• Reply to: How Can the Postal Service Reduce the Costs Associated with Postage Stamps?   5 years 7 months ago

    You are completely forgetting the philatelic dividend the Postal Service gets from people who buy stamps and never use them. Some are colllectors. Others want to keep stamps associated with some person (Elvis was the biggest selling stamp in history), event (Christmas, Eid), college, state, cause, or hobby. The Postal Service earns at least $250 million from the sale of postage for which they will never have to deliver services. the printing bill is a tiny fraction of that, and the destruction of unused inventory an even more neglible cost....

  • Reply to: How Can the Postal Service Reduce the Costs Associated with Postage Stamps?   5 years 7 months ago

    As mentioned in other posts, small post offices, contract stations and some businesses need stamps in various denominations for their mail. Since meters and the online postage sites charge a fee for their use, some small businesses don't want to use them. As for reducing the number of stamps available or making more forever stamps, the USPS gets tens of thousands of suggestions per year for stamp subjects. They do produce fewer commemoritive issues now than they used to, but it's still a challenge to decide what's worthy from all those ideas. As for the idea of producing hundreds of different stamp immages, like baseball cards, it's an interesting idea but I think that would only work if they were produced "on demand." It's difficult to decide how many of each subject will be needed, which areas of the country they will be most popular, should they be made in books, sheets, singles, coils, etc? Everyone wants a different quantity or format. I do like the idea of charging more for small quantities. I work in a small office and many customers buy 1 stamp today, 3 tomorrow, 1 the next, for the mail they send out that day. If they have to wait behind someone with a more time-consuming transaction or if the post office is closed, they get annoyed. I tell them they can buy a book and they can drop the mail in the collection box 24 hours a day and won't have to stand in line, but they rarely take the suggestion. Maybe if we gave a discount for larger quantities they would, since money is a great motivator. After all, it costs the same for an employee to sell one stamp as it does a coil of 100 - possibly even more since you have to separate the single stamps rather than just setting a book or coil on the counter.

  • Reply to: How Can the Postal Service Reduce the Costs Associated with Postage Stamps?   5 years 7 months ago

    why are we destroying inventory that cost $5.9 million to produce... can't these stamps be used up by putting them on parcels? why are we literally throwing money away?

  • Reply to: How Can the Postal Service Reduce the Costs Associated with Postage Stamps?   5 years 7 months ago

    The USPS should print all postage on demand. A 2-d barcode can be used for security and also be used by the USPS to route items to their destination more effectively. Unique barcodes would even allow a customer to track their mailpiece. Imagine if the sender knew that their mail was delivered to the customer?

  • Reply to: How Can the Postal Service Reduce the Costs Associated with Postage Stamps?   5 years 7 months ago

    The reason for all the stamp destruction is poor demand planning. There has been no competent system to study historical consumer demand and apply it to production forecasting. The Postal Service will implement a new technology this spring that will serve this purpose for stamps and retail items. This system will eventually be used for operations supplies as the programs come onboard. This will allow the stamp program to continue its longstanding role of publicly acknowledging historical and cultural events and the people, whose talents, beliefs and actions led to our country's development and progress. This is educational and motivational...both good for the general public of our nation.

  • Reply to: How Can the Postal Service Reduce the Costs Associated with Postage Stamps?   5 years 7 months ago

    PVI labels, meter imprints, and print on demand stamps would eliminate the distibution, reserve stock, and accountability associated with preprinted stamps.

  • Reply to: How Can the Postal Service Reduce the Costs Associated with Postage Stamps?   5 years 7 months ago

    "As long as they have a postage value printed they can be used. Destroying them makes no sense."-Andy K.

    U.S. postage stamps, like U.S. monetary currency has a value backed by good faith in the United State of America government. It wasn't so many years ago that postage stamps were acceptable as currency to purchase goods. Granted there are associated cost in printing, handling and storing the stamps that cannot be avoided, there will always be cost in doing any business that cannot be avoided. It does not mean it's o.k. to be frivolous with expenses or that every dollar spent in doing business will yield a return in profit. But at the cost of $5.9 million to destroy FY2008 stamp stock, the USPS could much more cost effectively rewrite their administrative manuals and continue the use of the face valued stamps as postage. When a particular printing inventory of a stamp is at it's watermark depletion level, a policy deciding whether to renewal or discontinue the particular stamp could direct the actions necessary. Such a policy could be based on public opinion, the rate of sale and the cost of printing.
    The migration toward the use of more varying denominations of "Forever" stamps would benefit the business model efficiency.

