• Reply to: Fall Mailing Season Gets Rolling   1 year 8 months ago

    This particular comment is in reference to the forever flag stamps that were created. I don't understand the "strike through" on the word "forever" it appears (to me) that it looks like you are saying it isn't forever. I am truly offended by the line thru the word "forever" and maybe you should rethink the design, by removing the strike through.

  • Reply to: The Global Logistics Revolution   1 year 8 months ago

    This is a double see page 1

  • Reply to: A Happy Customer is a Loyal Customer   1 year 8 months ago

    I am very disappointed in the mail service in my communities. I say communities because I live in a rural area, and my post office has been closed within the past two years so that I can no longer mail packages or buy stamps from my small town, but instead must drive 15 miles one way to do so. The next larger town is 25 miles in one direction and their post office today told me that because I had a box of fresh fruit to mail, they would have to call the usda to inquire about their policy. ? So he looked up their phone number in the phone book, (their office is another 25 miles away from my home, one way) and was told by someone in that office that I needed to bring my package to them to have it inspected!? So the postal clerk would not mail my package. I have looked up the usps policy on this and see that #53 states, "Fresh fruits and vegetables are nonmailable unless they are in a dry condition", (which mine are), "and in a strong and securely sealed package as required in DMM 601. 1-8" (whatever that is) Which again mine were in a large flat RATE PRIORITY POSTAL BOX PROVIDED BY THE POST OFFICE. I am so put out by this, I will never again patronize this particular post office in Raymondville Texas because apparently they would rather work against the customer than for them. Either I will drive even farther to mail packages, or will use a private company such as UPS or Fed Ex. No wonder the postoffice is in such poor working order with this sort of silliness.

  • Reply to: Pushing the Envelope Hits 5-Year Mark   1 year 8 months ago

    Closing the plant in Huntsville, AL has effected the mail carriers not to mention the customers... With the plant closing the mail gets to us much later in the mornings which has made management change our start time to 8:30 and for some 9:30. On average our DPS does not get to us until between 9:30-10:00.....mail is very inconsistent. Coming in to work and getting our mail late in the mornings puts us out delivering until very late at night, endangering us to all kinds of unsafe conditions. Carriers are not able to see the mail, so we have to turn on our inside lights on which cause a glare, we are on busy roads at high traffic time, it is difficult to see people in the dark and rain. There is more congestion of vehicles parked on the curb which makes the carrier get out of their vehicle to deliver the mail and puts them in danger of being hit in the dark. Also customers want to know why we are delivering mail at 7,8,9,10 and 11 o'clock at night...The customers have also said that they are scared to go to their box that late due to the possibility of falling, and in some neighborhoods there is a sense of danger. Some carriers have had the police called on them when they are delivering late at night. If we have trouble with our vehicles (whether it be and LLV or privately owned) after 5:00 pm, most businesses that could help us are closed.

  • Reply to: Postal Service Revenue: What Should be Done?   1 year 8 months ago

    This is a manufactured crisis that came out of Congress' demand that pensions and health care be funded 75 years into the future. The real purpose is privatization of the postal service. If you managed your historic properties well, included services that were cut off, e.g. Postal Money Orders, and better services, there would be no crisis. We also need to work on Congress to aid the postal service, not hamstring it.

  • Reply to: Neither Blizzards Nor Hurricanes Nor Zombies...   1 year 8 months ago

    I have just returned from speaking with our local postmaster as our mail was not delivered today...again. It's because a car was parked in front of the mail boxes. The postmaster says that it is USPS policy that they cannot get out of their delivery vehicles in order to place the mail in the boxes...I'm talking 10 feet! Hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes I can understand...but 10 feet of walking! (Yes, I'm serious...he says that it is USPS policy!) Please don't tell me about their heroics regarding delivering the mail. The heroes have all left the building...

