Robert Pedersen embarked on an ambitious mission in 2007: to create a centralized and standardized nationwide system of depository services at the financially struggling U.S. Postal Service, where he serves as treasurer. Pedersen aimed to take a highly fragmented organization and centralize operations under the treasury department. In the process, he figured he'd boost efficiencies and cut some costs.
But even Pedersen, who started at the Postal Service in 1983 as an investment officer and was named treasurer in 2002, was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. After the system was implemented in February 2009, he slashed fees by 11%, saving about $3 million a year. He also reduced the number of employees responsible for reviewing account analysis statements and paying bank loans to two from 80. And he dramatically cut the number of people and amount of time needed to do research and reporting.