Wednesday Update:

Wow. Thanks for the fabulous response to the brainstorm. We’ve been overwhelmed by the sheer number of thoughtful responses. To give everyone enough time to comment and us a little time to read through everything, we’ve decided to extend the period for taking comments and post a blog about the brainstorm with the poll on Monday. Until then, please keep sharing your ideas. All suggestions received by Friday morning will be candidates for the poll. Oh, a word about moderation, we moderate every comment, and our policy is not to include comments that include vulgar words (even if the words are partially obscured with other characters) or involve name calling. We have not been able to approve a few comments that were otherwise very interesting because they violated our comment policy, so please double check your comment before you submit it. Thanks again!

Original Post:

The Postal Service is facing a financial crisis and needs to pursue every option it can to improve its net income. Pushing the Envelope thought it might be a good idea to ask for your thoughts. How do you think the Postal Service can save money or raise additional revenue? To make this a bit more interesting, the blog team will review your ideas and pick the most popular or most interesting for a poll. We’ll post the poll on Wednesday. So brainstorm now, and be sure to come back on Wednesday to view the shortlist and to vote for your favorites. Share your ideas in the comments below. Describe the idea, whether it involves cutting costs or generating revenue, and how much you think it could add to the Postal Service’s bottom line. Happy brainstorming! This topic is hosted by the OIG's Risk Analysis Research Center (RARC).

Comments (570)

  • anon

    It has come to my attention each year the United States Postal Service or are other Men and Women in Blue we will say the USPS. Unlike other government agencies are divided not united from our government, funding wise. Each year they face a funding blitz with an end of the year funding crisis which scares the hell out of any one wearing one of their uniforms. Why can the United States Postil Service not have rank and authority with in its confines that much like military rank as seeing a large majority of its employees are x military. Giving them a solid management structure and easy integration of civilian employees so those that work hard have the opportunity for advancement. If you are someone who complains about fees and invites cutbacks you are in my opinion ignorant to how hard the central government is making it for our men and women in blue. Why because you individuals keep writing letters that these forgiving United States Postal Workers for meager pay; hand carry to your governors, senators, and congress men and women; because u think stamps are too expensive. And minor related grievances. It is my opinion that if the Post Office were to be able to operate like a Private Business aloud to produce its own products such as, creative stationary, stamps (that could be created by private individuals and the master design sold to the post office for rights to the stamps design to be sold at a profit, or even the design to be leased to the post office profitable for both the post office and the individual as a collectibles paid to the individual by how many were perch cased in royaltys), boxes, new types of packing materials or even ones that exist at a profit cuz they were bought in bulk. Possibly even get into the e-mail market by offering free federal email address. And much like PO Box’s offer for a fee encrypted e-mail addes with vires protection that can’t be externally of open’d with a federal suppina. with the option to send certified encrypted e-mails that give u an alert when the mail u sent was opened, why shouldn’t e-mail have the same options as mail plus. And why can’t techie’s work for the post office like the geek squad at bess buy to maintain a nationally regulated federally insured e-mail service for individuals, and businesses also allowing to their techie’s to develop new services, software, and hardware far beyond my comprehension that would revolutionize mail and e-mail all together, possibly even software that would let u use the post office website to send standard e-mails through your federally insured e-mail address into physical printed out faxes at the other end? We also have already on the shelf OCR (Optical Caricature Recognition Software) where u can either take digital photos of text from any ware or even scan it; and do the opposite. Completely cutting down the transition time of the physical text to digital text to way less then half. These are just a few of an infinite amount of possibility’s the post office had more control of managing them self’s. Just ask one of your post men and women what’s wrong with the post office today and much like when I did they can easily go off for a half an hour, so yes they know. But you know what? They always cut it short not cuz they want to but because they always deliver on time. You don’t call the factory to talk to the designer of your car to tell u what is wrong car so they pull your mechanic’s certifications, you ask you mechanic. Chances are if you pull your mechanic’s license the only mechanic’s left will pull all the money out of your wallet in such proportions you cant use yours. If your not part of the solution your part of the problem. So if you are agitated ask your postmen postwomen what kinda problems there facing and what can be done to fix them. Then send that to your govanor, senator, or congressmen. And if each post office is treated like a private business and has a ranking system like the military much like a a interconnected franchise cost will go down and extra money will be allocated to problem spots and if there is a subsusudy for the capital of the post office such as planes, trucks, and hopefully 96’ – 98’ Jeep Cherokees with the steering left side swiched ( a suv with a lot of space and vary cheaply can run for 400 -500 thousand miles and are stock with dana axels and a straight six factory ready off road capability’s with a huge bottom clearance and can even be equipped with a plow) but what ever. But these are just empty suggestions from a clinically insane person. Just glad I’m not gonna do all the work. Happy Trails America

    Jan 19, 2012
  • anon

    DW I used to live in the Northeast and during the winter several times I saw USPS mail delivery trucks stuck in snow. They sat and waited for a tow truck. Give the mail carrier a way to free his/her own truck from snow. It will save on worker overtime and gas while waiting for a tow truck. It also is much more efficient as the driver could possibly get stuck several times in one day. THey would be able to finish routes on time and burn less gas.

