Essay on New Technologies in Post Offices. The Example of USPS
As the world of innovation continues to evolve, it is critical that businesses grow along with it and understand the changing needs of their consumers. Any company behind in the times will cause those consumers to start a search for something better, even including the United States Postal Office. This mail service has made great advancements in its service but has not made the necessary updates to suit the 21st century. Restructuring the USPS in terms of ease of use to meet our modern standards would allow for a new type of growth in the industry and strengthen the productivity of a needed service.
The proof is in the numbers when arguing that the post office needs updating in order to stay afloat. From 2000 to 2009, the mail volume decreased significantly- almost 32 billion pieces (Source B). Since it can’t be changed that people prefer getting their messages sent in the blink of an eye instead of several days through “snail mail”, the USPS has got to take advantage of this new technology. Futurist Watts Wacker had the idea to give every American an email address in order to make sure that they are aware that the post office does offer other services than deliveries, also including money orders and passport renewals, which the customer would find out once they have the company in their minds. Many other ideas for technological advances have been suggested, such as subtle advertising, specials and deals, or even a change as large as an expansion of internet access around the country (Source A). Innovative proposals such as these should make the USPS see that the consumers are actively looking for a more convenient, easy to access service.
Along with company-wide technological advances and changes that need to be made to improve the functionality of the USPS, there also needs to be a restructuring of reform in local post offices. Coming from a family full of letter carriers, I know a lot of changes that the Post Office attempts to administer in order to ensure that the employees do the best work they possibly can within their workplaces. Some have suggested employee contracts, employee incentives, or putting jobs on the line, which would help ensure that workers make the USPS the most productive that it can be (Source A).
Recently, some post offices have begun to send their workers out on their routes with tracker phones, which the managers have to watch most of the day, to make sure that they are on task for the entire day. While this is a good starting idea, they have not executed it right and the process would need some further updating to be successful. Knowing that the post office is not the best place to work, most postal workers currently are just finishing out their careers there. In fact, Postmaster General John Potter predicts that about 150,000 of the 300,000 postal workers will retire by 2020(Source F). By creating a more well-regulated work environment, the USPS will be able to keep growing and continuing the
Not only does the USPS need to update with the changing technology, They need to move along with the current economy as well. Services have competitive prices with services like UPS or FedEx (Source C), and the USPS needs to understand that the other companies may become Americans main choices instead of them, so they need to make an attempt to get the citizens on their side. Post offices could lower the costs of stamps and shipping in order to gain the amount of Americans using the service.
So while the USPS needs to update their systems and come up with more innovative and efficient ways to run their company, their service will always be something that people need. If that means that there needs to be major changes, then those changes will have to be made in order to keep the business running. Technology will never again become a thing of the past, and the post office has to integrate those new changes into their essential service