Chapter 2 Postal Operations

service. Priority Mail volume is expected to decrease over the next several years. Express Mail volume also experienced its second consecutive year of growth after 4 years of declining volume; yet, Express Mail volume is also expected to decline over the next several years. Technological and demographic changes continue to retard any growth in Periodicals volume. The growth in Package Services was driven by Bound Printed Matter and Media Mail volumes. The Postal Service expects Parcel Post volumes to decline in 2007.

Table 2-1 Volume Forecasts
blank 2006(Actual) 2007(Estimated)
(Pieces in millions)
First-Class Mail 97,617 94,775
Priority Mail 924 887
Express Mail 56 52
Periodicals 9,023 8,780
Standard Mail 102,460 104,721
Package Services 1,175 1,172
International 793 827
Other* 1,090 1,098
Total 213,138 212,312

*The Other category includes mail sent by the Postal Service, mailgrams, and free matter for the blind and handicapped.
Note: Numbers may not add due to rounding.

2. Service Performance

First-Class Mail service performance results are measured through the Transit Time Measurement System (TTMS). TTMS is an independent, external system administered by IBM Business Consulting Services. The main goal of TTMS is to measure service performance from the customer’s point of view. The External First-Class (EXFC) measurement system, the major component of TTMS, which has been in existence since 1990, continuously tests a panel of 463 three-digit ZIP Code areas. These areas are selected on the basis of geography and volume density. The test represents ZIP Code areas from which 90% of First-Class Mail volume originates and to which 80% destinates. Test mail is inducted by “droppers” into collection receptacles, and the time and date are recorded. The mail is received either at a home or business address by “reporters,” who log and report the date of receipt. EXFC is not a system-wide measurement of all First-Class Mail performance. The system mirrors the customer experience, but does not reflect volumes entered by large mailers or intermediaries.

The EXFC system reported national overnight performance of 95% for all of 2006. National service performance for 2- and 3-day service was reported as 90% and 88%, respectively. See Chapter 4 for additional information.

3. Customer Satisfaction

The Customer Satisfaction Measurement (CSM) process provides reliable and actionable information to Postal Service managers by identifying opportunities to improve overall customer satisfaction. CSM has three components:

• CSM-Residential (CSM-R) — measures household customer satisfaction.

• CSM-Business (CSM-B) — measures business customer satisfaction.

• CSM-Event-Based (CSM-EVB) — measures customer satisfaction with respect to specific events or activities, such as service provided by business mail entry units.

The customer satisfaction survey process is measured independently by The Gallup Organization.

CSM-B measures the satisfaction of business customers at three levels — from the largest-volume mailers to small business customers, who mail in smaller volumes. National Accounts are the largest revenuegenerating customers and are managed by National Account managers. Premier Accounts are large revenue-generating customers managed by local account representatives. The third category, Preferred Accounts, includes all other business customers not identified as National or Premier Accounts. Preferred Accounts are typically small businesses served by a local Post Office.

Table 2-2 CSM Overall Performance Ratings by Customer Grouping %Rated Excellent/Very Good/Good
National Accounts 92 92 91 92
Premier Accounts 90 90 89 91
Preferred Accounts 91 89 90 90
Residential 92 91 92 92

C. Products and Services

1. Correspondence and Transactions

The Postal Service renewed its focus on transaction mail (i.e., bills, statements, and payments) to strengthen the Postal Service position as the nation’s primary channel for financial transactions. Ongoing refinements of the National Firm Holdout program and constant attention to 2-day and 3-day service performance have supported service improvements in this critical segment.