USPS logo LINK — USPS employee news Printable

Good measures

‘Sampling’ has role in service performance data

Postal employee scans mail
USPS wants employees to maintain high levels of scanning to ensure the organization’s transition to Internal Service Performance Measurement is successful.

Do you understand what “sampling” is and how it helps USPS measure its service performance?

If not, here’s what you should know: 

• Sampling helps the Postal Service know how it’s performing. Because USPS scans millions of mailpieces each day, it would be tough to count each scan and use that information to determine service performance.

This is why the organization uses sampling — a formula that uses random scans from across the nation to determine the big picture when it comes to performance.

• Sampling is vital to Internal Service Performance Measurement (SPM). The system, which will become the Postal Service’s official method to measure service performance in October, relies on an advanced form of sampling.

Instead of counting each scan, the system takes random live scans at collection and delivery points — including PO Boxes — and combines this data with billions of scans that occur inside postal plants as mail is processed.

Internal SPM also collects “first mile” and “last mile” data. The first mile data helps identify operational issues between collection and the first sorting operation, while the last mile data helps identify operational issues between the last sorting operation and final delivery.

• Through sampling, USPS can better serve its customers. The information provided by Internal SPM will help the organization better identify root causes of problems and improve service.

Isaac Cronkhite, vice president of Enterprise Analytics, which oversees Internal SPM, said the system’s success all comes down to scanning.

“Successful mail measurement is dependent on scan compliance, and we are counting on our employees to perform the correct sampling procedures when prompted,” Cronkhite said. “If we scan the mail properly, we can show our customers we value their business, and that’s good for our brand.”

Post-story highlights