Key Notes – Volume 03 Number 49

Post Office’s Governing Board Is Empty – Nobody is in charge at the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) Board of Governors after December 7th when the last Senate-confirmed governor’s term expires, leaving Postmaster General Megan Brennan and Deputy Postmaster Ronald Stroman large and in charge, with no oversight.  Without the board, Brennan and Stroman can’t choose a permanent Inspector General (IG), select a firm for independent financial statement audits, submit the IG’s semiannual reports to Congress, or raise or lower mail rates, among other functions, according to a November USPS IG report.  “This unprecedented situation could have broad ramifications for the Postal Service,” the report said.  “If someone at the Postal Service were to act on on these matters, it would be done without statutory authority and subject to legal change.”  Source:  The Daily Caller

Postal Service Ready to Deliver Holiday Cheer – The U.S. Postal Service today announced it was ready to deliver a lot of cheer — in the form of roughly 16 billion cards, letters and packages — this holiday season.  The Postal Service, the largest e-commerce deliverer, is projecting about 750 million packages will be delivered this holiday season, a 12-percent increase in volume compared to last year.  The USPS predicts that Monday, Dec. 19, will be the busiest mailing and shipping day for holiday packages, letters and cards. Thursday, Dec. 22, is expected to be the busiest delivery day for holiday packages, cards and letters. The Postal Service anticipates nearly 30 million packages will be delivered on the peak delivery day alone.  Source:  USPS

Drone Delivery – The U.S. Postal Service wants to jump on the drone delivery bandwagon, but the American people are not entirely sure about the idea just yet.  That’s what the USPS Office of the Inspector General found when it polled almost 1,500 people about the topic.  A 114-page OIG report said that people have safety concerns, especially considering these drones would be consistently flying over and to their houses.  Source:  Federal News Radio

Postal Service Could Enable Smart Cities – The USPS fleet in the field could be enabled with sensors that could serve as the eyes and ears of smart cities to improve services. But hurdles abound.  The future of the U.S. Postal Service could be as the eyes, ears and sensor network for the smart city.  If cities played along the USPS could also derive a revenue stream that could reverse billions of dollars of annual losses.  According to a panel at the Smart Cities Summit in Boston, the future of the U.S. Postal Service could revolve around big data, Internet of things and smart cities.  Source:  ZDNet

Free Delivery Offers Drive Shipping Prices Lower for Consumers – The average shipping price per order that consumers paid dropped 5% to $2.30 between Nov. 1 and Dec. 5, according to Adobe, which tracks 24.1 billion visits to retail websites and said that its data measures 80% of all online transactions from the top 100 U.S. retailers.  Free shipping, included in the cost-per-order calculation, helps to drive down the cost per order, Adobe said.  Source:  eMarketer

Using Paper to Reduce Paper – The number of letters being sent through the post is falling. But any company expecting to be operating in a paperless environment is in for a very long wait indeed.  Not only are volumes still massively high and rates of organic decline very slow, paper is (and should remain) an important part of the customer communications mix.  While ‘going digital’ can reduce print and postage costs and have a positive impact on the environment, paper can deliver significant customer benefits when deployed in the right way and at the right stage in the customer journey.  Click here to download a paper on the topic.  Source:  RRD

Report on Cost of Downtime in Print and Mail Operations – Respondents to a survey of print and mail professionals on operational downtime reported that idle employees was their biggest concern, followed by customer satisfaction and excess labor costs. These are just some of the findings in a new report from Bell and Howell titled “Assessing the True Cost of Operational Downtime,” available here.  In order to assess the true cost of operational downtime, Bell and Howell reached out earlier this year to more than 625 professionals responsible for commercial mail operations, and invited them to participate in a survey.  Source:  Bell & Howell