Report: Postal Service ready to ensure better delivery

The U.S. Postal Service is better prepared than ever to ensure better mail handling, according to a progress report released Jan. 11.

“Transformation helped deliver solid results across the board,” Postmaster General John Potter said in a statement referring to the 2006 Annual Progress Report, which assesses how well the USPS has met major initiatives identified in its “Strategic Transformation Plan, 2006-2010.”

“Even greater results lie ahead,” Potter said. “We are poised for new breakthroughs in service improvement and cost reduction that will recast the future of mail.”

The Postal Service unveiled plans this week to restructure the delivery of business mail through standardized intelligent bar codes, continuous mail tracking and real-time feedback to business customers.

Those new technological services, called Intelligent Mail, will be fully operational for all commercial mailers by 2009, Potter said. The new bar code and tracking technologies will ultimately give customers a continuous view of the flow of their mail, from posting to delivery.

The annual report’s innovative highlights include Click-N-Ship and Free Package Pickup, which combine online access with the Postal Service’s daily delivery link to every home and business. USPS will also add an automated mail sorting function that promises more consistency at a lower cost. In addition, it will streamline commercial mailing processes to reduce documentation, simplify payment and create a host of diagnostic tools to improve service quality and value.

The report said improvements in address and mailing list quality are a critical priority for 2007. The USPS said that each year, it cannot deliver billions of pieces of mail because addresses are incomplete, wrong or out of date.

Potter said the Postal Service has had seven straight years of productivity growth, and 2006 was its fourth consecutive year of positive net income.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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