USPS OIG – Improving Operational Efficiency Using Informed Visibility

September 17, 2021 (RISC-WP-21-009)

  • The Postal Service’s Informed Visibility (IV) system enables plant management at postal processing facilities to advance operational efficiency in a variety of ways.
  • To enhance operational efficiency at postal processing facilities further, the Postal Service could address IV system issues, leverage its capabilities more fully, and periodically solicit feedback from IV users.

IV centralizes information from 82 different Postal Service data systems and about 11,000 pieces of mail processing equipment at postal facilities nationally. The OIG assessed IV’s expected operational efficiency benefits and identifies the benefits and challenges plant management at processing facilities have experienced using IV to increase operational efficiency. In this white paper we present opportunities for improvement.

Deployed in fiscal year 2015, IV was expected to provide near-real time visibility into the mailstream and better inform postal decisions related to operations, finance, sales, marketing, and revenue. Plant management said IV helped advance operational efficiency by providing a timesaving, central source of information that enabled officials to better monitor operations, conduct root cause analysis, and schedule employees.

Plant management also shared a variety of opportunities to further improve operational efficiency using IV. Specifically, plant management identified opportunities to address issues related to unavailable or unreliable data, navigation, and slow system performance. In addition, plant management identified opportunities to leverage IV more fully by improving access to the system’s data visualizations and using more of its predictive capabilities.

To ascertain system functionality and gauge opportunities for enhancements, the OIG recommends management develop a formal avenue to periodically solicit feedback from Informed Visibility users.

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