Postal Service must trim fat to stay financially viable

The U.S. Postal Service is under pressure to cover its costs, not make a profit – but breaking even can be hard to do. The emergence of the Internet, e-mail and mobile technology as well as the economic slowdown have all led to the need for changes in the structure and method of snail mail delivery. To remain viable and provide its still valuable service, the agency must make adjustments.

My company, UNITEMP Temporary Personnel, has been in business for 43 years. We have delivered thousands of paychecks and invoices by mail. I came into the family business 27 years ago with a marketing degree and helped build the business using direct mail but have since shifted to electronic marketing that is even more targeted, timely and measurable, and, as a result, has a greater return on investment. Soon all of our paychecks and invoices will be delivered electronically, and most people seem to like the concept given its ease, convenience and promptness.

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We are all channeling toward the Internet and it makes sense to cut costs when the demand for a product or service declines as it has for the U.S. Postal Service. The proposal to cut back should be implemented. It will become an excellent example of technological progress, carbon footprint reduction, increased security and improved efficiency. This nation needs the U.S. Postal Service, but let’s face it: We are using it less, it costs too much, and there is an answer on the table.

The proposed changes would help the agency trim its fat and resize itself to meet our needs, not exceed them. Its excess capacity coupled with its high cost of delivery are causing great financial strain that can no longer be hidden from the public. Without change, the current projections predict even greater financial pain for the agency. Why would we decide not to fix this problem? We need economical mail delivery and the U.S. Postal Service can be the answer.

Sure, it will be a challenge to close post offices and eliminate Saturday delivery. However, if we do, we would have addressed an important and growing financial burden. We simply can’t justify continuing in the red. Technology has enabled almost every business to reduce its physical footprint and Saturday delivery simply costs too much.

Studies upon studies have led us to seriously consider the proposed changes. We should take advantage of this opportunity and make the necessary business and personal adjustments to survive such changes. The end result may be good for local business, which usually means small business, the largest employer of all.

Ted Kissel is president and CEO of UNITEMP Temporary Personnel, a specialized human resources support organization based in Hackensack, N.J., providing flexible staffing solutions to employers.

 
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