  • Reply to: How Can the Postal Service Reduce the Costs Associated with Postage Stamps?   5 years 7 months ago

    If the USPS is going to print so many stamps perhaps selling them using all resources at their disposal which would include stamp vending machines! But they would rather get rid of the machine due to the cost of maintaining them and then turn around and destroy millions of stamps they already printed. Deploy, deploy,deploy, sell,sell,sell not destroy!

  • Reply to: How Can the Postal Service Reduce the Costs Associated with Postage Stamps?   5 years 7 months ago

    USPS still has very small offices & contract stations that don't have meters themselves - they still use stamps for everything. What would become of those offices? How can we expect everyone to use meters when we don't do it ourselves?

    Convert everything to Forever stamps - have one for the first ounce rate and another for the additional ounce rate - then noone will ever need more than 12 stamps on anything, as that would need to be presented to a Postal employee anyway. But you'll still need the high denomination stamps for Express.

  • Reply to: How Can the Postal Service Reduce the Costs Associated with Postage Stamps?   5 years 7 months ago

    Still need stamps, but the idea of making all stamps that are issued as forever type stamps is a good idea. Could save millions, maybe even billions on reducing the above described destruction/obsoleting processes if they were held in a station's inventory until sold. Additional sales opportunities could be realized through the idea of mentioning "these are no longer obsoleted, however when our stock is depleted, there are no more made..." in regards to a specific year's Christmas stamp or other special occasions, stamps, etc.

  • Reply to: How Can the Postal Service Reduce the Costs Associated with Postage Stamps?   5 years 7 months ago

    You want stamps - single stamps will cost you more - the more stamps you buy the cheaper they are......

  • Reply to: How Can the Postal Service Reduce the Costs Associated with Postage Stamps?   5 years 7 months ago

    stamps are to meters, as coins are to credit cards.
    There remains a need for stamps. Want to save money?
    Cut management and empower employees. They are already doing the work in spite of management.

  • Reply to: How Can the Postal Service Reduce the Costs Associated with Postage Stamps?   5 years 7 months ago

    What about the millions of dollars spent by collectors. That postage is pure profit as it is never, or mostly never, used for the purpose for which it was printed? Do we really want to give up those millions of dollars also?

  • Reply to: For Better or For Worse   5 years 7 months ago

    I was reading some of these blogs and came by one, by "coolonlinenamegoeshere". They think that the postoffice should pay citycarriers like rural carriers. I think just it sould be the other way. In our office we have 12 rural routes and 7 city. The city has more stops and more volume. The reason i think that they should pay the rural carriers like us city carriers. Is we work till 4:30 or till the job is done, rural carriers drive half as many stops and half as much volume and go home at 2. If they got paid like city carriers, we would have 7 city route and 7 rural routes. We all would work till 4:30 or till the job was DONE!

  • Reply to: How Can the Postal Service Reduce the Costs Associated with Postage Stamps?   5 years 7 months ago

    Question #1: Why is the USPS destroying stamps at all? As long as they have a postage value printed they can be used. Destroying them makes no sense.

    Two tips the USPS should take from the trading card industry:

    Tip #1: Drop the requirement that a person has to be dead to appear on a stamp. Begin putting celebrities and superstars on stamps. People buy stamps now for postage. Put LeBron James or Jay-Z on a stamp and watch collector's and fans snap them up (and never use them!). Topps puts out a set of baseball cards with over 600 different cards. Why can't USPS do the same and issue over 600 different stamps. Baseball fans would buy them.

    Tip #2: Issue limited edition stamps. Like short print, insert and parallels in the sports card industry, they drive up interest and bring people back to buy more. Put out a series of Derek Jeter stamps. Have Jeter autograph one out of every 10,000 stamps and randomly insert those books into the general supply. People will buy stamps attempting to get the Jeter autograph.

    You ask if eliminating stamps is the answer. That is what is wrong with the USPS today. Eliminate, cut, drop, reduce are the only words they know. We should GROW the stamp market, not kill it off.

