USPS Plans to Open Hubs to Retailers Competing with Amazon

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In 2020, when your supplies of milk and butter start to run low, your refrigerator will know to send out a call to the grocery store and, later that day, the Postal Service will show up at your door with fresh provisions.

Sound far-fetched? Not to Nagisa Manabe.

Manabe, the chief marketing and sales officer with the USPS, offered a preview of an array of initiatives that the agency is working on to improve and expand its services through the use of technology, tapping into unused infrastructure and by forging new partnerships.

Appropriately, Manabe was speaking in future tense in a presentation here at PostalVision 2020, a conference focused on imagining how the Postal Service can reinvent itself in the face of dramatic shifts in consumer behavior.

At the moment, Manabe said that the agency is actively looking for ways to build new business lines around what not long ago might have been considered science fiction.

“We are not that far from the point where the refrigerator will simply be able to reorder for you,” she said. “You will see us looking to collaborate with grocery chains across the country. We’d like to experiment with grocery delivery, so that’s one of the areas where we’re looking in earnest.”

Similarly, the Postal Service sees enormous opportunities in the increasingly connected world to bolster its advertising offerings. Manabe is looking to tap what in tech circles has become known as big data – the accumulation of massive stores of individual data points that, when mined and analyzed, can yield valuable new insights.

via USPS Plans to Open Hubs to Retailers Competing with Amazon.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

April 15th, 2014 at 10:06 pm

Posted in USPS

Mysterious postcard becomes window into past

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The postcard’s message is brief, written along its edge in fading pencil: “Arrived in Portland at 8 o’clock. Having a fine time. Be home sometime Sat. — Blanche.”

But the writing on the postcard, addressed to Florence Marion of Butte Falls, isn’t its defining characteristic. The date it was sent — and the date it finally arrived — all but redefine the term “snail mail.”

Postmarked from Portland: 12:30 p.m., Feb. 20, 1940.

Arrived in Butte Falls: July 2013.

Formally delivered to Florence Marion’s great-grandson, Alan Marion of Phoenix: April 14, 2014.

via Mysterious postcard becomes window into past |

Great story – these are a few of my favorite things, literally!  I have been a genealogy buff for over 20 years now, with a family website that has been online for 15 years.  Genealogy research helped to track down the great grandson.  I also participate in a world postcard exchange at 

And as a professional mail tracker, I would love to hear the story of where this piece has been all these years.  I’m sure it is an epic tale! 

Written by Lisa.Bowes

April 15th, 2014 at 10:32 am

Posted in USPS

USPS News Link Story – Improving customer satisfaction

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Customer Experience logo

USPS continues to work with postal unions to improve customers’ experiences.

Recently, Consumer and Industry Affairs (C&IA) officials in Washington, DC, met with union representatives to discuss the effects customer service has on the overall customer experience.

The meeting focused on defining customer service characteristics that foster a positive experience for customers. During the meeting, the participants broke into smaller groups to discuss how customer service agents’ performance affects satisfaction during customer service calls.

The groups also talked about the most effective ways to build trust with customers when handling complaints such as no delivery, change of address, sending domestic mail and delivery and scanning accuracy.

This meeting is one of a series C&IA has planned with internal and external stakeholders to improve customers’ experiences.

via USPS News Link Story – Improving customer satisfaction.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

April 15th, 2014 at 10:21 am

Posted in USPS

Old Reliable, PostalOne!

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From the PostalOne Help Desk

Currently PostalOne! Is encountering issues with the database which is impacting mailer  from getting processed. The PostalOne Support team is currently investigating the incident and we hope to have incident resolved soon. While this is being worked on users will encounter connectivity issues and general slowness in performance of mail.dat/mail.xml jobs.

If you have any further questions please contact the Help Desk at 800-522-9085.


Like Forrest Gump said, “PostalOne! is like a box of chocolates.  You never now what you’re going to get.”

Every now and then there is a sweet, creamy, delectable truffle.  More often than not, though, it’s a yucky nougat.

updated at 9:54 am via the PostalOne Help Desk

The PostalOne Support teams restarted the database and application servers in order to restore the system. All the alerts have cleared up and the support teams have confirmed that the application is functioning normally. The support teams will continue to monitor the system but meanwhile if the mailers continue to see any issues with their jobs  please contact the Help Desk at 800-522-9085.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

April 15th, 2014 at 8:29 am

Posted in USPS

Food Drive

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Feeding America’s hungry — learn how you can help

Written by Lisa.Bowes

April 12th, 2014 at 9:59 am

Posted in USPS

Goldway Says USPS Dissed Mailers With Load Leveling

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Postal Regulatory Commission Chairman Ruth Goldway has criticized the U.S. Postal Service for moving ahead with a new load-leveling plan for presort mailers, alleging that the Post Office is insensitive to the needs of both senders and recipients of mail. The PRC had issued an advisory opinion on March 17 to delay the move that USPS management—as was its right—chose to ignore.

“We had a situation where the USPS wanted to change delivery standards for certain types of mail and delay them, and they asked us about it and it was determined that most thought it needed more study. But the Postal Service issued an announcement that they were going to go national with this program anyway,” Goldway told attendees of the Postal Vision 2020 conference in Washington.

