Change delayed

The Postal Service has delayed a previously announced plan to update a legacy label and several forms that don’t comply with current Intelligent Mail package barcode (IMpb) requirements.

The plan was delayed because the updated, IMpb-compliant inventory is not available yet in eBuy Plus.

Post Offices should continue to use:

Label 400, USPS Tracking
PS Form 153, Signature Confirmation Receipt
PS Form 3800, Certified Mail Receipt
PS Form 3813, Insured Mail Receipt $500 and Under
PS Form 3813-P, Insured Mail Receipt Over $500

Post Offices should not recycle or dispose of current inventory until further notice.

Additional information will be provided when the updated Label 400 and PS forms are available to order in eBuy Plus.

For more information or questions, email Shipping and Commerce Product Management at ShippingServices@usps.gov.

Bard of the bayou

The Postal Service will release Ernest J. Gaines, the 46th stamp in the Black Heritage series, on Jan. 23.

Gaines (1933-2019) mined his childhood in rural southern Louisiana to write several acclaimed novels, including “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” and “A Lesson Before Dying,” which won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1993.

He was born the eldest of 12 children on Riverlake Plantation in Oscar, LA, in former slave quarters that housed his sharecropping family for five generations. He was reared by his great-aunt after his parents separated.

Gaines rose to national prominence with the publication of “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” in 1971. The title character was based in part on his great-aunt, to whom he dedicated the work.

Gaines was bestowed with numerous honors in his lifetime, including a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant,” the National Humanities Medal and the National Medal of Arts. He also received a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters from the French government.

The Ernest J. Gaines stamp will be available at Post Offices and usps.com.

Research reach

A sales lead from a mail processing clerk in Maine has resulted in a marketing campaign deal worth more than $390,000 for the Postal Service.

Joshua Tupper, who works at the Eastern Maine Processing and Distribution Center in Hampden, heard that a customer who worked at a nearby university had a marketing problem that USPS could help solve.

Tupper gathered some customer contact information and submitted a lead.

William Gates, a senior territory representative, followed up with the customer and closed a mailing deal worth $393,300 in new estimated annualized revenue for the Postal Service.

“Joshua has had a dozen sales in the past four months,” said Allen Esposito, postmaster for Pittsfield, ME. “Whenever he gets a lead, he researches them, finding a point of contact, phone number and email. And he keeps a list, so he doesn’t enter one twice.”

Sales generated from employee leads are included in the USPS Delivering for Main Street campaign to raise revenue through sales leads.

The Postal Service is encouraging as many employees as possible to submit at least one lead by Sept. 30 through LEADing Together, a new program that makes it easier to pass along sales tips.

The LEADing Together portal combines the Postal Service’s six employee lead generation programs into one.

Postal employees with ACE IDs can submit leads through the new Employee Lead Entry site on Blue by selecting the “LEADing Together” link under “Featured Topics.” Employees who do not have an ACE ID can access the site through LiteBlue by selecting “LEADing Together” under the “Resource Index” tab.

Customer 360 users can click on “LEADing Together” to access the site on that platform. Letter carriers who use a mobile delivery device, or MDD, can enter leads while on street mode, under option “U.” Business Connect Portal users have to enter a lead through the Employee Lead Entry site if an activity requires sales assistance or has resulted in a sale.

The Small Business and Lead Generation Programs Blue page has more information about how employees can submit a lead.

To remember

President Joe Biden has ordered U.S. flags flown at half-staff to honor the victims of last week’s mass shooting in Monterey Park, CA.

Flags should be flown at half-staff until Jan. 26 at sunset.

To fly the flag at half-staff, hoist the flag to the peak for an instant and then lower it to the half-staff position. The flag should be raised to the peak again before it’s lowered for the day.

The USPS Administrative Support Manual has additional guidelines on U.S. flag display and maintenance.