  • Reply to: If you have been to a Post Office with a kiosk, but opted to wait for a clerk instead, what was the basis for your decision?   1 year 8 months ago

    I have used the self-service kiosks many times and they are great when they work but the one at the Gateway Loop P.O. in Springfield, OR is seldom in working order. Today I tried it and it worked, well it worked up to the point of taking and charging my credit card and issuing a receipt but no postage. I had to go to the counter and seek help from the one clerk working at the customer service counter. The clerk left the counter and went over to the self-service kiosk and played around with it for about five minutes and then came back to the counter and gave me a refund request form to fill out while he waited on other customers. When I was able to get back with him he started going through some clicks on his computer screen but had to stop and go look at a manual. At this point twenty minutes had gone by and as there was only one clerk the line of people waiting behind me was increasing. I told the clerk that I thought it was getting a bit ridiculous and that would rather just pay for the postage again and get on with my day. The clerk took my money and issued the postage and told me that if I came back in two and a half hours there would be someone who could help me with a refund then.

    Perhaps the most ironic part of this is that when I looked at the receipt for the second postage it had a message on it that read:
    “In a hurry? Self-service kiosks offer quick and easy check-out. Any Retail Associate can show you how.”

    After this experience I will never use the self-service kiosks again and will warn everyone I know about them.

  • Reply to: Digitals Still Dig Physical Mail - When Enhanced by Digital Features   1 year 8 months ago

    With the technologies that internet companies, such as google and facebook, and online marketers are currently using to create databases for targeted advertising to web browsers, and variable data printing technology and mailing services such as everyday direct mail, it seems that there ought to be a huge opportunity for someone to combine/harness these technologies to create timely, targeted, and highly effective advertising/marketing campaigns via physical mail in much the way google, facebook, and others do with online ads. Digital features of such mailings would certainly enhance the attractiveness to customers as well as potentially help advertisers gauge the effectiveness of their campaigns and constantly improve them. A plus for mail recipients would be that this more specifically targeted mail advertising, unlike Pennysaver and Red Plum which are saturation advertising, would be less likely seen as "junk" mail.

  • Reply to: The Innovation Unit Dilemma   1 year 8 months ago

    Agreed that it can be hard. But it can be done. Fifteen years ago they developed Parcel Select, Carrier PU, Click and Ship, Delivery confirmation (now much improved), strategic alliances, etc.

  • Reply to: The Innovation Unit Dilemma   1 year 8 months ago

    The USPS partnered to launch a very innovative idea known as eBillpay. In many cases the USPS ended up delivering a hard copy envelope containing the payment in a check. I still use eBillpay, but about 10 years ago the USPS dropped out of the partnership. That was the type of adaptive technology that would have helped them counteract the diversion of first class mail to the internet. I don't know why they dropped out, I seem to recall that private industry objected and Congress or the courts or the PRC said the USPS could no longer participate (profit from) eBillpay.

    So it begs the question, if the USPS was to innovate through this hypothetical unit, would they be allowed to implement and then continue their innovative product? Or would Congress/courts/PRC shut them down?

    Could the USPS get back in the online payment business today?

  • Reply to: If you have been to a Post Office with a kiosk, but opted to wait for a clerk instead, what was the basis for your decision?   1 year 8 months ago

    Well, this evening I played kiosk roulette. Spent an hour going to 3 different post offices only to find the kiosks in each were out of order. . . Again. I have no time left in my work day and am thrilled with the kiosk concept. I just wish they were reliable or there were more available.

  • Reply to: The Postal Service — Your Connection to e-Government   1 year 8 months ago


  • Reply to: No More Day of Rest for Postal Package Delivery   1 year 8 months ago

    NO. There will be no profit. It will appear as if there is but those employees who are now working a "seventh" day and being paid double overtime to deliver these parcels will be paid far more than Amazon is charged for postage. The Postal Service has still not addressed staffing for this function. FedEx Smart Post routinely drop ships parcels that exceed Postal Service size limits but this is ignored, another loss of revenue that is not seen on the spreadsheets. This program will be touted as a winner because only hours used will be compared to dollars gained from Amazon, not the actual dollars paid to the employees. It is another example of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

  • Reply to: No More Day of Rest for Postal Package Delivery   1 year 8 months ago

    It would be fascinating to see the actual deal they gave Amazon. I don't see how they can do this without losing money based on the incremental cost versus the incremental revenue. The DDU Drop Ship rate for a parcel is $2.16 for a 2 pound package. It's only $2.44 for a 10 pound package. The only way for this to work is for Amazon to do DDU drop shipment, or you are adding transportation and sorting for parcels from the NDC or plant. You will need clerks to accept and sort the packages. Although, there was mention of Amazon doing some 'routing'. Perhaps they finally figured out to put the carrier-route number on the package to help with the sorting and eliminate scheme requirements.
    Let's figure 15 packages an hour. That's $32.40 in revenue. But Amazon probably negotiated a lower rate. The sort and the delivery cost would exceed this. Even with a lower cost part-time, non-career employee. I also would expect the need for a supervisor to open the building. All this also would be at Sunday premium pay.

    The bottom line is that I fail to see how this covers the incremental cost. In my opinion, this is another example of decision making without proper analysis to get headlines. I would be happy to do a real analysis of this if the volume and rate data was available.

  • Reply to: No More Day of Rest for Postal Package Delivery   1 year 8 months ago

    Sure this will be a net financial win for USPS. The PRC approval assures it. Not a big one, but probably incremental and surely profitable. And its probably a bigger PR win and maybe even a morale booster for carriers and other Postal Employees who are desperately looking for innovative initiatives coming from management.

    Amazon's competitors, e.g eBay, may feel compelled to offer something similar and cut their own NSAs, thus providing more volume and revenue for USPS. Maybe even UPS and FedEx will expand their own SurePost and SmartPost Parcel Select offerings.

    Who, speaking of which, incidentally, are far more like "main customers" of the Postal Service than "main competitors," are they not? Is it not true that most of USPS's parcel growth is in fact coming directly from FedEx SmartPost and UPS SurePost? And is this not a good strategy for the Postal Service to serve ALL the heavy shippers with Parcel Select, while at the same time serving ALL small to occasional shippers with Priority Mail, thus dominating the market it serves better than any other carrier, namely residential delivery, six or even seven days per week?

  • Reply to: If you have been to a Post Office with a kiosk, but opted to wait for a clerk instead, what was the basis for your decision?   1 year 8 months ago

    I used the self-service kiosk to mail a package -- followed all the instructions, and the package came back saying postage was not sufficient. Now, I have to go back to the post office and find why the machine failed to give me the correct postage. I have used it before with no problems..but if this keeps happening during the holiday season, that will be why most people will wait in line for a person; people don't want their package to come back for insufficent postage.

  • Reply to: No More Day of Rest for Postal Package Delivery   1 year 8 months ago

    How can we have an opinion when USPS and Amazon refuse to release how much Amazon is paying for this, if USPS will actually make a profit or if they will AGAIN subsidize another Corporation's profits?

  • Reply to: The Innovation Unit Dilemma   1 year 8 months ago

    This article speaks to innovation. Hopefully all who work in the industry and in this organization believe that innovation is very important. The issues around innovation are most likely the largest concern. How do you innovate? This article suggests a small “innovation unit”, but would it not be better for the whole organization to invest in an overall approach to innovation? The article also mentions a cross functional team, how about a team that can think outside the Postal Service and the confines of the organization. The organization seems to be stuck in a save (dollars) mode and seems that it has been for many years. Certainly an organization should work toward efficient procedures and policies but at the same time offer products that would advance the organization and at the same time give the customer quality products.

