Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Closing Post Offices ... in Switzerland

The United States Postal Service has announced that the list of post offices being closed is down to 168.   The process of whittling the number of possible closures from 3,600 to 168 raise real questions about what the Postal Service was doing when it made the original announcement of closures.
  • Why did the Postal Service even started the process with such a long list of possible closing Post Offices?
  • Why did it not do the due diligence and confidential local market research  that resulted in trimming the list of post offices to be closed prior to announcing possible closings rather than once the closings were placed before the Postal Regulatory Commission?
  • Would the Postal Service had had an easier time dealing with the turmoil that announcing post office closings had if it had started with a shorter list of potential post office closings backed by proper due diligence and confidential local market research? 
  • How much did the entire process cost the Postal Service in the time of lawyers and other employees and how was that cost affected by starting with such a long list of potential closures?
  • How much did the entire process, including the repeated reduction in the number of potential closures, cost the Postal Service in lost credibility before the Postal Regulatory Commission and on Capital Hill?
  • Would the Postal Service have had a different result in post office closings if it had a plan in place for each possible closing for replacing the location with a contract or franchised outlet?
 The issue of post office closing is not unique to the United States.   The attached video from Swissinfo.com that was posted last April shows that announcing the potential closure of a post office generates the same arguments that are made in the United States.   The one difference is the tag line of the report. The Swiss Post has a plan B, a retail outlet in the local supermarket.   The only change would be the elimination of the Post Office's service of collecting bill payments at a window.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Postal Service announced the over 3,000 closures and the elimination of 1500 supervisors and managers when Potter was on the hot seat with congress. His being paid twice what the President is paid with over $4 million in pension funds now and his "sweetheart" home loan rate and mounting Postal deficits were hanging over his head.
The 1500 supervisors & managers were just reshuffled or back filled with actors to this date.

One has to wonder if in the reform the salary and benefit caps were lifted under the guise of attracting suitable candidates from the private sector, then why is Potter (postal career veteran) still around?