    Dec 30, 2011
  • anon

    We have about 25 city routes in our office....upper management made a rule that there will be no overtime for clerks...so instead of bringing in 2 clerks for 2 hours overtime, we have 25 city carriers sitting around for 2hrs waiting for mail....really!!!...why not let every office manage themselves....i have yet to see a poo in our office...so that tells me he has no idea what's happening in our office...this doesn't make any sense to me...they are willing to pay 50hrs overtime to city carriers instead on 4 hrs overtime to a clerk...money down the drain....and before anyone recommends the carriers come in later...our start time is 8 am and most the time we don't get out the office until 11am or later!

    Dec 28, 2011
  • anon

    We rent cutomer service offices in such perfect locations, then only open for 2 hours on a Saturday. Has anyone compared the cost of rent in these high value areas, against a couple more hours of clerks to staff it? If you do get in the line is so long, you risk getting pushed out at closing time. Your'e only hope is that the people ahead of you storm out, and take their packages elsewhere. I've seen it many times. They walk out, and pay a much higher price for a little respect! You CAN treat your customers like this. But you CAN'T do it TWICE!

    Dec 28, 2011
  • anon

    1.Why not do what grocery stores do: When the lines out front get long, call people from the back to help out. 2.Coordinate with local charities, churches, etc. to convert some of excess USPS space into hotels for the homeless, training and job centers for unemployed, computer centers for those who can't afford a computer (libraries do), off campus classrooms for public and private schools who need extra classrooms, facitlities for boys and girls clubs to get poor and homeless children off the streets, health organizations to use full time or one day a week to service local neighborhoods, homeless, etc.

    Dec 22, 2011
  • anon

    Just back for the King of Prussia office at 3:00 PM. Five people ahead of me, ONE clerk and 30 minutes later I was out of the door.

    Dec 20, 2011
  • anon

    Here in my area in colorado the front desk service is just way to slow. There will be a long line of about 15 people and there will be only 2 people working the front. This seem to happen way to offten and I wish something could be done about this.

    Dec 20, 2011
  • anon

    Hi everybody my suggestion to cut postal costs is to do away with stamps and create envelopes with some kind of identifying mark. Perhaps you could pattern it like the bulk rate symbols on bulk rate mail. Make the envelopes simple and perhaps you could use recycled paper. We must do everything we can to keep our postal service going. I am concerned about the number of people that could lose their jobs if Congress doesn't step up to the plate and help the country. thanks for allowing me to give my opinion. Bernadette

    Dec 19, 2011
  • anon

    Based on an analysis i did several years ago of expenses / revenue, i would suggest for the Postal Service: ~ simplify rate structure ~ partial reduction in service ~ restoration of old-fashioned customer treatment RATES: eliminate all preferential rates - especially the business (bulk) classes of mail. Currently, First Class subsidizes these other classes; no wonder FC customers are leaving in droves. Simplify to where all mail travels either First Class, Priority, or Express SERVICE: deliver First Class mail three days a week; Mon-Wed-Fri in one delivery area and Tue-Thu-Sat in another. This is better in several ways than the current proposal to just drop Saturdays and reduce distribution sites. Priority and Express would still offer expedited delivery as they do now. RESTORATION: held and forwarded mail currently is subjected to onerous rules; go back to giving customers what they want and keeping their personal data private. Eliminate all the crazy merchandizing schemes - notice UPS and Fedex are not doing these things. FINALLY: keep the Federal protection of the mail stream .... this is beneficial to our personal sense of security. The corruption of this concept in recent years should be reversed.

    Dec 15, 2011
  • anon

    I agree with this as it would allow the USPS to reduce its maintainance and fuel cost by only requiring 1/2 the number of delivery vehicles. They could sell the excess vehicles which would also help.

    Dec 24, 2011
  • anon

    Ok so I think it is time for the STATIONS to communicate directly with the employees running their mail. I think this simple little form of communication would be AMAZING!!. Clerks at the station need to know that it is the clerks in the processing facilites that decide what mail is processed. If for example carrier 32 has a problem with their mail they can communicate directly with the employees running their zone. Problems will be addressed faster (NOT 2 weeks later) We could decrease overtime!!! If we as processing clerks only knew what the carriers and office clerks needed to do their job successfully

    Dec 14, 2011
  • anon

    Turn the Postal service into the local police force they patrol the neighborhood anyway and nothing stops them rain snow ect. Arm them and give them the money locals would pay for a police service or make them the national police service and close the FBI.