  • Reply to: For Better or For Worse   5 years 7 months ago

    When i started 12 years ago as a city carrier we had routes that were bigger. Had more mail volume, more stops, cased all of our mail, handled all change of address card and took pride in "owning our routes"! Now we have DPS that sorts 60% of our mail, we can't veiw change of address cards, and the only thing that management worries about is MSP scans! If they would allow us to "own ouir routes" again they would find that we can carry more and do more if they would allow us to do so. We need to get away from 204B's and get real managers. We have not had a real supervisior in 4 year! We finilly got a "real" postmaster in October of 2009, but i don"t think she has work a 40 hour week since! Twelve years ago we had one true postmaster, work every monday-friday 8-5. We had one true supervisior worked 7-4:30 Tuesday-Saturday. Now we have a "partime" postmaster and two 204B's. I could save the postoffice 50,000 get ride of one 204B. Then make the "partime" postmaster WORK!

  • Reply to: How Can the Postal Service Reduce the Costs Associated with Postage Stamps?   5 years 7 months ago

    I work in a small level 11 office, and I find all the odd denominations useful. I also have customers that like the odd denominations to put on packages and flats.

    But I do feel that the forever concept needs to be expanded to include stamped envelopes (not just the addressed ones), postcards, stamped postcards and airmail. I have to order a minimum of 100 of many of these, and I will never go through that many before having them sent in for destruction. Think about how much money is being spent in the destruction of this product.

    Commemoratives-make them smaller. I get too many complaints from customers saying that they are too big.

  • Reply to: Brainstorm Ideas to Help the Postal Service   5 years 7 months ago

    The first thing to do would be to look at each office independently and cut any costs where possible. Obviously with all different types of industries failing due to advances in technology (i.e. movie rental places falling due to the high success of netflix) it's important to figure out what can be done to compete and yet still provide the same if not better level of service.

    Many times when a place tries to change things to run cheaper they sacrifice their service and thus they loose clients.

  • Reply to: How Can the Postal Service Reduce the Costs Associated with Postage Stamps?   5 years 7 months ago

    [apologies in advance for the long post]

    I have always liked postage stamps. I been a stamp collector since I was a kid (about 30 years now). I give sheets or books of stamps as gifts for all occasions, especially as wedding gifts so the newlyweds can send out all their Thank You notes.

    I believe that USPS issues TOO MANY different stamps. I would like the number of new commemorative issues to be cut at least by HALF. But commemoriatives cannot be discontinued, that would cause USPS to lose a lot of revenue. With so many different commemoratives issues, it is really a difficult financial challenge for stamp collectors to acquire each and every issue. I think most stamp collectors would agree that there are TOO MANY commemorative stamp issues and fewer would make their hobby MORE enjoyable.

    The cost to develop new stamp issues should always be looked at for ways to trim expenses. Re-using designs is one method being employed now and should be continued.

    Perhaps there needs to be better forecasting of demand for certain issues so that printing, distribution, accountability, and destruction costs can be better controlled. Perhaps indivual post offices need more local control over the quantity of stamps sent to them. Perhaps a longer sales window for each issue will result in higher sales and less cost for recall and destruction.

    As for all the different denominations availble, I believe we still need these. There are a lot of small, rural post offices that are not automated and in order for them to sell postage, they must still use and apply actual postage stamps on letters and parcels.

    I operate a small home business and I ship approximately 60 small packets and parcels every week. I continue to use actual postage stamps for the vast majority and I buy an average of 200 dollars worth of stamps per week to ship these parcels. I keep an inventory of stamps worth about 400 dollars on hand at all times. I rely on the variety of denominations available in order to meet all the different postage rates required.

    There are so many domestic and international postage rates that I need all of these stamps in order to fit my postage onto small-sized parcels. My smallest size box has a top measurement of 4 inches by 6 inches. After affixing my address label, the small customs form, and an airmail rubber stamp impression, there is not whole lot of space left for postage. It can be quite a struggle to fit the required posage in the space I have left. I rely on the largest stamp denominations possible to get the job done without wasting postage by applying more value than needed.

