July - August 2013
The best (and easiest!)
way to reduce postage costs. Page 36
Is PAVE heading
for a pothole? Page 8
Why you need
the mailer scorecard. Page 14
COmpanies! Starting on page 18
See Clearer. Mail Smarter. With Pitney Bowes Presort Services
Bring innovative mail piece tracking to your outgoing Direct Mail. • Powerful mail tracking technologies and full transparency of your mailstream down to the job or piece level • We track your mail so you know when it’s picked up and presented to the USPS® • Optional reporting on piece-level scan activity to track your mail as it moves through the USPS network We’ve made significant investments in Intelligent Mail® barcode (IMb™) technology • Leverage valuable data to track and improve the efficiency of your campaigns • Benefit from being Full-Service IMb compliant before the January 26, 2014 USPS mandate Trust Pitney Bowes Presort Services to handle your direct mail presorting.
Scan here to find out more
Schedule a consultation with a Direct Mail Specialist today www.pb.com/AMSP 888-245-7267 AD62013
© 2013 Pitney Bowes Inc. All rights reserved. MSMK00251
Presenting End-to-End Solutions for Digital Printing Through Technology • Data & image file acquisition • Variable data workflow • Color management • Media profiling • Print management tools
• Over 100 recognized substrates • Unparalled service • Application consulting • Ideal for brand owners, converters, and end users
Using the Colordyne Technologies Digital Printing System, you can manage the supply chain across your operation, from the manufacturing line, to the warehouse, to the back office. • Product labels and tags • Travelers/job tickets • Logistics labels
• Invoices & packing slips • Transpromotional materials • Messaged envelopes
The opportunities are endless! Contact us today! firstname.lastname@example.org 262.784.1932 www.colordynetech.com
Volume 26 Issue 5
JULY - AUGUST 2013
The Best (and Easiest) Way to Reduce Postage Costs Cutting costs is always at the top of everyone’s priority list. Here are some surprisingly simple ways to do so. By Adam Lewenberg
An Address for Everyone Almost four billion people in the world do not have an address, but that’s about to change. By Kate Muth
Online Postage Grows Up No longer just for small companies, online postage is now an option for virtually any business. By Maia Benson
2013 HOT Companies
By Amanda Armendariz
Clear Image Technologies
By Wes Friesen
Software Byte By Christopher Lien
Ship It By Jim LeRose
The Trenches By Mike Porter
My Two Cents By Todd Butler
Postal Affairs By Kim Mauch
Direct Marketing 101 By John Foley, Jr.
Point/Counterpoint By Leo Raymond
[ PLUS ] 4
JULY - AUGUST 2013 ¡ www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com
Make sure you sign up for our monthly e-Newsletter so we can keep you posted with news alerts and updates! www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com
Mailing systems technology
with Amanda Armendariz
PUBLISHER Marll Thiede
EDITOR Amanda Armendariz email@example.com
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Maia Benson, Todd Butler, John Foley, Jr., Wes Friesen, Jim LeRose, Adam Lewenberg, Christopher Lien, Kim Mauch, Kate Muth, Mike Porter, Leo Raymond
Rachel Spahr firstname.lastname@example.org
ADVERTISING 608-442-5064 Ken Waddell email@example.com
GRAPHIC DESIGN Kelli Cooke
2901 International Lane • Madison WI 53704-3128 608-241-8777 • Fax 608-241-8666 firstname.lastname@example.org www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com
Volume 26, Issue 5 Subscriptions are free to qualified recipients: $20 per year to all others in the United States. Subscription rate for Canada or Mexico is $40 per year, and for elsewhere outside of the United States is $45. Back issue rate is $5. Send subscriptions to: Mailing Systems Technology, PO Box 259098, Madison WI 53725-9098; or call 608-241-8777; fax 608-241-8666; e-mail email@example.com or subscribe online at www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com. For high-quality reprints, please contact our exclusive reprint provider, ReprintPros, 949-702-5390, www.ReprintPros.com. All material in this magazine is copyrighted ©2013 by RB Publishing Inc. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Any correspondence sent to Mailing Systems Technology, RB Publishing Inc. or its staff becomes property of RB Publishing Inc. The articles in this magazine represent the views of the authors and not those of RB Publishing Inc. or Mailing Systems Technology. RB Publishing Inc. and/or Mailing Systems Technology expressly disclaim any liability for the products or services sold or otherwise endorsed by advertisers or authors included in this magazine. Mailing Systems Technology (ISSN 1088-2677) [Volume 26, Issue 4] is published six times per year, (January/February, March Buyers Resource, March/April, May/June, September/October, November/December) by RB Publishing Inc., 2901 International Lane, Suite 100, Madison WI 53704-3128, 608-241-8777. Periodical postage paid at Madison WI and additional offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to: Mailing Systems Technology PO Box 259098 Madison WI 53725-9098
Our 2013 HOT Companies I’ve always been a four-season type of girl (living in Wisconsin, you kind of have to be). I can find something to enjoy during just about any part of the year. But you have to admit, there is something special about summer. The weekend grill-outs, the annual vacations, the hiking, biking, and swimming outdoors — it’s a season that is looked forward to by everyone, every year. And that trait is something that summer shares with Mailing Systems Technology’s annual HOT Companies issue. Ok, ok, if you’re not in the mailing industry, you probably don’t care about this issue nearly as much as you care about summer (or at all), so I’ll amend my assertion slightly. But you’re reading this editor’s note, so it’s a good bet that you are, indeed, connected in some way with the mailing industry. And that means that this issue is one you won’t want to miss. Of course we still have our regular columns and features, but this July/August issue promises a little something extra: the chance to get to know some of the leading companies in the mailing industry. No matter if you’re new to the industry or you’ve been in it for years, or you’re looking for inkjet printers or software, the companies in the following pages are sure to provide the solutions you need. As you prepare for the new year, this issue is a good one to keep bookmarked for reference. And even if you’re not in the market for anything new right now, reading over these pages gives you an idea of what’s out there for you and your fellow mailing professionals. Take a look, let us know what you think, and as always, thanks for reading Mailing Systems Technology.
