Archive for November, 2010

OIG Intelligent Mail Report and Recommendations

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Yesterday Dead Tree Edition published this post on Barriers to Intelligent Mail, identified by the Office of Inspector General here. I am referencing the same OIG doc below, but focusing on the OIG Recommendations and the USPS Reponses. My comments included throughout.

OIG Recommendation:
Re-emphasize Full Service Intelligent Mail benefits to Postal Service Business Mailers
USPS Response:
Mainly consists of a yeah, we’re on it. Don’t worry about it.
My comments:
The problem isn’t that the benefits haven’t been communicated. It is that, for many mailers and mail owners, there is no return on investment. It is simple. It costs more to implement and maintain than the value that is placed on the benefits. And this is not because mailers don’t understand the benefits. Should program benefits be difficult to understand in the first place?

OIG Recommendation:
Consider offering program incentives to business mailers to offset program start up costs.
USPS Response:
The Postal Service already offers discounts for Full Service – three tenths of a cent for First-Class mail and one tenth of a cent for Standard Mail, Periodicals and Bound Printed Matter. The current adoption rate indicates that these discounts have been effective.
Final paragraph of the USPS Response:
Management agrees with the need to increase adoption, but disagrees with a concept that direct incentives are the only strategy to achieve this objective. Management has adopted a more sophisticated approach that blends multiple efforts to achieve this objective.
My comments
1. “Agrees with the need to increase adoption”? After a few paragraphs earlier stating that the current adoption rate is fine?
2. Nobody said anything about incentives to mailers as the “only strategy to be considered.
3. Has any study been done by the USPS to see what the adoption rate could possibly be, if the burden of start up costs were shared fairly between the USPS, who needs the data for Service Reporting, and the mailers, who need a return on investment.

OIG Recommendation:
Provide continuing training for Business Mail Entry Clerks and PostalOne Help Desk employees on important Intelligent Mail issues
USPS Response:
This recommendation states the obvious and recognizes what management has been doing and will continue to do to support the Intelligent Mail program. While management does not disagree with this recommendation, there is nothing new or unique about it. The recommendation simply states what was already happening.
My comments:
Two things. First of all, if you read the entire report, it can be deduced that the recommendation was made because the current efforts are not working. Hence the recommendation.  Secondly, the level of arrogance, and the borderline disrespect for the OIG in this response, as well as others, is palpable. And distasteful.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

November 29th, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Posted in USPS

High Costs and Lack of Training Are Barriers To Intelligent Mail

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Dead Tree Edition: High Costs and Lack of Training Are Barriers To Intelligent Mail.

I have some opinions on this OIG report referenced as well.  Agree with all of Dead Tree Editions points, will be adding to this…stay tuned.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

November 29th, 2010 at 10:52 am

Posted in USPS

Stamp Distribution Networks: Finding New Efficiencies

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Written by Lisa.Bowes

November 29th, 2010 at 10:42 am

Posted in USPS

We Really Need to Do This

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a call for unity from Gene Del Polito, President
Association for Postal Commerce
This is a subject we can all agree on and rally around. Take action…

“Well, the Thanksgiving Day holiday is over, and, with any luck, you’ve polished off your turkey. Good! Well, there’s still one more turkey that needs to be polished off, and that’s the postal retirement funding mess that Congress left uncooked before it took off for home. And . . . now’s the time for everyone in this industry to tell Congress that they can put a fork in this bird, because it’s more than done.
Over the years, you’ve been made to suffer because of this bit of foul business. Over the years, through the postal rates you pay, you’ve provided way more money than the government actually needs to meet all of the Postal Service’s Civil Service Retirement System obligations. Indeed, the amount of over-funding that’s occurred has been on the order of $50 billion to $75 billion depending on whose assessment you use.
To make matters worse, Congress, through the 2006 postal accountability act, is requiring you to pony up some $5.5 billion a year(!) to pre-fund what the Office of Personnel Management believes the Postal Service’s future obligations will be to cover all the costs of postal retiree health benefits.
That’s right. You’re being coerced into paying $5.5 billion a year, when there’s already a very hefty over-payment on other postal retirement obligations already on the federal treasury’s books.
If you were a cow, I’d say you’re being milked. Since you’re not, I’ll just say you’re being bilked.
This is unconscionable. Mail as a medium for business communication and commerce isn’t dying a natural death. It’s having the fiscal life squeezed out of it by Congress’ unwillingness to address this issue and to begin to permit the use of that CSRS over-payment (YOUR MONEY!!) to pay down the postal retiree health pre-funding obligation.
This can, at times, seem to be a very complex and confusing issue. For a new Member of Congress, it most certainly will be, because it goes against all of the inaccurate preconceptions many people have as to how this nation actually funds its universal mail service.
Here is a four-pager that puts things into clearer light. It would be GREAT if you would take that four-pager and share it with your congressional delegation. You can do that easily.
All members of Congress have web sites. All of these web sites allow you, a constituent, to send your representative and senators an email that you want them to read. Go to their web sites, and tell them you want to read the following. Then, just cut and paste the four-pager into the body of your email. Then . . . and this is the important step . . . hit the send button.
Doing this is easy. And it’s probably the most important step you’re likely to take this month to improve your own and your company’s fiscal and competitive well-being.

Don’t delay. Do it today.”

Reprinted with permission.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

November 28th, 2010 at 9:35 pm

Posted in USPS

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Written by Lisa.Bowes

November 25th, 2010 at 10:36 am

Posted in USPS

Postal Service Brief Filed

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“The brief makes two main arguments: the PRC misread the statute governing exigency; and the PRC acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner by establishing new requirements that were not shared with or explained to the Postal Service.”

Postal Service Brief Filed | News | News | Mailing Systems Technology.

In my opinion, the Postal Regulatory Commission did an admirable job, and their fair decision is to be applauded and supported.  The PRC decision should have enabled the USPS to move on and get about the business of growing the Postal Service.  Continuing to fight this battle is a needless and damaging energy drain on the USPS – their efforts would be better served elsewhere.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

November 24th, 2010 at 10:15 am

Posted in USPS

Mailers express dissatisfaction with USPS at Innovation Symposium

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Written by Lisa.Bowes

November 22nd, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Posted in USPS

PCC Insider Special Edition – November 19, 2010

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PCC Insider Special Edition – November 19, 2010.

A couple of informative pieces in this special edition, one on the Postall Accountability and Enhancement Act – with an opportunity to provide feedback – and another article withcomments from retiring PMG Potter and incoming PMG Donahoe.  Their comments were made to us at MTAC last week.  “Leaner-smarter-faster.”

Written by Lisa.Bowes

November 22nd, 2010 at 11:56 am

Posted in USPS

USPS Webinar: Migrating to IMb

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In May 2011, eligibility for automation discounts in letter and flat mailings will require mailers to use an Intelligent Mail barcode on each mailpiece in Full-Service and Basic IM barcoded mailings as the Postnet barcode will not qualify for automation prices. To help in transitioning to the IM barcode, the USPS is conducting webinars, “Migrating to the IMb” between November 22, 2010 and May 3, 2011.  See the full schedule and access information at USPS RIBBS Latest News site:

http://tinyurl.com/dflugt

Take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about IMb before it is crunch time.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

November 22nd, 2010 at 10:19 am

Posted in USPS

USPS Says Contract Negotiations Outcome Critical to Postal Service, Employee, Future

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Written by Lisa.Bowes

November 21st, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Posted in USPS