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Use of Balanced Scorecard at USPS

by mrzee

Question #1

            Strategic strategy and preparation is a balanced scorecard that is commonly used in sectors, industry, non-profit organisations and companies (Kaplan & Norton, 2001). It is used to align business activities to their set out goals and objectives aimed at improving their overall performance in carrying out their mandated duties and responsibilities. The United States Postal Services (USPS) is a public institution that provides postal services, which tasks it with numerous responsibilities that put it in a unique position unlike other private sector organizations. USPS has been operating under a balanced scorecard initiative that is divided into three major areas of execution that are known as management cycles (Kaplan & Norton, 2001). ‘Voice of the employee’ focuses on providing secure and safe working environment that enhances employee welfare. This serves to increase employee productivity, which is facilitated by suitable working conditions. Voice of the employee works to support “voice of the business” by helping the USPS achieve its entrepreneurial goals and objectives. Motivated and satisfied employees are better placed to work efficiently and effectively in line with the institutions short and long term goals of production. Enhancing and improving the voice of business, which is divided into two categories, with one being expressly concerned with ensuring customer satisfaction and service. This means that the three areas of focus that are addressed by the USPS balanced scorecard have a cascading effect from one area to another. This is in the sense that efficiency and effectiveness in one area reflects positively on the other areas.  Thus, enhancement and improvement in the voice of business will guarantee the support and achievement of customer satisfaction through the voice of the customer initiative.

Use of Balanced Scorecard at USPS

Question #2

            The USPS balanced scorecard is based on a four tier scale that revolves and interconnects with every other level or tier making them all interdependent. The balanced scorecard design requires that all levels achieve or attain their set goals and objectives for the whole process to work properly. From the representative measures associated with the USPS balanced scorecard, there can be additional measures that can applied to further the USPS activities. The national performance assessment tool that is used on customers is one area where the USPS balanced scorecard can gain from in terms of improvements in their services (Kaplan & Norton, 2001). This is in the sense that that the six item index can be increased to include customer responses and suggestions on how to improve services rendered to them by the service provider. Customer suggestions can provide profound insights into ways that can be embraced to enhance and improve USPS services and business activities. The USPS balanced scorecard can increase its use of technology to reduce labour costs, which would contribute to increase the institution’s strategy on financial stability (Rainey, 2010).

            The use of a balanced scorecard by USPS has seen to its emergence as the most suitable field of employment for minority groups within the US (Niven, 2011). This has been due to the implementation of measures that ensure the provision of a safe and secure workplace environment (Rainey, 2010). According to Niven (2011), this has reduced or eliminated of violence and poor employee relations. The implementation of the balanced scorecard approach by USPS saw the institution survive its imminent demise in light of rapid technological advancements that could have made its services irrelevant. Developments like the internet email and social media threatened traditional postal services, but with the implementation of the balanced scorecard, this was averted. A balanced scorecard has enabled the institution improve its financial position by increasing revenue collection and the achievement of financial goals. The application and implementation of the balanced scorecard by USPS saw the institution lift itself from imminent demise to relevance in the current US economic environment. This has led to the USPS being recognized by renowned institutions for its key role as an employer and contributor to the nations’ economy (Evans, 2012). Assessment indexes have also been developed from balanced scorecards in various fields of industrial enterprises and organizations. These performance assessment tests have enabled organizations and institutions identify and earmark key areas for improvement and reinforcement to improve their overall performance. The implementation of a balanced scorecard by the USPS saw to increased automation of some its services that led to layoffs in personnel, which can be attributed to increasing the levels of unemployment. Measures put in place by the balanced scorecard led to an increased emphasis on the business side of postal services, which diminished customer service. This could have increased the pressure on employees to meet the new and increased productivity thresholds set by these new measures.

  • Evans, J. R. (2012). Managing for Quality & Performance Excellence. 9th Edition. London:Cengage Learning.
  • Kaplan, R. S. & Norton, D. P. (2001). The Strategy-focused Organization: How Balanced
  •  Scorecard Companies Thrive in the New Business Environment. Illustrated Edition. New York: Harvard Business Press.
  • Niven, P. R. (2011). Balanced Scorecard: Step-by-Step for Government and Nonprofit
  • Agencies. 2nd Edition. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Rainey, D. L. (2010). Enterprise-wide strategic management: achieving sustainable success through leadership, strategies, and value creation. London: Cambridge University Press.

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