    My current stock of stamps for shipping parcels includes the following denominations (in cents):
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 17, 23, 27, 39, 41, 42, 44, 50, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 69, 70, 72, 75, 76, 78, 80, 84, 90, 94, 98, 1.00, 4.80, 4.95, and 16.50
    Most of these stamps are from old rates and were issues several years ago. For example, a 23 cent stamps has not been available for probably at least 3 years. The few 60, 63, and 70 cents stamps I have now are the last I will be able to get -- when I run out I will not be able to get more.

    Just this past week, I wanted to buy some 72 cents stamps at a post office. They had none as, I assume, they had to send back their stock for destruction. Now, I am having a harder time putting $1.44 in postage on interntional parcels that require it. I now must visit a post office that does have 72 cent stamps available or purchase them online at usps.com.

    So, to summarize:

    The number of commemorative stamp issues can be easily reduced and still satisfy stamp collectors and those that wish to use commemoratives for mailing. Let local post offices order quantities more in line with their anticipated sales.

    The number of definitive issues should continue on the present course. The needs of small non-automated post offices need to be considered.

  • Reply to: How Can the Postal Service Reduce the Costs Associated with Postage Stamps?   5 years 7 months ago

    1.stamps have more than a pure utilitarian function in culture.

    2. the customers who are just looking for postage for the item sent, should have it. This would naturally
    reduce stamp stock to be destroyed.
    An educated guess: this would mean more advance sales against future mailing costs by customers. Inflation protected postage rates.
    May as well sell gift cards with a postage rate locked in to buy postage anytime in the future. No stamp stock until needed. Maybe they already do.

    3.Virtual stamps are not practical yet. Virtual mail including multimedia attachments sent to your street address(not email) is already available and no postage needed last time I checked.

  • Reply to: How Can the Postal Service Reduce the Costs Associated with Postage Stamps?   5 years 7 months ago

    You don't want to totally obliterate the things that make the PO unique. Stamps are one of those things. While economically it may make sense to not even have stamps, I think there are a lot of people that would not like that to happen, including collectors, but also some people like to use different stamps at different times of the year, and even stamps of things they like like lighthouses for example. I don't feel that way personally, but I know a lot of people do. There are a lot of other ways to save money without destroying what people recognize as unique to the USPS.

  • Reply to: For Better or For Worse   5 years 7 months ago

    The unions are the biggest impediment to getting the job done. They refuse to embrace new ideas and go out of their way to protect the most unproductive belligerent members. I don't know how management can function and get their job done.
    I;m hopeful the new contract will end these obsolete work rules that date back to the horse and buggy

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   5 years 7 months ago

    Employees must remember they volunteered to come to work for the United States Postal Service. As a condition of employment sick leave is earned. When you have employees who abuse sick leave every paycheck it makes a difficult situation to cover the workload. FMLA is abused due to the frequency someone may use it. Postal Service should give credit just as they do with Annual. Set a maximum carryover and offer a buy back option at the end of the year.

  • Reply to: For Better or For Worse   5 years 7 months ago

    The USPS is the most militaristic oranization in the government. The managers and supervisors manage with an iron hand with no diginty or respect in their work place. I witness a very abusive management style over my 30 years of service. The work environment is goal driven by the management. THe OIG and USPS need to review the top ten companies that score above a 4.0 and see how well they treat their employees.

    The USPS has a vast uneducated managerial staff in lower and upper management ranks. Education plays NO role in promoting USPS supervisors which is a direct cause to the root problem of a very poor work enviroment. Give the USPS management and supervisors a standard test to be promoted. The nepotism, the who you blank or know current policy is the reason for the 2.8 score.

    That will never change unless the USPS educates it's management staff with more of a caring attitude towards their valuable employess. Make certain educational requirements for all the managerial staff.

    I was so glad to see that abusive management to come to and end at retirement. What a difference working for a company now that values their employees.

    It so sad to see hard working dedicated employees teated like dirt. I thank god it's over for me.

  • Reply to: For Better or For Worse   5 years 7 months ago

    The lack of Accountability is what affects morale the most in the unit I work in. We have employees that spend too much time in the locker room,sitting in chairs under the sorters or talking to co-workers. Supervisors are rarely in the unit and
    show no interest in supervising the work product.

    The light duty/limited duty person can't use a tape gun but on two occasions has
    carried a large crock pot of food into the building. She must have a great Dr.

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