on Jan 17th, 2011 in Strategy & Public Policy Uncategorized | 10 comments
Coopetition, is a buzzword cropping up in many business publications these days. Basically, it means that competing firms look for ways to cooperate with each other, rather than compete head-to-head for business. Working in conjunction with the U.S. Postal Service, the United Parcel Service (UPS) now has a program that allows customers of participating retailers to return merchandise by dropping it in any U.S. Postal Service mailbox, or at any post office. The program features a special label that makes the service possible. After a return package is dropped off at a Postal Service location, a UPS driver picks it up and the UPS ground network transports it back to the retailer. UPS, which has its main air hub in Louisville, KY, began testing the service last year with a few retailers and is expanding it because of “positive response.” Some say this is an example of successful coopetition. There are a number of other current partnership programs with competitors. The Postal Service acts as a “last mile” partner for both UPS and FedEx, handling thousands of deliveries. Federal Express performs similar duties for the Postal Service providing air service for Postal Service parcels domestically as well as providing international logistics for the Postal Service’s Global Express Guaranteed service. In certain conditions, coopetition can be a “win-win-win”; helping not only the two businesses, but also the consumer. Do you think these partnerships benefit the public through greater efficiencies or hurt the competitive level? Let us know what you think! This topic is hosted by the OIG’s Risk Analysis Research Center (RARC).


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It's called "Slow-Sellout". A business buzz term meaning the smoke and mirrors surrounding a believable scheme to slowly dissolve a business for the sake of another. What happens is you call it "Coopetition" or something hokey like that and really what you're doing is more corporate espionage and insider trading. The GOOD thing is that the US Postal Service is a Government Service provided for ALL PEOPLE, regulated, and controlled. It's not a profiteering enterprise like UPS FedEx or Toothless Freds Private Mailstop. I wonder how many people aren't smart enough to see through the smoke?

I do not want anyone but a United States mail-person putting anything in my mail box!!!

You ask a "yes/no" question about such an obviously complicated subject?

Yes, some things good about these arrangements and some not. The last mile and the air transport are good things, but the bad things are should be discontinued or changed.

For instance, we pick up on collection routes at UPS stores. This should stop. They "sell" very little of our services. They only promote UPS service and when a customer still request our service, they have to pay a premium mark up over and above the actual postage costs. Should be illegal. We spend more time and money making this collection stop then we ever get in actual postage revenue from UPS stores. We should just pick up when we deliver their mail each day and that's it, no late day collection pick up for them. If we audited a blue collection box for revenue/volume picked up on a collection run, we would have the box removed if it had the volume level we get out of a UPS store. That same standard should be applied to them.

Also, those return packages (parcel return select? or something like that) that we pick up for all the other couriers should either be ended or we should charge five times what we currently get paid per package. I believe it's one dollar per package picked up. We pick up these packages at delivery points and collection points and we get a whole dollar for each one. UPS, FedEx, and the others are making a killing off this deal. They should be more than happy to pay five bucks per package for what they're saving in travel and labor costs. Also, we only get a dollar per package regardless of size. Some of these return packages take up half the cargo area in an LLV and then the carrier has to work around the stupid thing while trying to deliver their route. They must think we are real suckers to be taking part in this deal.

Happy Holiday to all.

I am curious about one thing. When the postal service, and my district in particular, keeps screaming about how broke they are, why are still allowed to continue money-wasting practices?

I extend a welcome to OIGs to come into my plant, MLS P&DC. When you visit, ask for copies of every PS form 1723 that has been filed for bargaining unit employees over the last 3 years. Last year's 1723s for tour 3 MLS employees alone fills to capacity a 3 inch binder in the MDO's office. There are some people who for months have been paid an extra $500 a month because they are on 1723s changing them from one tour to another, or different days off, etc.

Additionally, the San Diego district has adopted a new holiday pecking order, in violation of all official contracts and LMOUs, by which they will pay people out of schedule pay so that they can force people in on their holiday, rather than bring volunteers or force non volunteers in on their day off. This has been happening since July 2009, grievances are filed and awaiting arbitration. Labor Relations has indicated that while they are willing to pay the grievants hundreds of dollars for dozens of these violations, yet they are NOT willing to cease and desist from doing the same thing next holiday. The problem continues even to this MLK day, and the financial liability is a running tab.

Meanwhile, the district is paying thousands and thousands of dollars, with the full knowledge that they will have to also pay out in grievance settlements to the people that should have been scheduled to work in the first place. This is unprofessional and irresponsible. Any management team outside of a government bureaucracy who managed their people and resources like this would be fired before the the company failed. But here, they have monthly themed potlucks behind closed doors, pat each other on the backs, and then wonder why VOE scores are tanking.

Is there no one in the OIG who is willing to take on such utter waste of money? I understand it is the USPS, they have the right to manage their people subject to the rules, laws, contracts, etc (which they are not doing) But if money is the big issue nationwide in this Agency, would it not behoove the company to do a little house cleaning to see where opportunities are to stop some of the leaks that have sprung up in this sinking ship? Just asking. If you have questions about this issue, I welcome you to call the local APWU union and speak with the president or VP about it.

Thank you for reading this suggestion.

Thge only problem is: Many customers have started thinking they can drop any UPS package at the Post Office, because they see the UPS man delivering evry day. Many PMs are too nice to say no to the customers, so we end up holding UPS packages and giving them to UPS for free. That is not a good idea.

USPS Should be going to the retailers and getting both ends the business.after all USPS is the only carrier that goes to every household every day...

Yes, get the business from start to finish. FedEx & UPS are using the P.O.
I'm tired of making purchases online and getting products handled by these guys.
They talk our monopoly of the first class mail? What do you think signing a contract with UPS to exclusively ship by them at a reduced rate whether it be 2 parcels or a 100~

They receive 85 -90% of the revenue's and the P.O. get the chump change to deliver there product to were it's "Not Profitable" for them! Plus probably any damage claims I presume also???
RAISE the rates for this!

I see nothing in these comments about how the cooperation between the USPS and UPS affects the consumer. I will have a package delivered today, Saturday, by the USPS that was shipped UPS. UPS doesn't deliver on Saturdays. I get my package two days sooner than if I had to wait for UPS to deliver it on Monday. I like it.

Cooperation is a good thing not only in the postal service but in everything that we do. It makes things easier for everyone. This is something that we must all have.

I've been on USPS.com for 45 minutes and CANNOT find a method/address to report PHISHING ! ! ! !

So HOW ( in the HELL ) does one report PHISHING w/full header info ? ? ?