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Pony Express Stamp

Invoice by Pony Express

Recent announcements by the USPS, experiencing huge losses still, reflect once again the dramatic global change and an inevitable trend towards electronic and/or digital business operations.  The announcement outlined cost cutting changes in operations including eliminating Saturday mail delivery (excluding packages) and of course, yet another increase in a first class stamp price.  The PMG (Postmaster General) has stepped up the campaign to make this reform a reality – something that in past years the US congress has put a stop to.

The changes are scheduled for implementation the week of August 5th – 5 day letter delivery (M-F).   Letters will still be delivered however to PO Boxes on Saturdays, and any Post Offices currently open on Saturdays will remain so – so we have that going for us.  Different from reform requests in the past, the PMG claims the legal ability to implement the change without  congressional approval.

Please tell me you’re not still driving to the post office to get your “checks” in the mail!  It’s 2013!  May as well wait for the Pony Express.  How will this impact your business?  Your collections and accounts receivables?  Cash flow?

The writing is on the wall – conversion to electronic payments is inevitable.   XBS Global recognized this trend as far back as 2009 – the question is – are you out in front of it or….behind the curve?

Ned Smith – Sr. Writer for Business News Daily gets it, and spells it out clearly in his article Will Business Go Postal When Post Office Nixes Next-Day Delivery – a possibility still looming as Congress continues to drag it’s feet leaving the USPS in dire financial shape.  Note these numbers Smith quotes from REL Consultancy – a division of the Hackett Group -focused on maximizing cash flow through working capital improvements.

  • 60% of all invoices are still delivered by mail
  • 40% of all first class mail is currently delivered next day
  • Most businesses typically take 5 weeks to collect payment

How will this all this UPS reform impact your business?  Your accounts receivables and collections?  Cash flow?  It’s pretty straight forward – paper invoice delivery will take longer,  mailed payment will….take longer, and so on.  REL Consultancy and Smith both point to electronic solutions – email for invoice delivery and ACH and credit cards for payment of invoices – an inevitable reality (see our 2011 blog).

No more waiting, no more paper invoices, or checks!  Businesses, especially B2B merchants, should be working their way towards their own reform – the switch to electronic invoicing,  and ACH and credit card payment processing.