Mailer Group Advises USPS on Service Standards

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The U.S. Postal Service is reviewing a series of recommendations about service standards produced by the Mailer's Technical Advisory Workgroup to update what are considered inadequate standards established in the early 1970s. A response is expected next month.

The suggestions were written by the MTAW in late July. The group, which consists of Standard-A, Standard-B and First-Class mailers and postal employees, was formed at the recommendation of former Postmaster General Marvin Runyon's Blue Ribbon Committee two years ago.

It was tasked with reviewing existing service standards for all classes of mail; suggesting changes and reporting requirements to standards based on USPS industry capabilities; defining standards where they may not exist; and linking them to satisfaction matrices.

The group suggested that the USPS establish a set of service standards for specific classes of mail and advised that standards, performance goals and performance be measured and reported regularly. It also said that measurements and reports should be deposited into a database used to determine the impact of various elements on performance goals and that the USPS include on its Web site regular, timely updates of the data.

"A measurement of service performance standards that the postal service can periodically report on and provide service against are very important to maintaining advertising mail through the postal service," said Barry Brennan, director of postal affairs at the Mail Advertising Service Association, Alexandria, VA. "It's important for people to know where their mail is and what kind of delivery standards they can expect when they put it into the system."

The workgroup expects a response from USPS at next month's MTAW meeting and it hopes the USPS will allocate time and money to the project.

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