PMG Jack Potter met with more than 700 USPS executives this week in Dallas to recognize FY 2007 performances and to prepare for the challenges of FY 2008. The recap included milestone achievements in operations — Capital Metro and Western Areas earned 97 percent overnight EXFC scores, Western Area surpassed the 85 percent delivery point sequence (DPS) goal with an 87 percent DPS performance for the year and the Northeast Area was recognized as the leader in finishing below their total operating expense plan. Nationally, record levels of two- and three-day service were achieved.
But it was the Postal Act of 2006 and the opportunities it will provide USPS in the competitive marketplace that dominated the discussion.
“We must have aggressive growth to be profitable and we have to change to compete in the marketplace,” said Potter, on the new strategic direction USPS will take. “We have to drive innovation and leverage intelligent technology, be accountable at a higher standard and use knowledge to our customers’ advantage — and add new value to the mail to ensure we deliver for future generations.”
To help achieve that, all executives attended breakout sessions focusing on three topics — efficiency, culture and growth. Specifically, they looked at how to increase efficiency, how to engage employees to help us become more service driven, customer-oriented and profitable, and identifying the biggest opportunities to grow existing customer spending and generate new sources of revenue.
More than 2,000 suggestions were electronically transmitted to a “command center” where the Executive Committee sorted the ideas by themes and identified 10 areas of opportunity for each topic — as well as constraints that might prevent us from succeeding.
In a follow-up session, attendees voted for the top three opportunities from each topic. The results will provide the focus for USPS efforts during FY 2008:
To engage employees, we must shift from an internal focus to a customer focus, compensate to incent performance and improve communications by having simpler daily messaging.
To increase efficiency, the top vote-getters were managing sick leave and overtime, better utilizing transportation and maximizing use of non-career employees.
To drive growth, attendees recommended maximizing our competitive pricing flexibility, becoming the last mile of delivery for competitors and owning — that’s right, owning — parcel returns.
The next morning, Deputy PMG Pat Donahoe, Chief Human Resource Officer Tony Vegliante, Chief Marketing Officer Anita Bizzotto, Chief Financial Officer Glen Walker and Senior Vice President Intelligent Mail and Address Quality Tom Day each reported on how USPS performed in 2007 and what our 2008 goals will be, incorporating the ideas from the breakout sessions.