Lunch with Louis

On July 14, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy broke bread with the top prize winners in the Sustainability Excellence Awards competition, toasting their effort to trim the fat from several routes between Pittsburgh and Washington, DC.

Members of the chief technology officer’s surface trip reduction team, as well as others who took part in the project, met in the Ben Franklin Room in the USPS L’Enfant Plaza headquarters building in Washington to share a meal.

They were there because the team had shut down three contract routes — pinpointed using data from the Enterprise Analytics team — and consolidated the loads onto other routes.

Their effort removed 221,889 annual miles from the USPS network and saved the organization 34,000 gallons of diesel a year — no small potatoes.

And because most of this transportation involved tractor-trailers, the move reduced the Postal Service’s carbon footprint.

The cherry on top: The elimination of contracts kept roughly $530,000 in the Postal Service’s pocket.

David Stephens, a surface logistics planning specialist team lead based in Tacoma, WA, appreciated the opportunity to meet with DeJoy.

“The PMG shared the vision of making our network more efficient and structured. He thanked us for our efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and stressed that a lot more needs to be done,” Stephens said.

In addition to Stephens, the team included Ted Rollolazo, Robin Hendricks-Davis, David Sapp, Stephen Joseph, Tom Ware, Patrick Deasy, Perry Penn, Debbie Reyes, Brent Fraser, Robert Devine and Andrew Townsend.

All told, the Logistics department trimmed 20 million miles for USPS in fiscal year 2021 — a savings of $56 million.

Listen lesson

A sales lead from a letter carrier in California has resulted in a shipping deal worth more than $119,000 for the Postal Service.

La Ronda Flowers, who works at the Ontario Post Office, talked with the CEO of a technology company that was looking for a cheaper way to ship its small-to-medium parcels.

She submitted a lead through Customer Connect, a joint USPS and National Association of Letter Carriers program that encourages participants to identify sales opportunities.

David Luu, a senior territory representative, followed up with the customer and closed a shipping deal worth $119,016 in new estimated annualized revenue for the Postal Service.

Sales generated from Customer Connect leads are included in the USPS Every Lead Counts campaign to raise revenue through sales leads from employees.

“After listening to her customer, La Ronda knew USPS could help,” said Dorothy Muir, small-business specialist at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC. “She let him know that USPS offers package pickup service and doesn’t add residential surcharges, which made the customer even more receptive to talking with one of our shipping experts.”

The Postal Service is encouraging as many employees as possible to submit at least one lead through any of its six lead programs by Sept. 30.

The Small Business and Lead Generation Programs Blue page has more information about Customer Connect and the other employee lead programs: Business Connect, Clerks Care, Mail Handlers, Rural Reach and Submit a Lead.

National Immunization Month

August is National Immunization Awareness Month, a time to check your health records and make sure you’ve received all relevant vaccinations and boosters.

Immunity derived from childhood vaccines can subside over time, and adults become susceptible to different diseases.

While the COVID-19 vaccine remains at the forefront of the national conversation, you may find that several of your childhood immunizations need boosters. These may include MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) and varicella (chickenpox).

Depending on your age and health condition, vaccines or boosters also may be required for hepatitis B, meningitis, HPV and shingles.

And of course, the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu shot are strongly encouraged for all adults. With the prevalence of coronavirus, and with flu season just around the corner, it is especially important that you receive these vaccines and boosters.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers VaccineFinder, a free online service that searches COVID-19 vaccination sites with open appointments nearby. The agency works with clinics, pharmacies and health departments to provide accurate and current information, updated daily.

An online assessment tool to help you determine what other general vaccinations you may need is also available.

The CDC website has additional details, and the Wellness LiteBlue page has more information on health matters.