• Reply to: Moving Less Mail   5 years 4 months ago

    Weren't there some articles about the Postal Service buying flexible fuel vehicles and using regular gas in them? How can we be sure the Postal Service actually gets the benefits from alternative energy vehicles?

  • Reply to: Moving Less Mail   5 years 4 months ago

    Professor,
    I too have wondered why the postal service has not mentioned the money that they didn't have to spend on gas since the price has plummeted. Possibly because they are eyeing the next spike which is on it's way.
    I emailed Link about the alternative energy vehicles they were talking about and was assured that the testing was ongoing.
    My opinion on that is that they are going too slow. The more alternative energy vehicles we use the less gas we use and the more money is saved on it's purchase. I also think that with the size of the fleet that we own; we ought to be a leader in R & D and be pushing the envelope with most of the fleet, if not all of the fleet being alternative fuel driven.
    Some one (organization, business) has to have a breakthrough in alternative fuels that will work for the masses and why shouldn't it be USPS?

  • Reply to: Moving Less Mail   5 years 4 months ago

    I'm sorry, but I don't buy the one cent increase in fuel prices costs $8 million nonsense. I have never seen a competent analysis which shows how this was calculated and it seems too high. In the past, I saw different numbers until this version of Kool-Aid was sent out.

    Also, now the price of gas has declined by $2.35. Why isn't this described as a one cent change impacts fuel prices by $8 million? Why isn't this figure being trumpeted today at USPS? By my simple calculation, the recent decline in fuel prices has saved the Postal Service $1,880,000,000 (235 * 8 million) - or almost $2 BILLION! I can't see why there would be financial problems given this financial windfall. I have to call BS on this whole thing. Show me the money!!

  • Reply to: Mail Volume: What Goes Up…?   5 years 4 months ago

    My understanding is that the Postal Service is concerned with keeping it's mail monopoly. If this is indeed so, then why are there 2 different classes of first class mail? And why are they trying to increase revenues in areas other than letter mail. They do not have the staff or the expertise to move completely into these markets. There are always all types of issues that the local Postmasters have no power to address, yet upper management would love to see this change. That in itself may not be so bad, but because no one wants to take the bull by the horns, most offices are left shorthanded with help and it is the Postmaster that has to step in to assist.

    Speaking of work hour budgets and hiring freezes - that also is OK and should be encouraged for any business where the bottom line stagnates in the red. However, the hiring freezes should take place after consolidations and retail hour reductions. This would have eliminated so many offices working shorthanded through the holiday season.

    Go to Congress and push for the 5 day delivery week with additional costs for Sat delivery. This would solve so many immediate issues, but if the USPS management is going to be dictated by the union, we will end up like Eastman Kodak.

    Kodak was in denial for many years and even after they almost went out of business. The Postal Service is in the same boat as well as the advertising industry. Until they can fill their upper management positions with younger, technologically advanced individuals, we will end up with the same story.

  • Reply to: Moving Less Mail   5 years 4 months ago

    My thought is that the USPS could cut out at least one delivery day (IE: SAT) thus saving hours, pay , gas and fleet usage. I am sure we could live two days a week with out mail. Otherwise, you could pick a week day to not operate.
    Thanks Robert

  • Reply to: Mail Volume: What Goes Up…?   5 years 4 months ago

    I agree with epistola that mail volume has historically moved with the economy (i.e., GDP). Mail volume tends to go up when the economy is doing well and mail volume growth slows down during an economic slowdown. But I believe this historic relationship between mail volume and GDP has weakned over the years. And that is what makes this current volume loss more problematic. Some of it may not come back with an economic recovery.

    But that does not mean that new uses of mail cannot be found. And this is what I think the Postal Service needs to focus on -- how to position itself to be innovative to capture some of those new uses. I believe IMB can play a critical role in finding new innovative uses for the mail that will be an engine of new volume growth. Another area is the B-to-C parcel business.

    My view is that the information revolution has increased manyfold one's capability to communicate and transact. That increased the pie of communications and transactions. Hard copy mail may be losing share in terms of percentage but not in absolute numbers. A smaller percentage of an increasing size may still provide some healthy growth opportunities for hard copy mail.