    Dec 13, 2011
  • anon

    The A.P.C. (Automated Postal Center) is not very intuitive and very cumbersome to use. After using one at least once a week for several years, to mail large envelopes for my wife, I would consider myself a expert user. After several years of using these machines I still find them hard to use. I propose striking a deal with Apple to interface the Ipad in a secure manor in place of the current touch screen. The USPS would benefit by getting a much more efficient A.P.C. and Apple could benefit by exposing their technology to the masses. Apple could advertise their product and even sell Ipads at each post office. The next project could be to replace the clunky terminals used by the window clerks with Ipad devices.

    Dec 10, 2011
  • anon

    There are many fake websites to submit change of address, hold mail, basic services that charge people anywhere from 1.00 to 30.00 to “process the request” and people pay it, with out thinking twice, And yet the post office only charges 1.00 for verification “not taking in mind that some credit cards have a 5.00 min anyway” I think personaly they should up that to a 5.00 min for change of address, But still offer the ability to go to the local post office and still be able to fill out the form for free. Regarding hold mail, the post office only allows customer to put mail on hold for 30 days, I think you should extend that out by a month or two and offer it to customers for a small charge. Also the ideas for selling ad space for stamps is great, But I would take is a step further and offer route sponsorship like the "adopt a highway" slap some patches on the mail bag

    Dec 10, 2011
  • anon

    I wish you would put time stamps on the posts. You see, I don't get to post "on the clock" to offer ideas & comments to help, as I have since it's inception, unless I do it on "my own time". I think your traffic counts to the site would diminish significantly if you did. From what I've seen so far, I've deduced that most of the ideas are submitted "on the clock".

    Dec 09, 2011
  • anon

    I betcha if USPS would create a forever stamp with IN GOD WE TRUST on it, they couldn't keep up with demand and that might in fact pull them out of the financial crisis they're in. Anyone else feel the same? Hopefully, someone at USPS will read this and send it to the Postmaster General.

    Dec 07, 2011
  • anon

    US Postal mail should be a premium service. $1+ for a stamp, or more depending on destination and weight. The post office should stop trying to make money on volume, and push people to go electronic and handle only what people are truly willing to pay for hand mail. If you want something hand delivered across the country, pay for it. I send 1, maybe 2, things per month via regular mail. Everything these days can be paid electronically. Even if you are in a "rural" area without internet service, you can set up automatic payments and you don't need a connection to pay your bills when they're due. Maybe the USPS can help citizens who lack the skills to set up automatic pay services, or create/pay a private organization to help in the initial set up. Mail should be cut to 3 days a week, Mon. Wed. Fri. The world needs to learn to use the more efficient (electronic) tools available to them. Paying a fee to not receive unwanted mail would be great, too. I’d gladly pay $5 or $10 a month, or more, to not get junk I toss daily. Whatever they do, the USPS role needs to shrink. It’s no longer the most efficient way to communicate.

    Dec 07, 2011
  • anon

    Ways USPS can save big bucks: 1. Immediately stop Saturday delievry service. Don't talk about it any more just DO IT! 2. Immediately set USPS employees pay and benefits scale to Fed Government employees scale. Right now, for example, per hour wage for a GS 12 USPS employee is higher than a Corps of Engineers employee. Med insurance premiums are less than other non-postal employees. So it costs the USPS more to fund employee med insurance than Fed agencies. 3. Immediately STOP issueing special commemorative stamps. Stop paying for art work, printing, etc., have one basic stamp (US Flag) with no postage shown on it. If postage has to go up you don't have to issue new stamps. This is already in use. 4. Immediately, if not sooner, cancel the IBM Mail Delievery Test and other such research tests, if ongoing. I have been participating in the test for several years documenting mail pieces I receive in the mail. How long does it take the USPS to determine if mail is being dlelievered timely? My mail delievery is excellant. All the USPS employees I come into contact with in Tulsa are dedicated and courteous. I hate to see USPA mis-management hurt what has been working so well at the local delievery level. Start with the actions I have described above or at least have the courage to cost them out & see how much savings can be had by their adoption before you lay off 38,000 employees. I believe you owe that to your customers as well as your employees.

