• Reply to: Periodicals   5 years 11 months ago

    Periodicals mail also creates the need for first class (bills) and standard mail (renewal offers and direct mail new sub offers) and needs to be considered in whole.

  • Reply to: How Should the Postal Service Sell Its Products?   5 years 11 months ago

    The fowarding mail after 90-days needs to stop. Just send it back after 90-days WITH THE NEW ADDRESS ON IT. That makes the mailer send it out twice. More revenue...more volume...less cost....and an accurate mailing list which in turn would eventually be used by companies that send out 3rd Class mailings.....again leading to less waste.....making this class of mail more user friendly. I've sent this suggestion to the USPS often. I have difficulty believing they still waste over a billion dollars a year subsidizing deadbeats that refuse to take personal responsibility for notifying publishers and correspondents of their correct address. Presently the USPS forwards for 12-months and then from 12-to-18 months returns the piece with the new address attached. Simply changing that to forwarding for 90-days and then returning the piece for months 4 thru 18 would save us billions of dollars while actually inproving service and value for our customers who pay to send out all classes of mail. These are uour REAL customes...the rate payers. The recipients of the mail they pay to send are our patrons. It would cost virtually nothing to impliment this new strategy. Try it. What's the worst thing that could happen?

  • Reply to: Crime Takes No Holiday   5 years 11 months ago

    I just had an item stolen from the mail. I know that it was internal as I can see an impression of the cardboard holder on the envelope created as the letter passed through sorting machines. The envelope was resealable, and appeared unopened when I received it, and my mailbox is locked... Item stolen internally...

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   5 years 11 months ago


  • Reply to: How Should the Postal Service Sell Its Products?   5 years 11 months ago

    Mr. Tyndale above said it best. We need to make meeting the needs of our customers as a first priority. Our needs in the form of increased business and revenue will follow. It has been said that we have focused on being the "best buggywhip maker in the business at a time when there is no demand for buggywhips". While there is truth to that concept, it is also true that until science comes up with a reliable method for teleportation we will still need some form of reliable hardcopy delivery in this country. The USPS is positioned to fill that need, but its success in this area is at risk for getting lost in the details. There are many changes afoot, and after 30 years, I am in constant amazement, but I think if we keep from letting "the tail wag the dog" the USPS can get back into the business of offering good, reliable, and affordable service. If we don't lose sight of this need, we will survive.

  • Reply to: Who We Are and Why We Blog...   5 years 11 months ago

    I have the same concern about international packages. We also create the labels via Endicia. Up through the end of July 2009, if our carrier individually scanned the international packages, they at least showed up as having been accepted into the mailstream. Now they no longer do, even though our carrier still has been scanning them.

    This really makes us look bad, as our customers think that we never actually MAILED their packages!

    Yes, I know that for $1 I could purchase "proof of mailing"... but that's not really the point. If a barcoded label has already been created, what's so hard / costly about just doing an acceptance scan? It makes such a big difference to the sender, and also the recipient!

  • Reply to: Brainstorm Ideas Part 2   5 years 11 months ago

    I totally agree what "MR.william tyndale" says.

    It seems to me ,the pursuing the exfc goal with declining mail volumn and wasting the postal dollar is catching a fly with a hammer.

    Whoever support the false system should go to the jail instead of getting bonus.

    why? because you actually help the falsifying the official record and wasting the stamp dollar in order to achieve the falsifying and unrealistic goal.

    is our competitor like fed ex and ups has the exfc?


    they are still deliver the mail faster and accurate enough to compete with us without unrealistic system

    and they are expanding every neiborhood in this country every in the corner.

    and they do have their airplane,too.

    why the postal service do not have one?

    because they are behind and far behind and outdated system and wasting their money to pursue the unrealistic goal like exfc.

    and the postal service still use the method to catch their fly with hammer.

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   5 years 11 months ago

    How is a person supposed to know ahead of time that they are going to be sick? How is my wife supposed to know ahead of time that my 4 year old is going to have an ear infection? Is it not better to have my wife call in sick rather than have day care call my wife in the middle of her route telling her that she HAS to come pick up our daughter?