Real Life Management The Management Wisdom of Benjamin Franklin Earlier this spring, I had the privilege to speak at and attend the spring MaIlCOM conference (mailcom-conference.com). One of the presentations by industry expert Marlene O’Hare focused on how the practical wisdom of Benjamin Franklin can help us manage our operations well. Benjamin Franklin was not only a founding father of our country — he was also the first Postmaster general of the united states and a very successful businessman, leader, inventor, writer, and person. He was considered one of the smartest and wisest men our country has ever produced! there is a lot we can learn from Franklin that can help us be better managers and help our operations be even more successful. Following is a list of some tips inspired by his wisdom:
Avoid Busywork. “Never confuse motion with action.” Our time is limited and the expectations on us keep growing. We need to use our time well by avoiding unnecessary tasks, delegating when it makes sense, and focusing our attention on the highest value work. Give Yourself Permission to Make Mistakes. “Don’t fear mistakes” and “you will know failure. Continue to reach out.” Fearing making mistakes can immobilize us. taking risks and making mistakes provide us a special learning opportunity — provided we learn from the mistakes and grow from them.
Benjamin Franklin’s Keys to Management and Operational Success
Know Yourself. “there are three extremely hard things: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.” self-awareness is the first tenet of emotional intelligence. Be honest with yourself, and seek input from others regarding your strengths and areas for further development.
Strive for Excellence. “Whatever you become, be good at it.” Excellence does not happen by chance. We must intentionally choose to excel at what we do, including making the choice to become more effective leaders and managers.
Get Moving. “all mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are moveable, and those that move.” Which class do you fall into? the most successful people in life are those that actually move and get things done.
Be Prepared. “By failing to prepare, you prepare to fail.” a plan is needed to accomplish our goals. Charging in without any thought to the end result and how to achieve it is a sure way to fall flat on your face.
Act Quickly on Opportunities. “to succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.” Opportunities are everywhere. Our challenge is to be quick enough and smart enough to seize them when they arise.
Don’t Fight Change. “When you are finished changing, you are finished.” Change is inevitable. Focus on proactively making positive changes — and avoid being only reactive and having changes thrust upon you.
Engage Your Staff Actively. “tell me and I forget; teach me and I remember; involve me and I learn.” Experiential learning is at the core of developing ourselves and our team members. give people a chance to learn by doing real work — and reinforce what they did well and patiently coach them when they could do better.
Less Talk, More Action & Actions Speak Louder than Words. “Well done is better than well said.” We all know that talk by itself is cheap. talking about a project doesn’t get it done — we must take action to see the work through. Don’t Procrastinate. “Never leave till tomorrow what you can do today.” It’s easy to fall into the procrastination trap. One tip to avoid this trap is to have time-specific and measurable goals. and when you achieve key milestones or goals remember to take time to reward yourself and enjoy the sense of achievement. Be Organized. “For every minute spent in organizing, one hour is earned” and “a place for everything, everything in its place.” to maximize our productivity and achievement of our goals, we need to take the time to plan and to organize our resources. 6
the time we spend planning and organizing our work really does come back to us with interest.
july - august 2013 ¡ www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com
Don’t Give up. “If at first you don’t succeed, try again” and “Energy and persistence conquer all things.” striving to achieve our goals can be downright exhausting, right? there are times when we all feel like throwing in the towel. But pushing through those down times will eventually result in significant achievements — and when we look back we will say it was worth the effort. Wise Up. “life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late” and “I wish I knew then what I know now.” We can accelerate our acquisition of wisdom by intentionally seeking out growing experiences, and by taking time to reflect on what we have learned from our experiences. We can also tap into the wisdom of others who have gone before us by reading their words, listening to them speak into our lives, and observing their actions. *I want to thank Marlene for allowing me to share a modified version of her presentation.
