Improving Visibility

Surface Visibility (SV) may sound like a nautical or even aeronautical term, but to the U.S. Postal Service it refers to multiple systems integrated to scan and track mail transported within the postal network. In fact, if you've ever used USPS Tracking to find where a package is, SV scanning has helped provide the answer.

 

The New Normal

In 2001 First-Class Mail (FCM) hit an all-time peak of 104 billion pieces. Fast forward to today and it is down more than 40 percent.

Well, if you’re a reader of this blog, you also know that despite this, First-Class Mail remains the biggest provider of revenue and contribution (profit that goes to paying the Postal Service’s institutional costs).

 

Knock, Knock! Robot Here!

Imagine receiving a text on your phone saying, “The robot has just arrived with your delivery.” Thanks to on-demand delivery services like Postmates and Deliv, which are making robotic deliveries of food and convenience items in San Francisco and D.C., meeting a package bearing robot at your front door could become routine.

 

Reducing Risk in Contract Extensions

The U.S. Postal Service manages about 30,000 contract actions (awards and modifications), and spends roughly $13 billion on contracts annually. The sheer volume of contracts and the huge dollar amounts involved make it an area to regularly monitor for fraud, waste, and abuse.

It also means USPS contract officers (COs) have a big responsibility given the essential role they play in the contracting process.

 

Keeping Track of Voyager Credit Cards

Every U.S. Postal Service-owned vehicle is assigned a Voyager credit card, which operators use to pay for fuel, oil, and routine vehicle maintenance. With over 227,000 vehicles, that’s a lot of plastic to manage.

U.S. Bank manages the Voyager Fleet Systems credit card program for USPS and monitors transactions for potential fraud. Each month, USPS site managers are responsible for reconciling the Voyager card transactions identified as high-risk, such as purchases that exceed a fuel spending limit.

 

Back to Work

It’s all about getting injured employees back to work.

Postal employees injured on the job can return to work even if they can’t perform their regular jobs — so long as the work is within their medically defined restrictions. That’s the idea behind the U.S. Postal Service’s Limited Duty and Rehabilitation programs, which is essentially two programs:

 

Care to Comment?

We didn’t create our blog just to use the catchy name, Pushing the Envelope. We did it to inform and engage stakeholders about our work, particularly our audits and white papers, and the occasional topical issue. 

 

Opioids and the Mail

It’s been said the opioid epidemic does not discriminate. Its impact is felt in all communities — rural or urban, big or small, wealthy or poor. As was noted at a recent Senate hearing, nearly every American has been touched in some way by this crisis.

Policymakers are looking to attack the problem from all sides: greater access to treatment; increased funding for municipalities and their first responders; updated training for doctors in prescribing opioids; tougher penalties for drug dealers; and cooperation from pharmaceutical companies.

 

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