Another milestone

Woman smiles near postal seal on wall

The Postal Service’s Business Connect program has surpassed $4 billion in total revenue since its creation, the fourth sales milestone the organization has achieved this year.

Business Connect, which began in 2005, is the Postal Service’s lead-sharing program for Postmasters, managers and supervisors.

A recent example of a Business Connect sales lead: Aline Conrad, officer in charge of the Northridge, CA, Post Office, noticed a large number of parcels were being returned to a business customer for postage due.

She contacted the company, which ships cellphone accessories, to discuss options to resolve the problem.

After Conrad submitted a lead through Business Connect, Sierra Coastal District sales representatives Elizabeth Hernandez and Tony Thompson followed up with the customer. They were eventually able to put together a First-Class Mail package shipping deal for the company.

The deal, which will generate $2.2 million in estimated annualized revenue for USPS, helped Business Connect cross the $4 billion threshold last week.

“Business Connect gives our local postal leaders the ability to go the extra step to help their customers save money and grow their revenue,” said Mary Anderson, small-business engagement director at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC. “Local leaders like Aline Conrad know the needs of their customers. They can quickly spot problems and offer ways the Postal Service can better deliver for them.”

Conrad’s shipping deal has also been added to the total for the Postal Service’s Race for a $Billion campaign.

The initiative — which aims to raise $1 billion through employee-provided sales leads before the fiscal year ends Sept. 30 — passed its goal on Aug. 12. The total now stands at $1.05 billion, according to an Aug. 27 ranking of all district contributions.

In March, the Clerks Care program passed $1 billion in revenue since its creation in 2013. In July, the Customer Connect program surpassed the $3 billion mark since its inception in 2003.

The Sales Blue page has more information about Business Connect and the Postal Service’s other lead-sharing programs, which include Customer Connect, Clerks Care, Mail Handlers, Rural Reach and Submit a Lead.

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Sign up

The Postal Service is offering PO Box customers an opportunity to sign up online for Informed Delivery, the free USPS feature that allows users to digitally preview their mail and manage their incoming packages.

When customers purchase a new PO Box or renew one using the Post Office Box online tool, they’ll have an option to sign up for Informed Delivery during the transaction.

PO Box customers will find the feature helpful in determining when they want to collect their mail.

Informed Delivery subscribers receive email notifications that contain images of the outside of the letter-size mailpieces before they arrive in their physical mailbox.

Images are also accessible on the Informed Delivery online dashboard and mobile app.

The sign-up option is currently unavailable for customers who purchase or renew PO Boxes in person.

However, customers can still enroll their PO Box or residential address by using the standard online Informed Delivery enrollment process.

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Be your own HERO

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The Postal Service’s HERO platform has added a wide selection of self-development courses to help employees sharpen their professional skills or develop personally.

Approximately 3,200 self-development courses are offered through the learning portal at no cost.

Covering everything from self-improvement to technical applications, each course allows employees to learn at their own pace.

To find a course, log on to the HERO site on Blue or LiteBlue, then search courses by keywords or by categories.

Self-development courses for bargaining-unit employees must be completed off the clock. For more information, refer to the training and development section of the Employee and Labor Relations Manual.

The HERO Support page has more information.

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Autism awareness

The USPS Health and Wellness team wants to raise awareness of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a group of developmental disorders that affect social, communication and behavioral skills.

Characteristics of ASD may include repetitive movements or behaviors; difficulty relating to people, things and events; trouble with communication; and difficulty adjusting to unfamiliar surroundings or changes in routine.

Some individuals have mild symptoms, while others experience symptoms that are severe.

ASD can be diagnosed at any age, but it usually begins during childhood by age 2 and generally lasts throughout a person’s life.

ASD is often more common in boys than girls. Individuals with ASD also display many talents, including strong visual and auditory learning; remembering details and people; and success with math, science, music and arts.

There is no medical test to diagnose ASD, but doctors can reliably evaluate a series of behavioral, emotional and developmental skills. Although there is no cure, early intervention and treatment services can improve development throughout life.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health websites have more information.

The Health and Wellness team’s September newsletter, available on the Wellness Toolkit site, also has more information.

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News Briefs

Scanning snapshot

The Postal Service’s national scanning rating was 96.8 percent during the week ending Aug. 28, down about one-third of 1 percent from one week earlier.

The data, collected Sept. 2, also shows the scanning ratings for the organization’s newly created geographic areas.

Under an internal restructuring announced last month, USPS consolidated its seven areas to four: Atlantic, Central, Southern and Western-Pacific.

The scanning snapshot shows Western-Pacific led the four areas with a rating of 97.16 percent, while Southern ranked fourth with a 96.62 percent rating.

Among the 67 districts, Dakotas (98.28 percent) ranked first, while Caribbean (90.65 percent) ranked last.

Scanning data allows customers to track their mail and packages, which helps USPS deliver excellent service, boost loyalty and drive revenue.

To see the latest data, go to the Informed Visibility website and select “Customer Experience,” followed by “DES 2 Scan Performance.”

Let’s Engage. Engage Weekly, the Postal Service’s newsletter on employee engagement, introduced a new title in its Aug. 25 edition: Let’s Engage.

In a statement, the Employee Engagement team said the newsletter’s intent “is to deliver positive messaging that is engaging, informative and helpful. Gallup research strongly suggests recognition is a key element for improved employee and customer experiences, and Let’s Engage is committed to providing that acknowledgment from all levels of the organization.”

Postal Bulletin. Postal Bulletin’s Aug. 27 issue features guidelines for USPS employees on avoiding slips, trips and falls on the job.

The latest updates to policies, procedures and forms are also included.

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