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USPS Commits to Doing Better in 2016

The USPS failed to meet all of its performance goals in Fiscal Year 2015, but a spokesperson told EcommerceBytes the agency is committed to doing better in FY 2016 and has already made substantial progress.

The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) issued its analysis of the USPS’s annual performance report for 2015 and its performance plan for fiscal year 2016. Among the PRC’s summary of findings were the following:

  • The Commission finds that the Postal Service did not meet the Deliver High-Quality Services performance goal in FY 2015.
  • The Commission finds that the Postal Service did not meet the Provide Excellent Customer Experiences performance goal in FY 2015.

One area of interest to online sellers is how much inclement weather played in contributing to the USPS’s failure to meet its service goals. Under the section, “Deliver High Quality Services,” the PRC wrote:

“The Commission recommends that the Postal Service closely examine and monitor the reasons why the FY 2014 and FY 2015 year-to-year changes in mail characteristics or mail volumes were underestimated or unplanned in its transportation network planning.

“The Commission recommends that when districts do not meet their service performance targets due, in whole or in part, to severe weather, the Postal Service show when and to what extent severe weather affected service performance results. By doing so, the Postal Service should distinguish between severe weather causes of poor service performance, and other ongoing causes throughout the fiscal year in its performance reports.

“For those service performance indicators that do not meet FY 2016 targets, the Commission recommends that the Postal Service include the number of districts where the annual service performance indicator target was met in its FY 2016 Report.”

The Postal Service responded to PRC concerns, noting that some weather events had national impact and stating that it didn’t blame bad weather as the sole justification for not meeting the service goals on an annual basis.

The USPS restated that it considered “growth in package mail (which led to rebalancing of air and surface networks), efficiency-based employee complement shifts, and necessary delays in changes to the processing network” as additional reasons it did not meet its performance goals.

When asked about the PRC report on 2015 performance and 2016 goals, USPS spokesperson Dave Partenheimer provided EcommerceBytes with the following statement:

“Under the law the Postal Regulatory Commission is tasked annually with performing a review and exercising limited oversight over the USPS Performance Plan and Performance Report. The PRC’s findings in its recently issued Analysis in that regard reaffirm what the Postal Service already revealed late last year when we released our Annual Report, namely, that the we did not meet all of our goals for FY 2015.

“We acknowledged in our Annual Report that we faced several significant challenges in achieving the goals we set for ourselves last year, but we can also affirm that we are committed to achieving our goals in the current fiscal year, and we are dispatching all available resources to improve service, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and profitability.

“We have already made substantial progress in that regard, and expect to continue doing so for the remainder of the year.”

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.