The Post Office Reinvents Itself with Banking and Alcohol Deliveries

The Post Office Reinvents Itself with Banking and Alcohol Deliveries

April 16, 2021

Message in a bottle. Money, it’s a hit. Can they save the Post Office?

Loss of revenue from first class mail, competition, and a mandate to prepay retirement benefits 75 years into the future have created a financial crisis for the US Postal Service. Because Congress has shown little appetite to repeal the mandate, many solutions have been proposed to alleviate the financial woes of a well-liked institution. Recently, two proposals have been gaining traction: allow the USPS to deliver alcohol and reinstitute postal banking to provide much-needed revenue.


Video Spotlight: Postal Banking


This post is based on the NBC News article, Postal Banking, Alcohol Delivery Could Save the U.S. Postal Service, Experts Say, by M. Pflum, March 27, 2021, and the YouTube video, Saving the Post Office?, by CNBC Television, June 28, 2019. Image source: Erol Berberovic/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. Contrast Postmaster Dejoy’s proposals to save the US Postal Service and those described in the article? Discuss their respective merits and how they create value for postal customers.

Guidance: Postmaster Dejoy’s proposals involve increasing revenue with higher postage rates and lowering costs with slower first-class mail. Both approaches would improve the financial situation Continue reading

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The Impact of COVID-19 on Hospital Resources

The Impact of COVID-19 on Hospital Resources

March 11, 2021

 

 

Healthcare professionals are often described as the heroes of the COVID-19 crisis.

For more than a year, they have shown a remarkable resilience. Under extreme duress, they have expanded their skill repertoire and stretched their own physical and emotional limits to provide complex and compassionate care. The article underscores the difficulty of formulating capacity plans to  respond quickly and effectively to successive surges in demand while normal revenue streams are constrained.

 


Video Spotlight: Burnout in the ICU


This post is based on The New York Times article, See How Covid-19 Has Tested the Limits of Hospitals and Staff, by J. Keefe, Y. Parshina-Kottas, & S. Fink, February 23, 2021, and the YouTube video, COVID-19: Doctors and Nurses Talk about Burnout as Another Wave Hits U.S., by TIME, November 23, 2020. Image source: Chaikom/Shutterstock.

Discussion Questions:

1. Describe the capacity plans needed to deal with sudden increases in demand volume and mix?

Guidance: To overcome the increased utilization of ICUs around the country, new areas have been repurposed and can accommodate COVID-19 patients. The staffing of these expanded ICUs has been more challenging. ICU care requires specialized personnel. As a result, pulling Continue reading

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The Many Benefits of Healthier Building Design

The Many Benefits of Healthier Building Design

December 9, 2020

The pandemic has stimulated corporate interest in redesigning workspaces with better air filtration systems and more sustainable materials.

The concept of bringing the health benefits of the outdoors to an inside environment is called “biophilic design”.  Benefits include lower energy costs, healthier workplaces for employees, and overall improved office productivity.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the CNBC article, Bringing the outside into the office: Coronavirus bolsters push towards healthier building design, by Emma Newburger, October 17, 2020, and the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Image source: iurii/Shutterstock

Discussion Questions:

1. Describe how the servicescape features from the article influence work productivity.

Guidance: Students should be able to identify examples from the article about the calming impact of water features, how sounds and lighting influence worker mood, clear air and water availability, etc.  A servicescape should create an office environment to help influence the behaviors that will Continue reading

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