The Marketing Mix
The product mix of an organization like USPS encompasses the total range of products and services, that the organization offers to the market place so as to meet the needs and expectations of the customers. Such products are made of product lines as well as the individual products. A product line can be defined as a collection of products within its product mix, which can be considered to be closely related on the grounds that they can function in a closely related manner, and such kind of products are offered to the similar customers through the same distribution channels (Kotler and Armstrong, 2005).
A given product is considered to be a unique component in a particular product line which can be differentiated by factors like size, quality and price as well as the appearance among other product attributes. For example, the products and services that the USPS offers to the market encompass its product mix; express mail services, and shipping and mailing services as well as insurance and extra services amongst many other services as the product lines, and products and the postage stamps and services as the product item.
At the levels of product line as well as product item, the decisions which are made are those which involve variety as well as depth and the shifts in the product mix (Marketingteacher online, 2008). USPS The United States postal service is one of the major organizations in the United States of America, which is considered to be an independent agency. It is charged with the responsibility of providing the American citizens, and other people in the world postal service in the United States of America.
The number of employees working with USPS is estimated to be over 700,000, a figure which makes it to be one of the largest employers in the world, and more specifically in the United States of America. The USPS current operations involves the delivery of mail to the residents of the United States of America incurring low costs as far as less than 250 per year. USPS carries its operations in the United States of America through the use of vehicles, which are considered to be the largest form of civilian fleet of vehicles estimated to be over 250,000 that exists in the world.
The majority of the vehicles are comprised of the Chevrolet, which is usually long lasting vehicles as well as the new makes of the ford vehicles (USPS online). The employees working in the rural areas use the services of the personal vehicles. The major distinguishing factor in the vehicles owned by USPS is that they normally do not have license plates, and instead have a seven digit number which is attached on the front as well as the rear.
The main challenge faced by USPS in its operating environment is the technological advances like the use of electronic mail, which has demanded that the management makes adjustments to its business strategies as well as automate its wide range of product and service offerings to the market place (USPS online). Competitors The main competitors of USPS include the FedEx as well as United parcel service, and they compete most in products like the express mail as well as its package delivery services.
This is the case whereby for USPS makes deliveries for letters as well as the packages to all parts of the United States of America. USPS benefits from the monopoly of delivering urgent letters and other special mails (USPS online). Support services The USPS support services include certificate of mailing which is structured to provide proof of the date when a given package was mailed. Delivery confirmation services make its product and service delivery to be unique, as it is able to establish proof of delivery.
There are also return receipt services, whereby a signature of confirmation is sent to the sender. Insurance services are also provided to ensure that losses are minimized for the various goods, which are being mailed and the estimated coverage amount is around five thousand USA dollars (USPS online). Certified mail services are used by USPS, whereby proof of mailing as well as the delivery record are provided, which are used to act as legal documents when it comes to communication of sensitive and confidential information.
Restricted delivery services are made available, which demands that deliveries be made to a particular person or any other identified person who can act on behalf of the recipient in cases where the mailbox cannot be used. On the other hand, there are services like collect on delivery, which gives the customers a choice on making payments at the time they are receiving their mail. In addition to that, there are special handling services as well as registered mail, which are applied for unusual items and other highly valuable commodities. Such services are delivered separately as compared to the other mail (Kotler and Armstrong, 2005).
Management The management of USPS is in charge of formulating the organization’s objectives, which are meant to be the foundation for planning the product line activities. Within each product line in USPS there are managers who are in charge of establishing objectives, which relate to their respective product lines so as to give directions to the brand managers, while they establish the marketing mix for their respective brands. Within the given brands in the USPS there are brand strategies, which are applied to be encompassed in the organization’s corporate plan.
The organization’s overall plans encompass the various changes which are within the organization’s product lines, as well as the specific strategies which are targeted to achieve the growth of the organization (Kotler and Armstrong, 2005). Upon the formulation of the USPS plans, financial allocations are made by the top level managers, and then flow down the organizational hierarchy. Implementation is then carried out which involves the tracking down the organization’s performance, and also provision of data for evaluation purposes by all the levels of management of the organization.
Evaluation forms the basis of the entire planning process of USPS, as it forms the foundation for assessing the company’s product offerings as well as recommendations for improving the products and services so as to meet the needs and expectations (Quick MBA Online 2008). Analysis Considering the fact that the top management of USPS is held responsible for the aspects of the product mix as well as the emerging profits and losses from the product mix, they are most of the times involved in the activities which seek to analyze the organization’s product mix.
The initial assessment of USPS’s product mix begins by encompassing the areas of opportunity for the organization. The organization’s opportunity is identified as the organization’s potential attractiveness in relation to its products and services, which can be taken as an investment. Then the second criterion of making an assessment of the organization’s product mix, is the ability of the organization to take advantage of the opportunity at the market place.
The organization’s position at the market place can be assessed in terms of its general market share as well as its resource capacity (Boardman and Vining, 1996). Conclusion The aspect of managing an organization’s product mix demands a lot of commitment on the part of the organization. The top level of management of an organization is supposed to give accurate, as well as timely assessment of the organization’s product mix. This is to enable the organization to make necessary adjustments to its product mix. Word count 1215 References
Boardman A and Vining, A, (1996). Defining your business using product customer matrices. Long range planning, 29(1), p38-48. Kotler, P, Armstrong, G, 2005. Principles of Marketing. Pearson Prentice Hall. Marketingteacher. com (2008). Positioning at the marketintg teacher. com. retrieved online: http://www. marketingteacher. com/lessons/lesson_positioning. htm Quick MBA. Com, (2008). Retrieved online:quickMBA. com (market welfare, market share, marketing strategy and positioning). USPS online: http://www. usps. com/communications/newsroom/postalfacts. htm