Key notes Volume 03 Number 16

The Real Cost of Mail – Since passage of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) in 2006, the OIG found the Postal Service is doing better controlling its costs than sometimes is reported in the news.  The Postal Service has redesigned its network of processing plants, retail locations, delivery routes, and transportation systems, as well as modernized some of its workforce labor practices.  When Congress passed the PAEA in 2006, it established a new set of regulatory incentives designed to increase the U.S. Postal Service’s efficiency.  As the PAEA’s 10th anniversary approaches, the OIC will revisit postal cost trends to evaluate how well the Postal Service has been managing its costs.  Source:  USPS OIG

Australia’s Postal Service is Now Testing Delivery Drones – Australia Post is running a two week trail of drone deliveries and if the try is successful it could be expanded to include deliveries to customers by the end of the year, the trial has the backing of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority in Australia.  The closed-field trial is a crucial step in testing the new technology that will potentially deliver small parcels to customers’ homes, helping in transportation of time critical items such as medication.  Source:  Farraguter

Go Zero Tree Calculator – Earth Day is April 22nd!  Through a joint effort by UPS and The Conservation Fund, they created an online calculator to help learn how the choices everyone makes every day impact their environmental footprint.  Click here to get an estimate of your carbon footprint.  They also share some simple steps you can take to reduce your environmental impact.  Source:  UPS

Here’s How USPS Cut $10 Billion in Labor Costs Since 2006 – The Postal Service has cut its labor costs by more than $10 billion since fiscal 2006, a path the agency’s auditor called unsustainable in a report released by the OIG.  As volume has dropped precipitously, USPS has relied on trimming labor costs to account for about 75 percent of its overall reductions.  The Postal Service is doing better than many have given it credit for, the auditors wrote, noting the agency “has redesigned its network of processing plants, retail locations, delivery routes, and transportation systems, as well as modernized some of its workforce labor practices.”  Source:  Government Executive

Ways to Harness the Selling Power of Direct Mail – In an age where we can order groceries through Amazon and watch Wolf Blitzer via hologram, it seems a little old hat for real estate agents to include direct mail in their marketing campaigns. But it’s not.  While the idea of paper ads may feel outdated, the reality is that direct mail is still very effective.  In fact, it remains a favored method for many agents.  According to the CMO Council, a peer network of chief marketing officers, nearly 80 percent of consumers will act on direct mail immediately, compared to only 45 percent who act on email.  The Direct Marketing Association reported that more than half of consumers consider print marketing the most trustworthy.  And in a direct rebut to the “it’s too old fashioned” argument, AlphaGraphics claimed that 92 percent of young shoppers say they prefer direct mail for making purchasing decisions.  Source:  Chicago Agent Magazine

Tough First Year for PMG Megan Brennan – It’s been a rough start for the nation’s 74th postmaster general.  Since taking office in February 2015, Megan J. Brennan has endured setback after setback in her attempts to right the troubled United States Postal Service.  Both Congress and the federal courts have rejected her repeated pleas to preserve the 49¢ first-class stamp.  That created what the USPS described as a “forced” price reduction in stamp prices on April 10.  The decision is expected to cost the USPS about $2 billion a year.  There was, however, a sign of hope for the USPS on April 21 — albeit a small sign.  The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing for the latest candidate for the Postal Service’s Board of Governors.  Source:  Linns Stamp News

There is a Reason Congress is on the Postal Service’s Back – The U.S. Postal Service enjoys a statutory monopoly over the carriage of letters and access to mailboxes. Providing the Postal Service with “greater pricing flexibility” would simply allow it to increase prices. And without the pressure of a competitive environment, the Postal Service would have no incentive to improve efficiency and service. High prices and poor service — the hallmarks of an unregulated monopoly — will not save the Postal Service. The USPS is burdened by unreasonable, congressionally imposed benefit payment and retirement pre-funding requirements, has not been prepared to operate in an environment of declining mail volume and must continue to provide service to all areas of the country, six days a week. Source:  Washington Post

How the Founder of FedEx Gambled His Last $5,000 In Vegas to Save the Company – Can you imagine the world today without FedEx?  Back in 1974, that almost happened. Frederick W. Smith took the company’s last $5,000 to Las Vegas in an attempt to save his company.  Smith turned that money into $27,000 to pay for fuel so his plans could keep flying.   Source:  Celebrity Net Worth