With Wes Friesen
Be smart. “the only thing more expensive than education is ignorance.” Franklin modeled being a life-long learner. We can take advantage of traditional education sources like colleges and universities, and can attend conferences like MaIlCOM and National Postal Forum. We can also read trade journals (like this one!) and good books. It’s not enough to hear a good idea — the real value comes when we put it into practice. Keep Trying. “Diligence is the mother of good luck.” One tip is to break down our bigger goals into small units of work and then completing them one at a time. another tip is to choose to forego some of our time spent in front of the tV, PC or iPad and concentrate on getting our priority goals completed. Seek Knowledge and Wisdom. “If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it from him” and “the doors of wisdom are never shut.” We have many potential sources to learn and
develop more wisdom — take advantage of them! In addition to our personal life experiences, we can learn from the experiences of others through mentoring, involvement in professional associations, attending conferences, taking classes and workshops, and reading what they write about their experiences and lessons learned. the final piece of advice I wanted to highlight is the encouragement to continue to grow as a person. Franklin said, “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.” good luck as you continue on your journey to be a better manager — and person! ¡ Wes Friesen, MBa, CMDsM, MDC, EMCM, ICP, CCM,CMa, CM, CFM, aPP, PHR is the Manager of Billing, Credit and special attention Operations for Portland general Electric, a utility in Portland, Oregon that serves over 829,000 customers.
www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com ¡ july - august 2013
With Christopher Lien
Is PAVE Heading for a Pothole? usPs-certified software has been a foundation of trust for many mailers and Business Mail Entry units for decades. Consider Cass, the Coding accuracy support system, which forms the basis for ZIP+4 assignments and overall address quality. In fact, Cass-certified software is required in order to obtain automation sortation rates. Per the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) section 708, “any mailing claimed at an automation price must be produced from address lists properly matched and coded with Casscertified address matching methods listed below.” It goes on to note that the methods include a whole host of other software components such as DPV, laCslink, and others. another software certification specifically called out in the DMM is PaVE, the Presort accuracy Validation and Evaluation system. While the use of Cass-certified software is a specific DMM requirement for all automation mailings, use of PaVE software is only required for certain types of mail preparation. However, while use of PaVE-certified software is voluntary for other mail preparation routines, PaVE does provide national approval of computer generated facsimiles of united states Postal service postage statements, standardized documentation, and other presort documentation. thus, PaVE does form the basis for expedited and trusted mail acceptance.
considered tEM to be very complex and it was not uncommon for completion of tEM certification to take weeks or months. thus, in 2012, the usPs and the software vendor community (primarily the Mailing software Development group) worked to streamline the process by introducing a tEM certification program for software products. this simplified tEM process, which was rolled out in january 2013, resulted in mailers achieving tEM certification in less than one day. and while this is indeed great progress for onboarding Full service IMb mailers, it once again begs the question: Where does this leave PaVE certified software? It would seem that tEM is undermining what PaVE was originally intended to do — certify in advance that the documentation generated by industry-provided software meets an established usPs threshold. Regardless of whether the ultimate documentation is hardcopy or electronic, it would still seem that PaVE would be the correct vehicle for certifying software rather than adding yet another certification process for both the vendors and the software users. One of the reasons the usPs created tEM was to verify that unique serial numbers were created for each piece in the mailing. through tEM, the usPs is able to check the Piece Detail Record (PDR) of the Mail.dat output from the PaVE-certified software to determine if indeed unique serial numbers are populated. However, this same concept could certainly apply to an enhanced PaVE process.
If PAVE is considered the trusted certification program for presorting mailpieces and generating standardized documentation, shouldn’t PAVE be enhanced to support Full Service IMb requirements? Beginning in january 2014, the usPs will require Full service Intelligent Mail barcodes on all automation priced mailpieces, trays and containers where applicable, and mailers must submit mailing documentation electronically. so, where does this leave PaVE certified software? If PaVE is considered the trusted certification program for presorting mailpieces and generating standardized documentation, shouldn’t PaVE be enhanced to support Full service IMb requirements? In 2011, the usPs began working on a program called tEM — the test Environment for Mailers. tEM was initially designed to certify that the mail preparer could electronically submit data (typically as Mail.dat or Mail.XMl) to PostalOne! to satisfy the electronic documentation requirement for Full service IMb mailings. Many mailers 8
july - august 2013 ¡ www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com
as part of the electronic PaVE certification, a data file (known as the universal File Format) is created containing the presorted addresses sequenced according to DMM requirements. software vendors could simply append the IMb information to each record to clearly show that unique serial numbers are being applied. Or better yet, we could just send a Mail. dat file set to PaVE for verification instead of the proprietary uFF we are sending now. since all of the comprehensive presort testing is already in PaVE, it would seem to make sense to drop tEM altogether and rely again on PaVE as the certification gold standard. tEM, which will soon be expanded to include certification of mailers using the Postage statement Wizard, has helped onboard mailers to using Full service Intelligent Mail barcodes. However, with the requirement going into effect in january 2014, perhaps the ‘t’ in tEM should stand for temporary and we can go back to relying on PaVE as the single presort software certification program. ¡
Christopher lien is Vice President, software Marketing, Bell and Howell.
