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September 8, 2021
*Photo by Scavone Photography
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy addressed NAPS delegates Tuesday morning at the 67th NAPS National Convention, saying he was excited to be with them. “You are important whether you are working—helping me lead the charge to right the Postal Service—or retired because we need cheerleaders, help and support. We’re involved in a transformation of the organization whose business model has been significantly disrupted over the past few years.”
DeJoy said the agency’s 10-year plan is pretty straightforward: strategically direct the USPS’ processing and delivery assets in a way that increases operational precision and preserves its core, but doing it better and more cost effectively; also, finding strategic ways to grow. He said he wants to energize the entire organization and achieve success by covering costs and investing in the network.
The PMG referenced that, when he joined the Postal Service in June 2020, the agency was forecast to lose billions and run out of cash in September; mail volume was declining and projected to continue to decline over the next 10 years. “The focus was on mail,” he observed, “but the best minds have focused on the mail for over 10 years. We needed to come up with a better plan. Our greatest assets are our network and our people.”
DeJoy talked about reorganizing the agency; he now has 16 direct reports. He pulled people up through the organization. “I’m very proud of the team I have around me,” he declared. “I don’t have far to look from me to you. It’s important for employees to know they will be listened to.
“Organizational structure and alignment to people and mission are the most important things in a large organization such as ours. We have the structure now and good management. We need to have a vision for where we’re going.”
DeJoy thanked NAPS delegates for their service and commitment during the pandemic and the national election. “I understand our mission: Serve the American people and go to every address six days a week. Everything else revolves around that. It’s pretty clear!”
He said the 10-year plan is employee-friendly and has support from employees. “We have very competent people throughout the organization, which is why I’m confident we can do this. Our employees are very committed and working hard.”
The 10-year plan commits to maintaining six-day delivery. “It’s important because we can’t delete service; it’s our ticket to success,” he stressed. “We go to every house, every day. Our job is to convince the American people to use us more.”
The 10-year plan also focuses on stemming employee turnover, including converting people, which stabilizes the workforce. “Our mission is aligned to stability in the organization, which will bring profitability,” he explained. “We have to be self-sustaining and cover our costs; it’s the law. It’s also an important attribute of a service business. Covering costs forces you to evolve.
“We have to believe we can do this and that we are a growing concern. We have a vision for the Postal Service 10 years from now and how we serve the American public. When you have the mission laid out and a vision, it forces you to take action, make decisions and do the uncomfortable things to get there for the long-term health of the organization.
“That’s what the plan is about. We are not confused about our mission: Serve the American people and cover our costs. But we need revenue to do that.”
New to the plan is growth. DeJoy talked about USPS Connect Local, calling it a winner. The new program allows retailers to drop packages at a local postal facility during business hours for next-day delivery. Alternatively, merchants can fill orders overnight and drop off packages in the early morning for same-day delivery. “This is the ticket forward,” he stressed, “and where we’re going to get more revenue.”
It’s part of a broader USPS Connect program designed to help businesses of all sizes meet growing consumer demand for affordable, fast, local and regional deliveries and returns, as well as support Main Street-style commerce. “We’re going to create an ecosystem around communities, enable commerce to happen and help us cover our costs,” he declared.
DeJoy said he is encouraged by the progress with postal reform legislation. He, as well as the agency’s Government Relations team, continue to meet with Congress. Current legislation that has been approved by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform would give the Postal Service the ability to move forward. “We have support because we have made known we have a problem and that we’re going to fix it ourselves,” he offered.
The PMG said peak season pricing will continue. He intends to invest in facilities and is modernizing the IT department. New vehicles have rolled out. “It’s very exciting,” he exclaimed. “We have high expectations of everything; it’s all on a schedule. We look at service. I’m in service meetings with our executives looking at everything.
“You all know that anything bad that happens usually rolls downhill. We’re not that kind of organization anymore. We’re going to be leader-responsible and accountable. It’s an example to take as you go forward. Help your employees every day; that’s what we’re all about in the USPS.
“I need you to believe in the plan. I love my team and the people I meet when I go out in the field. I love the mission. I need you to believe and talk it up. When you have the vision, we will work smarter and more collaboratively, talk smarter and be used a lot more and bring in revenue.
“Have expectations of yourself and your team. Engage in the new employees; welcome them and speak to them. There is something really special in the Postal Service and it starts with its people. Let’s make new people feel good; we want them to make it.
“I’m very humbled to lead this organization and all of you.”
Categories: The Postal Supervisor