USPS: “Next Generation Mail Processing Solution”

From notice posted on Federal Biz Opps 

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is initiating a new acquisition program entitled “Next Generation Mail Processing Solution” to identify participants and sources of supply, capable of providing research and development, design, and in or out sourced manufacturing for a new state-of-the-art, automated, mail processing design solution. This solution will be deployed to sort and sequence the high volume of letter and flat mail currently processed within USPS facilities nationwide.

This market notice and supply chain opportunity is ultimately seeking suppliers who can offer new or not previously fielded concepts or variations of existing equipment, having an achievable maturation path leading to deployable equipment commencing within the next six years.

This initial notice is providing for market research and publication of opportunity, with a following step of additional discussions related to supplier capabilities and qualifications for inclusion within a competitive process toward the above goal.

Current Mail Processing Operational Information:

Currently, the Postal Service processes approximately 550 million letter and flat mail pieces at 283 processing facilities each day. The USPS segregates letter and flat shaped mail as it enters processing, and this separation is maintained throughout the sorting process. Our existing automated process yields a high volume of sorted mail to a finite number of delivery points. Several high speed processing runs are performed each day to accommodate all delivery points within a single mail processing centers’ coverage area. Letter and flat mail is manually merged during the final processing operations by our street carriers for delivery to the addressee.

NGMPS Program Objectives:

The NGMPS Program Objective is to deploy a system solution which will be capable of efficiently, reliably and accurately delivery point sequencing both letter and flat mail simultaneously within a merged mail stream and within the same system. As space is a cost consideration for the USPS, the solution should utilize and accomplish this task within the smallest footprint possible. The required output of the system is a single, combined mail stream for letter and flat mail in delivery point sequence order. Designed solutions should consider the use of specifically designed letter and flat mail input subsystems, or use feeders currently deployed within the Postal Service. Deployment of equipment to individual delivery units is not desired and does not meet the Postal Service’s future vision. Competitive factors for success will be sort and sequence accuracy, time to process, and the systems ability to support our established high standards of service for the American people. Additional factors are projected to be development cost to bring to market, system reliability, accept rate, labor cost to operate, and overall space required to accomplish the mission. Finally through NGMPS, the USPS seeks a system which can be deployed nationally and incrementally to provide maximum flexibility to delivery point sequence letter and flat shaped mail within existing and future Postal Service infrastructure.

Future Mail Trend Impact on NGMPS:

Research indicates a shift in mailing trends propelled by the numerous means of communication options available to business and consumers today. These trends are characterized by slower mail volume growth and continued increases in the number of delivery points. As volume growth slows, emphasis must shift to accommodate more delivery points with less volume. A new solution with processing based upon the volume of mail available, with delivery points as the variable, would provide an opportunity to streamline operations. Processing letter and flat shaped mail on one system (using either a single induction feeder or multiple induction feeders to accommodate the varying mail shapes) would eliminate the manual merging process, improve efficiencies, and reduce costs. The most efficient processing scenario would be a one feed solution for letter and flat mail, independent of delivery points, limited only by a maximum volume, which would provide a merged letter and flat mail product in delivery point order. The NGMPS Program is seeking such a solution.

NGMPS Acquisition Approach:

The Postal Service will provide for a supplier prequalification and competitive process through identified Phases leading to test and production deployment. The Postal Service is reviewing alternative approaches to ensure that it provides for selection of a best value solution which ensures supply base availability to support future deployment phases, quantity acquisitions, and system upgrades.

NGMPS Phase I Acquisition Schedule/Time Line:

It is envisioned that development and deployment of the NGMPS will be contracted for in phases. Phase I will include a study, concept design, and simulation deliverable. Simulation analysis is critical in demonstrating the potential USPS return on investment of the developed concept to substantially and positively impact USPS infrastructure in mail processing, transportation, logistic and delivery operations.

