As noted in the update on Wednesday, there was a tremendous response to last week’s brainstorming exercise! As of Friday afternoon there were almost 350 comments posted -- many more than usual! If nothing else, this shows widespread and heartfelt concern for the well-being and financial viability of the Postal Service. Not only was the quantity of postings notable, so was the variety of ideas; they covered a broad spectrum, from cost-cutting possibilities to new lines of business. And many of the postings received replies, for instance Nostradamus' original posting received 13 replies, which is a testament to the thoughtfulness of everyone involved. The creativity shown by the participants makes categorizing the ideas difficult, but we’ve attempted to develop poll questions to highlight the common themes, and get your reaction as to the relative importance of these items.

[poll id=37]

While every comment received attention, some ideas stood out as particularly thought-provoking or creative. In order to gauge your reactions as to the viability and value of a sample of ideas, we’ve developed another poll question. The following ideas were submitted by Sheri, Randy, D. Traver, Move into the future, JM, and others.

[poll id=38]

This topic is hosted by the OIG’s Risk Analysis Research Center (RARC).

Comments (127)

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  • anon

    So you are now asking everyone to walk or drive to an area away from there home in order to mail a letter or get their mail, you are in a sense asking those customers to become employees and deliver the mail to themselves because we won't do it any longer. I think that we just keep forgeting we are in the service business, that is all we have to offer is service. The more that is eroded the quicker we are out of business. The delivery of the mail is not the problem.

    Jul 20, 2009
  • anon

    I live in a rural area where most routes are curbside delivery to NBUs or CBUs, I have never heard a customer complain about not getting their mail at the door. It was originally introduced as a quaint way to get out and meet your neighbors. The boxes are not too far away from the houses as they only hold 6-12 customers. Of course customers who are handicapped or have a problem getting to the boxes can get delivery to the door. The idea that the PS is only giving good service if mail comes to the door is unreasonable. If it can't be done cost effectively it must be changed. All business must utilize methods that allow the business to continue, otherwise NO ONE gets service.

    Aug 04, 2009
  • anon

    It is no different than people that live in new developments to walk a block to pick up their mail or mail letters. Door to Door delivery is obsolete and to walk a block or drive to pick up your mail surely will not harm you unless it's the middle of winter and dealing with storms/floods/tornadoes etc... Then again mail would not be delivered anyway.

    Jul 20, 2009
  • anon

    Put all of the city routes on the same evaluated system as the rural craft, this promotes a better time management by the carriers, with the incentive to get done quicker and go home. Supervision positions are no longer needed, rurals manage themselves for the most part. You cut out the need for all of the supervisors in the middle management positions, they are not needed. Each of these positons would be evaluated and RIF'd those no longer needed. The elimination of the overly staffed management positions need to be eliminated.

    Jul 20, 2009
  • anon

    You took the words right out of my mouth. The only incentive city carriers have is a paycheck and going home when they are done. With the fluctuation of mail the way it is we need definitely look at evaluating all routes. The way it is now city carriers go slow for more dough. This will eliminate that old paradigm and give them some incentive. Most city routes can be done in 5-7 hours. The old school of carrying mail has them waiting on the street or slowing down to make 8 hours. Makes no sense.

    Jul 20, 2009
  • anon

    Must reduce the clerk craft maybe by a third. Go to any plant and look at the employees with hours of downtime, sitting in breakroom getting paid to do nothing.

    Jul 20, 2009
  • anon

    Not in my office, only the "select" few get away with that...and that's when there is work to do! Management looks the other way, while the other clerks carry the load..they (management) are not doing their jobs, which is to manage the employees...might as well be sitting in their office reading the news...or talking to their friends on the phone..or having the clerks deal with customer complaints/delivery problems...oh...oops...that right...that is what they are doing...and getting their bonuses....hmm

    Sep 24, 2009
  • anon

    I feel that we should start charging a fee for fowarding mail. Our area is filled will seasonals residents that go back and forth each year, sometimes more that once or twice. This would be a HUGH revenue profit!

    Jul 20, 2009
  • anon

    Excellent idea, let's do the math. 46 million change of addresses were filed last year. Let's say we charge $20.00 for each one, wow we just collected $920,000,000.00 and let's charge $3.00 to do vacation holds too. There's a billion right in front of us !!

    Jul 22, 2009
  • anon

    Right. Let's charge the public for forwarding their mail. First though...let's learn how to do it right again first. The Central forwarding system is probably the greatest example of how negligent we can be. Her's a great management decision: someone puts in a change and the carrier doesn't learn about it for anywhere from 2 to 5 days. Meanwhile he continues delivering mail to a mailbox that no one is living at. If the curtains are still up on the windows of the empty house...How can he tell no one's living there? Now you want to charge folks money for this??? You are a manager right? Our "service" sucks.

    Sep 01, 2009
  • anon

    I don't think it can be stated enough; if craft employees are to take this "crisis" seriously, management has to be cut. There are so many management positions that are unnecessary. Like all the VP postions. The PM's positions could be compleltely abolished, and replaced an OIC with much less pay.

    Jul 20, 2009
  • anon

    Get rid of the no lay off from the contract. Without it people would be more productive knowing they could be fired.

