Magazine article Workforce Management

Postal Service Streamlining Hr Operations

Magazine article Workforce Management

Postal Service Streamlining Hr Operations

Article excerpt

HR UPGRADE

No matter where you are, there's likely a U.S. Post Office nearby. Until recently, that location probably handled its human resources operations a little differently from any other office.

But now the U.S. Postal Service-an organization with nearly 700,000 employees and annual revenue of $70 billion-is reaching the first milestones in streamlining its HR operations in an initiative called PostalPeople.

So far, USPS has integrated 73 of its 80 districts into a shared services center that can handle benefits, retirement, separation and management hiring.

The second phase of the project involves upgrading its core UR operation, which consists of 70 systems supporting 200 processes in the 80 districts. Part of the computer code is more than 20 years old and is based on essentially extinct computing languages.

The antiquated UR system is being turned off in stages around the country as the Postal Service implements a new system designed by SAP that will allow employees to conduct routine HR transactions at kiosks in the workplace or online from any location at any time.

The system introduction has begun in the New York City area, where it is being used to manage the process of advertising and filling open positions. Three more districts will he added by the end of September, with the national debut slated for January. The shared services center has been established in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Postal People, which kicked off in July 2004, is part of the Postal Service Transformation Plan, launched two years earlier with the goal of increasing efficiency. The Postal Service invested more than $103 million in PostalPeople. When completed, savings are expected to total $60 million annually.

The end result will be a self-service HR network that enables employees to do HR transactions electronically, From changing their address to registering for benefits. …

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