Phase II is planned as an equipment build and component test phase, with participation planned for those suppliers, and their manufacturing source if applicable, who submitted concept designs and simulations which were considered by the Postal Service as best value in the ability of the design concept to meet operational needs. Phase II will be divided into subsequent “equipment build” phases, which might include major component bread board, prototype, or pre-production phases depending upon the maturation level of the proposed solution.

It is anticipated that the USPS will issue a Statement of Objectives (SOO) to pre-qualified sources in January 2009, and that contracts for Phase I as described would be awarded no later than April 2009. A subsequent announcement prior to RFP issuance in January will identify all pre-qualified participants.


14 thoughts on “USPS: “Next Generation Mail Processing Solution”

  1. As An old timer(1981 till present), I can assure you Mr. Asher that travelling to Oklahoma at a frequency from once to three times every two years,… sucks. We don’t get payed extra for being qualified on more machines. We just get more frustrated. We have more equipment, responsibilities, and less personnel to keep the gear running. Sooner or later that smelly brown stuff WILL hit the fan.

  2. I seem to hear alot of ET’s complaining about vacancies. As a 20 yr experienced Royal Mail ET (FSS etc) I’m looking to move stateside with my US wife.
    Do any of you know of vacancies in the Los angeles/CA area? I’m looking specifically there, as we need to be around for her elderly parents.

  3. I seem to hear alot of ET’s complaining about vacancies. As a 20 yr experienced Royal Mail ET (FSS etc) I’m looking to move stateside with my US wife.
    Do any of you know of vacancies in the Los angeles/CA area? I’m looking specifically there, as we need to be around for her elderly parents.

  4. I seem to hear alot of ET’s complaining about vacancies. As a 20 yr experienced Royal Mail ET (FSS etc) I’m looking to move stateside with my US wife.
    Do any of you know of vacancies in the Los angeles/CA area? I’m looking specifically there, as we need to be around for her elderly parents.

  5. I seem to hear alot of ET’s complaining about vacancies. As a 20 yr experienced Royal Mail ET (FSS etc) I’m looking to move stateside with my US wife.
    Do any of you know of vacancies in the Los angeles/CA area? I’m looking specifically there, as we need to be around for her elderly parents.

  6. The Louisville KY P&DC is scheduled to get a “High Speed Tray Sorter” Jan.09, What other facilities have this type of equipment? Thanks.

  7. Yeah, ET’s work really hard. An ET I know brags about how he isn’t going to retire next year when he is eligible because “I only do 5 minutes of work a day now”. And all these mechanics at work sit around reading and bullsh%tting for 7 and a half hours a shift.

  8. Old ET-

    That’s funny. How long. My favorite answer is “five minutes after I find out what the problem is.” They usually walk away from that.


    I don’t feel too bad about my lot. Do you have any answers why everyone including postmasters are being offered early outs, but ETs aren’t? A few of your assumptions are a little off. Asking if we rise from our “trashcan dumping job by putting in for training” implies they send custodians to Oklahoma. I have never seen that done. It is true that when we go to Oklahoma the PO pays for all the things you mentioned. We pay for almost nothing, but I don’t see how this elevates my salary any, since I already have the job. As for taking those skills elsewhere, how many other jobs are looking for someone who can trouble-shoot a DBCS? The training is very good, but it is also very specific. It is of little use outside the PO. In my experience the good ETs bring experience with them to the job, whether they come in as clerks or custodians.

    As for your experience sending your child to school, I sent myself to school and had the student loans to prove it. So that is why I scratch my head to see the “trashcan dumpers” topping out in the skilled pay range.

    I think you may have been trying to be funny by saying you should have just had your son get on as a clerk and get in maintenance, but yeah, maybe you should have. I sometimes wish I would have done that. And I didn’t pay no $40,000 grand a year. I paid $40,000 for four years at a state university, but it was 12 years ago.