    Dec 07, 2011
  • anon

    I'm not sure if anyone has mentioned this to you but, obviously the email market has taken alot of your business. Well, what is stopping the USPS from doing the same thing? I think that there is alot that you can do from a usmail.com email site. Like, maybe buy stamps, buy greeting cards and post cards. Or maybe have a section where I could say that I need a package sent somewhere and you come pick it up. I'm sure there is alot of things that you could offer from an email site that would make lots of money for the USPS. But, If you do this you have to make it cool, hip and the thing to do. That is the secret to success for sites like these. Remember the reason that google and facebook are so successful is that they remain cool in the mainstream. They appeal to the younger crowd. You have to make it simple and quick to navigate. Don't fill it up with to many graphics and animations. I really don't think you have much choice but to do something like this. If you can't beat them at least try to join them. You have alot to offer. Alot more than the rest of them do. You can also hire sponsors for the site and run there adds on the site. I really hope that we can figure something out to save our USPS. You have been a crucial enity in the U.S. since we have became a country. Good Luck... Yours Truly, Ronathon

    Dec 06, 2011
  • anon

    Diversification of products and services. See if the postal department can help the public with CD's, retirement savings, education savings bonds. Consider tie-ups with other mail carriers for enhanced customer services.

    Dec 06, 2011
  • anon

    Hi, looks like there are tons of great suggestions.....forgive this one if it is a repeat... As I stood in line, waiting at my post office, I noticed the phrase, "Friends & Family" reminded me of a Verizon tactic, where you can list "most used" phone numbers --those several numbers would be free calls. Would it be viable to offer a version of that, to regular customers? (I know, free mail service sounds like a losing situation, but setting certain parameters might work) Good Luck!

    Dec 06, 2011
  • anon

    Hello....Start selling advertising. Stamps..mailing boxes etc.. Want to guess how much Google...Coke...Visa and others would pay to be on your product?? Good-bye operating defecit

    Dec 06, 2011
  • anon

    This is an interesting idea. Small google ads on your envelope... I could deal with that.

    Dec 07, 2011
  • anon

    Why can't the post office perform other consumer services such as drivers license, car tags, the simpler tasks that require the customer to bring in all the completed forms. I realize this is a state function right now, but if post offices are under utilized, why not let them take on some of these other functions. I brought this up a public closure meeting in a rural community and the state representative there did not think this would work because it's two different agencies, federal and state. Aren't we all trying to save money??? I believe there's a movement at the top of USPS to privatize the whole thing, sad thing is, no one is going to take on universal service, every mailbox every day, six days a week.

    Dec 05, 2011
  • anon

    How about a service addressees could subscribe to in which the USPS would withold direct mail advertising? I'm sure this has been kicked around already; I didn't read the previous 495 comments. The subscription price could be set high enough that it offsets revenue losses from lost advertising. Even if the subscriber numbers were low, profits would be gained and transportation costs would be saved. Also a potentially more economically feasible alternative to total replacement of the old Grumman LLVs would be to retrofit them by replacing the worn-out old Chevy Iron Dukes with some kind of small biodiesel plant. If a refurbishment program were done cleanly you could cost-cut the price of total unit replacement while gaining fuel economy. Two types of savings there. Shoot, you could really get wild with it and have a big whooping PR dream-come-true by developing some kind of joint partnership with a fast food chain, wherein your empty mailtrucks could swing by restaurants on their return routes, picking up waste oil for biodiesel refinement.

    Dec 01, 2011
  • anon

    I live in a rural area, about three miles from my local post office and a half-hour's drive (on a good day) from the nearest larger city. I would LOVE to see the USPS negotiate a UPS and FedEx shipping option to "leave at local post office". The money UPS and FedEx saves by not going all the way to my driveway (and by not having to wrap packages in nasty plastic) could go to the USPS. That's revenue! (It's also a further revenue-generating opportunity because it brings people into the post office, and that's an opportunity to sell stamps and other mailing services.) I would be a much happier customer, having been given this choice — my important packages that I can't convince shippers to send by USPS would stay safe and dry at the post office (and UPS would no longer shot-put my packages 10-20 feet over my locked gate ... yes, they do this!). And for "signature required" deliveries, I would no longer have to drive a half-hour minimum (after spending at least an hour working my way through UPS's phone system) to pick up my package at their local sorting facility one or two or three days later (because they have to "find" the package and get someone to get it off their truck ... amazingly, the USPS can get a letter across the country in the time it takes UPS to communicate with its own drivers).

