HEIDELBERG, Germany -- A new postal concept called the Postal Service Center is gaining momentum in Europe as part of Installation Management Command-Europe's postal transformation designed to improve postal service to all authorized postal service customers.

The customer-focused initiative combines community mailrooms, official mailrooms and U.S. Postal Service entities into a "one-stop shop" for postal services, according to Monique Bagby, IMCOM-Europe Postal Transformation program manager.

"The bottom line we considered in developing this postal concept was: What can we do to make things better for the customer," said Bagby. "Under this new Army Europe PSC concept, customers will be able to take care of all their postal needs in one place and mail will get to their boxes sooner."

Bagby heads the IMCOM-Europe Postal Transformation Office, which is working with U.S. Army garrisons to implement transformation throughout Europe. In addition to postal transformation consolidating all postal functions under one roof, it also focuses on finding more efficient, quicker ways to handle, sort and deliver mail.

"Our goal is to transform Army postal operations in Europe to 'one stop shop' by enhancing design, optimizing distribution, reducing redundancy, and leveraging resources," said Bagby. "There has been a tremendous amount of collaboration with U.S. Army Europe leadership to develop a way forward and ultimately give IMCOM-Europe the steering wheel to see this initiative through."

The operational Army is vested in the change in a short-term sense because it frees up Soldiers currently working in postal positions. In a long-term sense, the initiative makes sense because the Army plans to phase out active-duty postal units.

"As this 'transformation' continues at garrisons in Europe, we believe customers will appreciate having all their postal service needs at one location," said Bagby. "Consolidating various postal operations and organizations into a Postal Service Center - or PSC - is a win-win situation for customers and the Army. Customers are able to satisfy all their postal needs in one location, and this saves taxpayer dollars by reducing resources."

At the crux of the Postal Service Center concept is the consolidation of a mixture of postal-like facilities: Unit Mail Rooms, UMRs; Community Mail Rooms, CMRs; Regional Post Offices, RPOs; Army Post Offices, APOs; and Official Mail Distribution Centers, OMDCs. Put those all together and what you get is: UMRs, CMRs, RPOs, APOs, and OMDCs. In other words, alphabet soup.

PSC is one facility with UMR, CMR, RPO, APO, and OMDC functions fully integrated. Personnel are cross-utilized into all functions, and mail transportation needs within communities are reduced, said Bagby.

The postal transformation changes that. Instead of talking about CMRs, UMRs or any other acronym for the varying types of postal facilities, customers need only say "PSC."

"The driving factor behind establishing PSCs is enhancing postal operations to provide improved customer service, said Billy Smith, IMCOM-Europe Postal Transformation deputy project manager."

The following locations have consolidated postal facilities: Grafenwoehr, Baumholder, Wiesbaden, Garmisch, Stuttgart - Kelley Barracks, Giessen, and Germersheim Dagger in Germany, and Brussels, Chievres, and Schinnen in the Benelux. The transformational process will continue throughout Europe and should be seamless to customers, said Smith.

"We were able to quickly transform several garrison postal processes to the PSC system because the infrastructure existed at those locations," explained Smith. "Other locations present more of a challenge. We are committed to getting things right for the customer, so we are ensuring each garrison's unique situations are carefully considered."