Slow mail delivery service was a key topic at the recent Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) meeting in June, with the USPS acknowledging mailer concerns and detailing efforts to improve service.
Problems with First-Class delivery, Marketing Mail returns of good addresses, and remittance mail issues were highlighted in work sessions. USPS Chief Operating Officer Dave Williams said service is improving, but not where it should be.
From MTAC June 2018 Meeting Minutes:
Dave Williams opened with acknowledging the USPS has not performed well for the industry and is committed to improving service. He clearly wants to address the industry’s complaint: “Why am I paying more for mail and getting less on service”. Although First Class, Periodicals and Marketing Mail service performance is significantly improving, it’s still not where it needs to be.
USPS acknowledges it owes the mailing industry much better service in First Class. Biggest opportunity is in 3-5 day delivery performance. Listed below are the opportunities USPS is working on to improve service:
* Plants are not making their Integrated Operating Plan (not clearing on time)
* Missent mail is a big issue
* Sweeping issues at machines identified as an issue
* USPS acknowledges their focus is on internal operations, not the presorted mail it receives from external sources (presort houses, etc.)
* Transit: for example, tandem drivers required to make service on surface transportation, and only 1 driver shows up. GPS technology is helping identify issues for remediation.
* Addressing the Surface Transportation Centers (STC): STC’s are not clearing on time. Mail is arriving on time to the STC but not dispatching to secondary facilities (e.g. SCF’s) on time.
* Last Mile Issues: Mail received “Out for delivery” scans (op codes 918/919) but not physically dispatching to associate offices until after the carriers have departed the building on their routes.
* Chicago and Cincinnati markets performing poorly. Remittance mail is not available when customers show up to pick up their volumes.
* All 32 Phoenix Hecht sites are meeting with their USPS areas and districts to discuss.
* Remittance Mail Advisory Committee (RMAC): A lot of the industry that has remittance processing isn’t being identified. RMAC wants to know who these mailers are, to glean their participation.
* Issues with remittance mail are in alignment with delays in clearing between primary and secondary processing facilites (e.g. AIR & STC to SCF plants). This delay impacts getting mail to associate offices.
Mailing Irregularity Improvements:
USPS will deploy technology to capture photo images of irregularities in July 2018, but only available to USPS internal departments (Business Service Network and Business Mail Entry). These departments will be able to share information with mail service providers. Future goal is to push images directly to mailing industry through the Informed Visibility (IV) platform.
“Good As Addressed”
* Marketing Mail is being returned to sender, as well as First Class Mail, both are properly addressed. This is a major industry concern.
* For First Class Mail, USPS has no information and will research further.
* Industry wants USPS to develop some mechanism to identify the condition where multiple addressees are delivered to a certain address, and then some pieces to the same address aren’t being delivered. Industry is thinking this is a carrier issue. Industry suggested USPS should analyze the undeliverable reason codes and break it down to an area/district carrier issue. Also, identify undeliverable by the type of delivery receptacle is occurring in (NDCBU cluster boxes versus individual homes/business curbside on a route). The reason codes are not necessarily valid.
* Currently, industry studies show 8% of volume is deemed undeliverable, but when the pieces are somehow re-entered into mail processing, 80% gets delivered.
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