Friday, January 30, 2009

People Talk about USPS and EHG @

There is still one more interesting conversation at Based on the last couple of weeks, I recommend that folks with a passion for the Print industry should add PrintCeo to your RSS feed.

The conversation moved through a number of areas, the part about EHG - Education, Health and Government - is at the bottom. As of 9:30 PM on Saturday night there are 25 comments.

Following are snippets that attracted my attention.
Adam Dewitz started it on January 28th, 2009, with a post titled
: The Impact of the Economic Crisis on the U.S. Postal Service
.. . .the Postal Service is looking at another loss this year after losing nearly 3 billion in 2008.
The first post was Dr Joe Webb:
. . . I hope they spin them off and make them a real separate business that can stand on its own two feet rather than stay in this nebulous quasi-governmental structure of fixed non-market prices and costs. It would be traumatic at first, but it would be a far better and more responsive organization in the end.
Someone added
. . . the USPS should be looking at going to a weekly delivery schedule. Then:
. . . it needs a new business focus, and an injection of new thinking and innovation.
. . . Many of the service bureaus I talk with tell me their customers (banks, utilities, credit card companies, telcos, etc.) are looking very seriously at all but eliminating paper statements and going to electronic presentment.
. . . The USPS has to reinvent itself with a new and pragmatic strategy for doing business.
. . . Maybe the USPS should follow in the steps of Walmart (profits based on volume instead of price).
. . . ninety percent of the postal revune is generated through what most consider “junk” mail.
. . . Three days a week would be fine, Monday, Wednesday and Friday
. . . Offering a multi-year transition for converting to a 21st century economic model would be much more productive. While I respect Dr. Joe, it’s not purely a ‘play on paper’. The competing services have taken much of the profitable work, and as you recall FedEx began with limited access – they cherry-picked the fat off the business carcass and left the heavy-lifting to USPS, which had no choice and could not effectively compete. USPS has experimented and worked to be customer-focused.

They made early attempts to electronically fax mail and deliver faxes to mailboxes, but were too early. Now internet-based services scan mail and allow people access to images of their mail, with options to print, discard, or file that PRINTED MAIL. How whacked is that?Many sellers on eBay use the USPS effectively. How would they be affected? And why not ask the subsidized classes of mail to pay fair rates, instead of entertaining the postal commissioners and begging for relief? In for a penny, in for a pound… of mail??
Following is the part about new opportunities in Education, Health and Government. EHG.

. . . In our small market (Finland) postal volume has not increased over the last 10 years, even though the volume of communication generally has increased 10-fold

. . . .The post service has moved into other businesses(transpromotional contract printing, electronic invoicing, data-mining, etc.), and doesn’t really want the costly business of actually physically delivering mail anymore.

Then I said, (slightly edited for posting here)

Maybe it’s a previously unidentified new market for InfoPrint, Oce, Screen, or Xerox (or the top of the line Printers who use their equipment) + a couple of great data mining outfits + a great designer/marketer? Sounds perfect for a solution provider who might be able to help provide a solution for USPS.

I've been on the same soapbox since November 2005. Advertising is a shrinking market. Take what’s left on the table, and find greener pastures. The greenest pastures are in the EHG space. Education, health government. I’m sure there are many government, health and education enterprises that have big problems that are just waiting for us to solve.

The pitch:

Dear Senator,Congressman, State Representative, Mayor or fill in the blank.

You have a conference committee meeting on the economic stimulus package. If you could get an appropriation for x million, we can do a pilot project that will both create new high tech jobs in the Print Industry in x city and demonstrate a sustainable business model for the USPS. It is ready to start as soon as we get the money. Once we demonstrate it’s success, we are ready to scale for the entire USPS, Dept of Education, Health Dept. (fill in the blank)

RR.Donnely, Consolidated or the Xerox Corporation or four really really smart people with great connections and the ability to respond on a dime. They could be a creative team any where in the world.

Or some combination of the above.

Note: I did not post any names except for mine and Dr. Joe Webb as I don't know the other participants and did not want to wait to get the permission to use their names here. To view the full conversation, click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment