06-06-2009 well, that’s goin’ postal!

postal four

From the Ground Up     

by Georg Jensen

As with many failed and failing government organizations, the team that got you into a mess isn’t likely to be the team that gets you out. The USPS needs to be torn down to the studs and re-invented. The Obama Administration and Congress must practice what Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter termed “creative destruction” in order to save the USPS from itself. Here is what to do, and the order in which to do it:

  1. Replace the USPS senior management team with proven corporate executives who know how to run a $76 billion company with vision and accountability to stakeholders.
  2. Negotiate with the unions to gain the concessions necessary to get the USPS’s labor costs in line. To be competitive with private competitors, the USPS will need to pay its workforce less than the $42 average hourly wage they receive today. Between layoffs and renegotiated compensation and benefits, drop the payroll costs from 80 percent of USPS’s expenses to 60 percent.
  3. Invest in modernization of the sorting centers to gain long-term efficiencies, but tighten up the network so that unprofitable centers and unprofitable post office branches are closed.
  4. Normalize the pricing differences between first-class, second-class (publications) and standard mail (advertising) to reflect actual delivery costs, and end the ratepayer and taxpayer subsidization of Big Mail.
  5. Redefine the Universal Service Obligation so that it makes sense in the 21st century. Use available online technology that enables the Postal Service to know when customers don’t need delivery or would forego a default delivery option to have their mail delivered electronically, redirected elsewhere or destroyed.
  6. As consumers switch to all-electronic delivery of postal mail, modify the USPS’s delivery fleet with in-vehicle dynamic routing systems such UPS and FedEx use, so that USPS vehicles don’t have to stop at every house, every day.
  7. Follow the international model for liberalization. Having competitors in the marketplace will force the USPS to become more efficient and truly competitive. Customers will have a choice, just as they do today with phone-service providers. Better yet, move to privatize the USPS before the option disappears.

There is even more we can do in the fullness of time. The Internet is still an inherently lawless medium. Emails are fraught with all sorts of malfeasance, from viruses to financial scams. The USPS could play a role in assigning legal online addresses for all citizens and businesses and providing a secure Internet-based channel for trusted communications. We only need to look across the pond for examples of now to do this. Such an adaptation would fulfill its Universal Service Obligation even as it acknowledges changes in society and the effects of pollution and carbon-based fuel consumption.

By rightsizing the infrastructure and implementing secure and legal “electronic postal mail delivery” like other countries have, the USPS could become profitable and sustainable within two years, preserving far more jobs than if it continues to operate as if the Internet has not changed the world forever. Darwin, Deming and Schumpeter are all looking down on the USPS to see if it becomes a victim of natural selection, or a beneficiary of it. As things stand today, its survival prospects don’t look so good.

Excerpt from “The American Interest Online:May-June 2009″
Read entire article: Going Postal



~ by myVelleity on June 6, 2009.

3 Responses to “06-06-2009 well, that’s goin’ postal!”

  1. An interesting use of the old pump. I always enjoy these creative mailboxes. Interesting and thought provoking discussion.

  2. well, all I can say is people will do what people got to do. I’ve seen worse. Such as a bucket laid on it’s side nailed to a post.

  3. hehe, that’s funny, you should definitely do that project

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