    Nov 29, 2011
  • anon

    I think that the USPS needs to realize it is an antiquated system The world has switched ot an electronic system and standard mail will someday go away or will be a premium service. I think in the small picture, closure of smaller post offices is a good first step. I personnally use postal services at a bare minumum. I look in my mailbox daily and yet it is usually just junk mail. All my bills are paid online and I have opted to not recieve paper statements. My paycheck is direct deposited and I have also opted with my employer to send me everything electronic. I think all small communitee post offices should be closed unless it is the only one. In my area I have 3 small communitee ones and one large one. I am sure all could be consolidated into the one larger one. All communities swhould have no more than 1 post office in a 15-25 mile radius. I am sure that would close alot of post offices. And delivery could be illiminated to 3-5 days a week. I of course do not mind this as I dont recieve alot of mail. Also junk mail should be elliminated. It would cut down on the workload of the carriers which would cut down on costs. My junk mail is never looked at it goes straight to the recycle. Complete waste. At the very least I should be able to opt out which would increase costs. electronic spam is illegal. Paper spam should be too. My long term sollution is to create a facility that mail could be sent to instead of our homes. People could sign up for a service that provides them a number sort of like a social security number. This could be used i nthe following manner Dave Jones AB6789234567 San Diego, Ca. The letters would get routed to a central facility where it is opened securely and scaned and then emailed or stored in your own personnal eMailbox. This could be a service people pay a subscription for and they could give out this "address" out to whoever they wished. It would never need to change and when people move there would be no overhead of makeing those changes. Postal delivery could be cut to 1-2 times per week if at all. I think eventually deliverys could be elliminated. I realize there are alot of baby boomers out there that may resist this, but the younger generation would embrase it as it would make their lives easier. Immagine checking your mailbox on an iPhone app! All your mail right there. No need to put a hold on delivery when on vacation, just check your mail on the beach! going digital in some manner like this is the future. Hopefully USPS is smart enough to embrace it in some form. I saw that the idea of an eMailbox is being considered.

    Nov 15, 2011
  • anon

    One invaluable service the USPS can provide is medical records storage. Every person should be able to transmit his medical records to a medical provider. Moreover, if you were in an accident it could be lifesaving to be able to access your medical records by the USPS. The USPS would maintain the servers and they would be available through any browser.

    Nov 15, 2011
  • anon

    It has come to my attention that there is still a large population that does not have computers or that requires assistance in using the internet to fill out government forms. My suggestion is that, for a fee, the post office implements a service where by during a few hours a week postal staff and computers are made available to this group. With the assistance of a postal worker the forms are filled out and printed. Of course, the post office is not liable for the information provided by clients; the post office provides only the service of filling the forms. I realize that there has to be an investment before this is to take place, but the return on investment is worth the initial effort. Many undiscriminating people are charging huge amounts of money to complete these tasks. It will serve the community by providing a service that needs support and it will give the postal service a new venue for revenue.

    Nov 12, 2011
  • anon

    packages- offer contracts to customers at reduced rates the same way verizon fios or optonline does (internet - phone - cable - 3 for the price of 1) to companies that UPS or anyother competitors deliver to. it would mean revenue that we were not collecting in the 1st place and a possible extended contract after the trial period has ended. delivery contract with an small airline to deliver across country suggested rate discount 3 months - %10 6 mths --- %25 12 mths ---%50

    Nov 09, 2011
  • anon

    I would love to see a service where I could see online what is in my POB. Also how full or empty it is, so I knew when to make the trip in to get my mail. You guys might take this a step further too and offer a service option for "deleting" some of the real pieces of mail from the box per our instructions. Eg I might actually pay you to remove the junk mail - understanding that this would not affect your revenue model of making money by putting the junk mail in the box. You make money putting the junk mail in the box and you make a little more removing it per my instructions. You need to be thinking more virtual and what you can do to help save us customers time and effort and to help us be better citizens of the planet. If I do not have to get in my car and drive the 7 miles into my POB then the whole planet wins.

    Nov 04, 2011
  • anon

    I agree with Joe- I would even add scanning service- wherein I pay a small fee to have key mail items scanned, and emailed to me with the option of have the orginal shredded/recycled.

    Nov 14, 2011
  • anon

    Since this is the digital age and we communicate primarily digitally, I've been wondering for years why the postal service does not create a method for people to email and communicate electronically. There has to be a way for the postal system to create revenue by keeping up with the times...offer an email site, create a search engine such as yahoo or google, be the next "facebook", invent a social media site. Thank you!

