by Ron Daly
Nostalgia is bringing back some interesting things nowadays. The Smurfs are in my DVD player (my daughter's choice, not mine), the Muppets are back in theaters, and I could swear I've seen the New Kids on the Block on TV recently. Everything old is new again.
Which is why the post office is returning to delivering mail via pony. Yes, the USPS has invested what's left of its money in the purchase and upkeep of a fleet of ponies to deliver the mail that keeps our country moving. Yes, it will take longer to get your mail. Yes, rates are going to increase. But hey, at least you get to pet a pony once in a while?
...Huh. Wait a second. I think I have my facts wrong. Service on first-class mail is going to slow down, and postage is going up, but...no ponies? No, the USPS is just gumming up the works as a cost-saving measure. According to the video below, they lost $4 billion in the last year, they've got to stem the loss of funds somehow.
[Can't access the video? Click here to watch it on the Today show site.]
I guess we've played a part in their trouble...in the past ten years, we've delivered more than 27 million eStatements for financial institutions across the country.
Is the American postal system dead? No, it still has its place. And it's pretty impressive that you can send a letter from anywhere to anywhere else in the U.S. for 45 cents. But as any project manager, CEO or business pro can tell you, the three choices are "good, fast, cheap", and you can only pick two. You want it good and cheap? You can't get it fast. You want it good and fast? You can't have it cheap. You want it fast and cheap? You can forget about quality. You just can't have it all.
...or can you?
For month-to-month statements and daily notices, encouraging members to switch to e-delivery means you can hold all three corners of the triangle at once. Think about it:
- Good - eStatements and notices can be presented in a way that's identical to printed statements and notices. You don't sacrifice the "look" or readability and the e-docs are compliant with all regs (ours are, anyway).
- Fast - electronic documents are processed on your schedule and are available whenever members want them. Just send them an email and they can log in to a secure host that shows them an archive of docs that they can print out for themselves (if they want), or just keep online to reduce clutter.
- Cheap - Printed, mailed documents cost a minumum $.44 .45 cents - you're already saving that much per user, and that's not even counting what you save in printing and paper costs. With the right company and the right e-documents model (ahem), the MORE e-document users you have, the LESS you pay per statement/notice. What's not to love?
We've been saying it for years and, by George, we keep getting it right; the Post Office's business model can't sustain cheap, speedy, quality delivery. They don't have a war chest to help with the cost - they have to charge more. But e-documents? They've been the same price for a good long while now and they keep providing the same benefits. It's easy to get more members using eStatements - the hard part is not kicking yourself when you see what a HUGE difference it can make on your bottom line!
The truth is, there are very few - if any - documents that used to go in the mail that can't be sent and stored online. Need to get more electronic document users at your business? Click here to get in touch with me. Just ask for Ron!