A COUPLE OF SUGGESTIONS FOR THE USPS
~~~ by Tim Bryce - 7/22/2013~~~
BRYCE ON THE POST OFFICE
- For starters, how about forwarding our mail to the public dump?
Whenever the United States Postal Service (USPS) suffers a major economic downturn, which seems to be fairly regular, they always threaten to cancel Saturday delivery service. Basically, they contend their operating costs are getting out of hand. Instead of cancelling Saturday service though, there are some alternatives, something they should have been cognizant of all along.
As we all know, the cause of the problem is the decline of printed material requiring delivery. Magazines and newspapers have been sharply curtailed, and we now live in an age of eZines. Correspondence is done by e-mail as opposed to a card or letter, and bills are paid on-line as opposed to the mail. Although I personally prefer paper mail, particularly for my bills, I have many friends who do everything on-line, particularly younger people. To illustrate, I had a friend recently contend everything she gets in the mail box goes directly into her garbage. There is virtually nothing of interest to her and she is irritated she has to walk out to her mail box only to drop the contents off in the garbage. She jokingly thought of changing her address to the public dump in order to save time, but her idea is not entirely without merit.
It would be my suggestion the USPS take charge of the telephone book, complete with addresses, and offer clients the option to be removed from postal deliveries (a simple Yes or No switch). Further, they would sell mailing lists to those vendors who still want to mail printed documents through their service. This would eliminate the problem of receiving junk mail, speed up the letter carrier's route, and offer vendors a more cost effective direct mailing scheme; after all, why send mail to a location where the recipient will only toss it in the garbage?
Due to economics, many organizations have turned to eZines as opposed to printing newsletters or other documents. Although this has saved a lot of money, there are still people, mostly older, who are not intimate with technology and prefer receiving such publications in the mail. Obviously, this means you will not be able to go 100% paperless, unless you no longer care about your older members. In some of the nonprofit organizations I am involved with, such e-mail is sent to approximately 75% of our membership, with the other 25% receiving it in hard copy form. Nonetheless, this approach has saved a considerable amount of money.
What about shipping packages? Two alternatives: either separate package delivery from other mail, or abandon packages altogether and leave it to other carriers such as UPS and FedEx, but this isn't really a practical alternative as packages represent a huge revenue stream to the USPS. Instead, separating package delivery from letters and other printed materials would be the logical alternative. Whereas letters would require letter carriers operating on a routine route, packages would be delivered upon demand, which is essentially how UPS and FedEx operates.
Regardless if these suggestions are used or not, the USPS has to change in order to remain a viable delivery service. If they do not, we might all want to change our addresses to the public dump.
Keep the Faith!
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