No small measure

Accurate scanning matters more than you might think.

 

That’s the message USPS is delivering to employees as it works to offer excellent service, a cornerstone of the organization’s 10-year plan, Delivering for America.

 

Most employees know that scanning allows customers to know when their packages will arrive, a critically important requirement in the era of online shopping and increasing competition in the shipping industry.

 

But scanning also plays an important role in helping USPS measure its service.

 

Every time an employee scans a letter, flat or other mailpiece, the data is collected by the Internal Service Performance Measurement (SPM), the organization’s official reporting and recording system.

 

“We need every employee to complete every scan, every time,” said Jeff Johnson, the Postal Service’s enterprise analytics vice president. “The more mailpieces that are scanned, the more accurate and reliable our measurement will be.”

 

Internal SPM data allows the organization to track letters, flats and other mailpieces as they move through the USPS network. This helps managers and employees identify potential problems, analyze the root cause and make improvements.

 

Additionally, the data helps the organization meet its service performance targets.

 

To help ensure the Postal Service’s measurement is complete, the organization wants employees to perform all required scans, including when mail is received, processed through automated equipment and loaded onto trucks.

 

The bottom line, Johnson said, is this: Scan, scan, scan.

 

“Scanning demonstrates our commitment to quality and service that our customers expect. Each scan communicates proper completion of a step in the mailflow, reinforcing the trust we have with our customers.”

After Ida

USPS is continuing to restore service after Hurricane Ida, the powerful storm that knocked out power and caused widespread damage in Louisiana and other areas late last month.

Immediately after the storm, Southern Area’s hurricane recovery team focused on resuming retail, delivery and mail processing operations, while the Postal Inspection Service evaluated individual USPS facilities to ensure they were safe for employees and customers to occupy.

“Our goal is to resume delivery, retail and collections as soon as it is safe to do so,” said Louisiana District Manager David Camp.

“Before we announced that we were resuming operations in the affected ZIP Code areas, we had already started delivering in the New Orleans area over the Labor Day weekend and holiday. Our employees recognize the essential public service role they play.”

The Postal Service also focused on accounting for employees — a challenging task due to the extensive power outages, mandatory evacuations and spotty cellphone service.

“Louisiana District is happy to report that all employees were all accounted for,” said Albert Ruiz, a Southern Area strategic communications specialist.

USPS has also deployed power generators for offices without power, provided alternate locations for Post Offices that cannot be safely occupied, and staged mobile retail units (MRUs) at the site of damaged Post Offices.

MRUs allow customers to conduct postal retail transactions, fill out change-of-address and Hold Mail forms, and pick up their PO Box mail with proper identification.

Additionally, USPS is reminding employees that the Postal Employees’ Relief Fund offers assistance to current and retired workers affected by natural disasters, while the USPS Employee Assistance Program helps employees and family members cope with life-changing challenges like Hurricane Ida.

Expedited packaging supplies

USPS now offers a Priority Mail shipping service option for expedited packaging supplies.

The new service, which began Sept. 12, allows customers who have registered at usps.com to have expedited packaging supplies delivered to them within two to three business days for a fee.

During checkout, registered customers can select whether they would like to have their supplies sent as a Priority Mail delivery that arrives within two to three business days for a fee of $12.65 per Priority Mail container, or as a Parcel Select delivery that arrives within five to seven business days at no cost.

Customers must be signed into their usps.com account to see the option during the checkout process. The service will not be available to commercial customers or guest users.

Employees who have questions should email them to expeditedpackaging@usps.gov.

Low profile

The Postal Service wants employees and contractors to remember that the information posted on Facebook, Twitter and similar websites could be exploited in social engineering attacks.

Social engineering describes methods used to build trust and ultimately manipulate individuals into divulging personal information.

The more information cybercriminals gather about an individual, the easier it is to carry out smishing, phishing and other schemes.

Social media makes gathering information easy because most users upload images and details about friends, family, pets, vacations, work and more.

“About 60 percent of the information I need to craft a really good spear phish is found on Instagram alone. I can usually find everything I need within the first 30 minutes or so,” Rachel Tobac, chief executive officer of SocialProof Security, a hacker-led vulnerability-assessment and training firm, told the Wall Street Journal recently.

When using social media, keep the following in mind:

• Privacy settings: Regularly review privacy settings for all your social media accounts, especially when changes to terms of service and privacy policies occur.

Unintentional disclosure: Think about what you post. Personal information could help cybercriminals decipher your online security questions.

Data is forever: Social media platforms store and make searchable images and information indefinitely.

The CyberSafe at USPS Blue and LiteBlue pages have additional information.