  • Reply to: Brainstorm Ideas Part 2   5 years 11 months ago

    I find it interesting that the PMG feels the best way to solve the financial woes of the Postal service it to cut services to the American public. The Postal service is a huge entity with many different departments. Many of these departments are not needed and have nothing to do with getting the mail out.
    For example, what does Diversity Awareness have to do with moving the mail. If you want to promote diversity fine contract a company to do talks once every quarter. This would allow the Post Office to eliminate that entire department. I am only speaking of one area of Postal waste. We need to cut the fat not service to our customers.

  • Reply to: How Should the Postal Service Sell Its Products?   5 years 11 months ago

    In my opinion is better to talk to the customers as they are human beings. Each letter, each parcel and each service means a lot to the individual who mails it. Quickly determine if the customer is looking to spend more for additional items or services and offer the best possible advice in your common interest. Help the customer get the best value for their money (or else said, GIVE'EM THE BEST BANG FOR THEIR BUCK!) Oh, and be courteous and polite as much as possible and have a stack of complaints cards ready. Just my 2 cents - please don't raise the prices.

  • Reply to: How Should the Postal Service Sell Its Products?   5 years 11 months ago

    Rich, I agree that the upselling long and robotic dialogue is IDIOTIC for the Postal Service window clerks. But, judging by the response you received from Mary the ?Manager, then I am not surprised.

    The good thing is that we can talk about the issue at hand. The reason that Management is forcing employees to "read" the scripts is BECAUSE THEY THINK WE'RE IDIOTS and OUR CUSTOMERS ARE IDIOTS TOO.

  • Reply to: How Should the Postal Service Sell Its Products?   5 years 11 months ago

    Mary, I am trying to show that the script we follow does not work. Us clerks can sell more if we are given the freedom to read are customers and up-sell the products they may need. I sell more express than the other clerks because I can identify the customer that could benefit from this service. If we go by the script no one pays attention to what your saying because it sounds so mechanical. Because I don't agree with managements ignorant policy on this doesn't mean I should quit my job! Management needs to listen to us employees on the floor instead of making decisions far removed from what goes on in the real world.

  • Reply to: How Should the Postal Service Sell Its Products?   5 years 11 months ago

    I believe that in today's economical tough times that it is time to consider suspending mystery shopper program. Too much money is being wasted on this program and the basic question remains are the costs of this program delivering the revenue results that are being sought. Is this program paying for itself or is something we have always done? Temporary suspend the program and see what happens to the revenue. It might remain unchanged and the cost savings would be runnning this program. Empower the employees to come up with creative ways to drive the revenue. Nothing more disconcerning then sitting on a two hour telecon because our office has failed a mystery shop. We can't get the employees to buy in a program no one believes in.

  • Reply to: How Should the Postal Service Sell Its Products?   5 years 11 months ago

    While we run amuck in the publicized woes of the Postal Service’s alleged financial crisis, we seem to have lost focus on the reason for its existence.

    The Postal Service is obligated to provide Universal service to the American public including remote and rural locales. If this means that it cannot turn a profit, so be it. The Postal Service is not a privately owned enterprise nor should it be. It was designed so that every individual within these United States could receive mail! Don’t let the capitalistic arguments of profit, profit, profit!!! steer us away from this fundamental ideal.
    Consider that Fed Ex and UPS are private corporations which need to meet operating costs and turn a profit to remain in business. The federally owned Postal Service at best should only be required to maintain its operational costs to do the same.

  • Reply to: Will Electronic Reader Technology Affect the Postal Service?   5 years 11 months ago

    Perfectly on point.
    Many of the ideas offered simply don't fit into our regulatory context. At some point the survival of the organization lays solidly in the hands of our regulators and Congress. Given the parameters of PAEA most of what the organization can do on its own simply glosses around the edges.

  • Reply to: How Should the Postal Service Sell Its Products?   5 years 11 months ago

    but.....the SSA will never know if the same repeat customer is a "Mystery Shopper."

