Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Internet is Just a Fad, How the USPS Stays Winning

You literally can't make this stuff up.

"Digital is just a fad," was the exact response to tech entrepreneurs received from the USPS's Chief of Digital Strategy.

I don't know about you, but I don't think putting a man who thinks digital will go the way of the pet rock in charge of your multi-billion dollar a year pseudo-government entity's digital strategy is exactly a strong business decision.

Those comments, among others made by the Postmast General, to the founders of Outbox, a revolutionary technology startup that would transform snail mail for the 21st century by reducing costs and improving customer satisfaction, reveal just how out-of-touch with reality the management of the USPS has become.  It also is a strong indication of why the USPS lost $5 billion in 2013, all of which were covered by the American tax payer.

The hemorrhaging at the post office is nothing new.  In 2012, they lost $15.9 billion.  Another $5.1 billion in 2011. $8.5 billion in 2010... well, you get the idea.

Meanwhile competitors like UPS and FedEx, who have wholly embraced the digital world, continue to see rising profits.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe says the USPS's customers are not the 350 million Americans they deliver mail to, but the 400 large bulk junk mailers who clog the postal system and our mail boxes with environmentally unconscious trash.

If those are the USPS's customers, why are they losing $5 billion annually?  Why do they continually return to congress asking for more handouts and rate increases?

The truth is it is the 350 million Americans who are the postal services customers.  And while they continue to believe digital is a fad, more and more Americans and the companies they do business with are turning to digital invoicing and online bill payment services, tools the USPS refused to recognize the value and potential of that they could have easily become a leader in.

In a true free market system, inefficient company's like the USPS, who fail to innovate, are destined to wind up on the ash heap of history.  The only thing keeping the company and its nearly 600,000 employees are the American tax payers who are finding their need or desire for the USPS diminish.  With a country spending more than a trillion per year more than it takes in, how long can the bailouts continue?

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