Postal delivery improves; PostalVision offers USPS growth strategies
June 19, 2012 - During the past year, ABM, along with other publishers, associations and service providers, has been working with the United States Postal Service on a number of issues relating to delivery, including late delivery of publications, changes in delivery standards, facility consolidations and arrival times at postal facilities.
According to Red Tag News Publications Association, which monitors delivery of approximately 45 daily, weekly, bimonthly and monthly periodical publications, USPS has shown significant improvement in the last six months. Delivery trends for weekly Red Tag member publications include:
- From January 2012 to May 2012 overall delivery improved from 61 percent to 76 percent.
- All areas are in the 70 percent and greater range, which is a first time ever event
- One area improved delivery 24 percent from January to May. Copies delivered later that one day has decreased from 20 percent in January to 9 percent in May. In August of 2011, 28 percent of the copies were delivered more than one day late (this is a critical number which has a dramatic effect on subscriber satisfaction levels).
The postal service has also released its delivery percentages by postal area for May:
- Eastern: 78 percent
- Northeast: 78 percent
- Western: 77 percent
- Great Lakes: 76 percent
- Capital: 75 percent
- Pacific: 73 percent
- Southern: 70 percent
PostalVision offers six growth strategies for USPS
Meanwhile, last week’s PostalVision conference, held in Washington, D.C. by consultancy Ursa Major Associates, looked at the role of the Postal Service in the digital arena. Attendees included digital companies, Postal Service representatives, Postal labor unions, customers and service providers across all classes of mail.
According to WhatTheyThink.com, there were three main takeaways from the event: 1) Congress will never let the USPS go under; (2) USPS can only embrace digital technologies via work share contracts with the private sector and 3) the USPS is still a $50 billion business projected to handle half the world’s mail volume by 2020.
Much of the event focused on the USPS’ opportunity as a platform. Keynote speaker Phil Simon, author of “The Age of the Platform; How Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google Have Refined Business,” shared how industry leaders are developing “plank ecosystems” offering features, applications, programs and services which also urge innovations from outside partners and developers.
While Postmaster General Patrick Donohoe noted the USPS still has the largest physical network in the world, it’s still limited by “1940 work rules.” Ruth Goldway, chairman of the Postal Regulatory Commission PRC, offered six growth strategies for the USPS, including allowing private sector more access to the network; capitalizing on geographic reach of the postal network; leverage the trusted nature of the Postal Service (expanding Vote by Mail service, emergency medical countermeasures, mail-in test kits); tap intellectual capital of the Postal Network (national addressing system, employee’s institutional knowledge, patent portfolio, hybrid mail, lessons from other national postal operators); provide customers more control over the mail; and partnerships (including federal, state and local government agencies, credentialing services to Government customers, prize contests, retail reinvention).
By Matt Kinsman from reports by ABM postal counsel Jack Widener.