I was at the post office yesterday and overheard a comment that sums up the United States Postal Service in a nut shell. It's things like this that are fueling the success of FedEx and UPS.
While waiting in line at the Hillsboro central post office, I heard a postal worker say this to a customer:
"You have two options, the less expensive one sends the letter up to Olympia Washington, then back to Portland, then to the recipient in 3 days. The more expensive option sends the letter to Portland, then delivered to the recipient in 2 days." (I deduced that the letter was going to another Portland area recipient)
What?!? Are you Kidding me!?! So let me get this straight, the letter travels farther, with more stops, over a longer period of time, and it costs less? Then the more direct and simple route costs more? It's like they go out of their way to make sure the less expensive option takes longer. Even worse, they actually transport the letter to make sure of it!
Here's a thought. Keep clients happy by saying "It's your lucky day, ma'am. Since this letter is staying in the metro area, we can deliver it in 2 days for a low, low price."
Or, just say you don't offer the less expensive shipping in-town...It's 2 day only.
At the very least, don't bother with actually transporting the item! If they must have a ridiculous set up like this, just let the letter sit in a Portland warehouse. What do they accomplish by transporting an envelope up and down I-5?
The USPS provides an amazing opportunity for Supply Chain, Customer Service, and HR consultants. In fact, I think the BA101 class at the local community college could probably redesign the organization to operate better in no more than a few class sessions.
If only everyone thought like me. The world would be a great place.
-Jeff the Great
Posted by Jmartens at 8:40 PM