With Jim LeRose
Internet Postage Vs. The Postage Meter In the early 1900s, an inventor from Chicago named Arthur Pitney patented the postage meter, an innovative mechanical device that eliminated the laborious and perhaps unhealthy chore of licking and affixing stamps (Arthur was no philatelic). The meter simplified mailing letters for businesses by replacing stamps with a printed mark on the envelope referred to as an “indicia.” This creation also benefited the USPS because it provided them with the ability to significantly reduce the production of stamps (one could argue Mr. Pitney was the founding father of the “Green” revolution). Arthur later connected with Walter Bowes who together formed Pitney Bowes (PBI), the recognized leader in mail processing equipment. Pitney Bowes lobbied the US government to ensure postage meters could only be rented, not sold. This clever unique business approach was envied and later imitated by numerous companies worldwide, and of course it provided Pitney Bowes with a permanent and lucrative recurring revenue stream. What these two entrepreneurs didn’t see coming, however, was the declining use of the postage meter that occurred at the start of the 21st century. This is a time when businesses are using email instead of snail mail and the Internet to print postage instead of renting physical postage meters to process traditional letter mail. The postage meter and letter mail are unavoidably linked. While mail volume is on the decline, there’s still a need for the postage meter, but as Thomas Freidman explained in The World Is Flat, change is coming fast. The mailing industry is not immune.
a close second (www.neopost.com); and Postalia a distant third (www.postalia.com). Recently however consumers have been given a new choice (no pun intended) with Choice Solutions, a certified reseller of Pitney Bowes equipment who will be happy to provide the same equipment you can buy directly from Pitney Bowes with some added value. If, however, your application calls for postage outside of the realm of First Class mail, you may want to consider using Internet postage. A quick Google search will reveal the leaders in this arena are www.stamps.com and www.endicia.com. Printing postage electronically has the following advantages over a postage meter: • Convenience. The ability to print postage from any computer. This is a tremendous convenience for start ups, SOHOs, ecommerce companies and businesses that prefer to “go green.” • Electronic connectivity with shopping carts • No physical space requirements • No inspection requirements (to avoid tampering and illegal use, meters have to be inspected by the USPS) • No repairs (meters break, the Internet doesn’t) • No proprietary expensive ink cartridges to replace • Lower monthly rental cost (generally 50 – 70% less than meters) • Automated forms printing (certified, registered, customs etc.) • Electronic tracking
So when it’s time to decide which method works best for you, consider the application — do I need to process First Class letter mail? So which technology is best for your company? When it pertains to the use of First Class letter mail or bulk mail advertisements, the postage meter has one clear advantage over Internet postage: it enables letter mail processing, that is, it will print postage, seal, and stack envelopes at varying speeds. In case it isn’t obvious, you can’t do this with a computer and Internet postage (at least not yet, anyway) and therefore if you require automated mail processing, you must rent a postage meter. There are only a few options to get one. The company with the largest market share is Pitney Bowes (www.pb.com); Neopost is
So when it’s time to decide which method works best for you, consider the application — do I need to process First Class letter mail? If not, Internet postage is probably the way to go. If your mailing application is more complex, send me a request and I’ll be delighted to help you decide.
I hope this information helps you Ship Better and Save Money! ¡ Jim LeRose has been a transportation industry consultant for three decades. Formerly with Pitney Bowes, he is Principal of Agile New York, a leading provider of multi-carrier shipping software / shipping cost reduction strategies and CEO/Founder of EcoReturn — a revolutionary ecommerce return solution. Visit: www.agilenewyork.com and www.ecoreturn.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888.214.1763.
www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com ¡ JULY - AUGUST 2013
The Trenches ADF for Print Service Providers I have long been an advocate for automated Document Factory (aDF) technologies in print and mail service provider operations. ten years ago, the only organizations that could justify an investment in aDF were high-volume transactional document producers. Companies serving financial, healthcare, or insurance companies needed the document integrity and tracking capabilities an aDF provides.
ADF Not a Priority in the Past
a lot has changed in recent times — including the types of organizations that would benefit from aDF functionality. Modern customer acquisition campaigns, for instance, are utilizing multiple data sources to develop highly personalized multi-channel messages. the integrity of the direct mail portion of these campaigns is much more important than in the days of “spray and pray.” a greater investment has been made in the development of the data stream and there may be connections between the mail and triggered electronic messages. Incomplete or error-strewn mailings can dampen the performance of the entire campaign. the ability to ensure mailpiece integrity and distribution is just as important in many direct mail applications today as it has been for transactional mailpieces in the past.
