Managing workhours is a critical part of helping the U.S. Postal Service realize annual productivity gains, which help offset cost increases.

That’s why it’s so important postal management uses all the tools at its disposal to improve productivity. One tool is the mail processing variance (MPV) model, which measures annual mail processing performance and efficiency.

The MPV model calculates mail processing productivity by dividing the total number of mailpieces handled by the number of workhours. Management uses model results to measure the mail processing productivity of all facilities in relation to the targets set for facilities. Presumably, when a facility is falling short of its target, adjustments can be made to staffing. But you have to use the model regularly and correctly.

Our recent audit report found the Postal Service did not effectively use MPV.

Mail processing productivity declined almost 10 percent from fiscal years 2014 to 2016. According to Headquarters Network Operations management, the changes in productivity were due to mismanaging workhours and not ensuring that employees record workhours to the correct activity or operation. The MPV model is supposed to help with that.

Our audit determined the Postal Service did not use the MPV model as intended, with some plant managers using it only infrequently or not at all. Those who used the MPV model frequently and found it helpful had better productivity performance at their plants.

We noted the importance of managers using the model more frequently and of the Postal Service setting more facility-specific productivity targets. These MPV targets could include recognizing facility differences such as types of mail processed, types of processing machines used, mail volume, and facility size. These factors impact productivity and allow for easier evaluation of individual facility performance compared to productivity targets.

We also recommended Postal Service management develop an MPV model usage policy and provide training for mail processing managers to improve operational efficiency.

What other ideas do you have to improve the MPV model? What other ways could plant managers improve operations? 

Comments (9)

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  • anon

    Hire police watch the workers. Workers can communicate each other on work related issues on the work floor. We can hire on call to replace those who causing fight on the work floor.

    Sep 23, 2017
  • anon

    I live on a corner and I have requested that my post office to deliver to the side door, which is more convenient and safer for my 84 year mother than going down the front steps. I was told that they should only deliver to the actual address which is on the front of my house. I've been at this house 30 years and they have usually always delivered to the side. I only called to complain when they throw it in my gated front yard. I was surprised that they would say that they shouldn't deliver to my side door. Is this an unusual request on my behalf?

    Aug 26, 2017
  • anon

    The USPS seems to be in the worst shape I can recall. There is no Customer Service. I am still holding which is over 3 hours now to speak with a customer service representative. Mail I was sending appears to have gotten lost at Pensacola and sat there for over a week. The employees seem to be uncaring and have no pride in their work.

    Aug 11, 2017
  • anon

    I have a problem with filing claims. I received a box that was completely dented. It was an insured package for $100. I told the employee to please make a note of the condition of the box, but i guess she didn't know what to do and stamped a receipt and the box damaged through handling. I did my part to present the box, so i thought, sure enough the content was damaged and i had the mailer file a claim as i wanted a replacement. i took pictures of everything. Long story short it is over a week later that i am told i need the box and all content, unfortunately i didn't keep the wrotten eggs that where worthless but took pics of their content and damage, took a couple to the po. Postal inspector told me i have to open the box in the post office to file a claim and refuse it when damaged, now nobody does that now, i ship a lot and the damage sometimes doesn't become apparent until a few days later. Worthless service all around and i am stuck using it, very disappointed with workers and faulty service.

    Aug 05, 2017
  • anon

    The basic management issue missing is using MPV concepts to set accountable goals for the individual supervisor. When I was a plant manager, I created a precursor to MPV around the Western Area's Pride in Excellence structure. Each supervisor's got a rating on a weekly basis based on their individual set of operations that they managed. Each supervisor got a score each week based on their operations. It forced the different tours to cooperate to meet goals. It was also a mix of operation level and plant level indicators. BPI was successful because it brought management attention and focus to productivity, leading to historic productivity increases. It appears from your report that MPV has become just another report rather than a key part of the performance measurement and accountability process.

    Aug 02, 2017
  • anon

    In our new house about one year. my wife does a lot of shopping on line. our postal person drives up to our garage leaves the packages out in the weather rain or shine. UPS and FEDEX leave all packages at our front door about 35 feet from the garage. we have had talkes with our post office all the way to the post master and all we are getting, were sorry but the action is still the same. my wife spoke with the postal person and was told that she did not get the job to deliver packages. one package we got a note in mail box pick up at post office package is heavy the package was 18 lbs. we have specific orders ,listed on bol when ordering not to ship via the usps but but mid way the packages get handed off to the usps. if the usps only whats to be letter carriers they then should not be taking packages which the thy can not handle properly.

    Aug 01, 2017
  • anon

    In my case they can't deliver letters timely either.

    Aug 11, 2017
  • anon

    I think the postal workers should not have headphones on while working. It is not professional and distracts from work. Plus where there are mail lockers in apartment complexes that boxes be left in the lockers for those who live there instead of leaving all boxes to the apartment management office. It would save renters so much time if this was done. They can pick up mail and boxes in one area. Thank you.

    Aug 01, 2017
  • anon

    Federal Stakeholder wanting more insight

    Jul 31, 2017

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