chapter 2
postal operations
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8. Rapid Information Bulletin Board System

     The Rapid Information Bulletin Board Systems (RIBBS) provides mailers online access to an excellent variety of downloadable Postal Service information such as Customer Support Rulings, Federal Register notices, weather and natural disaster condition reports, Domestic Mail Manual labeling lists, and certified vendor information, just to name a few. RIBBS users may also post questions and receive answers concerning postal products and services. RIBBS is geared toward business mailers but is open to anyone seeking information about the Postal Service. File areas are provided to allow distribution of various Postal Service products and services.

9. Electronic Address Sequencing

     Centralized electronic address sequencing service eliminates field workhours in the handling of manual address sequence cards and improves the consistency of the service provided. With average processing times of less than 5 days, the electronic service assists walk sequence mailers in updating their address lists in a much more efficient and time-saving fashion. In 2003, over 94 million addresses were processed for 252 customers. Validating that number of addresses via the manual card process would have cost over 60,000 workhours during the year.

d. The Welcome Kit

     The Welcome Kit is a value-added program for customers who have recently moved. It is designed to reduce costs and improve service. The Welcome Kit contains the customer's address change Confirmation Notification Letter; local phone numbers and addresses for the customer's new area; a Settling-In Guide, with helpful information and advice on getting settled; savings on products and services customers typically need after moving; and information on how to notify the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, the Internal Revenue Service, and voter registration offices of the new address.

N. Financial Management

     The Postal Service has undertaken financial management initiatives to improve operational efficiencies, reduce administrative and program costs, manage risk, ensure compliance with federal law, and enhance transparency in reporting to our stakeholders and the public. The key initiatives now underway are reported here.

1. Activity-Based Costing

     Activity-Based Costing (ABC) is a methodology designed to assist managers in reducing expenses by assigning both direct and overhead costs to an organizational unit's operations and the outputs it produces. Using information from existing Postal Service financial and operational systems, the Postal Service currently is implementing an ABC model that contains activity and product costs for 388 processing facilities. Metrics are generated each reporting period using commercial off-the-shelf software.

     In 2003, the ABC team expanded its costing model to include 78 customer service facilities that perform mail processing operations. During 2003, the Postal Service trained over one thousand managers and staff across the country in ABC. The training included sessions on ABC concepts and on Web-based reporting software.

     ABC is a simplified tool that identifies potential areas where high costs can be reduced. As an example, using one of ABC's

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