September 24, 2012 -- The U.S. Postal Service has two types of carriers: city and rural. City carriers deliver mail in populated areas, while rural carriers deliver mail in areas traditionally considered rural or remote. Recently, the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) looked at how city and rural carriers generate revenue and promote customer service. During their review, OIG auditors found that carriers are leveraging their relationships with customers to grow postal revenue through two Postal Service programs: Customer Connect, designed for city carriers, and Rural Reach Customer Connect, designed for rural carriers. In fiscal years (FY) 2009 through 2011, carrier sale leads resulted in more than $1 billion in total revenue. In FY 2011alone, carrier sale leads generated about $374 million in revenue.

Although carrier participation in the program is voluntary, OIG auditors found that carrier levels of participation in the programs vary among Postal Service districts. They concluded that if districts with low carrier participation rates adopted the best practices of districts with high carrier participation rates, the number and quality of sales leads might increase. OIG auditors estimated the Postal Service could increase revenue by $18.7 million annually if it grew its carrier lead programs by 5 percent.

Auditors also determined the Postal Service could increase its ability to identify opportunities to enhance the programs, if the agency collected more data about the quantity and quality of the sale leads. To read this report in its entirety, click here.