The Postal Service has not analyzed the impact of planned service standard changes or informed stakeholders of the changes related to Phase 2 consolidations. Specifically, management did not complete the service standard impacts worksheet in 91 of the 95 AMP feasibility studies. The other four feasibility studies did not include updated service standard changes in the service standard impacts worksheet (see Appendix A). The worksheet should detail the upgrades and downgrades between 3-digit ZIP Codes by class of mail and volume.
The first objective of an AMP feasibility study is to evaluate service standard impacts for all classes of mail. The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which was enacted on December 20, 2006, impacts the feasibility study process. The Postal Service must:
- Provide adequate public notice to communities affected by a proposed network rationalization decision.
- Make available information about any service changes in the affected communities, any affects on customers or Postal Service employees, and any cost savings.
- Afford affected persons ample opportunity to provide input on the proposed decision.
- Take public comments into account in making a final decision.
The Postal Service did not complete the service standard impacts worksheets because the revised service standards for market-dominant mail products associated with Phase 2 of the NRI had not been finalized when the Postal Service conducted the AMP feasibility studies. A Postal Service official said that, as of August 20, 2014, the analysis required to complete the service standard impacts worksheets was not completed and the Postal Service anticipates publishing the worksheets online (www.usps.com) in the beginning of calendar year 2015, at the same time the consolidations are scheduled to begin.
Without completing and disclosing the analysis of planned service standard changes the Postal Service may experience:
- Degradation of service to communities, including delayed mail.
- Carriers delivering mail after 5 p.m. because of unexpected workload.
- Customer dissatisfaction, which could harm the Postal Service’s brand and affect future revenue.
Moreover, completing the feasibility studies based on the revised service standards will allow the Postal Service to accurately assess the reasonableness of the consolidations, determine their impact on customers, better communicate the AMP results, and improve the probability of successful consolidations.
(Click to enlarge Appendix A documents)
We recommend the vice president, Network Operations:
- Complete the service standard impacts worksheet in all of the Area Mail Processing feasibility studies for Phase 2 Network Rationalization Initiatives scheduled to begin January 5, 2015, and evaluate the impacts that revised standards will have on each affected community before implementing the consolidations.