Enhanced Tracking and Visibility

The Postal Service remains focused on using technology to provide near real-time visibility for its mail and package products. We’re enhancing performance through analytics and automation, and introducing new tools and technology solutions that benefit both the Postal Service and the mailing community.

Internal Service Performance Measurement Sampling — In FY2015 USPS implemented the internal service performance measurement sampling component of Informed Visibility. USPS employees use Mobile Delivery Devices to scan live mailpieces at selected collection and delivery points, reducing reliance on external support for service performance measurement and providing valuable insight into the first and last mile.

Volume Arrival Profile (VAP) Tool — During FY2015, the Postal Service enhanced our VAP tool. New routing functionality allows a site to route package pickups earlier in the day, ensuring carriers get back to the office before sundown. Improved drill-down capabilities help to better examine metrics and perform root-cause analysis for both positive and negative contributors. VAP also received new static route statistics that help supervisors better manage carrier scheduling and performance. Carrier scheduling is easier with the addition of work hour and volume information.

Bundle Visibility Program — In early FY2015, the Full-Service bundle visibility program was implemented nationally. This program provides increased visibility of Full-Service bundles at delivery units, closing a visibility gap. A pilot program for large saturation mailers was implemented, bringing online a new scanning and service monitoring tool that allows Delivery Operations to monitor field compliance scanning. This pilot program has enhanced saturation mail visibility by driving scanning scores from below 70 percent to over 90 percent.

Transition to the Intelligent Mail Barcode — The conversion from the POSTNET barcode to the Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) set the foundation for mailers to participate in the Full-Service Intelligent Mail option. Unique barcoding coupled with data reporting requirements of the Full- Service program provide the Postal Service with 100 percent visibility into the mailstream. Using Full-Service IMb information, a suite of service performance diagnostic tools was developed for use by field managers to analyze and improve service performance. These tools leverage the information provided by Full-Service IMb. The suite of reports includes mail processing-work in process, scorecard, Top 10 impacts, service pair opportunity and start-the-clock day of week analysis. Reports were enhanced to include the mode matrix (air⁄surface indicator) which allows field managers to analyze origin-destination pair’s performance based on mode of transportation.

The service performance diagnostic tools provide field managers with timely and meaningful information on potential service impacts allowing corrective action to be taken to eliminate potential service failures. The ability to see diagnostic data supports efforts to improve mail processing. For example, field managers are able to measure and reduce cycle time to consistently meet service targets. In addition, through container and individual mailpiece scans, field managers gain visibility into the elapsed time between each operational step in the process. As a result, incorrect mail flows and mishandlings are identified and corrected.

In FY2015, the volume of mail in measurement grew by 32 percent compared to FY2014. This was accomplished through enhanced business logic and improvement in scan compliance. Several new enhancements were added to the service performance diagnostics tool which provides greater operational visibility to field managers. These enhancements give new insight on service issues, enabling the field to systematically identify the root cause of top impacts.

Diagnostic reports allow mailers to uncover mail or documentation issues, which, when resolved, facilitate service improvements for their mail. Through the Full-Service option, mailers have access to the lowest automation rates, address correction for Full-Service mailpieces and visibility into their own mailings. The IMb planning tool, available on the Rapid Information Bulletin Board System, shows mailers, by induction facility, how many days it takes to accept, process and deliver their mail. It also explains service variance, allowing mailers to track on-time delivery performance and see the elapsed duration (in hours) between entry time and the first automated scan. Mailers use this IMb information to better manage their customer expectations about when the mail should be delivered and make informed marketing, financial and operational decisions.

Full-Service adoption increased in FY2015. Out of the 90 percent of IMb volume potentially eligible for participation in Full-Service, 88 percent was Full-Service as of September 2015 compared with 80 percent in October 2014. Among the major mail products, Standard letters experienced the highest increase in adoption rate (11 percent) in FY2015, from 77 percent to 88 percent. Full-Service adoption continues to be the highest for Presorted First-Class Mail, increasing by 5 percent in FY2015, from 86 percent to 91 percent. Full-Service Standard Mail flats increased by 9 percent, from 76 percent to 85 percent. Full-Service Periodicals increased by 4 percent, from 80 percent to 84 percent.

Through the use of service performance diagnostics tools, USPS continues to improve processes and reduce variance on service. The FY2015 commercial mail scores and the one-day service variance scores are as follows: