business news in context, analysis with attitude

In a time when email dominates and the slowdown of traditional mail has driven the US Postal Service (USPS) to the point where it is losing billions of dollars a year, it was inevitable that there would be collateral damage.

Such damage could be seen in the Wall Street Journal story this morning about how the company doing business as National Envelope - which "produces more than 1,500 envelopes a second and has more than 2,200 employees and eight production facilities from California to Massachusetts" - prepares to seek likely Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which would be its second in three years.

Here's why, according to the Journal:

"Many people and companies also no longer receive monthly statements in the mail from utilities, banks and other businesses. The paper industry in particular tends to be a low-margin business, making low costs and manufacturing efficiency particularly important in keeping a company afloat. Volume in the envelope industry has declined 3% to 4% annually since about 2001, said Maynard Benjamin, president and chief executive of the Envelope Manufacturers Association."

The bankruptcy filing, the story says, would be designed to facilitate a sale of the company.

But even if the company through bankruptcy and is successfully sold, one has to wonder the extent to which it will have to change the way it does business ... if it is going to be sustainable.

Just one of the ways in which the world is changing. It's an Eye-Opener.
KC's View: