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New approach helps Post Office cut costs

Chief Operating Officer David Williams presents Philadelphia Postmaster Jennifer Vo with her black-belt certification.

The Philadelphia Post Office has slashed its operating expenses by adopting a new system to track workers’ compensation costs.

The office had more than 275 employees who were injured and not available for duty.

“We were paying for worker compensation benefits for these employees out of work as well as for their replacements to cover their duties,” said Philadelphia Postmaster Jennifer Vo.

She assembled a team of union representatives, craft employees, Philadelphia District support personnel and others to identity root causes and recommend solutions.

The team developed a system to track unavailable employees, which resulted in many employees returning to work after being out for years.

The system, which includes an education component to help reduce accidents, will be replicated throughout the district. The project has the potential to save millions of dollars.

The team is part of the Postal Service’s Lean Six Sigma efforts to eliminate waste, boost quality and reduce costs.

The project earned Vo a Lean Six Sigma black-belt certification, while Philadelphia District Operations Programs Support Manager Thomas Doyle received green-belt certification.

“This was a team effort. We had strong employee engagement, which was the key component to sustaining the results,” she said.

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