Rod Toney on Mail Service

Mail Service employees
As manager of Johns Hopkins Medicine Mail Distribution and Transport Services, Roderick Toney oversees the mail system for hospital, health system, schools of medicine, and Asthma and Allergy Center on the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center campus. Read more about Toney in Dome and Inside Hopkins.

Once you receive mail or shipment of items to be distributed to employees across the campus, how long should it take for your staff to deliver it?

Our goal is to deliver mail within a two-day window once received in our mail center. Some areas may experience receiving same day delivery. In other areas, depending upon delivery location and/or how the item was addressed, it could take longer. Our FY 2014 mail tests results revealed that our overall turn-around time average was three days.

What are some of the obstacles in achieving timely delivery?

The most common obstacle is improperly addressed mail and receiving inaccurate personnel data information that we add to our internal database.

What can we do to expedite delivery and receipt of mail, e.g. is there a certain way to address mail?

We process the majority of mail via automation. It is vital that Mail Services is alerted whenever there are personnel changes within Hopkins (new hires, terminations, new students, campus moves, multiple office locations, etc.). That way we will have a record of each employee’s mail delivery location in our database. You can send a change of address to insidehopkinsmedicine.org/mailservices/coa.cfm or contact me at rtoney1@jhmi.edu or Lakeysha Richardson at lricha21@jhmi.edu or 410-614-2572.

In addition, proper addressing for both interdepartmental and USPS outbound mail greatly influences mail delivery times. Internal mail must have the recipient's full name, department, building and room number. Make sure that all previous addresses have been crossed off the envelope.

Can you provide an example?

interoffice mail

 

 

 

 
 

Domestic U.S. mail that is outgoing should include the following:

 
Return Address:
Sender's Name
Sender's Address
(Dept., Bldg. Room)
Sender's City, State, and Zip

Destination Address

USPS

 

 

 

 
 
Recipient's Name
Recipient's Address
Recipient's City, State, and ZIP

To obtain the best possible mail service from the United State Postal Service:

  • Capitalize everything in the address
  • Use common abbreviations (see below)
  • Eliminate all punctuation in the last two lines of address
  • Use the USPS' two letter state abbreviations (see below)
  • Use ZIP+4 Codes, if applicable

Make sure the destination address appears on the line immediately above the city, state, and zip code line (i.e. 123 W Main St, Suite 400 or PO Box 125, but not both!)

What are the biggest misconceptions about mail service at Johns Hopkins?

I believe that many feel that Mail Services is a mom and pop operation, just a small room in the basement where mail is received. They are unaware that along with the great Hopkins tradition, we too are on the cutting edge of implementing new innovations and technology from a service perspective.

What’s ahead?

We’d like to see an updated mail services website where employees can submit address corrections and inquiries to improve service.

Which departments receive the most mail?

Radiology, pathology, medical records, cardiology and pediatrics receive about 60 to 70 pieces per day.

 

 

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Rating: 4.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Rod Toney on Mail Service, 4.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

13 Comments

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Comments

Ronald Shelton April 1, 2015 at 9:32 am

As a former staff member of Mr. Toney's team, I can truly say that he has taught me how to observe and execute in a professional manner that always benefits the company. Thank you Mr. Toney for your leadership. #heisagreatleader

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frances bayne August 13, 2014 at 9:30 am

Will you return a mailbox in the hospital for outgoing US mail in the future?

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Rod Toney August 13, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Hi Frances. The removal of the mailboxes for outgoing mail was the decision of the U.S. Postal Services. Even so, we are having discussions with the USPS to return an outgoing mailbox once the Nelson entrance is complete.

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Todd Frady August 13, 2014 at 9:16 am

Rod's group has always done a fantastic job!

Todd

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Rod Toney August 13, 2014 at 9:41 am

Thanks Todd

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Susan Woodman August 13, 2014 at 10:08 am

Happy for you. But that has not been the case for our location.

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Rod Toney August 13, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Hi Susan,

If you are experiencing any issues with mail service, please contact me directly at 410-614-2571. Thanks

Tom Moses August 13, 2014 at 9:05 am

It seems counter-productive to maintain a separate database of addresses. Why not use the JHED profile address? If everyone relies on the same database, the accuracy and timeliness of our data will improve.

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Rod Toney August 13, 2014 at 9:52 am

Great question Tom. As I understand, multiple databases feed the JHED profile. There is no standard protocol for entering data across the enterprise. Therefore, many of the records are not feasble for mail delivery or for use in our system. In addition, there are instances when an employee's JHED location is anaccurate and/or there are multiple delivery locations. We have beeen working to overcome this problem with various departments that create and maintain employee address data. The solution for us would be for every data platform to be consistent and to feed into one primary source, SAP.

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Carol August 13, 2014 at 8:48 am

Our biggest problem is mis-delivered mail. It appears that names, rather than the location or department, are being scanned by the mail system (even if the receipient's profile information is correct). After two years in the Zayed building, we still receive mail for people with the same name, but totally different campus location and department. How is mail services addressing this problem?

Reply

Rod Toney August 13, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Hi Carol,

We have identified such instances as an issue. The mail center receives a large volume of mail for employees who have held multiple delivery locations over the years. This can be confusing when seeing multiple mail pieces for the same person with different addresses. Some mail we receive may have an incorrect address or no address at all, other than 600 N. Wolfe Street.

The OCR software on the equipment is designed to look for an employee name and then make a match in our internal database to determine the delivery point that is on file with us. This is why it is important to alert us of any staff changes and/or problems with your service.
Nevertheless when this occurs, please contact us immediately. There are a number of unique processes that we can apply to your department’s mailstop to correct this. I you would like more detailed information, please contact me directly at 410-614-2571.

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Maxine August 12, 2014 at 4:11 pm

What kind of equipment do you have to support your staff and make the process more efficient?

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Rod Toney August 13, 2014 at 10:02 am

Hi Maxine,

Inbound processing:

In 2012 we obtained state-of-the-art automated mail processing equipment. The Mail Matrix can sort 3,000 pieces of mail per hour to over 1,020 mail bins without requiring multiple passes or additional handling. The machine is capable of processing up to 97 percent of our total mail volume, including magazines and small parcels.

Outbound processing:

We currently employ two automated postage machines to process the institutions growing USPS outgoing mail. The Neopost IM-5000 and the Pitney Bowes DM-1000 mail machines both have in-line weighing capabilities, which reduces time in applying postage. While the DM is considered a workhorse, the Neopost has intelligent software features that allows us to compare carrier rates and produce reports.

Inbound/Outbound Tracking:

UPS Trackpad is an automated tracking system that allows us to monitor inbound parcels and other documents from our mail centers to the recipient’s desk. This allows us to capture a signature once the item has been delivered.

Mailbox delivery systems (Cluster boxes):

Cluster mailboxes are currently installed in most new buildings on campus and will be the new model for mail delivery. This allows for greater efficiency by reducing the number of physical mail delivery points that staff has to visit each day.

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