It has been a successful period for United States Postal Service (USPS), showing an operating profit for the last three years, including a profit of $610 million from its controllable operations for the fiscal year ended September 30th 2016.
At the heart of this has been its Strategic Business Planning unit, which is responsible for developing business intelligence on emerging external trends that may affect USPS initiatives and priorities. Emil J. Dzuray Jr. is Director of Strategic Planning at the US Postal Service HQ. He is responsible for corporate-wide strategy, annual comprehensive postal performance reporting, enterprise Program Management Office (ePMO), and a multi-billion portfolio of cross-enterprise strategic and business transformation initiatives.
We sat down with him ahead of his presentation at the Strategic Planning Innovation Summit, which takes place in San Francisco this May 22-23.
How is internal innovation impacting your strategic planning?
Internal innovation impacts our strategic planning in two ways. First, it is a core element of the Postal Service’s strategic objectives to increase our internal capability to innovate faster to deliver value to our customers. Secondly, we have this focus because we see that when we clearly communicate our strategic objectives to our employees and give them the resources and space to innovate, they develop innovative and impactful solutions to help us better serve our customers.
How have your strategic planning priorities changed over the past three years?
Our strategic planning priorities have shifted over the past three years as we emerge from years of dramatic volume and revenue losses to 3 years of modest revenue growth. This revenue growth has enabled us to shift from a focus of radically cutting fixed costs, stabilizing core revenues, growing liquidity, and addressing health care liabilities to improving customer experiences, engaging employees, innovating faster, and increasing investments in future platform capabilities. Although Postal leadership is doing their part to aggressively manage costs, improve core services, and invest in new ways to deliver value in a digital economy, the organization’s ability to regain and sustain profitability still requires legislative and regulatory reforms.
Why do you believe Corporate Social Responsibility is becoming more important to organizations?
The Postal Service has held paramount the importance of socially responsible behavior since our inception. Today, the best organizations realize that customers want to do business with organizations and brands that operate in a socially responsible way. This expectation is key to sustaining customer loyalty and brand trust. Furthermore, the best companies realize that attracting and retaining the best employees is foundational for future success. More and more, we see that the top talent in our industry want to work for organizations that operate in a socially responsible manner and enable them to contribute to their local communities and to the world in a positive way.
What major trends do you believe will affect strategic planning objectives in the next year?
We see a number of trends affecting our strategic planning objectives. The first trend is changing customer expectations in the digital economy due to rapid adoption of new technologies. Today’s customers expect business transactions to be digital, frictionless, mobile, personal and secure. These expectations are continuing the growth trend in eCommerce and the disruption of the retail industry. More traditional brick and mortar retailers are building out eCommerce platforms to enable same and next day delivery of goods and, vice versa, more traditional eCommerce retailers are establishing physical retail showrooms to enable better customer experiences. Also, we are seeing a continued shift in advertising spend to digital channels as part of omni-channel marketing campaigns. These trends point to a continued downward pressure on transaction mail, an opportunity for sustained marketing mail volumes, continued growth in local package deliveries, and increased competition in the local delivery space due to the emergence of new entrants and crowd-sourced deliveries.