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The DMA Expresses Concern About USPS Transformation Plan
Lack of Timetable and Specific Actions Only Avoid Controversy
NEW YORK, January 31, 2002 – The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) today expressed deep concern about the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) Draft Transformation Plan. The DMA pointed out that the plan failed to provide the specific actions and timetables anticipated by Congress in its request to the Postal Service to achieve much-needed reform of the USPS.
"We are concerned because instead of plotting a course for the future, the Postal Service only mapped out where it stands today," said Jerry Cerasale, senior vice president, government affairs, The DMA. "The draft plan does not convey the sense of urgency that pervades the postal community that transformation must begin immediately to preserve the nationwide delivery system. There are nine million American jobs and $900 billion at stake."
"The Postal Service has not included in its discussion draft the cost-reduction strategies already outlined by the Mailing Industry Task Force," said Edward J. Gleiman, former Postal Rate Commission Chairman, who is now spearheading The DMA’s postal reform efforts. "The plan does not propose specific legislative reforms, nor does it establish a framework for how the Service will operate and compete in the future."
"By avoiding the controversy inherent in proposing what the future of the Postal Service should be, the Postal Service’s ‘Draft Transformation Plan’ avoids the recommendation of the head of the General Accounting Office (GAO)," said Cerasale. "The GAO had recommended that the Postal Service develop a plan with actions and specific timeframes to address its grave financial, operational and human capital issues. The current document fails at providing such a roadmap."
The DMA believes that the Draft Transformation Plan’s sequential three-phase approach should be better defined and progress immediately and in parallel.
Under current law, the USPS has authority to change mail classifications, adjust delivery and service standards, and establish the level of retail access. The DMA believes that the USPS should not be constricted to assume the same standards as today. It is time to think outside the box.
"We stand ready to work with the Postal Service on transformation. We need it. For the Postal Service to miss this chance at transformation would be tragic. Stealing a phrase from Nike, "Just Do It." The time for action is now," Gleiman said.
The DMA’s letter to the USPS can be viewed at:http://www.the-dma.org/cgi/disppressrelease?article=242
The DMA is the leading trade association for businesses interested in interactive and database marketing, with nearly 5,000 member companies from the United States and 53 other nations. Founded in 1917, its members include direct marketers from every business segment as well as the nonprofit and electronic marketing sectors. Included are catalogers, Internet retailers and service providers, financial services providers, book and magazine publishers, book and music clubs, retail stores, industrial manufacturers and a host of other vertical segments, including the service industries that support them. According to a DMA-commissioned study, direct and interactive marketing sales in the United States exceeded $1.86 trillion in 2001, including $118 billion in catalog sales and $30 billion in sales generated by the Internet. The DMA's Web Site iswww.the-dma.org, and its consumer Web site is www.shopthenet.org.
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