USPS logo LINK — USPS employee news Printable

Here, there and everywhere

System to measure urban, rural performance

USPS customer checks mailbox for mail
The Internal SPM system relies on the U.S. Census Bureau’s definitions of urban and rural areas.

USPS will soon have a better method to measure service performance, but it will require employees to think differently about the terms “urban” and “rural.”

When you hear these terms now, you probably associate them with delivery route definitions. Urban refers to city routes, while rural refers to rural routes.

In the delivery world, this will still be true.

But the terms have different meanings when you work with Internal Service Performance Measurement (SPM), the system that will become the organization’s official method to measure service performance in October.

Internal SPM relies on the U.S. Census Bureau’s definitions of urban and rural areas.

The Census Bureau has two urban designations: urbanized areas (UAs), which consist of areas with 50,000 or more residents, and urban clusters (UCs), which have 2,500-50,000 people.

Rural areas, according to the Census Bureau, encompass all regions not included in an urban area.

Informed Visibility (IV) service measurement and diagnostic tools provide a breakdown of urban and rural information, allowing field users to monitor, identify and remedy potential pinch points and drive service improvements.

“These new urban and rural designations allow the Postal Service to provide additional visibility and opportunities to improve service to all parts of the country — keeping us in line with our obligation to provide universal service to all of America,” said Enterprise Analytics Vice President Isaac Cronkhite.

Post-story highlights