The agency is in desperate need of new leadership and accountability. Of the nine appointees to the Board of Governors (BOG), there are currently six vacancies. This provides a real opportunity for policymakers to appoint new leaders with fresh ideas who are not afraid to get USPS back on a path towards solid financial footing and providing each American with reliable mail service. Until there is new and accountable leadership, the USPS won’t be able to improve their performance, or financial predicament.
The USPS must cease and desist all efforts to get into new industries. There’s a sense of “mission creep” plaguing the agency as they continue to leave behind the important work of delivering mail in place of attempts to provide new services like grocery delivery. This is a problem because it sacrifices the quality and performance on the original mission of delivering mail in exchange for new services that the USPS doesn’t need to be providing. There is also the question of the cost, if these services are not needed because they are already being provided in a satisfactory manner by the private sector; it is unlikely the agency will see any return on investment. There are also moves by the USPS to expand into the financial services sector. Citing the need for more opportunity for banking services for those in rural communities, the agency wants to fill a so-called “gap” in that market. The fact is there are tens of thousands of community banks nationwide and this is unnecessary and a foolish use of time, money, and manpower by the agency. The focus at the USPS should be how do make better the services that we are in existence to fulfill and dabbling in new ventures that the private sector already has a foothold in isn’t the answer.
The agency has also had missed opportunities for cost-saving reform and this must change. Ending Saturday delivery enjoys widespread support and would save the agency more than $3 billion annually. Plans for implementing a consolidation of USPS offices should also be considered because this is another common sense approach to helping save the agency money. Putting in place limits as to how many offices can be located within a certain mile-radius would save money and help to better position the agency to maximize their capabilities without leaving any customers behind.
The USPS’s vehicles are getting old and breaking down. There is no denying that they need to replace the old vehicles. A move to purchase a new fleet of trucks is in the works but if the agency changes course on the plan, they can purchase an updated fleet capable of lasting two decades at a cost which will save the agency over $2 billion dollars. Right now the agency wants a $6.5 billion fleet procurement to replace the thirty-year old Grumman Long Life Vehicles. This ignores industry best practices, which are employed by private-sector competitors (i.e. UPS and FedEx). Using a better process to save billions of dollars won’t sacrifice quantity or quality. A recent study detailed the savings.