Dear President-Elect Obama:
I know you are busy and have a lot of other issues to deal with, but as a numismatist and blogger on numismatic topics, I am concerned with who you may ask to run the US Mint.
In the recent past, the Director of the US Mint has been a political appointment whose experience was not in areas necessary to make the Mint a success. For example, this past year, the Mint has not been able to keep up with the demand of bullion coins. Followers of the Mint are dumbfounded over these circumstances since the Mint is reporting striking fewer coins in 2008 than they did ten years ago when the demand was higher.
In addition to failing to meet the demand for its product, the Mint has mismanaged the costs necessary to manufacture their products and tried to extend their product lines in ways that even their most ardent customers found excessive. Recently, the Mint had to hold a “Clearance Sale” to rid themselves of an oversupply of collector products that never sold. Items that were available in sale, such as 1999-dated collectibles, shows that the current bureaucracy has been ineffectual in managing the Mint’s resources and misjudged the demand to the collector community.
Although collectors would like for your Mint Director to be a collector, the situation calls for a leader who has experience in manufacturing, supply chain management, and customer service. This leader should be able to manage four active factories whose well known products are as important to the public as it is to the collector. The importance and scale of this manufacturer belies the ability of a bureaucrat to manage.
News reports announcing the selection of your new leadership team indicate that you are looking for the most qualified people. When you consider who should be the next Director of the US Mint, would you please consider appointing someone with a manufacturing background whose product serves a commodity community as well as a specific market? It would help if this person was familiar with managing a company in a regulated market. Such a person would be able to understand the markets the US Mint serves while being able to successfully manage a profitable government organization.
Congratulations on your victory and I wish you much luck in dealing with the problems the nation is currently experiencing.