Customers first

PMG

No matter where customers interact with USPS, the organization wants to provide them with excellent service, PMG Megan J. Brennan told the National Star Route Mail Contractors Association (NSRMCA) recently.

In remarks at the organization’s annual meeting in Detroit, the PMG said customer service is more important than ever.

“For the Postal Service, everyone is our customer. From recipients retrieving their mail to our box customers, we’re investing in technology and infrastructure to enhance our customers’ experiences,” she said.

One example is Informed Delivery, a new feature that allows customers to receive digital previews of their incoming mail.

“Informed Delivery builds anticipation of the mail, adding value to a mailer’s investment,” Brennan said.

She also discussed Informed Visibility, a platform that allows USPS to track mail as it moves throughout the postal network and share data with business customers, allowing them to maximize their Marketing Mail efforts.

“We track every piece, every tray, every bundle, every pallet and every truck,” the PMG said.

In addition to the NSRMCA, the PMG met recently with the National Rural Letter Carriers Association and United Postmasters and Managers of America.

Brennan addressed customer service at each meeting, along with the Postal Service’s focus on returning to financial stability, new innovations and workforce development.

At the session with the star route mail contractors, the PMG discussed the importance of the NSRMCA, which represents 17,000 individuals who contract with USPS to provide mail transportation services.

“We value your continued service,” she said.

Open arms

USPS employees

Clarence Williams came to work on his day off this week to help his co-workers from Houston’s Bear Creek Station transition to their new, temporary home.

“You couldn’t keep me from coming in,” said Williams, a rural carrier who has worked at Bear Creek for more than 23 years. “The Postal Service has invested in me, and now it’s time for me to return the investment.”

In the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, more than two dozen damaged Post Offices in Houston District have temporarily moved operations to other facilities, where the newcomers are being welcomed warmly.

“The spirit, the attitude and the perseverance of USPS employees is astounding, and I’m so proud to be part of this effort,” said Houston District Manager David Camp.

Bear Creek’s 90 employees are now working at neighboring Fleetwood Station, where carriers are delivering all available mail to areas that are accessible and safe.

“The folks here at Fleetwood have been very accommodating,” said Diana Peters, Bear Creek’s station manager. “We are intruding into their spaces but because they are a family too, they have welcomed us with open arms.”

The transition has produced mixed emotions for many Bear Creek employees. They say they’re glad to be back on the job, but it’s been difficult to see their regular workplace submerged under 4 feet of water.

“When I saw the pictures of the station underwater, I was very sad. It’s like my home,” said Mansoor Siddiqui, a 17-year rural carrier. “We’re just happy to have a new home here at Fleetwood.”

Here to help

USPS employees help customers in shelter

USPS employees are working in shelters throughout the Gulf Coast region, helping tens of thousands of displaced Hurricane Harvey victims reconnect with their mail.

“The Post Office is crucial in a time like this. We’re there for the community,” said Juan Loyola, a San Antonio customer services supervisor who is working at a shelter inside the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.

Loyola and other employees are providing shelter residents with a variety of assistance, including completing change-of-address requests.

Most of these employees are out-of-towners who volunteered for the assignment.

“When duty calls, duty calls,” said Helena, AR, Postmaster Anita Simmons, who also assisted with the Postal Service’s response to last year’s flooding in Louisiana.

At the NRG Center, Houston’s largest emergency shelter, employees say helping customers who’ve lost everything is a humbling experience.

“We are providing real help to people who need it,” said Stuttgart, AR, Postmaster Stephanie Barnhill. “The little act of a change of address and getting someone’s mail to them is a worthy cause.”

In the immediate aftermath of the storm, when the convention center began to fill with evacuees, Loyola recalled how grateful customers were to see the makeshift service booth bearing the USPS logo.

“We were a light in a time of darkness,” he said.

Need to know

Letter carrier scans mail

Scanning snapshot. The Postal Service’s national scanning rating was 97.76 percent during the week ending Sept. 1, down from one week earlier.

Western (98.12 percent) topped the areas, while Dakotas (99.1 percent) led the districts.

To see the latest results, go to the Enterprise Analytics site and select “Scanning” on the left hand side, and then “DES 2 — Scan Performance” from the drop-down options.

Storm watch. Hurricane Irma, the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history, hit Puerto Rico and other parts of the Caribbean Sept. 6.

The Postal Service is closely monitoring the storm, which could strike Florida during the weekend. The USPS Service Alerts page has more information.

Service members’ news. USPS has released the latest issue of Mail Call, a quarterly newsletter for employees who served in the military.

The issue features stories about veterans and career and retirement information, along with a list of veterans’ coordinators for each Postal Service district. Mail Call is available on LiteBlue.

School of sharks. There aren’t many sharks in Buffalo, NY, but the city does boast some shark-themed artwork at its waterfront.

“Shark Girl,” a sculpture of a girl with a shark’s head, is a selfie magnet for tourists and others at Buffalo’s Canalside area.

Employees from the Buffalo Post Office thought she might like to hang with some of her fish buddies, so they brought her a sheet of the Postal Service’s new Sharks stamps.

Now “Shark Girl” is alone no more.

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