Mailing Systems Technology - November/December 2009 - (Page 37)

Reality Check ou’re most likely one of the eight million people whose paycheck depends on postal commerce — the mail. If so, that would imply that you would want the United States Postal Service to be a viable business organization… at least up to your retirement… right? If so, check out the reality of these statements (I’ll give you some real facts to help you out): The USPS uses taxpayer dollars to cover their operating expenses. ❑ True ❑ False While the USPS is a part of the federal government, they have to rely on sales and not taxpayer money to meet the vast political, legal and regulatory oversight requirements of a government agency while also complying with the same accounting, reporting and financial visibility requirements of a publicly held company. If the USPS were a private company, it would rank 26th on the Fortune 500 list. The USPS delivers 670 million pieces of mail six days a week to 150 million addresses. Reducing one day of the congressionally mandated six-day delivery and operations would save an estimated $3.3 billion dollars annually. Each of the 36,700 USPS retail outlets (Post Offices) sells enough stamps to cover their operating expenses. ❑ True ❑ False If you had a facility that was a drain on your balance sheet, what would you do? Find a way to make more profit at that facility — new products, new services or something (so your accountant would let you keep it open), or you’d close it. Not so with the USPS. By law, it can’t close any Post Office based on a balance sheet. Around 75% of the Post Offices do not make even enough money to keep the lights on, much less cover other expenses related to a store location. Just how many store locations do you need? Did you know that the USPS has more retail opportunities available to US consumers than McDonald’s (15,967), Starbucks (11,168) or Pizza Hut (6,200)? All US Federal Agencies are required by law to deposit billions of dollars into a retiree health piggy bank each year. ❑ True ❑ False With Wanda Senne Understanding the USPS: a Pop Quiz Y Here’s the crazy part: the retiree health fund established in 2006 already has $32 billion in it — enough to fully cover the estimated future benefit needs of the 466,000 postal retirees. So why does the USPS have to deposit $5.4 billion or more each year? Because the federal government’s budget shows that money as a positive on its balance sheet. It’s not taxpayer revenue. It’s revenue from the stamps you buy! The recent congressional continuing resolution reduced this year’s amount to only $1.4 billion, but the $5.4 billion (or larger) payments are still due for the remainder of the 10-year schedule… …Unless reality is checked. Unless you play a role. Unless you can create an education plan with your own congress people and senators. Here’s my suggestion: Invite your local representative to come to your office. Show them the real people, the warm bodies that rely on a healthy Postal Service so you can continue to make money in the mail. You can go to your representative’s web page by visiting and your senators’ website at After talking with Leo Raymond, Vice President for Postal and Member Relations at the Mailing & Fulfillment Service Association, he observed that, “The mailing industry needs to do a better job of, first, understanding the facts around the Postal Service’s circumstances and, second, educating their elected representatives so they have a clear and accurate perspective. Politicians can’t coherently address the fundamental challenges facing the Postal Service if they don’t have a high-level understanding of those issues and are instead focused on short-term and parochial concerns. ” The reality is that if you are not going to help create a political environment in your favor — an environment that will move to change the restrictions imposed on the USPS — someone else will. It might as well be in your favor. a Wanda Senne is the National Director of Postal Development for World Marketing. She primarily focuses on establishing and maintaining ongoing communications between the USPS and World Marketing and provides postal training programs for World Marketing and its clients. Contact her at 770-431-2591 or a NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Mailing Systems Technology - November/December 2009

Mailing Systems Technology - November/December 2009
Editor’s Note
Real-Life Management
Software Byte
Employing Technology
Everything IMB
Ship It
Best Practices
What You Think
From the Source
Mail Managers React to Economic Times
Cost Comparisons
The Intelligent Mail Challenge
Special Product Profile Section
Reality Check
Pushing the Envelope

Mailing Systems Technology - November/December 2009