Rethinking Assumptions

With $72 billion in revenue and 154 billion pieces of mail moved in a year, the U.S. Postal Service deals in the billions. That’s why you sometimes hear people joke that “a few million here and a few million there and pretty soon you are talking about real money” with the USPS.

 

Riding Out Fuel Fluctuations

How prepared is the U.S. Postal Service for a sudden increase in the price of diesel fuel? When diesel climbed by $2.03 a gallon from March 2009 to March 2012, the USPS’s fuel tab soared by $341 million.

It’s what happens when you operate one of the biggest vehicle fleets in the country: 7,600 of its own in addition to almost 16,000 contract vehicles. In fiscal year 2016 alone, USPS bought about 251 million gallons of diesel at a cost of over $570 million.

 

Sellers Can’t Afford to Box Themselves In

With more than 226,000 different decorative pillows to buy on Amazon, you could spend a week just browsing for them. And then you could use another week to peruse all the pillow choices on the other online marketplaces, like eBay and Etsy.

Suffice to say, you can find a ton of options online for just about any trinket you need. On the other hand, if you are one of the millions of online sellers, you have an awful lot of competition. So, sellers really need to differentiate themselves from the pack to earn customers, especially repeat customers. 

 

Keep it Clean… and Safe

We hear a lot about the U.S. Postal Service’s brand. And rightfully so. The brand is among its most precious assets.

The post office lobby is certainly a lens through which the customer views the brand. A post office lobby is the principal business office of the Postal Service and often the only close-up look at postal operations that many customers get. Its appearance directly affects the Postal Service’s public image.

 

Looking at Product Cost Changes

There are many ways to cut costs. Ask any company that has tried to reduce costs. Or even look at your own household situation. You can cut down on take-out dinners, cancel a vacation, or drop a gym membership you aren’t using anyway. But at a certain point, you realize some costs are just not in your control. You can’t do much about what the utility company charges you or what it costs to fix your car when it breaks down.

The same is true for the U.S. Postal Service.

 

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