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About Don Dingee

An experienced strategic marketer and editorial professional, and an engineer by education, Don is currently a blogger, speaker, and author on social computing topics, and a marketing strategy consultant. He's had previous gigs at Embedded Computing Design magazine, Motorola, and General Dynamics.

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Digital Pennies Mean Less Mail Soon

Posted December 05, 2011 4:00 PM by dondingee

The biggest challenge of this new era of digital content is adjusting business from what were analog dollars into digital pennies. That's a term the head of NBCUniversal used to describe his problem in broadcast TV, but it applies much more broadly to all the forms of mass communication we're used to.

And today, more news that these changes are coming to a US Post Office near you.

There's a solid article on these changes written by Hope Yen of the Associated Press. Here's some of what she discussed:

$3B in cuts mean the closing of about half of the mail processing hubs around the country in 2012, and that will mean slower mail. This will slow down first class mail, wiping out next day delivery which is now 42% of mail.

This is on top of a projected 3700 local post office closures which was published earlier this year, along with elimination of Saturday delivery, and rate increases. These measures all wait for an "opinion" from the Postal Regulatory Commission, which is due to rule next March.

One of the more telling quotes is this one, from Postmaster General Patrick Donohoe.

"We have a business model that is failing. You can't continue to run red ink and not make changes. We know our business, and we listen to our customers. Customers are looking for affordable and consistent mail service, and they do not want us to take tax money."

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#1

Re: Digital Pennies Mean Less Mail Soon

12/06/2011 11:49 AM

We have covered this issue in the CR4 forum before. The USPS business model is indeed failing, but a cut in service to reduce costs will only further decrease the volume and further reduce revenues. If it were a private business it would declare bankruptcy and deal with the real reason for the growing deficits: poorly managed union wage & pension agreements.

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#2
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Re: Digital Pennies Mean Less Mail Soon

12/06/2011 5:35 PM

I wish the postmaster would send the memo to the rest of government.

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Re: Digital Pennies Mean Less Mail Soon

12/06/2011 5:51 PM

Seems both the politician-union and politician-business "close" alliances tend to cause problems over the long haul. Maybe the solution is to back government out of both?

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Re: Digital Pennies Mean Less Mail Soon

12/06/2011 6:12 PM

The government needs to back away from a lot of things.

I have a friend that worked in the, (private), student loan industry. The government snatched it away, killing his job and thousands of others.

He now works for NC State University for far less money, and parents are dismayed at how confusing, complicated, and unfriendly the entire process has become. He has to explain to them that the free help with the student loan process existed back when there was competition, but not so much now. There is only one loan agency..................................the US government.

The people that work there are interested in collecting a paycheck for 20 years and retiring with a nice pension package. They do no more than is absolutely necessary.

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#5
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Re: Digital Pennies Mean Less Mail Soon

02/29/2012 2:26 AM

ISN"T the PO a private business??, I see a postal system as one of the things the government SHOULD do along with inspecting all foods produced in the US and imported-- I don'r want to have to run everythig I eat through a spectroanalysis to see what might be in it that will harm me! the same on roads and the PO AND it ISN'T a business, it's a service not intended to earn a profit--isn't it?

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Re: Digital Pennies Mean Less Mail Soon

02/29/2012 5:49 PM

When private businesses run out of $ they dissolve or go into bankruptcy and restructure their debt (then recover or dissolve). So, no the PO is not a private business. It is a government backed & regulated entity.

Hugh difference between the security chain of the food I eat and who brings me a snail mail letter. Ever pick up local local produce? Is it life threatening? Besides, private business analysis and security validating could be done in the private sector and even more locally. The giant FDA wasteful & inefficient bureaucracy does not have to be the only answer.

Point is, it is not the profit (alone) that makes an operation (business or service) efficient and effective, it is the competition. The threat that if someone else finds a better way, you may not have a job or business in the future. If you are not planning on being competitive, you are planning on being out of business. There is no one to bail you out - no safety net. Government entities don't have that drive, so they are usually poorly run by most people who don't care about customers and continuous improvement. The difference in results are immense.

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