    I am very hopeful that hard copy mail will persist but the Postal Service needs to explore the underlying opportunities.

  • Reply to: A New Kind of Post Office?   5 years 4 months ago

    I like the future of post office. Would like to see helpful, happy sales people who work there!

  • Reply to: Mail Volume: What Goes Up…?   5 years 4 months ago

    I think people underestimate the effect of a downturn on mail volume. Mail volume could come back when the economy improves. After all, there is no advertising quite like a personalized mail piece that comes to your house.

  • Reply to: Self-Service Mail Technologies   5 years 4 months ago

    I think the APCs are a great idea. Reminds me of the transition to self checkout registers at the grocery stores. However, it may help the transition to have a real person near to APCs to assist customers as they use the new technology. The grocery stores have realized that having a real person to assist the self checkout systems is critical to making the automated system accepted by customers.

  • Reply to: A New Kind of Post Office?   5 years 4 months ago

    Very Intersting

  • Reply to: A New Kind of Post Office?   5 years 4 months ago

    This looks like the wave of the future. Something like the old internet cafes. I think it's a great idea. We need to think out of the box and head in the direction that businesses are going. I applaud the postal service for venturing forwared.

  • Reply to: Self-Service Mail Technologies   5 years 5 months ago

    Any fairly safe 24 hour store.
    The obvious eg. Walmart, grocery stores, drug stores, convenience stores(ECON,WAWA).

    Maybe even big truck stops. Seems like there would be a need there for packaging supplies and an APC.

  • Reply to: Who We Are and Why We Blog...   5 years 5 months ago

    Skippy, sounds like a good idea but how would the USPS keep up with which form of free delivery a customer was getting ?
    Customers could go to several small post offices and claim it as their free box ?

    I don't think we have advanced enough on the computers to be able to link all post offices and compare all names and addresses for more than one free form of delivery. Not yet. Maybe one day.

  • Reply to: Self-Service Mail Technologies   5 years 5 months ago

    (YOUR QUESTION - What would motivate me to use the internet to purchase postal products?)

    I have a couple

    1st - everyone knows you can't tape over USPS postage -your letter/package comes back.: I don't keep stickers in my house. I don't know if I can print out my postal postage purchase on regular paper and then tape it securely to my package/letter. Exposed postage = torn off postage.

    2nd - I know about the 13oz rule.: I do not own a scale. How am I supposed to know if I have to go to the window or not?

    3rd - I still have to take parcels to a mailbox as I won't leave it out for carrier pick up. And no -- working graveyard -- I will not schedule for the carrier to come some time today to pick it up. Easier to drop it off.

    (Don't worry USPS you are not the only business not user-friendly to those of us working nontradional schedules)

    To end on a positive note I am not worried about identity theft from using your service. The USPS has a lot of security measures in place to protect their customers. This is not something that would keep me from using your services.

  • Reply to: Self-Service Mail Technologies   5 years 5 months ago

    Or how about 24 hour grocery stores, high volume during the day and convenient for those who do not work traditional hours.

  • Reply to: Self-Service Mail Technologies   5 years 5 months ago

    One place where I could see them advertising that an APC was available would be at Gas stations. They have a primary product (the gas) that most people buy with credit/debit cards. The stations are trying to draw peole through the doors to buy their impulse/grocery items. So advertising that an APC was available might help get people to come inside. And the customer doesn't have to make another stop. The same reason many of them advertise money orders.

  • Reply to: Self-Service Mail Technologies   5 years 5 months ago

    I work graveyard and the APC at my local post office is in the lobby. (24 hour access). I use it regularly and it works great since I am rarely on a daytime schedule.

  • Reply to: Self-Service Mail Technologies   5 years 5 months ago

    gift shops at high traffic tourist sites.

    (see post below)

  • Reply to: Self-Service Mail Technologies   5 years 5 months ago

    I like the idea of having APCs at malls and airports and other high traffic locations. However, if people are using them to mail packages you almost have to have a human there full time because whatever system you put in place will fill up quickly (unlike with letters and flats).