    Nov 04, 2011
  • anon

    I will like to let you know of an excellent way of generating more revenues and direct marketing. For those who have P.O.Box's: Direct marketing: collect users personal email address to send them email notification that they have a package in their P.O. Box or mail. Also you can send them mail of special that are going on. You can also send them email reminders when the P.O. Box Bill is due, so you can also allow for express electronic bill pay. A small investment with millions in return. This will build customer retention and good well. You can email me if you like further assistance. Sincerely, Darryl

    Nov 03, 2011
  • anon

    I have 2 idea's of saving the Postal Service LOTS of money just by changing a currant policy. I went to eIDEAS and they want you to go through your supervisor with your idea. Then the very last thing is they want you to Test idea for 6 months and document feasibility. I just want someone with some clout to view my idea and let me know. It doesn't have to be tested and it wouldn't cost one cent to put it into effect. They make you jump through all these hoops and your just trying to save THEM money. Very disscouraging.

    Oct 31, 2011
  • anon

    Another idea...which may sound weird...but does offer a service..is to take care of animals while people are away from their homes. (i.e. water and feed the dogs, cats or what ever. LOL it's called brain storming.

    Oct 23, 2011
  • anon

    I do not believe that closing Saturday delivery really helps anything. Based upon my experience as an RCA, if you stop Saturday delivery then Mondays become a real bear. Mondays are heavy enough. I suggest if you must close anything that Wednesdays are good, and I would start delivery on Sundays...especially during the holidays in addition to creating 24hr self serve locations and keeping current office open an additional 2 hours to benefit customers.

    Oct 23, 2011
  • anon

    In an effort to assist the United States Postal Service in coming up with ideas outside the box here are possible solutions to increase reveue. Since USPS has one of the largest ground fleets a suggestion that I have come up with is perhaps making a deal with the electric and water departments to take over the meter reading via wireless data communications since we visit every location regularly. USPS could provide this service and reduce costs for the Electric and Water companies.

    Oct 23, 2011
  • anon

    The United States Postal Service should raise prices on stamps significantly while at the same time, offer discount stamps that are subsidized by commercial advertising. Target, for example, can pay 50% of the postal rate on a block of stamps in exchange for putting their logo on the stamp. Every company could do the same. For those who hate advertising, they could still buy the U.S. Government stamps but they would cost significantly more.

    Oct 19, 2011
  • anon

    Great idea...now thats easy enough to do

    Oct 23, 2011
  • anon

    Often wondered why the USPO didn't sell advertising space on stamps. Look how much money you could make from corporate sponsors! Even local companies could buy space. Shouldn't that give you enough income to stay afloat?

    Oct 18, 2011
  • anon

    Currently the postal service delivers mail to every mailbox in the country 6 days a week. This is a tremendous number of miles driven, walked, and hours worked each week. I suggest delivering mail 3 days a week. Some routes would be run Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The others would be Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The same amount of mail would be delivered with only half the delivery/pick-up cost each day. Waiting one more day for mail to be picked up or delivered will not hurt anything but the postal service can be seriously streamlined and the costs will drop greatly.

    Oct 18, 2011
  • anon

    The United States Postal Service has been blessed with the best law enforcement agency in the world, the postal inspection service. Because of their diligence over the decades, not only have mail frauds, laundered monies, and international scams been uncovered, but the service has also kept a keen eye on our financial health. The USPS has actually managed quite well as a quasi-not profit agency, gettin $0.00 from tax payer subsidies. That is in part to the stringent oversight by the inspection service. Whatever new strategies we come up with, with OIG to audit our transactions we will represent America well as a sound organization, into the rest of the 21st century and beyond.

