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Important problem facing the USPS

MGT485 Unit 1 IP

Research the United States Postal Service (http://www.usps.com/about/welcome.htm). After reviewing of all the documents you can find on the web and in libraries, write a response to the following questions:

1. What is the most important problem facing the United States Postal Service?
2. What recommendation(s) would you make to the United States Postal Service, and in what order of priorities?
3. How do you balance between your commitment to shareholders/owners and your commitment to the community?
You must integrate the course material and conduct additional research for answering questions 2 and 3. In other words, by conducting additional research, you will be supporting your recommendation and your position in question 3. Please avoid using sites such as Wikipedia.org, dictionary.com, etc. Please refer to "Expectations" regarding APA. No definitions - simply apply the concepts when completing the assignment.

Evaluate each of the following approaches that a business firm could use to gather information about competition. For each approach, mark its appropriateness using the following scale:

1. Definitely not appropriate, 2. Probably not appropriate, 3. Undecided, 4. Probably appropriate, and 5. Definitely appropriate
The business firm should try to get useful information about competitors by:
_____ Careful study of trade journals
_____ Wiretapping the telephones of competitors
_____ Posing as a potential customer to competitors
_____ Getting loyal customers to put out a phone "request for proposal" soliciting competitors' bids
_____ Buying competitors' products and taking them apart
_____ Hiring management consultants who have worked for competitors
_____ Rewarding competitors' employees for useful "tips"
_____ Questioning competitors' customers and/or suppliers
_____ Buying and analyzing competitors' garbage
_____ Advertising and interviewing for nonexistent jobs
_____ Taking public tours of competitors' facilities
_____ Releasing false information about the company in order to confuse competitors.
_____ Questioning competitors' technical people at trade shows and conferences
_____ Hiring key people away from competitors
_____ Analyzing competitors' labor union contracts
_____ Having employees date persons who work for competitors
_____ Studying aerial photographs of competitors' facilities

After marking each of the preceding approaches, explain your choices on the discussion board for any 5, 4, 2, or 1.

Instructor Comments:
In regards to the length of the assignment, as I mentioned in my Expectations, I look for quality than quantity. Posting an organized message is as important. For DB 1, you should rate each item separately and then right below it, provide an explanation (see an example below):
__XX___ Careful study of trade journals
Explanation: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Solution Preview

The response addresses the queries posted in 985 words with references.

// United States Postal Services (USPS) functions as an independent government body. In this paper we will discuss the problems being faced by this agency, provide suggestions to improve the situation as well as throw light on the organization's efforts to balance its commitment towards community and shareholders. //

Limitations at United States Postal Services

The United States Postal Service or USPS is an autonomous government organization which creates revenue through fees charged from postage and other services. The USPS is engaged in delivering almost 40 percent of global packages or in other words more than 200 billion pieces of correspondence yearly. But the organization has started feeling the heat from the changing world scenario. The emerging information and communication technology and globalization have generated serious problems for the USPS (Yang, 2009). Moreover several structural and regulatory changes coupled with privatization in the postal industry have exposed USPS to increased competition as well.

Another problem gnawing at USPS is its constant loss of money. The entire postal business model is under threat due to increased usage of internet which has changed the way people communicate as well as conduct business. Moreover recession has eaten into the profit as more and more companies have cut their direct-mail advertising cost (Yang, 2009).

Apart from internet and other advanced modes of communication available to consumers, which are supposedly faster and less cumbersome, have proved as another competition for the USPS. These include courier and delivery services such as FedEx.

One of the biggest challenges faced by USPS comes from within the organization and that is its huge size (United States Postal Service). For instance, it is plagued with retirement benefit overheads that amounts to ten percent of the sales, a foremost reason for its recurring deficit. Moreover it employs largest labor force, uses more than 200,000 vehicles for its transportation network and utilizes 250 million square feet as its office and storage space (United States Postal Service). Thus for it to remain competitive it is necessary to implement a restructuring strategy.

// We have so far discussed the major problems that USPS is facing in these times, we now move on with the discussion of the recommendations that can be given to the USPS for improving the activities.//


First of all, the USPS is a reputed name and a lot of customer expectations and trust are associated with it, so they should work upon continuing the same efficiency and record-breaking performance. It should, keeping in mind the technological advancements of today, move forward to adapt to them. They will help in enhancing the value of the mail and the information they provide. As an example, the Flat Sequencing System is being installed ((United States Postal Service Annual Report 2008). Moreover, the online options provided to the customers are proving to be helpful in attracting the customers and maintaining their interest in the USPS. They can also have an edge over the others by adopting innovative practices, paying attention on ...

Solution Summary

The response addresses the queries posted in 985 words with references.