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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"Please Mr. Postman look and see . ."

It seems no industry is impervious to the effects of the soured economy.  Case in point:

An article I found at the MSNBC site talks about the Post Office requesting the requirement to make mail delivery six days a week be removed.  Specifically, the Post Office is considering decreasing delivery down to five days a week for those who now receive six-day-a-week delivery (the day dropped would be based on which day of the week has the lightest mail volume).

It got me to thinking about an cost-saving idea I heard when I was in college in the early '90's.

I found the idea, after a search, posted on meetingwave.com.  I then found a few more cost saving thoughts at forcechange.com

The MSNBC article references a study by George Mason University requested by the Postal Regulatory Commission (skip ahead in the report to page 46 to read the report's recommendation on delivery frequency).

The idea posited by my professor was changing six-day-a-week delivery to three-day-a-week delivery.  The idea would have one postal carrier take one route Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and a second route Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  The goal would be to reduce staffing and realize cost savings.

The only glitch is that to start something like this now and to avoid layoffs, routes would have to be reassigned as postal carriers either transfer out of carrier duty, get fired, decide to quit or retire.  If the idea was implemented when I first heard it in the early '90's, the Post Office would have easily transitioned all of their delivery routes to three-day-a-week service.

So, to make this work now and have immediate impact, layoffs would be likely.  With announcements of layoffs being made practically every business day, making this kind of move would only exacerbate what is happening now.

My bet is that the flexibility being requested by the Postmaster General will be granted by Congress in a swift manner.

By taking all of the suggestions on delivery frequency and route design and publicizing those changes, other large organizations facing layoffs may think of other cost-cutting methods before making the leap to layoffs.

1 comment:

Randy said...

Only problem with going to 3-a-week delivery is that firms that rely on postal service would be adversely affected, such as Netflix, thus actually causing a business to fail. So that would be a negative influence.

The postal service can reduce costs by cutting administrative bosses and restructuring the government union. It's gotten too bloated. Cut those first.

Government in general is too bloated. Time to start snipping.

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