Every agency and office in the Commonwealth of Virginia has a mail operation. Over the past five fiscal years almost $300 million has been spent on mail related services. About half of this amount was for services to agencies at the seat of government in Richmond. Inefficient mail operations can result in extra spending on postage and duplicative equipment and wasteful practices.
Led by State Senator Ryan McDougle and Delegate Mark Sickles, the Mail Operational Review Team is studying the Commonwealth’s mail operations with particular focus on services at the seat of government. The team composition includes members from the Departments of Taxation, Treasury, Labor and Industry, the Senate Clerk’s Office, and the General Services’ Divisions of State Mail Services, Engineering and Building and Communications. Bobby Myers, Deputy Director at DGS serves as the Team Coordinator.
While the team is focusing its study on operations at the seat of government and will make recommendations based on this, it will look for suggestions that have state-wide benefits. This review of current performance and best practices is built upon the following four topics:
Security- What is being done to secure mail and packages as well as protect citizens, employees and facilities.
Operational/Cost Efficiencies- What processes, including volume reduction and duplicative equipment elimination would create operational efficiencies and/or cost savings.
Communication and Education- What resources and information do state employees and agencies need to realize cost savings and efficiencies.
Performance Measures- How can the Commonwealth measure/monitor the items listed above.
The first draft of the report is expected to be complete by the second week of May and will include many recommendations including the following:
Expanding the distribution of the Commonwealth Mail Security Guide and developing training opportunities that will encourage agencies to adopt the guidelines is one of many recommendations. Recent events have made mail security a high profile issue and studies have shown that the Commonwealth has many opportunities to enhance the security and well being of its employees and facilities.
Presort postage discounts are available from the US Postal Service (USPS). Capturing this saving by the purchase of a presort machine and performing this function in-house may be able to reduce costs significantly each year at the seat of government alone. New equipment will significantly increase the volume of mail that can be discounted and offer this service through a new centralized mail operation allowing for decreased fees and improved service.
Increase agency participation in the consolidated mail operation. This would provide agencies with cost saving opportunities through the decrease of duplicative equipment and offer increased security. The centralization of mail services has created a professional organization that serves as a consultant to state agencies on everything related to mail ensuring that the Commonwealth is utilizing its best practices.
The Mail Operational Review Team welcomes input from any source familiar with postal services and operations. Suggestions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.