As if we haven’t been challenged enough, now the United States Postal Service (USPS) is experiencing delivery delays as a result of COVID-19. International shipments to or from China and Europe are most impacted.
CNBC reports some reasons for the delays have been attributed to changes made by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy who issued a number of orders this summer aimed at cutting costs. Some of those changes include: eliminating an employee’s ability to log overtime and barring workers from making extra trips to deliver late-arriving mail. DeJoy calls the financial situation at the post office “dire,” and maintains these cuts will help a struggling organization survive. Critics cite data that shows package deliveries to homebound Americans were up more than 50% in the first half of 2020; however, that number was offset by continued declines in first-class and business mail. In 2019, the agency reported a loss of nearly $9 billion. CNBC says the USPS lost another $2.2 billion in three months during the spring coronavirus outbreak.
While there are many critical shipments ― like medication and Social Security checks―which are dependent upon the postal service, publishers are increasingly concerned about the effect these delays will have on the industry.
Options for mitigating risk due to shipping delays
Delays from USPS shipping can be challenging and pose risk to your business without an alternate plan in place. Customer satisfaction and loyalty, reputational damage, and lost revenue are just a few of the damages that could occur to your business should the postal service fail to fulfill its promise.
To ensure your journal reaches your intended audience on time, it’s a good idea to consider alternative printing and distribution options, including online-only publication, print on demand (POD), or direct-to-consumer, distributed delivery.
Sheridan Select™ provides the technology and resources you need to collect, sell, and distribute your content. Our platform is a one-stop-shop to handle all your needs, including:
Direct-to-consumer sales through eCommerce integration
Sometimes it may be more cost-effective and advantageous to purchase and distribute content directly to the consumer. Sheridan offers several features to support this type of distribution model including:
- Bulk ordering
- Advanced reporting
- Warehouse fulfillment
- Tiered pricing
- Custom products
Global Distributed Print Options
With Sheridan’s global distribution networks in North and South America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific, you can essentially eliminate the frustration and delays associated with shipping via USPS to and from China and Europe. Instead, your publication can be distributed directly from a location closest to your final destination, shoring up any delays and keeping your readers happy.
Print on demand (POD)
With Sheridan’s POD service, you can print only what you need, when you need it. This eliminates the need to store a large inventory and can save a considerable amount of time and money in the process.
- Direct-to-consumer sales support through secure eCommerce integration.
- Global printing and distribution.
- Reporting, tracking, and historical data.
- Communications, notifications, and alerts.
- Storage of your initial print PDF files, providing immediate automated access to the documents needed.
- Ability to create custom compilations and special issues possible.
In some cases, you may choose to publish content online to save cost and quickly publish to your readership. This can be a great solution to offset shipping delays. However, there will be times when your customers will request a printed copy of an online-only publication. Sheridan Select’s POD services can accommodate those requests so you can maintain business continuity and publishing schedules.
Having a printing and distribution plan to mitigate risk in case of a shipping slowdown, or other business disruption that could hinder your ability to meet consumer demand will ensure your customers are satisfied and business can continue as usual.
Contact your Sheridan representative for a consultation or visit our contact page to learn how Sheridan experts can help streamline and simplify your publishing processes.