There has been a lot of media coverage about Staples opening “mini post offices”, but I’ve actually visited one. I was under no illusions that the store I was visiting was some sort of USPS facility. There was a banner announcing the availability of sending materials through the USPS, but that corner of the store didn’t feel at all like a post office. What it looked like and seemed to function like was a combination of a customer service desk and a copy shop. There were computers to use, copy machines, a print-out service, and package drop off, with the USPS being just one option for shipping.
I think the Postal Service spokesman was correct when he said that the program was “a direct response to the changing expectations of customers who demand greater convenience”. It’s only logical that if you have more places to drop off packages for USPS delivery then more people will use USPS delivery.
It reminds me of what we do every day at Telegenisys Inc. We don’t even try to replace tenured employees with many years of experience. Instead we make these employees more productive, so they can add more value. We do this by taking on the routine tasks that can be compartmentalized so that the people who are employed by our clients are freed up to focus on delivering more. We’re not replacing their expertise, we’re leveraging it. We don’t take jobs away, we make them better.
In January 2017, the USPS ended this public-private services relationship, reducing consumer alternatives for their shipping needs.
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