Archive for September 30th, 2012

ADVISORY OPINION ON MAIL PROCESSING NETWORK RATIONALIZATION SERVICE CHANGES Commentary

with 2 comments

Postal Regulatory Commission
 ADVISORY OPINION ON MAIL PROCESSING NETWORK RATIONALIZATION SERVICE CHANGES

It is important to at least scan through the entire document prior to considering my comments below.  Excerpts taken directly from the report are indicated by quotes and footnotes with page references.  This is a lengthy and complex document, carefully and thoughtfully prepared, I applaud the Commission for the obvious time and work that went into pulling this all together.  It will take some time to read through and analyze, so I will be posting comments in chunks.  This is the first of a series of more posts to come.
“The Postal Regulatory Commission has analyzed the Postal Service’s Mail Processing Network Rationalization (MPNR) initiative, a plan to provide forecasted net savings of $2.1 billion by consolidating its processing and transportation networks to better match estimated mail volume. The Commission’s range of potential net savings estimates is lower than that projected by the Postal Service.”[1]

The USPS has a track record of manipulating and presenting biased data that supports whatever they are trying to push through, discarding and/or discounting data that does not support or further their agenda.  I am not surprised in the least that the Commission net savings estimates are lower than those projected by the Postal Service, and I am of the opinion myself that they are far more grounded and in line with reality and fairness than the information provided by the USPS.  The Commission’s conclusions that savings can be realized – great savings – without gutting service outright, are right on the money.

“The Postal Service does not take full advantage of its network modeling tools. It uses modeling to develop an initial list of facilities to be consolidated given the decision to reduce service levels, but rejects most of the facilities identified by the model. The Postal Service relies on internal expertise for final decisions.”[2]

I think the Commission is being kind here.  The USPS uses modeling to substantiate their endgame.  They do not use it to gather information in order to make a fair, unbiased, and balanced decision.  There is a level of arrogance that is pervasive and objectionable, where the USPS feels their own internal expertise is far more strong and capable at guiding the decisions being made than it actually is.  The USPS squanders the feedback from those of us out in the trenches, unless it supports their plan.

“Specifically, the Commission encourages the Postal Service to make every attempt to retain overnight delivery in keeping with the analysis presented in the subsequent chapters.”[3]

On this point, I find it sad that the Commission needs to even state it.  The USPS should have made every attempt to retain overnight delivery without “encouragement”.  Again, the focus was not on a balance, or the quality of service, it was on a mistaken idea about savings.  I do not think there was enough (if any) emphasis made on preserving service.  There is an attitude of using “times are tough” as an excuse to be short sighted and damaging in the long term in order to make short term changes, that once implemented would be next to impossible to repair or recover from.

Several witnesses, as detailed in this paper, produced models indicating that a balance between savings and consolidations – while maintaining current service standard levels – should be closely and carefully considered by the Postal Service with an open mind.  Hopefully these opinions won’t be discarded simply because the USPS didn’t think of them first, or because the USPS arrogance blinds them to any other opinions besides their own.



[1] ADVISORY OPINION ON MAIL PROCESSING NETWORK RATIONALIZATION SERVICE CHANGES p.7

[2] ADVISORY OPINION ON MAIL PROCESSING NETWORK RATIONALIZATION SERVICE CHANGES p.8

[3] ADVISORY OPINION ON MAIL PROCESSING NETWORK RATIONALIZATION SERVICE CHANGES p.12

Written by Lisa.Bowes

September 30th, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Posted in USPS