“Is that being customer sensitive? Is that being customer focused?”

Goldway charged that the Postal Service says one thing but does another as it embarks on a mission to reinvent its business, announcing plans for new ways to provide value for business customers and consumers while at the same time dismantling basic services.

“It’s not been my experience that the Postal Service takes very seriously that last person. It’s been the traditional business model to say, ‘Let’s depersonalize them as much as we can,’ and I think that’s a strategy that will ultimately lead to failure,” Goldway said. “Why would you want to do cluster boxes and give up that personal connection you have with consumers? Why say you want to offer more services and then say you don’t want to see them at all? Those are contradictory strategies.”

via Goldway Says USPS Dissed Mailers With Load Leveling – Direct Marketing News.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

April 11th, 2014 at 7:33 pm

Posted in USPS

Mail Service Providers and Mail Owners – Better Pay Close Attention!

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Latest OIG Audit
Revenue Opportunities for Innovative Mail Services

“Pre-sort Mail Activities—Currently, the Postal Service offers discounts to mass mailers for pre-sorting mail according to addresses. Mailers perform some of the work the Postal Service would normally do and in return receive discounted postage rates.

What are your thoughts regarding bringing back mail pre-sort activities in-house utilizing existing capacity, which would eliminate mailer discounts and increase Postal Service’s revenue?”

via Revenue Opportunities for Innovative Mail Services | Office of Inspector General.

I strongly suggest those potentially affected make their voices heard.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

April 10th, 2014 at 6:47 pm

Posted in USPS

USPS: ‘Load leveling’ takes effect April 10, 2014

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Effective Thursday, April 10, USPS is revising Destination Sectional Center Facility (DSCF) Standard Mail service standards, which allows “load leveling” of mail volumes across delivery days.
COMMENT:  Read this carefully.  This extends beyond Monday and Tuesday.

Implementation of load leveling means that DSCF Standard Mail, when accepted on Fridays and Saturdays, will have a delivery expectation of up to 4 days.

With this change, delivery volume will be more evenly balanced across the workweek, with the following benefits:

Leveling the disproportionate amount of mail now delivered Mondays to other days of the week will help even carriers’ workload and improve their return times.

Load leveling will improve processing efficiency and reduce operating costs.
COMMENT:  Based on WHAT?  There were no cost studies done.

Customers — those sending the mail and those receiving it — will receive more consistent delivery across the workweek. This higher level of reliability will lead to an improved customer experience.

This change will not affect service standards for First-Class Mail or Periodicals. USPS is not proposing any other changes in its service standards at this time.

The Federal Register has more information on the changes in its March 5 and March 14 editions. Operations also will distribute standard operating procedures and support materials.
COMMENT:  Distribute SOPs and Support materials POST-IMPLEMENTATION?  Without sharing anything with mailers and mail owners?  Without training, outreach, coordination, communications?

via USPS: ‘Load leveling’ takes effect April 10, 2014 |.

My comments are in italics and  noted within the article…

Written by Lisa.Bowes

April 10th, 2014 at 10:29 am

Posted in USPS

Damn the PRC Advisory Opinion, Full Steam Ahead…Load Leveling

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From an Industry Alert:

As announced in the March 5 Federal Register Final Rule the Postal Service is revising Destination Sectional Center Facility (DSCF) Standard Mail service standards which allow the “load leveling” of mail volumes. This change will allow a more balanced distribution of DSCF Standard Mail across delivery days.

For those DSCF Standard Mail pieces entered on Friday or Saturday, the Postal Service is changing the current three-day delivery expectation to a four-day delivery expectation.  And for pieces entered at the SCF in San Juan, PR and destined for the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as all DSCF entry pieces destined for American Samoa, the delivery expectation for pieces entered on Friday or Saturday would change from four days to five days.

This change will not affect service standards for First-Class Mail or Periodicals. USPS is not proposing any other changes in its service standards at this time.

Implementation of the revised rules begins April 10.

Apparently less than 24 hours but more than 12 hours is considered ample advance notice.  No mention of the Postal Regulator Commission recommendations or efforts to utilize the Advisory Opinion to make any changes. Can’t meet the service standards?  Change them. 

Increasing rates and cutting services is not a good strategy.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

April 10th, 2014 at 8:34 am

Posted in USPS

Jim Cochrane, Chief Information Officer, U.S. Postal Service –

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Jim Cochrane, Chief Information Officer, U.S. Postal Service

Nearly 250,000 letter carriers will get handheld devices that let them track packages in real time. It’s part of a major technology upgrade at the Postal Service that the agency hopes will give it an edge over competitors like UPS and FedEx.

Chief Information Officer Jim Cochrane has called the deal a “billion-dollar bet on the future of the shipping business.” He joined Federal Drive hosts Tom Temin and Emily Kopp to explain the new device that enhances delivery infrastructure.

via Jim Cochrane, Chief Information Officer, U.S. Postal Service –

Written by Lisa.Bowes

April 4th, 2014 at 1:12 am

Posted in USPS