    Postally yours,


  9. Back in the days when I went to school for the P.O. we didn’t have it so well off. Cheep motels low grade food travel on our own time even had to pay for class picture taken a must! Pay for our own grad supper and for the instructors, after 12 weeks of 8 hr. a day in class. Now for the rest of the time out of class you have no car to get around and your 25 miles from anything you’re alone. Miss a lot of my kids growing up time and family life I will never get back. Such a good thing! I know I did this to myself! I like what I do today for the U.S.P.S. but the pay should be better then what we get for what we have to know for the job, putting up with someone looking over your shoulder asking for “how long” and time away from home.

  10. I can see we are all in for a heap of trouble in the years to come. But I have a question as to why the ETs feel so bad about their lot in life.

    correct me if i am wrong, but don’t Ets rise from a lowly trashcan dumping job to their esteemed position by putting in for training?

    And don’t you get sent to OKLA for training? I am not sure of this so I’ll ask. Who pays for your airflight? Your stay at the training facility? Your training? Is is done on your time, or on your Annual leave, or are you being paid to learn a skill that elevates your salary t the PO and enables you to get a skilled job elsewhere once you retire, quit, or get fired because you have caught the nasty postal worker’s attitude?

    Honestly, I don’t know the ansers. But if you have to take your own time, pay your own expenses, pay tuition and books, fees, tools, etc, to get to where to are, maybe you have a gripe. And if you don’t, then explain to me what is your problem anyhow, because I guess I am too stupid to understand what your grievance is.

    All I know is, I have just received a bill for my kids ET training in college. Its gonna be $10,000 living expenses, $25,000 tuition, and $5000 in books and fees this year.

    I think I should have just had him apply at the USPS get in as a clerk or carrier, and transfer into maintenance. It woulda been a helluva lot cheaper for me.

  11. Good point dave.The problem is that the postal service jumps at any chance for automation without thought or input by its workers.Management probably recieves huge bonuses based on an idea.They dont think things out and now FSS will be useless before its implemented.It is true postal bullsh@#.Some one fattens his wallet based on how many jobs he can eliminate and how many garbage machines he can install.The fact is this becomes a huge financial burden on the P.O, and now they want to do it all over again. What Jerkoffs.

  12. Another ET here. Maybe only ETs are interested in this type of thing. I wouldn’t say FSS is obsolete. I am sure this thing would take years to develop and deploy. I do like to see the PO reconsidering everything. I would like to see a system that only has to “grab” the mail once while in the facility. The AFCS grabs it and often times has it fully processed by the other end. Then someone takes it out of the machine and we keep feeding it with more work at every step. If it is OGP send it out. If it is local isn’t there some way to just route it to a DB?

    And don’t get me started on the union. The shop steward asked me why I wasn’t a member and I asked why would I join the mailhandlers/clerk union? He didn’t get it. The union does bare minimum for maintenance. It will be interesting to watch the maintenance craft for the next 10-15 years. Next time you are at the NCED notice how many of the people there will be retiring in that time frame.

    Gotta get to sleep. Have to work OT tomorrow because we are short ETs and have been for months with no prospects. Maybe the should pay more….

    Hopefully I won’t have that recurring interlock nightmare that haunts my sleep again tonight…..

  13. i second that dave we as ets have always been a burden on the union. the union feels everyone should get the same pay no matter what job you do this only instills a sense of appathy in the work force. what is needed is a large seperation between pay grades so those who chose to invest time and effort to persue a higher level position
    9 10 ect are compensated for there hard work.

    nice thought but its not going to happen joe

  14. So, FSS is obsolete even before it is completely deployed? The pace of computerized mechanization of the Postal Service is amazing. Unfortunately, while mailhandlers, clerks, and delivery people shrink in numbers and the need for Electronics Techs grows, we Techs seem to get neither the respect nor the money and benefits that seem natural. Electronics Technician is the only craft job not allowed early retirement for a reason, so where’s the money? And can I please get a place to hang my coat? The mailhandlers have lockers. You listening APWU? If not, maybe some other union will. Times are changing.

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