Roselle Park Post Office Business Plan (December 13, 2011)

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December 13, 2011

INTRODUCTION Successful people and successful organizations plan for their success. Success is not achieved by accident but by recognizing opportunity. This business plan for the Roselle Park Post Office is the blueprint for that success. The definition of the word ‘plan’ in the dictionary reads “a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something”. The document you now hold is just that - a proposal to not only improve but increase the services of United States Postal Service (USPS) in Roselle Park, New Jersey. Although the primary goal of the USPS was not to concern itself with revenue and expenditure but to provide a service, in these economic times it’s understandable (even commendable) that the USPS would try to find ways to reduce expenses while increasing efficiency to provide the public a necessary service. Understanding that, we feel that working together, we can better the services of the Postal Service at our location while keeping in mind that the USPS must reduce its operational costs for the foreseeable future. It stands to reason that we believe the decision to close the Roselle Park Post Office would be detrimental to not only our residents but the USPS as well. A closer review of Roselle Park’s Post Office will show that the goals of operational efficiency, fiscal responsibility, and a successful future can be attained by keeping the Roselle Park Post Office operational. We believe that Roselle Park was viewed in the vacuum of a one-square mile town when there is a potential for the Roselle Park Post Office, with its unique set of conditions, to provide service to neighboring communities. Where others might plead to you in order to benefit themselves, we offer you a plan to benefit everyone. Roselle Park understands that although it is our post office, it is everyone’s postal service.

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OVERVIEW Our business plan will focus on the things that need to get done and how to go about doing them. We need to establish business activities that are unique to Roselle Park and the USPS. What is in our proposed business plan for the Roselle Park Post Office? We begin with three simple bold statements about who we are, what we do, and where we want to be in years to come. These can be relegated to three simple words: Scope, Mission and Vision. We will then note our strengths, weaknesses, and future opportunities needed for success. We will present insight on the day-to-day use of our post office to demonstrate how the Roselle Park Post Office is a vital part of our community and lives. In the end, it is the personal impact which should be noted as significant in the future of our post office. Finally, we will discuss the efforts we need to achieve in order to showcase the Post Office in Roselle Park and the services provided therein. Every plan has an objective, often based on the business activity for a particular time period. We have only one and it is very simple. Provide an environment which will accommodate the largest number of customers to the Roselle Park Post Office; thereby allowing the Postal Service to get the most return for its investment in Roselle Park. Everything we do within will be tailored to support the attainment of that objective. Roselle Park will set the stage to achieve that objective by developing strategies which will provide a structure on which to build its future and success upon. This is our plan. This is your plan. Working together, we will be able to improve what already is in place at the Roselle Park Post Office. In advance, we thank you for your support of our collective future.

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SCOPE The Roselle Park Post Office is a location which has the potential to provide services which will benefit from utilizing the unique conditions that are readily-available in our borough. Roselle Park should cease to be thought of in the vacuum of one location and begin to be thought of as an accessible and even economically beneficial operation tailored to handle service for customers of surrounding communities.

VISION The United States Postal Service is an established service that should be viewed as a trusted, qualified, competitive, and better alternative to its competitors. Having served the community for over a century, the post office has the opportunity to continue to serve the public in Roselle Park for another 100 years. Adjusting the services for the changing times is not only necessary, but advantageous.

MISSION Roselle Park will facilitate and promote the operations of its post office with a culture that will accommodate service to customers, and maintain communications with the USPS to better improve efficiency and productivity.

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STRENGTHS Being realistic, this current series of proposed closings will most likely not be the last time cost-saving measures will be reviewed and more and more the USPS will have to make the hard decisions to close other locations. The points listed below will demonstrate how taking advantage of Roselle Park’s unique set of conditions now can pay off in the future for the Postal Service. In brief, Roselle Park is in the unique position to adequately accommodate any increase in customer traffic due to the scaling back of services in surrounding communities. We understand this will require a collaborative effort to let the USPS know that Roselle Park will do all it can to promote and improve the postal service for our surrounding communities which will also be affected by these proposed closings. With these facts understood, here are the advantages and strengths of Roselle Park: •

Parking. While there are other locations in neighboring communities that might be larger in area, none have as ample parking directly across the street which will be completely free. Currently, Roselle Park is reviewing to have the parking lot across from the Roselle Park Post Office be completely free during the hours that the post office is open for business. The initial phase is to have parking free on Saturday, when most people will visit the post office to conduct business.

Revitalization. Roselle Park has started on a course to revitalize its downtown. Tangible action plans have been implemented to restore Roselle Park’s business district to levels that will surpass any and all expectations. Having the Roselle Park Post Office on board as part of that revitalization will not only enhance the Borough but the post office as well by offering a small town environment combined with modern sensibilities. As part of the revitalization, we want to make everyone know that our downtown, and its post office, is not only an anchor for the community, but it is a focal point, a daily destination, and a social hub. One of the best amenities of Roselle Park is the way neighbors run into each other at the post office. It literally is the ‘town post office’ in the center of town. In a time when the USPS is seen as being out of touch with smaller communities, the example of the Roselle Park Post Office can be used to show how a small town post office can not only survive, but succeed.