Ironically, these same direct mail print service providers have been migrating towards more complex service offerings and re-branding themselves as marketing service providers. Inserting and mailing personalized content may be recent additions to their operations. their exposure to risk has increased. at the same time, competition for business in a price-driven industry has gotten fierce. a successful marketing service provider must differentiate themselves from the crowd to attract new customers and simultaneously run super-efficient operations to make an acceptable profit.
Marketing Service Providers Need Different Tools the aDF products themselves are still mainly directed towards high volume transactional mailers. these companies have always been focused on the integrity and efficiency of their document production workflows; areas strongly supported by traditional aDF solutions. Contrarily, the small to medium sized print service providers that might be handling direct mail jobs are used to spending most of their time managing the work that happens before printing. an aDF that could address those front office needs in addition to providing production floor monitoring and document integrity would have more value for these types of service providers. Recently, capabilities like these have begun to appear.
up until now, aDF solutions haven’t included the front office operations as an integrated portion of the total workflow. and until recently, the capital investment required to purchase and install an aDF has been out of reach for smaller companies. they just couldn’t justify spending the money.
Advantages in Connecting All Parts of the Business By linking the front-end workflows with the back office production environment, both areas are improved. Information about
BENEFITS OF HYBRID ADF SYSTEMS FOR MARKETING SERVICE PROVIDERS Catch errors as soon as they occur, when it is easiest to correct them Identify less profitable work Produce accurate estimates, avoiding money-losing projects due to underpriced quotes Automate reprints Eliminate labor costs associated with manual production reporting and reconciliation processes Answer job status questions without interrupting production Optimize capacity by spreading jobs across multiple devices without worrying about duplication or missing batches Eliminate production delays which result in late delivery fees
Locate/verify status of individual items, allowing customer service to provide clients with definitive answers regarding individual mailpieces Enter new markets where piece integrity allows the pursuit of more complex, and profitable, document applications
I became aware of a new approach, a Shorten machine idle time by automatically balancing at the end of the job, allowing the next job collaboration between leading vendors to start sooner in aDF and front-end management software, which makes a lot of sense for small to medium sized print service providers. these compa- job characteristics, slas, and work in progress can help improve nies have to manage a different workflow than the transactional productivity in finishing operations. so, too, can production statismailer. they need a different tool, and they need to work with tics aid in accurate quoting and billing. By analyzing actual producvendors that understand their businesses. tion results for instance, estimators may be alerted to jobs that 10
july - august 2013 ¡ www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com
With Mike Porter
consume more time or resources than were originally budgeted, allowing them to make adjustments in the future. I had an opportunity to speak with a well-established document services provider that produces First Class and Certified Mail. They have separate facilities in two different states. As their document processing business changed, so did their requirements for controlling integrity, security, and compliance. In todayâ€™s competitive market it became clear that migrating their system from a traditional process flow to an ADF system was imperative. By implementing an ADF costs could be monitored more effectively and the business run more efficiently. With a new hybrid system that merged aspects of back-end ADF functionality with front office workflows into a single dashboard, this company can access real-time reporting on job status. The automation process has cut down on the amount of calls to document opera-
tions inquiring about job status and increased the time available for account managers to work on new projects. Efficiencies have been gained through all aspects of the company from customer service down through production and warehousing, simply through the availability of information provided by the specialized ADF system. Automated Document Factory technology in some form is a worthwhile investment for smaller document service providers. Integrity and tracking, along with improved efficiency and overall business management capabilities from a familiar provider make this new breed of product an attractive investment. ÂĄ Mike Porter is an expert in Print and Mail operations and President of Print/Mail Consultants, an independent consulting firm that helps companies nationwide lower costs and integrate new technologies in their document production workflows. Contact www.printmailconsultants. com or email@example.com for more information.
www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com ÂĄ JULY - AUGUST 2013
My Two Cents Postal Hysteria Postal Service is on its last legs… Postal Service on brink of bankruptcy USPS: The Next Amtrak? (These real headlines were ripped from the Internet) the intent was to prevent the federal government from doing much of anything, except in a crisis. Everyone condemns Congress because they cannot get anything done, and yet this is the way our political system was designed to work. Congress was set up so that it could only advance legislation if there was broad consensus between warring political factions elected to represent diverse constituencies. One party rule was never intended and has terrible consequences, as recent history proves. Having political parties get along was never intended. What was intended was for the three equal branches of government, the two houses of Congress, and the two political parties to be in a constant state of disagreement. anything else would be unconstitutional! Because of these tensions not much is going to happen to help the usPs until, like everything else, there is a real crisis. the good news is that while Congress dithers, postal management is downsizing the postal infrastructure as fast as politically possible. this downsizing would not be happening had Congress reached agreement on last year’s postal legislation. so while postal management reduces the number of plants and personnel in an effort to reduce costs, Congress comfortably sits on their hands with tongues flapping to constituents.
