Board OKs New Phase in USPS Transformation Plan

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The U.S. Postal Service released its Strategic Transformation Plan 2006-2010 yesterday after approval by the agency's Board of Governors.


The update outlines a blueprint to prepare the agency to respond to changing customer needs, market requirements, technological developments and legal requirements. It builds on the original Transformation Plan introduced in 2002, which was created in response to calls from Congress and the comptroller general for a plan addressing the challenges confronting the USPS.


"Transformation became the watchword of the postal service in 2002," Postmaster General John E. Potter said yesterday at the monthly Board of Governors meeting. "Our goal was to position the postal service to navigate a dynamic market environment and communications landscape successfully. The results speak for themselves."


Postal products and services now are marked by innovation, ease of use and accessibility, he said.


"We have reduced costs and increased productivity," he said. "Our people, the men and women of the postal service, have brought service performance and customer satisfaction to record levels."


In the next five years, the USPS will stay focused on its core business, he said.


Board chairman Jim Miller also noted how the business environment changes daily.


"We cannot predict how events halfway around the world -- or in our own back yard -- will affect our costs," Miller said. "We cannot predict the final form of postal reform legislation, or even if it will occur. But we can do our best to prepare for the impact of these external factors. We understand that our plan must be dynamic and adaptable. It must help us manage and succeed through periods of uncertainty."


Details of the plan can be found at www.usps.com/strategicplanning/transform.htm.


Also at the meeting, Potter said the agency is reconnecting people affected by Hurricane Rita with their mail. Working with local, state and federal officials, the USPS is returning mail operations to normal service where it is safe to do so, including Houston, where delivery was back to 100 percent on Monday.


"Despite the added impact of Hurricane Rita, delivery service along the Gulf Coast is rapidly being restored," Potter said. "Although we are continuing our efforts to restore mail service to the affected areas, there is still a lot of work to be done."


Mail service remains suspended in all areas where mandatory evacuation orders are still in effect, including delivery, collection, post office box and retail services, and mail processing. The latest information on service updates can be found at: http://www.usps.com/communications/news/serviceupdates.htm.


As during Hurricane Katrina, the USPS took steps to protect the mail, employees and equipment before Rita's arrival. Those actions included moving mail and equipment to higher ground and holding mail bound for the areas in Rita's path at its place of origin.


Postal customers unable to receive delivery at their permanent address due to Hurricanes Rita or Katrina are asked to file a change of address. The easiest way is at www.usps.com or by calling 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777). Hurricane victims in areas without telephone or Internet service should go to the nearest post office, complete a change-of-address form and submit to a postal retail associate at the counter or mail it. It is a free service.


Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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