Smart Post – What Does its Success Suggest for Letter and Flat Mailers

In my previous post, I noted that FedEx volumes for Smart Post exceeded the Postal Service’s measured volumes for Parcel Select.   This implied that FedEx Ground, UPS and other parcel consolidators used other postal products, most likely Standard Mail Parcels, to handle the parcels that they want delivered less than 1 pound.  The attention that Smart Post received from analysts raised some additional questions that suggest that there may be Postal Service revival strategies that are not the focus of the current discussions about future business models for the Postal Service. So lets start with what we know about Smart Post and how the Postal Service handles it. What We [...] Read more »

Is there a Problem with RPW Parcel Select Volumes?

In a recent post illustrating the importance of the Postal Service, I noted that FedEx Ground had 28% of its volume delivered by the Postal Service in FedEx’s most recent quarter.  The same phenomenon was examined by Robert W Baird investment analyst Jon Langenfeld in his most recent report on FedEx reported the same figures.  He noted that FedEx’s increased use of Postal Service delivery corresponded with improvements in the Postal Service delivery quality. The problem with this analysis is that the volumes that FedEx reports for its SmartPost product exceed the total Parcel Select volume reported in RPW.  Here is the data for the Postal Service’s most recent fiscal [...] Read more »

Insights from the DMA’s Jerry Cerasale and Nonprofit Mailers’s Tony Conway

In the most recent Postcom Radio podcast, Gene Del Polito covered a wide range of current topics with Jerry Cerasale, V.P. of Government Relations for the Direct Marketing Association and Tony Conway, Executive Director of the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers.  Their discussion was quite useful for stakeholders trying to understand possible changes in the postal market.  The following is a quick summary of the ideas and issues raised in the Podcast.Improving the Business Relationship The discussion focused on two ideas that would put the relationship between the postal service and its customers in line with how mailers deal with all other vendors. Electronic Manifests – Electronic manifests would allow postal [...] Read more »

Leaving the Mailstram: Saturation Advertising

This blog had previously reported on the actions of Valassis to use alternative delivery for its saturation advertising products.  Last month, PowerDirect, a California company that manages a nationwide network providing door delivery of advertising introduced a new direct-to-door, co-op polybag media program announced that it will launch its service in Las Vegas on July 3.  PowerDirect like other firms trying to compete with the Postal Service for a share of the market for delivery of print advertising to households is a firm focused on local delivery of advertising.   Their business model allows them to compete with the Postal Service on both a price and service basis.  The success of [...] Read more »

Saving The Public Enterprise Model – Who Pays?

Tomorrow, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will receive testimony on three reports detailing changes requiring congressional or regulatory action.  These reports are Ensuring a Viable Postal Service for the Postal Service: An Action Plan for the Future by the U.S. Postal Service U.S. Postal Service: Strategies and Options to Facilitate Progress toward Financial Viability by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) The U.S. Postal Service’s Financial Condition: Overview and Issues for Congress by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) All three reports present changes that are designed to allow the Postal Service to retain its status as a self funding government enterprise.    The changes identified in the reports are [...] Read more »

Postal Policy: Now its Congress’s Turn

Now that the Government Accountability Office report is out it is time for Congress to get down to the serious business of re-evaluating the current business model and regulatory framework.  Congress is starting this process with hearings in the House and Senate, this week and next. In preparing for these hearing, members on the relevant committees have a significant challenge preparing for the postal and other governmental witnesses.Both hearings will focus on reports by the Postal Service, Government Accountability Office and the USPS Office of Inspector General. Federal Budget Treatment of the Postal Service by the USPS OIG The Postal Service’s Share of CSRS Pension Responsibility by the USPS OIG [...] Read more »

The Postal Journal – New Look and features

The Postal Journal has just completed its upgrade of its web design.   Check out the new site and in particular the lead story on Transactional Printing in North America.    The objective of the Journal is to explore the evolution of the North American postal market as part of the 21st century economic and communication infrastructure and facilitate an exchange of perspectives by individuals without regard to past or present affiliations, and to do so without any preconceived notions of what should be the end result.  The Journal will provide the postal industry with information needed to deal with rapid change as government policy initiatives, and market forces challenge established relationships [...] Read more »

Should Voluntary Early Retirement Become the New Normal?

The Postal Reporter News Blog reported that the Postal Service is quietly announcing the introduction of a voluntary early retirement program in selected cities.  Voluntary early retirement programs allow employees to retire early but do not offer them a financial incentive to do so.  This program requires eligible employees to decide between now and May 21, 2010 with their retirement date occurring in June 2010. Voluntary early retirement is the least expense method that the Postal Service has to convince excess employees to leave voluntarily and the least attractive method for employees who might consider retiring.    Because of the minimal cost of voluntary early retirement programs, it would make [...] Read more »

What is the Context for 5-day Delivery?

One of the problems with the current regulatory and business model is that every action that is proposed to make the Postal Service financially viable is evaluated independently.   This allows those that object to one solution or another to oppose the solution under review and argue that something else should be done to restore the Postal Service’s viability. Right now the solution in the public eye is 5-day delivery.   The Postal Regulatory Commission has begun its review and Congress will soon follow with its own.  Each review appears to be completed independently of any other changes in the business model or regulatory framework that would be necessary to create [...] Read more »