on Sep 26th, 2011 in Ideas Worth Exploring | 9 comments
 
The Postal Service has “coupled” its retail and delivery operations, both managerially and physically, since delivery services were first established almost 150 years ago. Historical patterns, or the needs for delivery service efficiencies, primarily determined the location of physical facilities, which typically house both delivery and retail operations. Demands for postal retail services are changing both geographically and demographically as consumers age and population centers shift. Our Risk Analysis Research Center studied the strategic concept of “decoupling” the Postal Service’s delivery and retail operations, examining both the physical and managerial functions. The results appear in the recently released whitepaper titled Retail and Delivery: Decoupling Could Improve Service and Lower Costs. The white paper draws upon the insights of key stakeholders, private sector delivery companies within the United States, foreign postal operators, and expert business consultants. The study found that selective decoupling of retail and delivery operations, mostly outside of rural areas, could result in lower costs, increased revenue, and better service that is more responsive to changing market conditions and diverse customer needs. The paper’s key findings include:
  • A decoupling strategy affords the Postal Service more flexibility to respond to changing customer needs for retail service.
  • The Postal Service too often ignores retail functions, which receive secondary managerial attention when competing with delivery for resources and clerk time.
  • Decoupling could help transform both retail and delivery into separate best-practices driven, strategic business units.
  • Major private-sector delivery companies in the United States as well as foreign posts previously separated their retail and delivery functions with each having its own distinct skills, training, and performance measures.
Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below. This blog is hosted by the OIG’s Risk Analysis Research Center.

Comments

http://www.savethepostoffice.com/oig-tells-post-office-get-divorce

I think decoupling makes sense.

"The study found that selective decoupling of retail and delivery operations, mostly outside of rural areas, could result in
1.lower costs
2.increased revenue
3.better service that is more responsive to changing market conditions and diverse customer needs."

I read nothing in the paper that proved lower costs, increased revenue or better service. If anything it lead this reader to believe that a decrease in revenue with higher costs could incur.
And the service? also not explained.
If anything this is a good example of waging the dog.

"•A decoupling strategy affords the Postal Service more flexibility to respond to changing customer needs for retail service."
seperating delivery from retail would basically mean that EVERY present office (not rural, as suggested) would close. As why would a lease continue on a building that no longer needs so much space. And in addition, new leases would be needed.

And thats another issue in itself. Conflict of interest, the OIG study and the new corrections they wish to make suggest that the corrections to avoid conflict of interest will be for buildings of 3000 sq ft or less. It is not far fetched to believe if decoupling the delivery side that many new leases would be established with buildings requiring space more then 3000 sq ft. So will all these new leases be exempt from the same scrutiny of the smaller leases the USPS signs?

"•The Postal Service too often ignores retail functions, which receive secondary managerial attention when competing with delivery for resources and clerk time."
When does this happen? Delivery is mostly handled prior to retail hours. This is another statement, without fact.

" •Decoupling could help transform both retail and delivery into separate best-practices driven, strategic business units."
Best practices can be performed without decoupling. Why pay more for leasing buildings and increase management to oversee seperate sides of the business?

"•Major private-sector delivery companies in the United States as well as foreign posts previously separated their retail and delivery functions with each having its own distinct skills, training, and performance measures."
And what issues have they had to deal with truly.

This is not an effort to build a business, this is an effort to do something different for the sake of doing something different . . . as certainly we don't want to improve on what works now, we just want to change the setup.
Of all my years, sadly I cannot think of a single instance that the USPS said, "Hey we tried this and its working so lets do more of this."

Ex: lets use Lance Armstrong to increase brand name association. Winner with Armstrong, winner with USPS. Did it work? nope.

Lets advertise on television Flat Rate Boxes. Did it work? yes.
Are we advertising anymore on television of our services? NOPE.

I apologize for getting diverted.
No offense to those that worked on the study, but you've been instructed to Wag the Dog.

Nice work Harry. Honestly, we don't need mail delivered more cheaply or reliably. We need to pay more to support the services we get. After all, well tip a waitress $1 on a $7 purchase. Why would be complain about a 70 cent stamp - given all that it does.

