A Forward PASS

With package delivery a growing part of the business, it’s no surprise the U.S. Postal Service has focused efforts on improving tracking and visibility for parcel services. PASS – the Passive Adaptive Scanning System used to scan packages and identify delivery routes – represents both the promise and pitfalls of major investments in this area.


Try It, You’ll Like It

Coupons, sales, two-for-one offers, and loyalty programs are just a few of the countless types of promotions businesses use to move inventory or get consumers to try new products and services. 

Commercial enterprises offer deals, specials, or rewards programs from time to time because … they often work. Chances are one of these marketing techniques recently influenced your buying decisions.


Neatness Counts

Management consulting guru Peter Drucker famously said of business management, “What gets measured gets done.” And the U.S. Postal Service seems to follow that maxim, using performance indicators and other types of measurements to improve performance in many aspects of its operations. But we recently found it could benefit from more such measurement in one area – its Premier Office Program.


Jenny Come Lately

Think stamps are only worth the paper they’re printed on? Philatelists will tell you to think again. The tiny One-Cent Magenta stamp, now on display at the National Postal Museum, recently sold for $9.5 million. 

Of course, that sole-surviving stamp of the British Guiana penny issues is the rarest stamp in the world. Other stamps deemed collectible by the philatelic community are also worth a pretty penny. 


Getting Closer to Seamless Acceptance

Here’s the good news: Mailers accept and support the U.S. Postal Service’s Seamless Acceptance (SA) program. And here’s the bad news: Implementing the program hasn’t been very seamless.

Ongoing data integrity problems, among other concerns, have delayed full implementation of the program. We found evidence of inaccuracy in the data and mailers raised similar concerns, prompting them to ignore the data, according to our recent audit report.


We’re Just Askin’

If you’ve rummaged around our website lately, you may have noticed a new tab on our home page entitled Audit Asks. “What is Audit Asks?” you might ask. It’s where you can read about some of our upcoming audits in their early stages and respond to questions that can help us develop more complete and useful audit reports.

Audit Asks is actually an update of our audit project pages, initially launched about 6 years ago to get feedback from our readers. With the new Audit Asks format, we have added some eye-catching graphics and changed our writing style to prompt more feedback.


Driving Toward Success

In the sage words of Yogi Berra, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you will wind up somewhere else.” So, where does the U.S. Postal Service want to go? Well, by 2016 it hopes to end up a lot closer to solvency. And to get there, it developed the Delivering Results, Innovation, Value and Efficiency (DRIVE) management process.


Green Scene

It’s safe to say that sustainability has gone mainstream. It’s not just that “going green” is the responsible thing to do; it’s also good business.

Take a look at Walmart’s website, or do a quick search on “corporate sustainability” and you’ll find another dozen or more well-known brands touting environmental sustainability is essential to doing business responsibly and successfully.


What should be the top priority for capital investment?

For the first time in years, the U.S. Postal Service has money to invest in its future. Postal officials have said they expect to spend about $2 billion on capital projects in 2015.

There’s a good chance most of that investment will go toward revamping the 190,000-vehicle fleet – one of the Postal Service’s most pressing needs. Our audit work found that the Postal Service’s vehicle fleet is adequate for delivery needs only until about 2017.