How Aging Trucks Could Doom Nationwide Mail Delivery

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has been saying for three years that his agency is in danger of running out of money because of declining mail volume. And since bills and greeting cards continue to be delivered six days a week, it’s little surprise that Congress has largely ignored his call for sweeping postal reform legislation.

Now time may be running out. There are expensive projects that the USPS isn’t tending to because it doesn’t have the funds. The agency’s inspector general predicted (PDF) earlier this month that unless the USPS replaces its aging fleet of trucks, it might not be able to deliver mail throughout the country after 2017. The report didn’t attract much attention; the USPS is an agency awash in bad news. But this is something that lawmakers should pay closer attention to.

The USPS has nearly 190,000 vehicles, one of the largest fleets in the U.S. Of that number, according to the report, 142,000 are custom-built mail delivery trucks expected to last 24 years. Many are approaching or have passed their expiration date. The inspector general says the current fleet consists of delivery vans that are “now between 20 and 27 years old.”

Read more.

Via BusinessWeek.com

How Aging Trucks Could Doom Nationwide Mail Delivery

U.S. Postal Service Records Second Quarter Loss of $1.9 Billion

Urges Congress to Pass Comprehensive Postal Legislation

  • First-Class Mail Volume Declines by 4.1 percent
  • Approximately $64 Billion in Liabilities Exceed Assets by $42 Billion
  • Eight Percent Growth in Shipping and Package Services Drives Revenue Increase of $379 Million

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service ended the second quarter of its 2014 fiscal year (Jan. 1, 2014 – March 31, 2014) with a net loss of $1.9 billion. This marks the 20th of the last 22 quarters it has sustained a loss. Read more.

Via USPS

Donohoe Delivers State of the USPS Address to Catalogers

This wasn’t the upbeat, “we’re taking on the world” address he delivered at the National Postal Forum. On April 30 the Postmaster General delivered the real world address to a small group of mailers in a meeting room at the Washington Plaza Hotel. When Patrick Donohoe spoke to the hundred or so influential owners and leaders of catalog, printing, and direct mail companies, he spoke the plain talk heard in boardrooms. Read more.

Via Direct Marketing News

Donohoe Delivers State of the USPS Address to Catalogers

 

Marketers Giving Mail A Fresh Look, Says Postmaster General

WASHINGTON — In a keynote speech at the National Postal Forum—the annual mailing industry trade show—Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer of the Postal Service, today described a changing attitude of marketers toward the role of direct mail as a means of attracting and retaining customers.

“We’re seeing mail being used in some tremendous new ways—especially as part of integrated marketing campaigns,” said the Postmaster General. “All of this is leading to a reappraisal of the role of mail in the marketing mix—and we’re starting to see the beginnings of that reappraisal.” Read more.

digital innovations of mail video

Via USPS

USPS announces sweeping changes to processing facility network

During a press conference on September 15, 2011, the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) announced plans to greatly reduce its current network of processing facilities. The number of processing facilities could be cut by as much as half, which equates to approximately 250 facilities. This would result in a 50% reduction of mail processing equipment and a possible reduction in workforce of up to 35,000 employees.

This move would save the USPS approximately $3 billion per year. The USPS is experiencing substantial drops in mail volume and revenue, and has been implementing a number of cost-cutting measures. Postmaster General Pat Donahoe cited in the September 15, 2011 press release, “Since 2006, we have closed 186 facilities, removed more than 1,500 pieces of mail processing equipment, decreased employee complement by more than 110,000 through attrition and reduced costs by $12 billion.”

Making these types of reductions would obviously have an impact on the level of service, so the USPS is also proposing to adjust the First-Class Mail® delivery standards from the current 1-3 day range to 2 to 3 days. The USPS published a Federal Register Notice on September 15, 2011, detailing the plans for the adjustment in the delivery standards.

Donahoe also noted during the press conference that this move is based strictly on the need to cut costs in the current financially challenging period the USPS is facing, and has no reflection on the dedicated USPS employees commitment to service.

Stay tuned for further developments regarding this announcement. This process will require a great deal of study and will undoubtedly become politically charged as members of Congress try to save postal facilities (and jobs!) located in their districts.

For all the details, visit the new USPS web page  introduced just for this topic.

PMG Donahoe Announces Organization Changes

The new Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe announced a new USPS® organizational structure on Friday, January 7, 2011. The goal is to have a flatter, leaner structure to be more efficient. Some of the changes include:

  • Developing both market dominant and competitive products is now the responsibility of one office, the Vice President of Domestic Products. Where those products are sold–in retail, on-line, or in alternate spaces—become the responsibility of the Vice President of Channel Access.
  • All customer interaction and support, whether for large corporations, small businesses, or individual consumers, will be the responsibility of the Vice President of Consumer and Industry Affairs. The Consumer Advocate remains a vital part of customer service and will report to this officer.
  • The engineering technology and systems that keep mail moving and prepare the Postal Service for the future of mail, including Intelligent Mail®, will become an integral part of the Information Technology Department.
  • All human resources functions will be led by the Chief Human Resources Officer, supported by the Vice Presidents of Labor Relations and Employee Resource Management.
  • We will continue our leadership role in greening the Postal Service and the mailing industry with the creation of a Chief Sustainability Office, reporting to the Deputy Postmaster General. As we push to improve our profitability through cross-functional initiatives, a strategy team within the Finance Department will play a primary role in coordinating these efforts.

