1. Get rid of all post offices. Sell the properties.
2. Have single large stations in cities (or one single station, for regions of small communities) where mail is sorted, cased and picked up by letter carriers. (Mostly, these sorting areas already exist and would probably only require slight modification.)
3. Focus only on the delivery, transportation and pick-up of mail. Don’t sell stamps. Don’t advertise until the enterprise becomes profitable. Don’t sell postcards or envelopes. Keep delivering on Saturday. No one else does, and so it’s a great competitive advantage. (Besides, it’s when I get my weekly issue of Barron’s.)
4. Sell stamps through retailers — Wal-Mart, CVS, FedEx Kinko’s and Walgreen’s, etc. Sell only stamps and two-day mailers. The U.S. Postal Service shouldn’t compete where it has no advantage.
What Your Peers Are Reading
5. Have postal windows at the one sorting center for each community (or region of smaller communities) for certified and registered mail. These windows are only for certified and registered mail.
6. Either get out of the parcel post and package business, or relax the weight rules for mailing parcel post items and packages. Such items should be mailed from retail stores (FedEx and UPS) or through assigned commercial vendors.
7. If a customer lives outside an urban area, he or she typically has mail picked up from postal drop boxes between 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. That’s insane, right? That feeds into not being competitive with UPS and FedEx, who typically pick up between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. What businessperson wishes to have mail picked up well before the end of the work day? Change the times so that all pick-ups occur after 5 p.m. If the USPS really wishes to compete and be only a quasi-governmental entity, it needs to stop acting like a government entity. Only a government entity would “compete” by picking up mail at lunch time.
8. Read the last two sentences of No. 7 again.
9. Fight replacing retiring supervising employees. The core employee will be the letter carrier, and everything should revolve around him or her.
10. All stamps should be “forever” stamps, and the price should be adjusted automatically to reflect what is needed to support the USPS and provide a reasonable profit, a portion of which should be distributed to employees via profit-sharing. Change the ounce rules so that one may mail 1-ounce to 5-ounce packages for, say, fifty cents.
11. If unions fight USPS reorganization (remember, I’m not suggesting the wholesale discharge of employees; I’m just suggesting using them in better ways and not replacing as many post-retirement), allow the USPS to go out of business and let private enterprise deliver the mail. Either FedEx or UPS will be happy to hire the letter carriers and do a perhaps improved version of items one through ten.