    Oct 17, 2011
  • anon

    I have nothing against Unions; they hold a purpose within an organization that isn’t compliant with Federal/State Labor Laws. Therefore, it is my opinion the USPS should really evaluate if petitioning congress to no longer be required to hire Union positions in regrds to postmasters and hiring direct management, as many successful/profitable law abiding corporations have, should seriously be considered. The USPS Mail Carriers Union has allowed the company to use what they call Transitional Employees. I would like to see the statistics of how many TE’s actually become permanent. Having a class/caste system such as this speaks negatively of your organization and I am sure you experience a corporate culture that reflects that as such. And I seriously don’t understand as to why the Union would agree to that concession. I do have my opinion. Secondly I find it in bad taste for Union to solicit funds (dues) from TE’s as they don’t benefit as the “regulars” do in negotiations. Your “Postmaster’s” from what I see have little to no training or experience in human resource management and seriously lack knowledge of internal work policies and procedures to effectively run a business or have chosen to “handle things as they see fit”. If they do, isn’t evident in your bottom line. Example 1: On several occasions transitional employees receive 1 route, of which takes your “regular employee” 8 hours to complete, the transitional employee completes the route in 5 hours and then is given the auxiliary route which has the potential to send the TE into overtime. When brought to the attention of the Postmaster, the direct comment was, “He’s a regular and he is guaranteed 8 hours”. If I have to explain the absurdity of a remark like this from a “manager”, then your management system is in a worse state than even I can imagine. Example 2: On several occasions transitional employee are sent to other locations for support. Which on the surface has value; this is how the assignment went. TE is permanent in one city, which really needs another FTE as both TE’s assigned to this location puts in 40 plus hours per week (that’s another finding as a talented manager would recognize and requisition a FTE and promote one of the TE’s that work the area). The TE is sent to help another location, although much needed in the TE’s assigned/hired area, 70 miles round trip. Of which you pay mileage. Then the postmaster calls to have 2 TE’s from another city 50 miles round trip each to help with mail delivery in their area. One TE from the other city would have had a 30 mile round trip to the first assigned TE’s location. In essence the USPS paid a total of 170 miles as opposed to 30 miles, plus wages for riding as opposed to delivering mail, plus the wage/fringe for 3 managers to make that decision. In addition, all the 3rd class mail wasn’t delivered that day in at least one of the locations and had to be delivered the next, which ended accruing overtime for some. When the Postmaster was questioned as to the logic, the answer was the “I have to make sure my employees don’t go into overtime”. Perhaps this is true, but a bad decision so “the books” look good one area isn’t helping your bottom line. Which brings me to this point, if your line management team can’t think past their respective areas, anticipate a shortfall, or utilize critical thinking skills, then don’t expect any change for your organization. Your line management team is your key to change, they control what we the customer see and pay for and more importantly base our decision on how we spend our hard earned dollars. And what we, the customer, see is as incompetement line management. Put anything in writing you like, but if they don’t have the skills to understand it and implement it, you’re wasting time. I believe this type of line management is more prevalent in your business than those who do possess the skills to effectively run their respective areas. Petitioning Congress to allow you to hire a management team that isn’t in a collective bargaining unit may be a way to allow your organization to grow. Then perhaps the “mail carrier union” and the “clerk union” will have skilled, trained and experienced management as oversight as opposed to what I perceive a severe conflict of “Union” interest. And perhaps your corporate culture of having a perceived class/caste system of employees will also become a thing of the past, as most unfair labor practices tend to do with time. Respectfully, All of Us

    Oct 17, 2011
  • anon

    The USPS has so many branches and limbs of business, services, and customer needs to be met that I wonder how it has functioned as many years as it has without total collapse of chaos! I believe we are almost there now. The employees are not properly trained for the retail services provided in all post offices-that's one problem! The carriers are not properly trained in USPS products and services-that's another problem! The final problem is that the USPS is so diverse in services to sell, services provided and diversity of customers that without public education of USPS services-USPS is taken for granted for the potential of growth it could have. If the USPS has owned property that it is not using, sell it! If the USPS is so broke, quit issuing employee awards, bonuses, incentives and inside USPS travel trips and ridiculous studies that are not profiting the company, only leading it to further demise. If delivery of mail operations is to ever be streamlined, stop delivering mail door to door to city customers. Unions or no unions, contracts or no contracts, all USPS customers are guaranteed mail delivery not guaranteed door to door. That's USPS delivery discrimination! Finally for retail services, face it USPS---some retail units will not profit but do provide valuable services directly to customers in helping assist their every day life. Not all American citizens can write, read, fill out a USPS money order or even read their bills and mail. These are the reasons why America still needs its USPS. I do believe that the USPS needs to let their employees who handle the mail, deliver the mail, and knows what happens to the mail and quit micro-managaging the employees. Let the employees do their jobs and managers learn what the mail is about! The USPS still has potential for growth but without seeing the good and bad of all of their operations within and quit expecting Americans to bail you out by allowing you to close facilities and do massive lay-offs; you will go down with the ship and Wal-Mart will be the new USPS of America. Think about it. How much money gets wasted on USPS OIG and PRC meetings too? If USPS goes down, then so will the OIG and PRC when your services are no longer needed by the new contract employees and contract stations of USPS! Think about it, no career USPS employees anymore then there will be no need for federal and government accountability of mail service theft anymore either!

    Oct 13, 2011
  • anon

    Many of the Post offices in larger cities are enormous buildings. Is all the space needed? Subdivide the spaces, and become landlords to a host of new businesses.

    Oct 08, 2011
  • anon

    USPS needs to consider the following proposals in order to compete and stay profitable in the delivery industry; -Offer better hours in busy or high traffic locations -Offer value added services modeled after UPS and FedEx -Offer parcel support to customers at value pricing -Treat customers as any business would, as customers - the only source of revenue for any business! Contact me for full details and we can do this!