    In my day to day life I would probably make regular use of one at the grocery store (mailing bills while buying groceries - no extra stops!).

    Another cool place would be near the gift shops in national parks, museums, amusement parks and other touristy places. You could buy the postcard, write it out right then, and mail it. No having to get to it later. In this case you would need a high volume site like a National Park, the National Mall, Disneyworld or the Smithsonian. The units are relatively unobtrusive so you might even be able to get one in or near living history sites like Williamsburg, Virginia.

    Just some suggestions that might be good places to try it out. But really anyplace with high foot traffic where someone might like to mail a momento would work.

  • Reply to: Who We Are and Why We Blog...   5 years 5 months ago

    I would love to see a blog chain started discussing Surface Visibility Scanning logistics (unless the powers that be think that needs to be addressed internally). I am part of the team working on it at my plant and the numbers I see from across the nation tell me that no plant is achieving consistent 100% compliance with this new system.

    With the recent postal employee reductions, we are seriously short handed for implementing this time consuming process. My plant is struggling to get all the Placard Assigns done let alone scanned onto every local truck. And I have no idea how management expects us to meet the scanning "requirements" onto the trucks during morning dispatch and meet the dispatch deadlines when we are shorthanded and the bulk of the mail comes at the last minute.

    Yes, I know there is internal resistance, however, we have been told it is here to stay. I would love to see a string started discussing how people are handling the challenges of this new system or sharing ideas for improvement.

    I think when the system is up and running the way it is "supposed" to it will address the concerns about tracking parcels expressed above by USPSCustomer. And it would be wonderful to be able to track a parcel through USPS like I can through FEDEX. Then maybe he wouldn't feel the need to switch shippers over the holidays. However, we have a ways to go yet.

  • Reply to: Who We Are and Why We Blog...   5 years 5 months ago

    I thought the Intelligent Barcodes coming in may were only going to be applied to letters and flats for now. He is commenting on tracking Parcels. I have been working a nonmachinable parcel unit for 10 years and I agree there could be a more efficient way to process this manually handled mail. You would think that a manual volume unit at a processing plant would be well staffed but the entire staff for all 3 shifts is 10 people. You figure in days off and we are down to 4 people most weeknights. And one of them gets tied up with the latest attempt to track mail the Surface Visibility scanning. Which I will address in a separate posting.

  • Reply to: Who We Are and Why We Blog...   5 years 5 months ago

    I think this blog is an excellent idea. I think a blog like this is going to do a good job at getting employees to open up and voice their opinions in their own words. The concept of VOE is a good one, but I think that it has limitations in what it can do.

    Here is something that I am hoping someone would explain to me:
    Why hasn't anybody in upper management notice that the gaping difference in expense between delivering to a PO box and curbside delivery is significant enough to consider offering customers a free PO box in lieu of curbside delivery? Yes, you would lose the $42 in revenue from the box rental, BUT you would be saving over $100 per delivery point a year by not delivering to the curbside address. In this case, it would be the expense side of the equation that would benefit, and if only 1 percent of delivery customers took up this option, USPS would save over $100 million in delivery expenses. In addition, if many of these PO boxes were used at level 11-13 office, there would be a significant increase in employee productivity.
    Because the PO box would be free, the customer would still have a free form of delivery offered to them. If they wanted curbside delivery and the PO box, then they would pay for the PO box.

    What do you think?

  • Reply to: Self-Service Mail Technologies   5 years 5 months ago

    Thanks, found out on USPS.com closest APC is 32 miles away.

  • Reply to: Mail Transport Equipment—Inventory Management and Loss Prevention   5 years 5 months ago

    It seems to sound like a logical solution, but we are not sure that the solution can be attained without the inconvenience & cost going up. But if the cost is much lower then purchasing more pallets because of theft loss then it should be explored!!!!!!!

  • Reply to: Self-Service Mail Technologies   5 years 5 months ago

    The Postal Service have APC's at many locations in the PO Box areas in the lobby with 24 hour acess. Can you think of other locations you think the APC could be placed?

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