How Consolidated Mail Services kept government operations running smoothly during the pandemic
The Consolidated Mail Services (CMS) program provides mail services to state agencies, institutions, colleges and universities located throughout western Washington. When COVID hit in March 2020, workplaces had to quickly adjust to prevent the spread of the virus, including how they sent and received mail.
In the early days of COVID, state agencies were suddenly sending parcels filled with computers, furniture and office supplies to home addresses. CMS staff coordinated the shipments of thousands of pieces of equipment and collaborated with all their customers to continue service. The program developed over 70 temporary pickup and delivery schedules that lasted through the next two years.
Meanwhile, mailing needs in state government were increasing. Communications from the Employment Security Department were going out to an unprecedented amount of state residents and the Department of Health began coordinating large shipments of personal protective equipment to keep people safe. CMS staff was essential to all these efforts.
"By partnering with CMS, the Washington state COVID-19 emergency response was able to successfully distribute COVID supplies all over the state."—Jessica Wilkinson, Department of Health
"Continuing to operate during COVID had its own set of challenges," said Jessica Wilkinson, Department of Health Emergency Management Program Specialist. "By partnering with CMS, the Washington state COVID-19 emergency response was able to successfully distribute COVID supplies all over the state, including delivery of over 2,500 orders processed by CMS and shipped to our partners as part of the response."
As the state continues to move to a "new" normal, CMS constantly evaluates business needs to accommodate their customers' status. Some offices are back to working on-site while others are still 100% remote.
"Our operations continue," said CMS Customer Service Manager Mandy Cavender. "We hope this never happens again, but we are forever proud of what our efforts delivered for our customers, Washington state employees and the people that live here."