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What's old is new again when it comes to Globe home delivery - or at least half of it

The Globe reports it's bringing back the company it dumped for allegedly not being able to retain customers that well to service half the paper routes the shiny new company that the Globe brought on managed to mess up.

Ed. note: Yeah, I'm also hoping there's nothing else to report about Globe home delivery today.

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Went out at 7:47 p.m.

Beginning Monday, January 11, The Boston Globe will be working with two partners, ACI Media and PCF to deliver newspapers within Greater Boston. PCF is a current delivery partner in the Lawrence area and was our former exclusive partner within Greater Boston.

We feel this is the best possible dynamic, both short term and long term, to provide our loyal readers dependable home delivery and improved customer service. It will allow ACI to channel their resources in roughly 50% of the market and to ultimately be successful here, and it will bring back a valued partner in PCF who has a deep understanding of the territories they'll be serving.

It is the understatement of this short year to say that these have been trying times. I thank each and every one of you for your selfless efforts to help each other and serve our readers.

We still have a way to go to restore 100% delivery to each home with the paper delivered to the right spot at the right time. But we now have the right infrastructure to get there very, very quickly.

We'll be holding a Town Meeting tomorrow in the Atrium at 3 p.m. to discuss in depth.

With sincere thanks,

Mike

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they rolled out the new delivery system? I read that when the new company's delivery contract with the Globe took effect, they hadn't hired enough drivers to cover the routes (and they still haven't). And, amazing to hear, the Globe's contract with this new company did not include any penalties for non-delivery of papers! Both of these things seem impossible for any business to allow. Who at the Globe could be making these decisions?

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J. Henry's wife..?

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Although as somebody who used to write about software, I found this paragraph kind of interesting:

One thing we did not underestimate, however, is the importance of routing. The new company initially used software that simply could not do the job. The routes that software plotted were so circuitous and inefficient that newly hired drivers quit after only one or two days - our staff ultimately volunteered to jump in to help. ACI has already begun the process to replace that software.

Nobody thought to do test runs and print out any of the route maps first?

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This sounds like what I go through with the BPS buses EVERY YEAR! Does no one do a test run before they go live?

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There is a famous subject in Math called the Traveling Salesman Problem and it is exactly this.

The short version is that you have a starting point and an ending point that are the same. You have a number of destinations in between. What is the optimal way to start, visit all of the points, and return to the starting point.

I know about this problem because it was the subject of my grad school thesis. There are dozens of known and well used algorithms used to solve this problem. Guess what else exists? Software that solves this problem. For cripes sake, I wrote a small version of it for my thesis.

I find it darned near impossible to imagine that delivery companies don't have logistics teams who mapped this all out before they took over.

Yes, I'm looking at you, Publisher John W. Henry, with your non-apology apology. I'm laughing at you too because we all know that cul de sacs have nothing to do with this.

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But they just didn't realize that the software's optimization argument for distance traveled was set to MAXIMIZE instead of MINIMIZE.

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What ever happen to the papers that never got delivered, where do they go?

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My guess is they're recycled.

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I noticed John Henry's piece referenced the Globe used its own delivery service a few years back for home delivery and discontinuing that was a mistake.

Why not start that up again?

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Leadership at Publishers Circulation Fulfillment PCF
https://www.lead411.com/company_PublishersCirculationFulfillmentInc_Gior...
http://www.pcfcorp.com/newsletter/PCF_AUG13(f).pdf

PCF News & Views
http://www.pcfcorp.com/newsletter/SPRING15.pdf

By Mike Barlow, Director Distribution Services
Recovering Complaints—Persistence Pays Off
[photo. 3 Stooges]
HERE IS AN OLD THREE STOOGES episode where Moe punches Larry in the stomach and Larry bends over, holding his midsection, wreathing in pain. This position makes it easy for Moe to knee Larry in the face. Please excuse my violent imagery, but this is how a subscriber may feel when we’ve been unsuccessful with a recovery. The first mistake (the early morning missed paper complaint) is the punch in the stomach, and then if we miss the recovery, we’ve followed up with a knee to the face.

This spring at PCF, we’re focused on improving our complaint recovery success. At two different meetings, in different locations, Division Three managers met to discuss service improvement and shared action items and ideas for improving recovery performance. At the meeting in Farmingdale, NY, veteran DCM GLADYS JIMENEZ emphasized the importance of “persistence” in order to ensure the subscriber receives the recovered newspaper. Gladys also urged her colleagues to make sure the subscriber is handed the newspaper. This will ensure satisfaction, and prevent a “recovery miss” complaint.

On the next day at a meeting in Elmsford, DCM MIKE GABRIEL shared sentiments that were very similar. Mike has high expectations for customer service and also emphasized the need to connect directly with the subscriber, even if a building superintendent needs to be contacted in order to gain access. Below is a list of other action items that the Division Three managers developed to improve recovery service:

■ For any recovery where a subscriber is not at home, a voice message is left on the home phone to connect directly.

