Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ben Franklin's Post

Benjamin Franklin, the great philosopher, inventor and American patriot would likely develop a new vision to encourage and maintain the tradition of the post office and yet, conform or most probably exceed the demand for cost effective, customer service.

Mandated by Congress to serve every person with an address in the Union, the United States Post Office has through mismanagement after the privatization during the 1980s managed its way into a money-pit. Core service-first values were lost in bids to compete with retailers for collectables. Coloring books and other give-away items cost the Post Office millions of dollars in a bizarre bid to entice customers to use the service: the only standard letter service available.

Still, USPS operates better than most corporations with local delivery in one to two days. Other services require a week or more for to the door service.

Certainly, in a bid to look customer friendly, corporations would like the USPS to just go away. The fact that they encourage customers to receive email or online statements instead of printing saves them millions. Customers are left to download and print statements using printer, ink and paper. The cost cutting adds to bottom line profit of the corporation but increases costs to customers. Having USPS makes the large corporations look as cheap as they are providing substandard service to their revenue stream.

USPS could develop an innovative way to decrease cost to the citizens and provide better service. Perhaps, cease to offer volume discounts to the corporations who seek its demise.

In line with his historical personality, Ben Franklin would be pleased to find his post office providing 21st century service beating the battle of the powers that be (in his time, the monarchy – in our time, the corporations) to provide communication between the citizenry at a reasonable cost for the service.

Our forefathers were greatly independent of authority promoting the common good for citizenry as a priority. They were cautious of large organizations, even their own government with a recommendation for a complete overhaul, not just revision, every 20 years. Traditional organizations such as the Post Office were mandated to meet the needs of the people of the Nation which was why it was (until the 1980s), subsidized by the government.

United States Postal Service, Success or Failure…only the future will tell.

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