unfortunately there will be a price to pay for increasing the Postal service’s ability to borrow more money from the treasury. No, union contracts won’t be thrown out with mandatory reductions in wages and postal benefits. What Congress will demand as tribute for saving the Postal service for another year is a substantial rate increase levied on business mailers. this rate increase will cause a significant decline in mail volume and negatively impact the Postal service and direct mail industry. The Only Solution for Postal Stability Many people, doomsayers, fear the ultimate solution chosen by Congress will be to not reform the usPs but close it down. Recent history disproves this possibility. In trying to reduce its costs, the usPs has reduced the number of processing plants, to great outrage by some members of Congress and their union constituents. Postal management also tried to reduce the number of retail outlets and had to change plans due to political pressure from many rural areas of the country. When the Postmaster general boldly went where no Postmaster general has gone before (to defy Congress’s wish to retain six-day delivery) he was threatened with jail, a reduction in income, and forced retirement. His impertinence to thwart Congress’s wishes was finally resolved by the enactment of a law that clearly prevented him from saving money by reducing the number of days of delivery. after preventing many of the PMg’s cost-cutting measures and service reductions, doomsayers would have us believe that Congress will soon vote to shutter the whole organization.
some believe Congress will or should sell the Postal service to uPs, FedEx, or some other entity. a few years ago, it was stated that the usPs delivered more items in a day than uPs and FedEx (combined) did in Everyone concerned by the imminent demise of the United year. With the decline in mail volStates Postal Service is horrified by congressional inaction ume, maybe it takes two days for the volumes to be equal but the to save it. It was our founding fathers who, in order “to point is that most people (and no form a more perfect Union,” established an adversarial one in Congress) can fathom the form of government. differences in scale between this troubled government entity and its private sector competitors. a mini crisis will hit the Postal service this fall. If projections are cor- the unanswered question is who would buy such a bankrupt, rect, postal management will run out of money by October and will dysfunctional, heavily unionized organization controlled by an not be able to meet payroll. the easy short term fix is for politicians adversarial Congress able to change the rules and laws of comto cast a vote to loan the Postal service more money. the Postal petition on a whim? service pays its bills, Congress gets to kick the can down the road another year, and management continues the necessary infrastruc- the fact is that delivering mail or packages in densely populated cities can be very profitable and might be of interest to private ture realignment. Everyone in Washington wins. 12
july - august 2013 ¡ www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com
With Todd Butler
companies. Delivering mail in Alaska, Wyoming, the Dakotas, and much of rural America… not so much. Because every state has two senators, all states are equal in the Senate. The less populated states are in the majority. Senators from these states, regardless of party affiliation, will prevent any changes to the existing postal system that would negatively affect their constituents’ mail delivery. For senators from rural states, the status quo with increased congressional financial support would be preferable to voting for any solution that might result in the loss of equal service for their constituents.
marketers who are not shy about spending money. The problem is that marketers are no longer willing to support the Postal Service at current (much less higher) postage rates.
Congressional financial support for the Postal Service is imminent in the form of new loans. The real crisis and budgeted support will come after mandated rate increases significantly decrease mail volume. Mail is a great communication channel with little to no competition in the mail box. This exclusivity has real value to
USPS: The Next Amtrak? You bet! That’s the only business model that will work. ¡
Since constituents still demand universal postal services, congress will have to pay for them. At that point any increase in mail volume would reduce the fixed cost of providing a national postal system. The only way mail volumes will ever increase is through a reduction in mailing costs. The only way mailing costs will be reduced is if congress subsidizes postage.
Todd Butler, Butler Mailing Services, can be reached at 513.870.5060, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.butlermail.com.
Re-Think Your Ink Ink Formulas for HP Addressing & Barcoding Glossy Coated Stock
UltimatePost - Dye Based Ink Formula OnyxPost - Dye Formula for Low DPI OmniPost - Pigment/Dye Blend
AquaPost - Pigment for Aqueous Coating AquaPost FD - Faster Drying Pigment AquaPost Ultra - Extended Decap Formula
Envelopes and Porous Stock We make it easy to compare Mail Green quality, performance and price to your currrent supplier.
ApexPost - Dense Black Dye Based Formula SpeedPost XT - For Data-Pac Postage Meters ColorPost - Red, Blue, Green, Yellow
Call to request your FREE, no obligation samples! (866)760-6027
Mail Green is not affiliated with Hewlett Packard. Mail Green Ink Cartridges are remanufactured in the USA
With Kim Mauch
Know the Score: Why You Need the Mailer Scorecard By now, you know that Full-service will be required for automation rates starting january 2014. In addition to the new mailing requirements for Full-service, additional checks will be performed on your mailings at entry. starting july 2014, the usPs may start applying assessments to mailers who don’t meet certain compliance thresholds. let’s take a look at how the verifications are performed now, and how they will change over the next year.
tion, the by/for information must be populated correctly in eDoc, along with consolidator information for co-palletized mailings.
