Apr 2, 2015
The United States Postal Service (USPS) has announced that it will postpone the April 26th, 2015 implementation date for price increases.
Early last month, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) remanded part of the Postal Service’s rate increase proposal, requiring further USPS review and explanation for Standard Mail, Periodicals, and Package Services. Among the concerns raised were unequal commercial and nonprofit discounts. On March 12th, USPS responded with revised rates and further explanations, hoping to stay on track with the April 26th implementation date. However, on March 18th the proposal was again remanded.
Read more »
Mar 23, 2015
I attended and presented at my fifth PostalVision 2020 earlier this month. The conference has evolved over the years, with First Class and Standard Mail solutions increasingly pushed aside in favor of discussions about drone delivery (last year) and the Postal Service as a platform, as well as supporting the growing eCommerce landscape. One of the more interesting presentations at this event came from the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), with CIO and Executive Vice President Jim Cochrane focusing on its investment in technology.
Here are five highlights from the speech:
- Viewing the USPS in a new light – Cochrane views the USPS as an agile development company. “Fail, and fail fast” is his philosophy. “Keep going out and doing different things.”
- The mailbox at the center of Read more »
Dec 8, 2011
InfoTrends announced publication of a studyÂ entitled The Emergence of Digital Mailbox ServicesÂ this week, which looks at a new secure digital delivery channel that we expect will become an important channel for paperless delivery of transactional mail.Â This does not bode well for the USPS in its current form, unless it finds a way to participate in this market. Based on an extensive analysis of surveys with over 1,500 consumers; 300 businesses across 8 vertical markets; and in-depth interviews with more than 25 leading service bureaus, billers, financial institutions, and digital mailbox service providers, InfoTrends estimates that digital mailbox services will deliver 2 billion paperless transactional documents to U.S. consumers in 2015–representing 7% of all transaction documents, 19% of all paperless delivery, and $323 million in transaction document delivery fees alone.
The scary truth from our research is that consumers and businesses expect the importance of the U.S. Postal Service to decline dramatically over the next 10 years… andÂ this data was collected before recent news about slower delivery. We asked consumers, “relative to your lifestyle, how would you rate the value of the USPS today, in 5 years, and in 10 years?” As shown in the Figure below,Â only 42% of consumers expectÂ the USPS toÂ be important or vital to them in 10 years.
Business response was similar, with 23% expecting the USPS to be vital, 48% expecting it to be useful, and 29% anticipatingÂ that it will not be necessary in 10 years. Read more »
May 23, 2011
In response to advances in technology and changes in customer behavior, a common theme across industries today is “re-invent thyself.” This is particularly important for high-volume mailers and the global posts that serve them.
As we watch major players in the print & mail market evolving to embrace digital distribution strategies, we also see postal organizations around the globe (i.e., Australia, Finland, Italy, and Norway) creating competitive digital solutions. A post where we have seen little digital innovation to-date is the U.S. Postal Service.
It is an interesting entity, as it runs as an independent agency of the United States government and is obligated to serve all Americans, regardless of geography, at uniform price and quality. It does not receive taxpayer dollars, yet is not privatized. It is chastised for high overhead, but is often handcuffed by Congressional oversight when it attempts to change. For instance, the USPS has a mandated prefunding schedule for its retiree health benefits program of $5.5 billion to $5.8 billion per year through 2016–a schedule that is substantially higher than any other government agency or private-sector business.
The recent appointment of Ronald A.Â Stroman to Deputy Postmaster General shows a commitment to begin to influence change. Louis J. Giuliano, Chairman of the Postal Service Board of Governors, stated “[h]is depth of understanding of the legislative process as well as his demonstrated ability to work with members on both sides of the aisle makes him an important addition to the USPS team as we work through the many issues facing us today.”
On June 15th, Stroman will participate in an InfoTrends-sponsored event entitled PostalVision 2020. The conference isÂ designed to address the relevance of the current USPS model in a digital age, and provide actionable direction for how it can evolve to a sustainable business model.Â Read more »