Postmaster General Addresses Need for Fundamental Change at the USPS
Work Hours Reduced, Productivity Increased as Fiscal Year Nears End
In his annual state of the business address to the mailing industry, Postmaster General John E. Potter today stressed that long-term sustainability for the Postal Service will be achieved through fundamental change.
"The Postal Service must have the ability to manage its business, and to adapt quickly to the needs of our customers and the marketplace," said Potter. "And our business model must change to reflect the reality of a volatile economy and a communications marketplace that has been undergoing a transformation as profound as anything that has ever come before."
Despite cutting spending by $3 billion in 2010, the Postal Service continues to seek meaningful change for greater control over business decisions, including delivery frequency, pricing and products, public policy and workforce flexibility.
Potter's comments came during the National Postal Customer Council (PCC) Day broadcast, an annual event that brings together mailers, industry partners and customers to recognize their contributions to the Postal Service and outline future plans and goals. PCCs are a network of community-based business mailers and representatives of the Postal Service, who meet regularly to share ideas and resources to create a closer working relationship.
In the midst of financial and regulatory challenges, the Postal Service achieved major milestones during fiscal year 2010, including:
17 percent reduction in work hours 20 percent increase in Total Factor Productivity The smallest career complement in 10 years — a reduction of 200,000 positions through attrition or retirement, 100,000 over the last three years. The Postmaster General also looked forward, telling PCC members that new flat-rate products and a Priority Mail "Regional Rate Box" are being developed and will be available as of January 2011.
Other successful innovations in mail will return, including the Summer Sale, an expansion of the Saturation Mail Sale and a new incentive program included in the exigent price filing, "Reply Rides Free," that would allow mailers to use bill and statement mailings for advertising messages.
Potter also challenged PCCs and the mailing industry to embrace change, asking for their best ideas on new products and services the Postal Service could pursue and encouraging them to become a part of the Postal Service's "era of innovation."
Members of the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee participated in an Innovation Symposium in August and a similar symposium is planned for October with CEOs, consumer groups and marketing professionals around the country.
PCC leaders were asked to solicit their members for three innovative ideas and to submit them for consideration at usps.com/pcc. Regular updates will be provided and a special reporting session is planned for the National Postal Forum next May.
But, Potter stressed, even as the Postal Service focuses on new ways of doing business and changing its business model to address a constantly changing consumer and business environment, the Postal Service remains true to its mission of universal service.
"Service is still our priority, which we'll continue to improve as we work toward achieving long-term sustainability through fundamental change," he pledged.
National PCC Day also showcases the work of PCCs and includes a series of awards recognizing outstanding service and individual achievement.