USPS Plans a “Small Footprint” Flat Sequencing System (FSS Lite)

The USPS has posted the following solicitation on the Federal Business Opportunities web site:

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is currently conducting market research and seeking to identify potential sources for a Phase II of our Flat Sequencing System (FSS) Program. Our Phase I designed machine currently in deployment is a large system that was primarily intended to accommodate high mail volume processing runs and targeted for our most highly populated flats mailing markets. Phase II is seeking and envisions a smaller footprint FSS (FSS Lite) machine as a solution to efficiently, reliably, and accurately sort and sequence flat mail to the order in which the mail is delivered on a letter carrier’s route (Delivery Point Sequence or DPS). The USPS seeks a system which can be deployed nationally and incrementally to provide maximum flexibility and efficiency in the DPS of flat mail within the existing and future Postal Service infrastructure.

The desired system would automate the DPS of flat mail for the purpose of reducing costs, absorbing growth and stabilizing postage rates at the USPS. Delivery point sequencing of flat mail reduces a carrier’s office time at the delivery unit by providing flat mail that is machine sorted, thereby avoiding manual casing. DPS also reduces clerk manual handling at delivery units.

The intent of this initial notice is to seek information from suppliers that currently have a small footprint system that sequences flat mail, or that will have a fully functional system available for demonstration in calendar year 2011. The USPS may request additional discussions relating to a responding supplier’s design, capabilities, and qualifications to manufacture production quantities of the proposed system.

Critical factors for flats DPS success include: sort and sequence accuracy, time to market, price, system reliability, accept rate, operating costs, and overall machine space requirements. As space is a cost consideration for the USPS, the solution should accomplish this task within the smallest footprint possible to allow for a wide range of implementation at USPS facilities. The system would be required to maintain a consistent throughput and be volume independent concerning the number of delivery points processed. We are seeking a solution which would maximize our ability to handle a high number of delivery points as a critical design element.

via Small Footprint Flat Sequencing System (FSS Lite) – Federal Business Opportunities: Opportunities.

  • Mailer

    Oh, here we go again.

    Flat rates will get popped again to pay for the capital investment, which will kill the volume in flats like it did last time. The new machines will then run shorter loads than planned, overhead per piece will rise through the roof and USPS will scramble to recoup revenue or reduce workforce to meet the original projections.

  • JDK

    A better idea would be to stop wasting money on all these damn machines. They can make all the savings claims they want, but it’s only a matter of time before this blows up in their faces.

  • Payola

    You can’t fix stupid.

  • Gregg

    10 years ago or so,I was told by one of my supervisors that automation would eliminate many,many jobs in the clerk craft.Hey,I’m still around after almost 30 years!! Automation,to put in bluntly,SUCKS.When only 80 -85 percent of the letter mail is DPS’d,that means we still have manual letters,carrier route letters etc…I still have a job because of automation!!If ever 100 percent is DPS,yeah right,I will be gone.If it does not work for first class letter size mail,it certanily will not work for first class flats.How many gazillions of dollars will be spent before they figure it out??You know where they can stick their small footprint!!

  • Daniel

    Does that “small footprint” pay taxes, raise families, defend our country or provide a measure of self worth?

  • John

    Remember to vote no on the contract.It’s a joke we have to wait almost two years before we see any raise and there’s no retroactive from when the contract expired.

  • George

    FSS phase 1 is a white elephant that doesn’t work as planned or designed, and now they want another FSS type machine?

    I guess it’s true, our new motto is our guideline.
    “If it’s stupid, we do it!”

    P.S. Vote NO!

  • john

    We’d be better served spending the money to convert to electric vehicles.. Imagine the savings if we had done that already instead of wasting it on FSS machines.

  • mike

    The most ridiculous part is they say it saves office time but fail to mention it doubles the carriers street time and increases the fuel usage per route. and at 5 dollars a gallon what a bitter sweat slap in the face cause they wont let us rural routes case it in when WHERE PAID SALARY.

  • Frank

    isnt there some way to have a future usps where we are happy employees, both craft and management and yet be able to provide and sustain service to our customers?

  • kc

    I am a rural carrier and we have been told that the fss is coming. We have been given three different dates that it will be starting, they have all come and gone. We have also been told by managment that it is 100% accurate. LOL The only thing that is 100% accurate is that management has no clue what they are doing.

  • c-mon man

    let me repeat, these machines cannot sort thin flats unless you dont mind 6 behind it for other towns, they sort upside down backwards shreds covers off of them cant run letters through, cant send circulars through,come wih no breaker cards in them (love standing at back of truck digging through dps fss for where hits start and end. dont sort out office to office (love sorting mail in hallway of building spreading out 20 different offices.WE DONT NEED FSS LITE… WE NEED FSS RIGHT !!!!!!!!!

  • mike

    i agree with everything above said…and you got it

    VOTE NO NO NO NO

  • sammy

    Great. More OT

  • Handsome J

    Guys and Girls ….. We are banging our heads against a wall.
    They don’t care what we say. They wont listen to why their ideas are wrong. They decide how the job will be done even though they have hurt the Postal Service over and over again and are never held responsible. Their arrogance will never allow common sense to get in their way.

    What we can be proud of is the way we have kept the service functioning despite the micro-managing, poor decisions and business destroying practices they push on the Carriers and Clerks.

    Perhaps ….. One day… Those in charge will listen to my 31 years of experience. Or yours.

  • ready to retire

    We have been told for a long time by management that flat volume is dropping off. What does the post office do? They invest millions of dollars in FSS and have to build football field size buildings to house the systems. I’m having a hard time understanding how this is saving the postal service money. DPS has had many errors, damaged pieces and upside down mail. I don’t see how FSS will be any different. The time saved in the office is lost on the street cleaning up the “efficient” automated sequenced mail.

  • Charlie

    Our station has just started the FSS process. The first day was a total disaster from what I was told (lucky me, I have the week off). All of the concerns listed above were concerns of mine before this got started. It’s good to see that others are confirming my expectations.