    Oct 05, 2011
  • anon

    Arbitration Awards (September YTD) for FY2011 total over $500 million (yes, 1/2 BILLION dollars). If there was not such blatant disregard of the contracts agreed to by management, arbitration expenses could be greatly reduced. As of July 31, 2011: $115 million to craft/eas and $387 million to HQ. Seriously??? History of HQ Arb Awards: 2007 $7,487,397 2008 $80,527 2009 $116,582 2010 $67,877 2011 $387,162,225 What's wrong with this picture? Perhaps the OIG could investigate this drastic increase in monies expensed to HQ for Arbitration Awards. Also, understaffing is costing the USPS ridiculous amounts of overtime and penalty time, especially in the city carrier craft. As of July 31, 2011: OVERTIME PAY (PM)$19,679,775.64 OVERTIME PAY (SUPVR)$46,088,580.04 OVERTIME PAY (CLK)$558,561,236.50 OVERTIME PAY (CAG K CLK)$50,244.50 OVERTIME PAY (MAILHANDLERS)$261,745,208.54 OVERTIME PAY (RURAL CARRS.)$77,509,711.41 OVERTIME PAY (CITY CARRS.)$1,295,284,295.64 OVERTIME PAY (VEH. DRIVERS)$41,007,569.63 OVERTIME PAY (BLDG SER)$19,199,638.49 OVERTIME PAY (PO.OPER.EQUIP.)$53,501,059.24 OVERTIME PAY (BLDG.&PLANT.)$9,513,743.74 OVERTIME PAY (ADM. SUPPORT)$3,593,747.54 OVERTIME PAY (PROF ADM TECH)$4,597,450.52 OVERTIME PAY (VEH. MAINT.)$14,284,074.28 OVERTIME PAY (MES)$18,670.04 OVERTIME PAY (ASC)$171,968.74 OVERTIME PAY (FAC SERV CTR&OF$687.82 OVERTIME PAY PRO.FLD.(PURCH FLD PERSONNEL)$870,157.83 OVERTIME PAY STAMP ENV. UNIT & STAMP DIST. NW$65,090.99 OVERTIME PAY (AREA COUNSEL)$10,215.21 OVERTIME PAY (FD COMM OFF)$172.10 OVERTIME PAY (HRSC - EMP. REL($10,953.51) OVERTIME PAY (IS/IG)$0.00 OVERTIME PAY (ADMINISTRATION)$203,250.22 OVERTIME PAY (PROT. FORCE)$2,146,328.20 OVERTIME PAY (AREA)$839,763.32 OVERTIME PAY (IBSSC/COSC)$446,254.93 OVERTIME PAY (HQ)$1,055,929.35 PENALTY OVERTIME PAY (SUPVR)($100.44) PENALTY OVERTIME PAY (CLK)$29,362,103.90 PENALTY OVERTIME PAY (CAG K CLK)$591.65 PENALTY OVERTIME PAY (MAILHANDLERS)$715.86 PENALTY OVERTIME PAY (CITY CARRS.)$80,807,496.72 PENALTY OVERTIME PAY (VEH. DRIVERS)$3,505,105.43 PENALTY OVERTIME PAY (BLDG SER)$745,674.61 PENALTY OVERTIME PAY (PO.OPER.EQUIP.)$4,202,347.15 PENALTY OVERTIME PAY (BLDG.& PLANT.)$628,085.85 PENALTY OVERTIME PAY (ADM. SUPPORT)$146,112.88 PENALTY OVERTIME PAY (PROF ADM TECH)$18.81 PENALTY OVERTIME PAY (VEH. MAINT.)$421,227.68 PENALTY OVERTIME PAY (MES)$37.17 PENALTY OVERTIME PAY (ASC)$14,579.48 PENALTY OVERTIME PAY (PURCH FLD PERS)$23,354.84 PENALTY OVERTIME PAY STAMP ENV. UNIT & S.D. N$1,632.74 PENALTY OVERTIME PAY (IBSSC/COSC)$200,427.40 PENALTY OVERTIME PAY (HQ)$58,282.63

    Oct 04, 2011
  • anon

    Mr Novak, You are providing data without insight. The account that you are tracking is not just for expenses paid out but for potential liabilities that must be booked under GAAP. There was a potential large case that was accrued this year and since it involves employees nationwide it goes to HQ. It will be years before we know what the true payout may or may not be and I am sure the OIG is well aware of the case. Thanks.

    Oct 10, 2011
  • anon

    It's really very simple. There is no federal requirement about the funding of postal operations or content of the stamps. If the USPS were to allow sponsorship of stamps, it would find a new revenue source, possibly even allowing stamps to be obtained for free. Individual contributors could have their pictures on the stamps and businesses could have their logos or other messages put on the stamps. Auctions could be held, and other ingenious ways of finding sponsors could be offered.

    Oct 01, 2011

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