Happy President’s Day, and a warm welcome to the new USPS Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Megan Brennan.
In a recent letter to USPS employees, upon her term of service beginning February 1, Brennan shared these statements, which I thought noteworthy to share here:
- We will invest in the future of the Postal Service. Investing in our future means creating the best opportunities for long-term growth and profitability.
- We will speed the pace of innovation. The coming years will see greater focus on innovation, with pilot projects designed to test new delivery offerings, new tools to better meet the digital and mobile expectations of our customers, and new offerings designed for America’s small businesses.
- We will develop strategies to better engage and empower employees.
- We will also build the most efficient and productive network to support our growth products.
- We have made tremendous progress streamlining our operation footprint in recent years—allowing us to keep our products and services affordable.
Updates to the USPS five-year business plan and strategic initiatives are certain to follow.
From a USPS customer perspective, it’s hard to argue about any one of these objectives, and it’s tempting to say she has put emphases exactly where they need to be: innovation, investment, productivity, affordability, engagement and infrastructure.
While Postal Service customers are not called out directly here in this excerpt—all of these goals speak to keeping the Postal Service attractive, accessible and responsive to marketplace needs and realities. The PMG also stated in her letter, “Your commitment to our public service mission and to delivering for our customers defines who we are as an organization and is the bedrock of all of our successes.”
There are certainly challenges ahead: Marketing organizations are well aware of the difficulty of working with a quasi-independent governmental entity that does not have total control over its finances, and taps the business sector unpredictably as a result. The whole rationale of past postal reforms was to instill predictability, manageability, cost controls and some semblance of logic. We can say with certainty that that most recent postal reform law fell short, and created huge liabilities in funding that clearly were not sustainable, nor grounded in logic, which brought on USPS default and financial uncertainty. And I’m not talking about the crown jewel in that law, from mailers’ perspective: the CPI-indexed annual rate cap. But rather Congressional mandates for pre-funding certain civil service and retiree benefits, and we’re still awaiting the collective political will to fix these mandates.
Thankfully, the PMG is inheriting a growing US economy which helps USPS financials, but the fix-its still need to happen on The Hill. Let’s make sure some of this needed emphasis and impetus can find its way into the Postal Service’s working more closely with the business community, engaging USPS employees too, for these legislative changes to happen very soon.
I’d love to hear some positive developments here by the time the PMG addresses the National Postal Forum in May.