Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe made a plea to the House committee today to ask for their assistance in updating what he called “a broken business model.” In February, the Post Office announced its plans to change its delivery schedule, which received quite a buzz in the media. On March 21 however, Congress halted those plans by claiming that according to the Government Accountability Office’s findings, the Post Office does not have the authority to change its delivery schedule.
This Star Wars-like saga seems to have pit the US Postal Service against the Congress with an epic battle to look forward to. The Postmaster General was adamant about including delivery flexibility as part of their legislative provisions stating, “…we do not have all of the flexibility we need to grow revenue, reduce costs and adapt to a changing marketplace.”
Over the last decade, the Post Office has reduced their workforce by almost 200,000 career employees, consolidated over 300 facilities, modified hours of operation, and eliminated 21,000 routes for reducing the annual cost base by $15 billion dollars. Having made significant strides in cost-savings, without significantly impacting service is a rather impressive accomplishment. There are really only 2 possibilities for this achievement… 1 – the Post Office has been one of the most inefficient business models the world has ever seen, so these cost-savings were in effect streamlining a poorly run organization, or 2 – the Post Office has gone leaps and bounds using all of its resources and capabilities to tighten its belt and do more with less, which would be a most impressive feat. One can only hope its the latter, but likely to be some combination of both.
In either case, the Post Office is clearly make efforts to be nimble and function like a private enterprise, and its still murky as to why Congress is keeping them from doing what they feel will be best for the organization. The Post Office most certainly needs a Jedi to go to battle for them and maybe that Jedi is Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe… lets just hope he doesn’t succumb to the dark side.
If you have an idea that would help the USPS save money, please leave a comment.
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