■ For any recovery where subscriber contact is unsuccessful, DCM FRANTZ TORCHON sends a second recovery the very next day.

■ DCM PHILLIP McGARRELL constantly reinforces the deadline for all recoveries.

■ Phillip also reviews the “missing from” date on the recovery request. Periodically, the date is for a back copy and not the current day.

■ ADM ROOSMARY TAUFAN calls every complaint, prior to dispatching recovery. In addition to getting important complaint resolution information, Roosmary has discovered many of the subscribers already have the newspaper. By reducing the total number of recoveries, the recovery missed complaints have gone down.

■ DCM SERIGNE GASSAMA sends a NYT combo with every single Sunday recovery. This efficiently and completely ensures subscriber satisfaction.

IN OUR SERVICE IMPROVEMENT discussions, we also reviewed the impact of recovery missed (RM) complaints on numerous performance metrics: Every RM complaint impacts our CPM, our Repeat Complaints and of course, the RM metric. We now use a phrase, “Every recovery miss is a repeat”.

FINALLY, IT IS IMPORTANT to reinforce the potential downstream impact of recovery missed complaints. These complaints can lead to service stops, which are a specific source of diminished future revenue for our organization. Many thanks to all team members that are working to eliminate Recovery Complaints!

PERSISTENCE CAN CHANGE FAILURE INTO ACHIEVEMENT!
http://www.pcfcorp.com/newsletter/SPRING15.pdf

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and I'm now waiting to see which mid-level Globe managers will be directed to take the blame for this.

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People who get home delivery are not very environmentally conscience. How much diesel exhaust does the delivery truck spew out? How many trees are chopped down to make the paper? How much energy is wasted either to recycle the paper or to dispose of it? Why don't you people join the 21st century and get an online subscription.
Thank You

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So you're ready to cough up money for a computer for my mom and $50/month for internet service?

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EarthLink Cable Internet can save users a little bit
http://www.earthlink.net/access/cable.faces

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That's a thing where you live?

A twelve year old Corolla is more the norm hereabouts.

That's not as environmentally conscious as the delivery system of yore (kid on bike) but I don't think diesel comes into it.

Its not like reading the paper online takes no energy or produces no pollution. The break-even seems to be about a half-hour: if you spend more than 30 minutes on the paper it is greener to read it on paper.

Also, if more than one person in the house reads the paper, you're saving resources by doing it in print.

http://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/read-online-or-in-pri...

So backatcha bird man. Stop wasting and buy a paper for the house.

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Not to mention the landfill issues when those devices go kaput after a few years. the rare metals that are being mined away to make those devices, and the slave-wage laborers overseas that male them. The earth, and it's salvation, are complex issues.

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Plus - all the uses I have for the paper once it's read. I love to use the paper in the kitchen. Great for catching all the scraps from vegetables and such when I'm cooking. Then I can wrap it all up in the paper and know it's all biodegradable (I try to avoid plastics). There seems to be many times I'm rifling through the recycle bin looking for some newspaper for something - why just last night my daughter needed something to wrap Christmas ornaments in for storage.

And yes, for you young whippersnappers, many of us find reading the paper much more enjoyable than on an electronic screen. Try it sometime, I'll bet you'll find you are missing much more by just sticking to the digital version.

I recently went with just Sunday delivery after 30+ years of 7 day/week delivery and to be honest, I miss my daily paper.

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I wonder what those bid green box truck parked at the Globe on Morrissey Blvd are used for? Maybe they are bread delivery trucks. But they have Boston Globe printed on the side of them in big red letters.

I guess you people only care about the environment when it is convenient.

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Usually like to learn the facts first, and make our judgments second.

It's cute that you thought green box vans went door to door delivering single newspapers.

What they use the box vans for is driving bundles of newspapers to distribution points like stores. In the case of the Globe, that might include other newspapers as well as the Globe, as the Globe plant also prints the Herald and the Times.

And, per newspaper, they use less fuel and produce lower emissions than the server farms loading the pop up ads you see in your digital globe.

But go ahead and "care," just not too hard.

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who have computers and internet access. However, they still find it easier and more enjoyable to read a hard copy of the paper instead of looking at it on a computer screen.

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How do you think they will react when I refuse to pay for the last 2 weeks? Maybe they'll cancel my subscription which I have been trying to do for the last week but couldn't get through.

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...or ask the subscription be extended in consideration of great patience during the period of adjustment. Loyal subscribers are getting more weeks than the number of late deliveries/nondeliveries as a courtesy just for asking... if they sound like or write like they will smile

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last week saying my account was being credited for a week. I received another one Tuesday crediting me for this week. I've reported the missing papers online. I have only had a problem doing this early morning. Later in the day the notification goes through easily. (Now fingers crossed for a Monday paper with the new/oid company.)

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That must have been an awkward phone call for the Globe to make...

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"So, how's that whole 'changing delivery services to improve customer satisfaction' thing going?"

You've got to expect that the PCF folks tried very hard not to laugh during the call.

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... just like the old toss.

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