    Jul 20, 2009
  • anon

    what about this: this is a huge deal that could make all of this irrelevant, we have been paying into an account for 3 years and have now overpaid by billions.... billions that could pay off all of our debts this year why is nobody saying something and saying wait a minute!? As we began working with the Hay Group model regarding the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund we identified an error. We notified the Hay Group and they acknowledged the error. The error was computational in nature and did not affect their overall conclusion, assumptions, or methodology. Specifically, the error was the result of the use of the wrong percentages when adjusting the health care inflation rate from 7% to 5% for certain years within the model. When this mistake was corrected, the Hay Group estimate of the Postal Service’s overfunding under current law increases to $13.2 billion. This results in lower projected annual payments for the Postal Service. Specifically, to reach the same OPM funding goal, the Postal Service would make payments of $1.57 billion per year.

    Jul 20, 2009
  • anon

    Improve Maintenance on the Automation to achive a better return on investment. I came from a facility that did hardly any maintenance on the equipment and the jams, downtime, and reacting to operation maintenance was extensive.

    Jul 20, 2009
  • anon

    I recommended a web-based direct mail service when I joined the USPS as a carrier in 1994. Nothing ever came of my suggestion! It's still a good idea with the USPS brand name and trust placed in the name! There are too many managers, but they won't fire themselves! We've got carrier supervisors that work for a few hours, then enjoy the rest of the day surfing the net and/or talking on the phones. Don't purchase any more machines (i.e. FSM, DPS, etc), there's no mail to run thru them with the drop in volume. These machines will cost more to maintain and operate than ever! Who's in charge of all these stupid ideas??? No offense, but my supervisor can't write us up, because she can't spell! I'M NOT KIDDING EITHER!

    Jul 20, 2009
  • anon

    Ah get off their backs, whattya want for 65-90 grand a year !!

    Jul 22, 2009
  • anon

    Postal Service should lead by example

    Jul 20, 2009
  • anon

    Consolidation is the name of the game. We really need to get back to putting everything under one roof instead of spreading out our operations costing us more money in rent and electric.

    Jul 20, 2009
  • anon

    Absolutely! At my office part of the DBCS machines are at one office and some are at the main office. We, who work at the substation, are on idle time much of the night while waiting on trucks to bring our mail from the main office. Absolutely makes no sense when we are trying to save money.

    Jul 20, 2009
  • anon

    The first idea of the first section of the poll was ill-structured and should have read, Cut management AND supervisory positions, not "or." I suspect the responses to the idea posed that way would shoot the percentage through the roof. Our plant manager just got a $32K bonus at the Tampa P&DC according to an eyewitness that saw the software on it. There is also a rumor that 27 of Potter's minions got their respective pockets stuffed as well. Don't tell me that the USPS doesn't have any money!

    Jul 20, 2009
  • anon

    I wholly agree....if there is NO MONEY, then why waste it on, for instance, dark blue t-shirts for propaganda use in the summer? In my AO only 3 or 4 of nearly 40 carriers will wear them....just one of many ways I have seen in nearly 20 yrs as a city carrier how we get the job done daily IN SPITE of postal mgt.

    Jul 21, 2009
  • anon

    I have said it before and I will repeat it... remove all Area Vice-Pres. and staff along with the District Managers and their staff... Put the Postmasters back to their orignal position.. which is attend community functions and sell the post office like they did before...we do not need postmasters who act like dictators...they should sell our products along with all postal employees i.e. customer connect... all the above would show the public we are here for service and would save untold millions of dollars thank you for reading ...p.s. i have been involved with the post office since 1960...so I think I know what I am writing about. jfa

    Jul 20, 2009
  • anon

    I work in a plant that has way too many supervisors. For the most part they just stand around and get in the way and tell employees to do something they already know to do it. Yes, they do a little paper work here and there, but for the most part there are employees that have been doing there jobs for years and know what to do and when to do it without supervision. That being said, there are a few employees that do require supervision, but generally these are the folks that just do not want to work and are there for a free hand out and should be removed somehow someway (but we all know that is not going to happen). Supervisors do not work the mail (or are not supposed to) why pay them all this money to do almost absolutely nothing. Our plant could easily be run by two Managers/supervisors per shift. We generally have at least 7 or 8 supervisors on the floor plus one MDO and sometimes two! This is overkill and a total waste of money.

    Jul 21, 2009
  • anon

    here! here!

    Jul 20, 2009
  • anon

    If we provide consistant and reliable service; our product and services will be the best in the world.

    Jul 20, 2009
  • anon

    Incredible as it is... we need to remember our mandate... Mail delivery to every US citizen at their address. Since we are not funded by tax dollars, we should charge the Federal government 8-10 bucks an address ONE time a year. That would add up to a couple of BILLION dollars... do away with the Areas - allow the districts to provide SUPPORT to the field rather than demanding the PMs do ONE more checklist. Go back to giving the citizens Mail SERVICE.

    Jul 20, 2009
  • anon

    If the Postal Service moved to a true performance based system of reward rather than the PMG's thowing out numbers, then maybe rewards would relate to performance and you would see performance and accountability rise. So long all you extra managers!

    Jul 20, 2009

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