Your Tool: the Mailer Scorecard
today, automation mailings are checked for content, presort makeup, automation compatibility and barcode quality. If problems are found, mailers have a choice: they can either take the mail back and rework it, or pay an additional charge to compensate for noncompliance. For example, if half the barcodes scanned during verification had errors, then half the mailing would be charged at the nonautomation rate.
as you make the transition to Full-service, become familiar with the Mailer scorecard. this is a report available in the Business Customer gateway that outlines all the mailing checks performed on your Full-service mailings, even those that don’t cause problems today. Each month, your mailings will be aggregated to create your score, and trouble areas will be highlighted. additionally, information about the makeup of your mailings (mail classes, piece types, etc.) will display.
all of these verifications will continue for automation priced mailings, and mailers will continue to have the option to rework the mailing to avoid assessments.
Full-Service Verifications For Full-service mailings, additional requirements will be validated at entry. First, usPs will ensure that the mailing documentation was submitted electronically via Mail.dat, Mail.XMl, or the Postal Wizard. Next, the clerk will scan three pallet labels, five tray labels, and 30 mailpiece barcodes. During this process, the barcodes will be checked for readability and uniqueness. If any errors are found during this spot-check, additional barcodes will be scanned. If more than two pallet, three tray, or four piece barcodes are in error, the mailing will be considered out of compliance. also, if the pallet barcodes are covered by plastic wrap, an error will be logged. just like the current automation verifications, mailers will have the option to take the mailing back to correct any errors before submitting. If the mailer chooses not to correct the errors, the Full-service discount will not be applied. Beginning january 2014, mailers will have the option to submit the mailing as-is, but at nonautomation rates.
Future verifications Not all requirements for Full-service are verified at entry today, but usPs is keeping track. In addition to all the verifications listed above, usPs is collecting data on Full-service mailings to determine how to handle it in the future. this includes checking whether the service type ID on mailpieces is appropriate for the mailing, the Mailer ID used is valid, each barcode is unique for a minimum of 45 days, and the entry facility was defined properly in eDoc. In addi14
july - august 2013 ¡ www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com
For now, no penalties will be assessed if mailings don’t meet these requirements. However, it’s anticipated that usPs will start applying assessments starting july 2014. the thresholds and penalties for these assessments have not yet been announced.
the trick to the Mailer scorecard is what you do with it. While usPs is not assessing on all Full-service errors today, they have indicated that assessments could start by july 2014. the thresholds and penalty amounts haven’t been set, but mailers will get a preview of the costs as soon as October of this year. starting then, usPs intends to show mailers what their projected invoice will be through the PostalOne! system. How this will show up in the reports is unknown. However, the results in your Mailer scorecard can give you an idea of where to concentrate your efforts. If your mailings consistently see complications in a specific area, you can use the time before july to address those issues. ¡ Kim Mauch is a subject matter expert in mailing preparation and submission at satori software. Contact her at email@example.com.
Direct Marketing 101
With John Foley, Jr.
Direct Mail’s Place in Today’s Multi-Channel Marketing World the days of getting our information solely from the mailbox are long behind us. you’ve probably noticed that your mailbox is a little less stuffed than in past years. Instead, we are constantly bombarded by marketing efforts coming from many channels and various angles. We are barraged via social media, web, print, tV, mobile and more almost constantly. so, where does direct mail fit in? some marketers have dropped direct mail due to cost concerns and the assumption that direct mail is a lost cause. But that’s far from the case. Direct mail is still a great way to get your message across. you can still segment your target market (which is made even easier as technology evolves and we clean up our data). and you can use direct mail to augment and enhance your other marketing efforts. Why make your marketing message merely visual- or audio-based when you can incorporate the tangible into it and get something into the physical hands of your audience?