  • Reply to: How Should the Postal Service Sell Its Products?   5 years 11 months ago

    If you feel that you look like an idiot with the up sell approach, then quit and get a different job with another company!!!!

  • Reply to: How Should the Postal Service Sell Its Products?   5 years 11 months ago

    USPS average revenue per piece is lower for three main reasons. First, USPS’s pieces are lighter on average than UPS’s and FedEx’s. Second, many USPS pieces are drop-shipped close to destination (e.g., approx. 200 million DDU parcels). Third, the USPS has a low share of the high-priced overnight market.

    The pound analysis is faulty. Perhaps it’s around $1 per pound, though it may be more. But that’s an average derived from a cost per cubic foot, which is the main way FedEx charges for Priority Mail air transportation. So, the USPS pays FedEx about the same for a 6-pound flat-rate box as for, say, a 1-pound flat-rate box.

  • Reply to: How Should the Postal Service Sell Its Products?   5 years 11 months ago

    As always, USPS, someone, decides square peg will fit in round hole and has the enormous power to try to make it work, and that's that. It doesn't work. I have never, ever bought a doughnut because the cute Brazilian girl asked, as she is forced to do; never. This dumb initiative has ruined window clerks' jobs for good.
    There is no sales creativity in this robotic mandate whatsoever. It kills all initiative and feeling of personal accomplishment, already in very short supply in this job. I once led our District by a wide margin, personally, selling Black History comm. sets, $19.95 I think at a whack. Know why? I was in a heavily black area and felt like doing it for the sense of accomplishment. Every time someone wanted "interesting" stamps, I pulled out the semi-postal sheets with the birds and animals on them, gathering dust everywhere. Sold all of them. I put up small displays of new stamps. Sold all the ugly Buck. Fuller ones to the geeks who thought they were cool. You have crushed and in many formal ways forbidden such stuff. No one cares anymore. I know people with 25 years on this window job who ask me every time I see them if there are jobs at the plant, that's how disgusted they are

  • Reply to: Brainstorm Ideas to Help the Postal Service   5 years 11 months ago

    Very Very well said. The Disney Institute teaches exactly what you are talking about. The front line employees must be heard and must be rewarded for good work. The post office talks the talk but doesn't walk the talk!

  • Reply to: Brainstorm Ideas Part 2   5 years 11 months ago

    How about if we concentrated our efforts on developing a manageable and sustainable delivery metwork and measured the performance of that network in a fair and accurate manner?
    I suppose you'll tell me that that is what EXFC measures and perhaps add - look how good our scores are? The plain and simple fact is that EXFC scores are essentially fraudulent, they deceive the public, they dishonor the intent of the public laws that create measurement standards and the attempts to distort them cost the Postal Service tens millions of dollars every year.
    A perfect example is an incident that happened last Saturday in Mid-Carolinas.
    A rural carrier was delayed in returning to the office by construction traffic. As a result the carrier missed dispatch. The carrier had a single tub of outgoing mail with 49 pieces in it. The PMR in the office was notified and eventually contacted the postmaster, who following District guidelines contacted her POOM. Because of the various delays the mail had to be driven 180 miles to the next distribution center. In the meantime the guiodelines in this District require the postmaster and the POOM to cinduct a walk through of the office to ensure that all other mail was properly dispatched. The situation was completely resolved by 3am.
    I suppose there are those that would argue that our service commitments are inviolable and therefore this involved dance was both necessary and justified. That's absolutely ridiculous and any reasonable person knows it. Hundreds of dollars were spent to advance 49 pieces of mail and the only reason was to avert a dreaded EXFC failure.
    Incidents like this one happen everyday throughout the system. We have personnel driving single pieces of mail miles to ensure delivery and ensure EXFC scores. Yes, we are here to provide service but the regimen surrounding EXFC is perverse and distorted. It does not result in realistic changes to procedures to build a better more efficient network; it results in a culture of rationalization and justification that cynically wastes resources to gin up performance scores.
    We spend millions of dollars and tremendous amounts of effort to monitor EXFC performance in ways that totally distort the intent of the governing statutes. Resources that ought to be devoted to developing and improving our network and practices are instead diverted to attempting to identify and predict where EXFC drops are being made and when. It's true that it is virtually impossible to identify individual collectors in the EXFC system and I've heard DM's say they wouldn't want to know if they could but the simple fact of the matter is that the entire administrative response to EXFC is designed to subvert the system rather than learn from the scores.

