Process standardization is helping integrate data across functions and plants, reducing variability, and providing more consistent and predicable end-to-end service performance. Real-time information from Intelligent Mail (IM) barcodes is offering mailers a wealth of new information about the status of their mail in transit.
After unprecedented outreach with customers, the Postal Service revised its service standards for all mailing services this year. The standards are based on business rules that align with today’s operational and logistical network realities. Final standards will be published in mid-December. At year-end, the Postal Service in consultation with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), proposed a hybrid system that uses a combination of internal IM barcode data and external data to measure performance.
The Board of Governors approved the initial purchase of 100 Flats Sequencing System (FSS) units, equipment that will automatically process large envelopes, magazines, catalogs, and circulars into delivery point sequence. FSS technology will dramatically reduce manual handling of flat mail, especially in delivery operation. At the May Flats Symposium, co-sponsored with the Mailers’ Technical Advisory Committee, the Postal Service worked with customers to identify necessary changes in flat mail addressing, preparation, and entry, and pointed to many areas of engagement and cooperation. Full FSS deployment is set to start in 2008 after testing is completed.
This year more than a half-billion Priority Mail and Express Mail envelopes and boxes earned Cradle to Cradle Certification — a higher environmental standard that measures the quality of raw materials used during manufacturing. The packages are fully recyclable and more than 15,000 metric tons of carbon emissions will be prevented annually. The Postal Service is the nation’s first shipping company to achieve this certification standard, which is being expanded to additional packaging and similar green initiatives throughout its supply chain. Energy conservation measures, recycling of paper waste and electronics, alternative fuel vehicles, product take-back programs, and sophisticated technology in its facilities and transportation networks not only eliminate waste and protect the environment, they help the bottom line. Customers are also going green by saving gas, time, and money through the use of postal products at usps.com, as well as convenient access where they live, work and shop through self-service kiosks, retail partners, and thousands of ATMs nationwide.
For the third year in a row, the Postal Service was rated as the number one agency Americans trust to protect their privacy, according to a national study by the Ponemon Institute. The Postal Service was one of the few federal agencies to increase its customer satisfaction trust scores. It is not surprising that Americans trust the Postal Service. Every year dedicated employees deliver extraordinary service in difficult circumstances. Last winter employees rallied to deliver an estimated 3 million holiday cards and letters and 300,000 parcels in Colorado and Wyoming after a major winter storm crippled transportation. During the October wildfires in South California, mail delivery continued despite widespread evacuations, road closures, and difficult air quality conditions. Mail delivery in 65 Post Offices in San Diego, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties was temporarily affected, but service quickly returned to normal as soon as the fires were contained.
The Postal Service continued to raise the bar this year as it addressed an evolving market and continuing changes in technology — the same challenges that most businesses face. The accomplishments of 2007 continued to build a strong foundation for success, and Postal Service employees are more engaged than ever in achieving new breakthroughs under the new law.