More than Bargained for

With many lengthy disputes that are eventually settled, differences between parties sometimes linger. That seems to be the case with the 40-year-old dispute between Postal Service management and labor over the number of hours a postmaster or supervisor can spend performing work typically reserved for bargaining unit employees. In late 2014, the Postal Service and the American Postal Workers Union reached a settlement in the 1970s case that capped that number at 15 per week.

 

Viva la Commerce!

It’s not just baseball diplomacy that is happening between the United States and Cuba. U.S. mail is now flowing directly to the island nation – another major step in the process of normalizing relations between the two countries.

In March, the U.S. Postal Service reestablished direct transport of mail to Cuba – the first time in more than 50 years that U.S. citizens are able to send mail directly to the country. Previously, dispatches from the United States to Cuba had to transit through Mexico or Panama and faced major delays because of limited lift in and out of Havana 

 

The Mail Moment – Twice a Day

It’s easy to understand the underlying motivation behind the U.S. Postal Service’s digital strategy: use data to make mail a much more powerful marketing and communications tool. Hard copy and digital working together to make each other better. So what if the Postal Service is a little late to the party. At least it has showed up, which, as Woody Allen reminded us, is 80 percent of life.

 

So Trendy

“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” That Yogi Berra-ism holds true for industry trends as well. Yet predictions are important because businesses, and the infrastructures that support them, need to be prepared to change as the market and technology dictate. They especially need to be prepared for that potential future blockbuster change.  

 

Deep Cuts

No pain no gain. The U.S. Postal Service has reduced spending over the past decade but it has come with a downside, notably a reduction in service. Over the past decade the Postal Service has reduced labor costs by $10 billion, improved productivity, and generally reined in spending.

 

Pain in the Passport

It’s a great time to be offering passport services. In the next couple of years, the U.S. Department of State anticipates a rise in new and renewal applications because of expiring passports, heightened security rules, and an improving economy.

 

Time for a Money Order Reboot

The U.S. Postal Service’s unassuming money order product actually has quite a distinguished history. The government established the United States Money Order System in 1864 as a safe way for Union soldiers to send money home to relatives.

A century and a half later, Americans still find money orders valuable. Last year, over 6 million American households purchased about 100 million of them with a face value of roughly $21 billion. Money orders – among the Postal Service’s most profitable products – generated $159 million in revenue in fiscal year 2015.

 

Compounding the Problem

Customized service. It’s the buzz in many industries, and considered absolutely necessary for success in the delivery industry. So it might seem strange to hear about one area where customized service is both expensive and, sometimes, dangerous: the compounding pharmacy business.

 

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