19.9
Highway Contract Route 2.2

Total 141.3

deliveries for that day. This labor intensive process would be significantly reduced with FSS.

     Unlike letter mail, which is fairly uniform in size and address location, flat mail covers a broad range of sizes and has highly variable address placement. Advanced mail handling technologies must be developed, refined and/or adapted to allow for the automated sequencing of this diverse mailstream.

     Concept development will continue into 2004. Development and testing of prototype systems would follow. If successful at all

Chapter 1 Compliance with Statutory Policies Introduction

Chapter 2 Postal Operations
  1. Public Perceptions, Customer Outreach, and Mailer Liaison
  2. Products and Services
  3. International Mail
  4. Mail Volume and Service Performance
  5. Mail Distribution
  6. Delivery Unit Operations
  7. Stamp Services
  8. Licensing Program
  9. Service and Market Development
  10. Retail Programs
  11. Pricing and Classification
  12. Technology
  13. Intelligent Mail
  14. Financial Management
Chapter 3 Financial Highlights

Chapter 4 2003 Performance Report and Preliminary 2005 Annual Performance Plan