    The sad thing is that the OIG is willing to look the other way on this. The PRC is willing to accept "record breaking performance scores" regardless of the underlying lack of value in those scores. As an organization we have developed a perverse institutional culture with respect to measuring performance. Unless and until we break this culture we will never get a truly honest appraisal of our system and ultimately that is what has led and is leading to our downfall.

  • Reply to: How Should the Postal Service Sell Its Products?   5 years 11 months ago

    The poll that begins this post leaves out the best answer. What if we asked our customer what they were trying to accomplish and then offered alternatives; no pressure, no scripts, no misdirection, just good solid information?
    Does anyone remember the scene from the old movie Miracle on 34th Street where Kris Kringle offers that a competitor may have the merchandise the customer wants at a better price? The end result is that customers flock to the original store based on its reputation for credibility and service. Naive? Perhaps but I've been doing that for thirty years and customers like me and they like my office. I think people are tired of marketing as a science of manipulation and extraction. As a consumer I want to be afforded the opportunity to explain my need and in return receive good basic information that allows me to make an informed choice. Sometimes that may mean a very simple transaction where I tell you what I want and you give me exactly that. Sometimes it means I want more information. It takes attention and discretion for a sales associate to evaluate a transaction and provide just the right amount of information.
    We don't teach or encourage that skill. Instead we create a transaction based on an adversarial relationship. You, the customer, have revenue and we want as much of it in each individual transaction as we can get. Most of our marketing efforts are based on coercion and extraction - subtle but that really is the end result.
    I work in a small rural post office. My sales opportunities and my relationships with my customers are different than if I worked in a larger urban office. Retail Standardization tells me that nothing but targeted marketing material may displayed on the walls of my post office. So I removed the art work from the local school and the pictures of the kids that come in the office. The thing is, people liked that stuff. They come to my office because there is a sense of credibility and trust. They come when UPS or Fedex may be cheaper or more efficient because they like the relationship we have.
    These are the same people who consistently give us high grades in polling, the people whose positive opinions influence decision makers when they look at what we are and what we should be. In the age of the internet these people's opinions are not just subsumed by the isolation of a small rural community. Their opinions can be viral and create positive attitudes they transfer across the demographic spectrum.
    Now not every facility can do the things I can. There are places where it isn't practical. There are places where the culture doesn't value it as it does in my community. The problem is that because of our top down autocratic management and because of our rigid evaluating systems we cannot exercise the kind of flexibility that utilizes our skills and experience. We design programs like Carrier Connect with just this sort of goal in mind but because they become so bureaucratized they lose effectiveness.
    Our institutional blindness is what's killing us.

  • Reply to: How Should the Postal Service Sell Its Products?   5 years 11 months ago

