The Postal Service is reminding employees to follow established mail flow and scanning procedures to ensure visibility into the mailstream.
Visibility refers to the ability of business and residential customers to “see” their mail and packages moving through the USPS network. This occurs primarily through scanning; each time a mailpiece or package is scanned, the information is fed to a variety of postal websites and applications that allow customers to track their deliveries, each step of the way.
This year, the Postal Service is handling several important mailings, including census questionnaires, stimulus checks and election ballots. By following the organization’s standard work instructions, employees can help move this mail as quickly, accurately and visibly as possible.
When letters and flats are kept in the proper flow, scans are captured automatically by mechanized equipment. Using mobile devices to scan container placards and transportation is equally important for visibility.
Mailstream visibility is also essential to the Postal Service’s future.
Two of the organization’s newest platforms — Informed Delivery and Informed Visibility — both rely on accurate, timely scans.
Informed Delivery provides consumers with a digital preview of their incoming mail. The feature has more than 25 million users nationwide.
Informed Visibility helps business customers use USPS data to better manage their marketing campaigns.
For example, businesses can use the Informed Visibility Mail Tracking & Reporting application to track letter and flat mail moving through the Postal Service network and receive near-real-time updates. Around the time their mailing is delivered, the business can then use social media, emails or text messages to engage their customers, ensuring the mailing has the maximum possible impact.
The PostalPro website has more information on Informed Visibility, while the Informed Delivery Blue and LiteBlue pages have more information on this feature.