Donahoe also announced the closure of the Southeast Area Office. All previous Southeastern Districts will now report to the Southwest Area Office, with two exceptions: The Tennessee District will report to the Eastern Area and the Atlanta District will report to the Capital Metro Area.

The announcement also mentioned that some organizations will not continue under the officer structure that was announced, and that this information would be shared as appropriate. The announcement also indicated that a larger process of streamlining the organization is underway, including the closure of some Districts. The USPS plans to use Reduction in Force (RIF) and Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) processes as part of this initiative, which should begin by the end of the current fiscal quarter.

For an updated listing of the USPS officers, log on to the Postal Leadership area of the USPS web site, where an updated organization chart is also available.

PMG Potter to Retire

From the October 26, 2010 DMM Advisory:

Postmaster General John E. Potter to Retire

To Be Succeeded by Deputy Postmaster General Donahoe

            

WASHINGTON — After nearly 10 years as U.S. Postmaster General and CEO of the U.S. Postal Service, John E. Potter today announced that he will retire on Dec. 3, after 32 years of service.

The Governors of the Postal Service named Patrick R. Donahoe, currently Deputy Postmaster General and Chief Operating Officer, to succeed Potter.

A New York City native, Potter is credited with modernizing management, introducing long-term, strategic thinking necessary in a complex and changing marketplace, and transforming the Postal Service into a service-driven customer-focused and cost-sensitive organization.

Potter’s accomplishments include:

  • Eliminating more than $20 billion in costs during the last 10 years, with cumulative savings of more than $50 billion.
  • Building a leaner, more flexible workforce and increasing efficiency and productivity through technology and the expansion of automation in mail processing and delivery.
  • Reducing career employment from 787,000 positions in 2001 to about 584,000 today through attrition, using strong and focused management practices.
  • Leading the Postal Service and the nation through the anthrax terrorist attack following 9/11.
  • Creating a 10-year action plan that is a blueprint for necessary operational, legislative and regulatory changes to the current business model to ensure a viable Postal Service for decades to come.

 

Potter expressed his pride in the performance of the men and women of the Postal Service, saying its accomplishments resulted from the thousands of employees who dedicated themselves to meeting customer needs in a rapidly changing technological and communications environment.

“I fully appreciate their support in maintaining the tradition of trust that dates back to Benjamin Franklin and the founding of our nation,” Potter said. “It is our people that define our organization and it is their dedication and sense of purpose that drives our business.”

Louis J. Giuliano, Board of Governors chair, noted Potter’s many accomplishments in thanking the Postmaster General for his years of service.

“You have been a steadying and far-sighted leader throughout a period of dynamic change in America’s use of the mail and during times of economic uncertainty,” Giuliano said. “The hallmark of your success was your ability to build respectful relationships with all stakeholders, customers and employees that built a trusted level of credibility. We unreservedly regard your tenure as one of great accomplishment.”

Donahoe, currently Deputy Postmaster General, will become the 73rd Postmaster General in December. Potter credits Donahoe and his entire service team with regularly exceeding demanding performance goals and setting new records for on-time delivery and operational efficiency.

Donahoe began his career as a clerk in Pittsburgh in 1975, and in 2001, became responsible for all facets of mail operations, including processing delivery, retail, engineering, transportation and facilities. He has served in a variety of senior management positions in operations and human resources before becoming Deputy Postmaster General in 2005.

Giuliano cited Donahoe’s outstanding performance as one of the main reasons the Board chose Donahoe to build on the Postal Service’s achievements and lead the organization through a changing business environment.

“Pat and Jack have been a very effective team,” Giuliano said. “We’re very sorry to see Jack leave, but we’re grateful for the significant contributions his transformative approach to our organization and the nation it serves. We wish him nothing but the best in the future.”

Donahoe said he appreciated the confidence of the governors in naming him the next Postmaster General.

“It’s been an honor to serve with Jack,” Donahoe said. “Our challenge going forward is to implement the ambitious plan now in place to assure the continued viability of the Postal Service in fulfilling its mission of providing reliable, self-supporting, universal mail service to our nation. While we are confronted by challenges, I am confident we will succeed.”

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of products and services to fund its operations.

 Monica Lundquist

Postal Affairs Manager

Window Book, Inc.

617-395-4570

mlundquist@windowbook.com