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Mailing Industry Expresses Enthusiasm for the USPS
By Jimmy Warden
I am writing this column after just attending the National Postal Forum in beautiful Charlotte, NC. This was the second postal forum I have attended; last year’s was the first.
Enthusiasm among mailing industry attendees was much greater than last year. Most sessions facilitated by the Postal Service incorporated elements of the “Delivering for America” plan, also called the 10-year plan.
During the sessions and in discussions, mailing industry participants expressed their enthusiasm about the future of the Postal Service. They said change is needed and overdue.
During one session I attended, Mike Shoults, GameStop’s vice president of Global Transportation, spoke about how important the USPS is to GameStop. He highly praised the agency as a key element in the company’s success. Timely and precise pickup and delivery are critical to GameStop as their customers expect new releases of games on a specific day.
Everyone wants to be the first to have the new game, which is why it’s so important that games all are delivered on the same day. Shoults spoke highly of the service USPS employees have provided his company.
While attending another session, “Pricing and Product Strategies Aligned for Financial Stability,” a member of the mailing industry asked why the Postal Service doesn’t conduct a study to consider a three-day delivery concept. He said a previous study was performed for five-day delivery; why not three days? Deliveries could be made to one group of customers on Monday/Wednesday/Friday, with delivery to the other group on Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday, he said.
There were groans from some attendees about this idea. As we know, the Postal Service Reform Act protects six-day delivery, which also is part of the “Delivering for America” plan.
On the third day of the forum, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy fielded a town hall meeting. I was told this was the first time a PMG held a town hall meeting at the forum. Questions were submitted earlier and via an email link; DeJoy responded to all the questions.
The PMG then opened the microphones to the floor for further questions. The town hall meeting ended a few minutes late as he responded to all the questions.
Much information was discussed regarding the new alignments in Logistics and Plant operations. In speaking with some of the managers in Plant operations, I was told it will be a smoother operation because there will be a reduced need in the amount of mail separations for dispatch, thereby allowing the trucks to leave nearer to capacity.
The Sorting & Delivery Centers (S&DCs) also were a topic at many sessions. Currently, six S&DCs are up and running. The plan is eventually to have approximately 400 S&DCs established within the 10-year plan.
Overall, I enjoyed the National Postal Forum. Networking with many postal officials always is beneficial. Hearing feedback from the mailing industry gave me a different perspective, allowing me to better understand their point of view and needs. I felt I could understand issues from three sides: NAPS members, the Postal Service and its customers and the mailing industry. Overall, this is important to helping sustain the Postal Service and the wellbeing of NAPS members.
Before ending, I must touch on membership. Please do not send NAPS photocopies of Form 1187s. The copies are distorted and faded and will not be accepted at the HRSSC. The best way to submit an 1187 is to scan the original copy as an attachment and email it to JOIN@naps.org. If you do not have scanning capabilities, then please mail a good, clear, original copy to NAPS Headquarters.
We also have developed a QR code that can be used to sign nonmembers.
Once you scan the QR code, it will take you to an online 1187. There, once the 1187 is completed and the “submit” link has been hit, the form will be sent directly to us. A copy will be sent to the personal email address of the individual who is joining. The 1187 will not be successfully submitted if the personal email address field of the new member is not completed.
We also are working on a way to have a copy of the 1187 sent to the respective branch. One key element of accomplishing that is every branch must have their officers’ contact information up to date at NAPS Headquarters. Please help in this regard today.
Also keep in mind if an 1187 is submitted without a sponsor name, a sponsor check cannot be issued. If we receive a second 1187 with a sponsor’s name for someone who already submitted an 1187 without the sponsor’s name, the second 1187 will not be honored. Finally, only the last four digits of a person’s Social Security Number is needed. We no longer need the full number.
Increasing membership demonstrates leadership!