Wow! It was nice to sit in a room with more than 200 other people! It was my first -in-person postal event in about 2 years, and the Tampa PCC meeting was worth the trip. The big draw, of course, was a speech by the Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy. He gave a long and detailed speech that offered a good perspective on the situation the Postal Service had found itself in, and how DeJoy envisions its future. DeJoy came across as comfortable and personable, and he seemed candid and authentic as he discussed his first 18 months as PMG. I’d like to share a few impressions of the PMG and his speech.
It is no secret that DeJoy took over an organization in crisis. The Postal Service was hemorrhaging money and had lost tens of billions of dollars in the preceding decade. Service was uneven at best, and the bureaucracy was stifling. The Postal Regulatory Commission had been working on their 10-year process review - and had already spent four years on it without a conclusion. Earlier postal administrations had really never dared propose a viable long-term plan and had been promising their 10-year plan for, well, years. The Postal Service maintained cash viability by simply not paying its retirement bills to the Federal government. “Why did I answer that want-ad?” asked DeJoy.
DeJoy detailed how he had developed his 10-year plan to save the organization, reorganizing management and the logistics network of the Postal Service. He has worked within the full rate authority granted him from the PRC and plans to continue to do so for the next several years. He has been hesitant to simply take blocks of money from congress without any accountability.
DeJoy also discussed the capital investments the Postal Service has made in the past. Of $1.7 billion in capital expenditures last year about two thirds of it went to repairing old roofs and air conditioners. He pledged a larger and more progressive capital expenditure plan going forward to modernize the Postal Service.
Another topic he addressed is his relationship with the mailing industry. He appreciates the industry and claims to value input. Still, when it comes to management structure, and the reorganization of the Postal Service logistics and operations efficiencies, he doesn’t feel a need for advice. He’s done this kind of stuff before.
All in all, Mr. DeJoy came across as decisive and confident, and maybe a little gruff but not as abrasive as he has appeared in the past. He certainly seemed a serious man who understands his mission – to formulate and execute a plan to save the Postal Service.