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USPS LOOKS TO STAKEHOLDERS FOR NEW IDEAS
When PMG Jack Potter last March announced the Postal Service’s plan for what he termed a “leaner, more market responsive Postal Service that can thrive far into the future,” he challenged anyone with a vested interest in a viable postal system to put forth ideas to help the organization move forward.
Since March, postal officials have been meeting regularly with customers and other stakeholders to bring them into the process. In August, Senior Vice President, Customer Relations, Steve Kearney organized an “Innovation Symposium” with the Mailers’ Technical Advisory Committee, during which 130 of the Postal Service’s largest customers addressed 10 topics, ranging from the future of the organization to a discussion of which areas could be more innovative.
Ideas submitted included ways to increase electronic services to hybrid mail and suggestions on how to restore the “mail moment” — when delivery of a mailpiece is eagerly anticipated by residential customers.
The search for ideas continued on Sept. 15 — National Postal Customer Council (PCC) Day — when the 200 local PCCs were asked for feedback on ideas. “PCCs regularly provide us with valuable feedback,” said Vice President, Sales, Susan Plonkey. “They’ll do the same as we explore potential innovations to respond to an evolving marketplace.”
The latest event for gathering innovative ideas took place this week near Washington, DC, when more than 100 stakeholders representing Congress, regulators, customers and USPS heard presentations from experts on the future of the mail and shared their thoughts. “You are the movers and shakers of a $1 trillion industry,” Potter said in remarks at the start of the event. “This industry is at a fork in the road, and your input is critical to us.”
Scott Bedbury, CEO of Brandstream, a market branding consultant and former marketing executive at Nike and Starbucks, provided an upbeat view of the Postal Service’s place in a digital world. He said the mail offers a unique “physical” experience that digital media can’t provide. He urged his audience to “rekindle and leverage the nobility and greater good that is in the DNA of the USPS with a new generation of products, services, brand experiences and messages.”
Bedbury also discussed the role of employees in a rejuvenated USPS. “Never underestimate the value of dedicated employees that have a sense of mission and nobility,” he said. “Imagine what you could do with 600,000 such employees.”