    The USPS is TOO SLOW TO CHANGE. If I were the Postmaster General, here is the three-point TRANSFORMATION I would begin right now. Right now, because it will take some time. Listen to the logic. A) Delivery Units. Wherever possible, (like where there exists a MAJOR TOWN OR CITY SURROUNDED BY SEVERAL SMALLER ONES), Delivery Units should be EXCISED from traditional Post Offices and be consolidated into a centralized Delivery Unit serving several towns, that incorporates every delivery function of those sovereign towns. WHY? Because our mail is already processed in ANOTHER CENTRAL LOCATION and that processed mail (DPS) is trucked to several tems of thousands of locations. What a waste! The simple truth is: If the truck serving several towns is at location (A) now, it isn't in locations (b), (C), (D), (E),....you get the point. And the point is....get the mail to the Hive so the Bees can deliver it, spread out and deliver it. All at once. SECOND "TRANSFORMATION GOAL": Almost without exception, every Post Office in the Nation was built and located in areas that ONCE WERE the focal point of town, but are no longer. They are antiquated facilities, poorly insulated, in need of repair, that are not handicap accessible or located WHERE COMMERCE IS CONDUCTED in America. Soooooooo-----CLOSE THEM, AND SELL THEM OFF. As you see from "Suggestion A", there are no carriers or delivery services there anymore, and rightly so. So what to do? STOP MAKING PEOPLE COME TO YOU, AND INSTEAD GO WHERE THE PEOPLE ARE!!! And where is that? Wal-Mart. The Main Grocery Store Shopping Center. (Last time I checked, every human needs to go food shopping at least twice a week if they like fresh produce and meat). So ALL RETAIL OPERATIONS NEED TO BE LOCATED INSIDE OF, OR ADJACENT TO, THESE AREAS. Go into any Shop-Rite, or Wal-Mart. See that Bank? Why are they there? (And open 7-days a week!) Because they make money. And they generate shoppers. WalMart likes banks because people need money to buy stuff (DUD!). Now picture this: 1) The way it is: You go to WalMart and buy a gift card and mail it. Great. The USPS gets 44-cents. People don't really want to do that, but what else are they to do? Christmas time. Go to the store. Buy a personalized gift. Lug it home. Wrap it. Lug it to the out-of-the-way Post Office. Wait in line. (Get parking ticket while waiting). Box it. Mail it. OOOOH YEAH, LIKE I'm DOING THAT! NOT! I go for the gift card. My Idea: 2) Locate Postal Retail Outlets INSIDE OF, OR ADJACENT TO major shopping centers. NOW, you go to "WalMart", buy that personaized gift, have it wrapped at the WalMart Customer Service Deask, then take it to the Postal Counter, Box it, Ship it, AND YOU GO HOME, NOTHING TO LUG AROUND! Instead of getting 44-cents postage for the gift card, you ger $8 BUCKS for the Priority postage! You might get more! Other products....which leads me to C): The USPS is closing hundreds of facilities. It's no exaggeration to say we have excess capacity. BUT WE ALREADY HAVE THE BEST DISTRIBUTION SERVICE THE WORLD! Sooooooo, why should "Midnight Velvet", "Collectibles Inc", Cabrellas or ANY OTHER MANUFACTURER or DISTRIBUTOR have to rely on these Clearing Houses that charge "Midnight Velvet" $4 to mail a $2 parcel, just because that Clearing House has the space to store the merchandise? WE HAVE THAT SPACE! We could easily cut out that middle-man, get the stuff that's ordered delivered fast, and by saving the manufacturer money increase their profit while simultaniously cornering the parcel post market by taking it away from UPS and FedEx. THIS IS SO SIMPLE THAT I CANNOT BELIEVE NOBODY HAS THOUGHT OF IT! We already have the facilities in place and Lord knows we have the people to do the job. SO NOWGO....GO GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE! DO IT. And stop taking so long. Nero is fiddling while Rome burs. Time for Nero to take a hike!

  • Reply to: How Should the Postal Service Sell Its Products?   5 years 11 months ago

    i have customers come to my window with flat rate express envelopes that are going to a local address.i explain that the flat rate is 17.50 but if they put the whole envelope in a tyback express envelope it is only 13.05.i believe you should treat the customer how you would want to be treated.i would want someone to save me 4.45.

  • Reply to: How Should the Postal Service Sell Its Products?   5 years 11 months ago

    How do you convince people to start using the basics, like stamps. Well, how much does someone pay to pay a bill online. Hmmm, my water bill costs $3.00 to pay online. Would only cost $.44 if I mailed it. How much does it cost to pay a credit card online? Well, $7.95 if I use my credit card, or $9.95 if I use my bank account. These are costs that add up each month to the consumer. Education is needed to show how postal products can save customers money.