I can recover thousands or tens of thousands of dollars for the US Postal Service every month by analyzing specialized data for services they are overpaying. The money can start coming in 60 days. Send email Postal Service so we can get your cash flowing back losses back into your pocket. Guaranteed. dennis@sageinn.info.

This seems easier than wadeing through puddle after puddle of wrong contacts.
Ref:
"Your comment is awaiting moderation.
I can recover thousands or tens of thousands of dollars for the US Postal Service every month by analyzing specialized data for services they are overpaying. The money can start coming in 60 days. Send email Postal Service so we can get your cash flowing back losses back into your pocket. Guaranteed. ..."
Like or Dislike: 0 0

I find it hard to believe the whole financial crisis of the Post Office when letter carriers I have spoken to have stated that the Post Office is running in the black, that while 1st class delivery is down, other areas of the Post Office is way more than it was and the revenue they are generating is helping to support retirements systems other than the postal service.

than being said, I'd like to explain 4 different experiances I've had with the postal service in less than 4 months.

#1, I use a PO Box for my company mail. There is a big sign on the wall that states mail is in the box before 10:30. Yet I have been there at 11:00 and heard mail being placed into the boxes. I have even check my box at 11:00 a.m. and then again at 7:00 p.m. guess what, no mail the first time, after mail is stated to be in the box. Then at the later time, presto, mail was in my box. Talk about false advertising, lies or someone being lazy, you tell me. All I know is that your words are not accurate.

#2, your customer service just doesn't care. I mailed two packages via your USPS parcel post service at the same excate time. One box arrived with no problem, the next box took an additional 3 days. When I called to asked about information, I was told, very rudely, that since I didn't purchase tracking information there was nothing I could do and I couldn't file a complaint about lost mail for 2 more weeks. WOW!!!!!!!!!! Any other company talked to me like that and I'd stop using thier services..........wait, UPS did have that that attitude with me and I swore not to use thier services and haven't since then.

#3 & #4. 30 and 45 days. that is the amount of days and times this year I can prove it took me to recieve 1st class mail. The 1st time was the same day as item #1. the letter in my box that evening was mailed 30 day's before I recieved it. Since the counter was closed I couldn't do anything about it. The second time was just 2 weeks ago when it took 45 day's to recieve a 1st class letter in my PO Box. When I asked at the counter why this would happen, I was given all kinds of excuses except for the truth that the staff somewhere along the way was lazy. I was told that had it been lost in machinery or something like that it would have been stamped, since there was no stamp it was pure lazyness, lack of attention to detail and placed in the wrong box and more excuses that I have fingers and toes.

so not once, but four times in one summer the postal service failed miserably and no one is accountable. I have no recourse but to suffer damage to my businesses reputation due to the lack of attention by the USPS. Complain an it's like were Federal Employee's you can't touch us, even thought the USPS was declared an employee owned company in the 80's so how can they be federal employee's???

So now there is this big push to decrease home delivery, and to loosen the standards that you say is costing billions of dollars in losses. I say, why don't you do your job, quite lying to the people and tighten your standards. I wonder how many people know that a letter carrier doesn't have to open your mailbox unless they have mail to deliver??? So as I have been advised by a letter carrier, that even thought the flag is raised indicating I have outgoing mail, that if there is not mail to be placed into my box the carrier doesn't even have to open my mail box..........give me a break, how much looser do you need things?????

If the USPS is tired of loosing money, why don't they take a look at how the post offices are being ran. You ever been to a post office with up to 6 windows and only 1 or 2 have someone working? I have everytime I go to my post office. The ones that are working have an attitude that they are doing you a favor.........Guess what I'm doing them a favor by spending my money with them, the dozen or more people ahead of me are also spending money that help make up your paycheck. We could use UPS or FedEx.

So loose your attitude, start providing a quality service and stop funding retirement funds that don't pertain to the postal service.

On behalf of the Risk Analysis Research Center, I would like to thank all who took time this week to comment on our work. Comments may spark discussion in developing future research topics and I hope each of you will continue to share your thoughts with us. -- Best Regards.

Yeah, that will be the silver bullet alright!!!!

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