  • Reply to: The Innovation Unit Dilemma   1 year 8 months ago

    Innovation may be a core element in economic growth as well as in the ability of individuals and companies to adapt to changing markets. To innovate or not and how to go about it may not however be the question the Postal Service should be asking itself.
    The network the Postal Service administers is basic and fundamental infrastructure. The questions being asked here belong to a different category of entity. I know that the conventional wisdom is and has been that the Postal Service is and should be business enterprise operated under business principles with the same sort of goals and incentives as business aspires and responds to. The problem is that this has always been a false narrative, an instance of cramming everything into the box of a single definition.
    We don't ask the interstate highway system to make a profit or be businesslike. The innovations that apply to the highway system or other infrastructures are fundamentally different than the sort of innovation that Schumpeter described in his theory of creative destruction. What we continually fail to do, and that definitely applies to the Postal Service, is recognize the differences inherent in various entities.
    The efficient operation of a business or corporate entity is not the same as the efficient operation of government or an infrastructure. They have, or should have, different goals and different incentives and when we fail to recognize those basic differences then we shortchange ourselves. o business starts from the premise of universal service or access. That may be a goal in terms of reaching more customers but it is a goal that follows profitability. Infrastructure, on the other hand, has a basic goal of creating universal service and access. Infrastructure provides a platform that offers opportunity for business entities to exercise creativity and innovation. The profitability of a business entity is measured by the income statement and balance sheet. The utility of infrastructure cannot and should not be measured so directly. A successful infrastructure may cost the community money but those costs are recouped through the actions of businesses that use the infrastructure.
    The Postal Service, those who create the laws that govern it, and those who use it have fallen into the trap of defining the world in such narrow terms that they have lost sight of the real value of the postal network. Discounts like the one offered for using QC barcodes ignore the value of the infrastructure. Let the mailing industry find innovative way to make mail more useful. Let the Postal Service build and maintain and infrastructure that all sorts of businesses and industries can use profitably. The problems facing the Postal Service are not problems of innovation but problems of identity. We are not faced with an innovation crisis we are faced with an identity crisis.

  • Reply to: The Innovation Unit Dilemma   1 year 8 months ago

    Invention Unit...

  • Reply to: The Innovation Unit Dilemma   1 year 8 months ago

    How can we even discuss innovation for the USPS when they need Congress' permission to even create such a unit? And no doubt will have to get Congress' permission to implement any innovation. As long as (certain members of) Congress throttles USPS operations such conversations are academic. USPS should either be folded back into the government or cut free to truly operate as a private business. Currently we have the worse combination of both.

  • Reply to: The Innovation Unit Dilemma   1 year 8 months ago

    How can the postal service come up with new ideas when there can't even staff the city of Newport News Virginia with carriers......a postmaster that refuses to hire any CCA's is killing his moral and positive energy on the floor. ..overworked employees run rampant through the postal service. ...drug addictive and alcoholic carriers are all that's left!!!!! Shame on the upper management for ruining people's lives by forcing employees to work so much overtime and take all their days off...and get his own day off!!!!

  • Reply to: The Innovation Unit Dilemma   1 year 8 months ago

    Another fearless leader to give more bonuses to for inspiration. How did that work for the Superintendent of the Atlanta City School System.

  • Reply to: The Innovation Unit Dilemma   1 year 8 months ago

    Thank you for putting those questions out there for us to comment on and contribute to.

    One thought keeps coming to mind for me, and it has to do with the basic premise, the concept of "disruption."

    Will apologize in advance if this is presumptuous, but I will say that I DEEPLY admire what the USPS is and does and accomplishes around the globe every day (and ESPECIALLY for our military service members, you are the lifeline to home and you represent all that they are away fighting for) so I'm going to speak candidly and from the heart about this issue that has been a long time irritant though I have never shared this before because I frankly had no interest in being targeted by marketers and others making their living off the jargon du jour.

    So, with that said ...

    Frankly, I've gone back to lessons I learned from my grandparents about how to build a business and raise a family through two World Wars and the Great Depression of the 30s-40s. I detest this concept of "disruption." It's like saying a baby's birthday "disrupts" the child's grown. Pleez. I've got a decades-long cultivated engineering school schooled mindset, and I love technology as an tool, and enabler of great things, but frankly I think the concept of "disruption" is rooted in things that are fearful, lazy and reactive. Forget "disruption" --- GROW INSTEAD.

    [and p.s., apologies in advance if this post starts a flame war on your board; no disrespect intended, but we NEED the USPS to keep on doing the excellent work you're tasked with, and I just had to speak out. I hope it helps.]

  • Reply to: Is Five-Day Delivery in the Future?   1 year 8 months ago