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County-Wide Access. Roselle Park is fortunate enough to be in the unique position to be connected to five (5) other neighboring towns: Roselle, Kenilworth, Union, Cranford, and Elizabeth. Being realistic enough to know that if any of these other might close somewhere down the line will have a greater impact on the main Elizabeth Post Office, the opportunity to prepare for the eventual closing of any of the post offices in the aforementioned towns will allow Roselle Park to become the most trafficked hub for residents from those communities [Figure 1]. Instead of traveling to Broad Street where, again, parking and traffic will become an issue, offer postal customers the alternative of having an easily accessible location (Roselle Park) with adequate parking. This will, in turn, increase the use of the Postal Service which will create a profit margin for the USPS. [Figure 1]

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WEAKNESSES Our largest obstacle to have the USPS overcome is the basic fact that the current location in Roselle Park is not owned by the Postal Service. Although this might be perceived as a huge obstacle, here is some information that will put things in perspective: Location




Roselle Park












Union (611 Chestnut Street)




As noticed above, the Roselle location is owned by the USPS which saves on a lease but it should be put in context with the fact that it is smaller than the Roselle Park location and that there is no guaranteed free parking being proposed for that site seeing as the properties on either side of it are privately owned. The USPS would do better to sell or lease that location for a profit and work with Roselle Park to find the best lease price for its current location. In fact, the surrounding lots on either side of the post office in Roselle are available for development. It would be economically advantageous if the USPS would sell that property with the business angle that three (3) lots would be available for a grand-scale development which could benefit Roselle. The other three (3) locations which are in neighboring towns are somewhat larger but parking will still remain an issue and the property taxes are higher which most likely will find their way into the price of a lease. Roselle Park provides the lowest price for the most space. As an aside, the only major threat to the post office are the existence of FedEx and UPS stores. Currently the major significant threat of competition resides in Roselle since there is a UPS store not more than a mile and a half away from the Roselle Post Office. There has been no information provided to determine if a feasibility study for Roselle was conducted taking into account that competitive threat and other factors which will definitely have an impact on the use and practicability of that location.

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OPPORTUNITIES Combining our strengths with solutions for the areas that need attention, the opportunity to provide the most services to the most people in an economically responsible manner exists in the Roselle Park Post Office for decades to come. Although the option of finding kiosks in chain stores might appear promising in the current climate of service consolidation, the bottom line of any business will dictate where and how much space the USPS will be allowed to have in their stores. And who’s to say that UPS and/or FedEx will not undermine the USPS and force out the post office from those establishments by offering better negotiating terms for space or services? The autonomy of the Postal Service is something that still has value to Americans. Allowing the USPS to have a location where it can facilitate the needs of those who do not wish, or cannot, drive to a chain store, will only enhance its significance and use for the most number of people. Additionally, looking into the future, the ready-made work area behind the front window will allow for the Roselle Park Post Office to become a mini-distribution center for the surrounding communities when those locations close. Currently, there is not enough traffic to justify its use, but keeping in mind that Roselle Park will become the location for - at least - five (5) neighboring towns, our location can be used to handle mail for those locations as well as perhaps becoming a training facility for new postal employees to achieve hands-on experience in a location that will provide adequate preparation for working in other central post offices - be it Elizabeth or Newark. The care that is taken to train employees correctly in Roselle Park with its expansive back office will pay off not only for the USPS in customer satisfaction but in the postal customer who will appreciate and rely on the Postal Service for his or her mailing needs. In short, the opportunity is there to show that we are more than just a ZIP Code, Roselle Park’s Post Office is the opportunity for success.

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SIGNIFICANCE TO THE COMMUNITY It is a given that the Internet has decreased the use and usefulness of first-class mail on a dayto-day basis. To be sure, the use of e-mail has had an impact on regular mail being sent physically; there has even been a term coined to describe USPS mail - snail mail. Although first-class mail will not be as significant as it once was, there will still be people who will send a letter to a friend, a get-well card to a relative, a birthday card to a grandchild. While the Internet has affected the Postal Service with a diminishing use of first-class mail, technology has also given rise to the advent of online shopping and accompanying package delivery. This will be a constant for decades to come since the mailing and receiving packages - which are purchased online - will still need to be sent through the mail. Having adequate and convenient parking will only increase the use of the post office for such services by the public. Another aspect should be noted as a factor in the Postal Service’s decision to alter service to Roselle Park. Although we are not - by definition - a military town, we have great reverence for our military men and women. This can be noted through our library which is named the Roselle Park Veterans Memorial Library. It is also displayed in the long line of American flags which fly proudly through our town along the median of Westfield Avenue. But beyond these displays of the importance placed on military service, a substantial number of families in our community have relatives who are serving in the military. On a regular basis, packages are being sent to our soldiers serving our country overseas and at various bases throughout our nation. The Roselle Park Post Office is from where those packages are sent. When those who volunteer to defend our nation know that they will receive a letter, a card, a package, a gift from family and friends back home, it means the world to them and us. A soldier overseas who is homesick might feel insignificant in the scheme of things but receiving a package from home with that stamp marked 07204 on it will give them a piece of home. Just as that soldier is not insignificant, neither is Roselle Park.

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SUMMARY At its core, the Postal Service is in place to help people keep in touch and stay connected with each other. We have taken that tenet one step further and offer a sustainable way to stay connected with the post office. In doing so, we know that we can succeed. We know that a plan is better than no plan at all. In closing, we want the United States Postal Service to understand we are not asking for any special treatment based on the fact that we love our post office, although we do. We realize the need to be fiscally responsible and offer this plan to achieve that objective while increasing customer use of the Postal Service which will benefit both the USPS and Roselle Park.

The Roselle Park Post Office not only has a history — it has a future.