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A COUPLE OF SUGGESTIONS FOR THE USPS

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 22, 2013

BRYCE ON THE POST OFFICE

– For starters, how about forwarding our mail to the public dump?

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Whenever the United States Postal Service (USPS) suffers a major economic downturn, which seems to be fairly regular, they always threaten to cancel Saturday delivery service. Basically, they contend their operating costs are getting out of hand. Instead of cancelling Saturday service though, there are some alternatives, something they should have been cognizant of all along.

As we all know, the cause of the problem is the decline of printed material requiring delivery. Magazines and newspapers have been sharply curtailed, and we now live in an age of eZines. Correspondence is done by e-mail as opposed to a card or letter, and bills are paid on-line as opposed to the mail. Although I personally prefer paper mail, particularly for my bills, I have many friends who do everything on-line, particularly younger people. To illustrate, I had a friend recently contend everything she gets in the mail box goes directly into her garbage. There is virtually nothing of interest to her and she is irritated she has to walk out to her mail box only to drop the contents off in the garbage. She jokingly thought of changing her address to the public dump in order to save time, but her idea is not entirely without merit.

It would be my suggestion the USPS take charge of the telephone book, complete with addresses, and offer clients the option to be removed from postal deliveries (a simple Yes or No switch). Further, they would sell mailing lists to those vendors who still want to mail printed documents through their service. This would eliminate the problem of receiving junk mail, speed up the letter carrier’s route, and offer vendors a more cost effective direct mailing scheme; after all, why send mail to a location where the recipient will only toss it in the garbage?

Due to economics, many organizations have turned to eZines as opposed to printing newsletters or other documents. Although this has saved a lot of money, there are still people, mostly older, who are not intimate with technology and prefer receiving such publications in the mail. Obviously, this means you will not be able to go 100% paperless, unless you no longer care about your older members. In some of the nonprofit organizations I am involved with, such e-mail is sent to approximately 75% of our membership, with the other 25% receiving it in hard copy form. Nonetheless, this approach has saved a considerable amount of money.

What about shipping packages? Two alternatives: either separate package delivery from other mail, or abandon packages altogether and leave it to other carriers such as UPS and FedEx, but this isn’t really a practical alternative as packages represent a huge revenue stream to the USPS. Instead, separating package delivery from letters and other printed materials would be the logical alternative. Whereas letters would require letter carriers operating on a routine route, packages would be delivered upon demand, which is essentially how UPS and FedEx operates.

Regardless if these suggestions are used or not, the USPS has to change in order to remain a viable delivery service. If they do not, we might all want to change our addresses to the public dump.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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6 Responses to “A COUPLE OF SUGGESTIONS FOR THE USPS”

  1. sirchristiantheheck@reagan.com said

    And that, unfortunately, is the truth. I’m not sure i like it.

    Like

  2. Tim Bryce said

    A K.S. of Honolulu, Hawaii wrote…

    “Additionally, if they keep raising prices, they will price themselves out of business.”

    Like

  3. Tim Bryce said

    An M.M. of California wrote…

    “I am in favor of no delivery on Saturday also. However, since I get only a few letters and some bills by snail mail, I don’t mind. Most of our bill are paid online through our bank. I think it is the right of companies to sent out ads and circulars. Too bad we don’t have containers by our mailboxes where we could just dump the junk mail as we sort. Then we would be recycling.”

    Like

  4. Francis Dryden said

    Here in Mexico 100% of my contact is electronic… that is for my Masonic Lodge,Shrine Club (I’m secretary of both) and a 500 member entertainment guide totalling about 3000 pieces a month.

    In Canada I figured that in Alberta alone the Masons spent about $300,000 CDN a year on Canada Post… the entire Grand Lodge could be run for that amount… that is now cut back to a pittance (finally) with e-mail.

    The problem is that the Postal Services in Canada and the US just keep hiring more people and through their powerful unions, paying them more money and lose over $10,000 a year per person… that is the supreme picture of a buggy whip… it should go.

    The alternate companies such as FedEx, DHL, UPS, etc. are making money or they wouldn’t be there… they don’t get tax dollars to operate.

    For the mediocre tasks that Postal people (I won’t say workers) do, they are extremely and grossly overpaid but not one gets laid off because there is no more mail to speak of… and we haven’t even considered the pensions these long outdated idlers get… disgusting!

    Did you know that they still have “firemen” on trains in Canada? They have conductors on freight trains?

    Cut the USPS and Canada Post loose of government support… let them become private corporations and see how long they would last… they wouldn’t.

    Worrying about the few people who refuse or are too cheap to have e-mail is pure folly as well… there have always been huge numbers of people who have had to “go to town” to pick up their mail or that are so remote they don’t get delivery of anything… this will never change. As far as it goes ANYONE that doesn’t have e-mail probably has full access next door or with their kids or grandkids… and please don’t tell me there is security in snail mail, or that things don’t get lost, or mail isn’t “returned to sender” or that people don’t move and forget not to inform you about the change… it happens every day.

    My advise?… get e-mail or get somebody to get it for you or your just going to be out of luck… the taxpayer just can’t afford to carry this buggy whip any longer… I predict its demise within 5 years.

    I am sure many technologies were considered by the thrifty amongst us to be “passing fads”… I’m talking about such “passing fads” as telegrams, telephones, Telex, etc. Texting and e-mail are here folks and are the best thing we have right now and that’s the way things are… like or lump it.

    By the way, the postal here in Mexico is quite satisfactory and there is still a pretty good number of people that use it. A lot of the companies in our area (Lake Chapala south of Guadalajara) actually have their bills delivered by their own employees… works for me as they too are welcome to use my mailbox. But interestingly, there is so little mail the mailman (oops… got to be politically correct!) rides a motorbike and covers a huge area and not every day… would that mean there is no union running their (and our) lives? Heaven forbid!

    Like

  5. […] Twitter Facebook ← A COUPLE OF SUGGESTIONS FOR THE USPS […]

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  6. Tim Bryce said

    An L.C. of Indiana wrote…

    “Good article. We once had to pay late fees because bills we mailed did not make it. We did get them back. It appeared they were in a jam of some sort when USPS processed them and were torn… The post office a few months later sent it all back to us as undeliverable.”

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