NAPUS: ‘Give the Postal Service the Flexibility It Needs to Compete’

NAPUS – 3/17/16 – Postmaster General Megan Brennan addressed NAPUS members at the Leadership Conference Monday morning, March 14. She thanked Postmasters for their leadership and what they do for customers and the organization. The Postal Service delivered a very successful peak holiday season with an 18 percent increase in package volume.NAPUS LOGO-2015

“That’s a credit to you and our employees; our customers noticed,” she said. “And it’s a credit to the investments we’ve made in technology—capacity in plants and mobile delivery devices—that help improve our competitiveness. Service is foundational and the key to growth. And it’s more than transit time.”

Transit time is important, she pointed out, but it’s also about visibility. Customers want to know where their packages are from induction to delivery. “We need to make sure every customer experience is a positive one at every touch point throughout the system,” she declared.

First-Class volume is down about 2 percent; Standard volume is relatively flat. Advertising mail is becoming more of the mail mix—52 percent of volume. The agency is looking to enhance the value of advertising mail

People look at their smart phones up to 50 times a day, so part of the Postal Service’s approach is integrating hard copy with digital; strides have been made. “We’ll be at the Postal Forum next week with more than 2,000 of our customers,” Brennan said. “Part of the discussion will be how we improve the value of hard copy communications; it goes well beyond QR codes.”

The goal is to make mail pieces come to life. When customers get a mail piece that is creative and personal and relates to their interests, they’re likely to open it. Given the business world, mail needs to stand out. And if the mail piece helps speed purchases, that adds value, she said.

Package growth continues to be a bright spot for the agency. The Postal Service is investing in the infrastructure and focusing on the importance of timely and accurate scanning. “We’re facing strong headwinds going forward,” she said. “It’s a competitive landscape. The mail mix will change and we continue to look at how we adjust the infrastructure.”

Brennan referred to the upcoming expiration of the exigent rate surcharge in early April. Absent congressional or court action, the Postal Service will have to roll back prices. The immediate impact will be about a $1 billion loss in revenue this year. Going forward, it will be roughly $2 billion a year. “It is incumbent on us to drive efficiency and grow profitable revenue,” she said.

She thanked NAPUS members for going up to Capitol Hill and advocating for the Postal Service. “While we may disagree on some parts of the current postal reform legislation, we can agree on the core: Give the agency more flexibility,” she declared. “In a 21st century marketplace, you cannot continue to constrain the Postal Service.”

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