The Idaho Press is facing a rather significant challenge to hire and retain a solid newspaper delivery force. Just like many other local businesses, it is difficult find applicants to fill open positions. Right now, we are short an average of 12 carriers out of 64 routes, which equates to almost 20% of our force. That means the dedicated team of existing Idaho Press carriers is being asked to cover open routes in addition to their normal route.
Not only does this mean your paper may arrive later than normal, but it also causes a challenge for our existing carriers. They must learn a new route on very short notice often in the middle of the night. In addition to that issue, many of our carriers have regular full-time jobs and use their route to help supplement their monthly income. When they are asked to cover the down routes, it adds several hours to their normal delivery schedule. In some cases, a carrier must stop delivery to get to their other job on time, leaving several customers without a newspaper. We do our best to cover this when it happens, but it’s not easy and is causing significant frustration for some of our subscribers.
Today, I’m asking for your patience and understanding as we work through these challenges. Hopefully, more folks will return to the workforce soon and we can resolve this issue, but that is currently out of our control.
Occasionally, I hear frustrated readers say they have been a subscriber for many years and are very upset with recent delivery issues, and they threaten to cancel their subscription. It frustrates me that we can provide great service for years, and then when we are facing likely the most challenging time in our history our most loyal readers threaten to quit.
On average, we deliver about 18,000 newspapers across the Treasure Valley per day. If we achieve a 97% accuracy rate, that still leaves over 500 customers without a newspaper.
Recently you may have started receiving our daily e-Edition email in your inbox. I realize that not everybody loves to read a newspaper digitally. However, in a pinch, the Idaho Press e-Edition can provide you with your daily local news fix. I’m not asking that you permanently switch to reading digitally, but to simply give it a shot if we happen to miss your home during these challenging times.
And please, hang in there with us a bit longer as we work through the current delivery challenges. We need your support now more than ever. If you know anybody who needs some extra monthly income, please send them our way. We have plenty of open routes to choose from.