As it takes focused steps in a 10-year action plan, the Postal Service will “bump up value” through innovation, service, quality and information to “levels you never imagined,” Postmaster General John E. Potter pledged at the National Postal Forum.

“You’re going to see these changes in packages, advertising mail and First-Class Mail,” he said. “As these changes roll out they’re going to make mail even more attractive.” Potter said new ways for mail to spur customers’ businesses will help USPS beat projections of a 15 percent drop in volume over the next decade.

“Mail will continue to have a great deal of value for businesses and the American people in 2020,” Potter said at the NPF, the mailing industry’s annual educational event and tradeshow. “An organization delivering 150 billion pieces of mail in 2020 is more than any other post in the world today and will be a very large business.”

Confident that the country needs and wants a strong and viable Postal Service, Potter outlined major steps to provide more flexibility in the marketplace. These include expanding retail access into non-postal locations, securing greater workplace flexibility and getting legislation that would permit USPS to explore new products and services — all allowing it to better respond to changing customer needs and compete more effectively.

The Postmaster General said the Postal Service will not lose sight of its mission — “to serve you today and every day into the future.” USPS will continue to deliver high levels of service while cutting costs, he said. USPS will continue to aggressively manage expenses, Potter said, through network adjustments, efficiency tools and new equipment like the flats sequencer. At the same time, innovations like Intelligent Mail barcodes will help secure the future. “I am convinced the Postal Service and mailing industry have a strong, bright future ahead,” Potter said.

Potter was joined by Robert Bernstock, president, Mailing and Shipping Services, who said, “We are doing things differently. This starts from listening to you, our customers, and better understanding your needs.”

Bernstock said the Postal Service is looking for innovative solutions: innovative services, innovative products and innovative price incentives.

And, he says, “we need you as our partners in this process of identifying the best revenue growth opportunities. We cannot do this without your participation, your ideas, your cooperation.”

Potter and Bernstock closed the session by presenting the Partnership for Progress Award to Walmart, the nation’s leading retailer, which uses Postal Service for direct mail as well as its growing mail-order pharmacy service.

From PCC Insider Special Edition