ence scratching their heads if you divert from the messages of your recent campaign. Direct mail certainly has its place in a multi-channel world. In fact, leaving direct mail out of your multi-channel marketing strategy would be short-sighted. you may be missing out on making some massive impact if you fail to incorporate direct mail into the mix. ¡ john Foley is the founder of grow socially, an online marketing company including social Media. they provide marketing consulting and delivery services. Created in 2010, grow socially, Inc (www.growsocially.com) helps companies with their online marketing efforts, with a focus on social media. these services include discussing and creating marketing plans, strategies, tactics, and goals that align with your company’s needs. Contact john at 978.674.8081 or firstname.lastname@example.org
In fact, direct mail should go beyond the tactile experience of a postcard (though even a postcard still has its place in today’s marketing strategies). Direct mail can utilize everything from QR codes that compel the consumer to watch a video to a flash drive that the consumer receives with a special file on it, or a small sample of your product. With all of today’s technology and the ability to market via multiple channels, it’s vital to think outside the box and design a direct mail piece that not only furthers your brand and message, but enriches the experience and makes sense, not only from an ROI standpoint on your end, but from the standpoint of the receiver – your target market. Because with multi-channel marketing, you are taking advantage of the various ways to get your message through to your audience, and you should not forget the importance of timing. your efforts should be coordinated to reflect that critical timing and to help the next “touch.” an email can give the consumer the heads up that an important piece of mail is arriving soon. your social media platform can remind consumers that they should have received their piece of direct mail and that they have a limited time to take advantage of the call to action. Or the direct mail piece can remind the consumer of a timely offer that is taking place online. It should all fit together like puzzle pieces. It is also imperative that the messages be consistent in content and branding. just because you want your direct mail to be creative and exciting doesn’t mean this is the opportunity to take a complete left turn from your current marketing plans. Instead of being compelling, your direct mail piece may just leave your audiwww.MailingSystemsTechnology.com ¡ july - august 2013
Point/Counterpoint Setting the Record Straight a My two Cents column by todd Butler in the May/june issue of this publication expressed strong criticism of trade associations, especially those that “employ ex-postal officials to lobby their friends,” and implied that those associations fail to represent the interests of their members. those allegations, and the general insinuations of the article, demand correction. Without characterizing anyone’s intentions, the March 7, 2013, meeting at usPs Headquarters assembled representatives (staff and members) of those associations whose member companies had a strong business reason to be concerned over real, potential, or perceived competitive actions by the usPs. trade association staff represented their memberships, regardless of size, and not just those present. Not being present at the meeting does not generate a license to imply otherwise.
that the Postal service is gathering data from postage statements is not news, nor is it as sinister as the writer implies. He insists that the agency’s collection and retention of data about who mails can only serve to help it “compete with our industry.” Convinced of that, he casts himself as the defender of mailing service companies against the postal monopolists, doing so without the support of trade associations to whom (for some inexplicable reason) he still belongs. as I’ve told him, the usPs has a legitimate business right to know the identity of its customers — ratepayers — as well as of those intermediary service providers who prepare mail for them, and also has the right to contact them to promote what it’s selling — in this case, the use of hard-copy mail. the usPs does not advocate the use of any individual mailer or seek to direct business to or away from any service provider; no association or “ex-postal employee” staffer would tolerate that if it occurred.
Verbally poking postal executives in the eye may be emotionally satisfying but it’s neither professional nor conducive to constructive relationships. No trade association representing MsPs is “so afraid of losing access to postal management that they are ineffective in changing major policy decisions.” However, all associations deal with usPs management in a civil and businesslike fashion; this does not represent weakness or fear of being “ineffective.” Rude and confrontational behavior is not indicative of strength; it’s boorish and disrespectful. Professional dialogue and considering all sides of an issue are more useful than haranguing people in hopes of browbeating them into agreement. and, as one of many ex-postal employees who now work for a trade association, it’s insulting and demeaning to imply that our sympathies for our former employer supersede our obligation to those whom we now represent; such a comment is offensive and false. We still have friends in the usPs but we all have our jobs to do, and we do them with mutual respect. Burning your bridges does not serve any useful purpose. as one of the ���ex-postal employees” with whom the writer has had a “heated” conversation, it appears that the problem lies more in what he wants the facts to suggest than in what they actually describe. 16
july - august 2013 ¡ www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com
Misuse of mailing information for inappropriate competitive activities would be wrong — there’s no debate about that — and our association has aggressively pursued the rare such incidents when they’ve occurred. at the March meeting and other times, senior postal managers have repeatedly disavowed any interest in competing with commercial service providers or misusing mailing information, and have responded effectively to every complaint we’ve brought them about incidents of inappropriate selling, misuse of information, or what could be called competitive behavior. Because the writer refuses to believe those facts, or lacks personal knowledge of them, does not validate his assertions by default nor, more importantly, does not make association staff — including ex-postal employees — guilty of being unethical or failing to defend the interests of association members. the writer further argues that “the new requirements for accurate by/for information, the redefinition of mail owner, and major investments in new technology have made it clear to the apologists, the deniers, and the sheep too afraid to raise their bleating voices before being passively lead to slaughter that the usPs was indeed coming after them, their businesses, and their customers.” the writer has the right to believe what he wants, but that passage hysterically misconstrues what the Postal service is doing and why. and, as noted earlier, having such a perspective does
With Leo Raymond
not engender the right to accuse those who do not agree of being unethical “apologists” or failing to defend the interests of those whom they represent. the article alleges that “the desire by postal bureaucrats to expand postal services vertically into providing data and mail preparation services is nothing new,” claiming he’s been “fighting against usPs competition since the fall of 1990.” Only the writer knows his experiences, but those should be extrapolated with caution. Few would agree with his sweeping generalization or that whatever war be believes he’s been fighting really exists. Regardless, the conclusion that the Postal service is secretly planning to compete with his (or similar) businesses is simply not supported by the facts.
by being asked for “detailed information,” the simple fact is that corrective action against any real or perceived wrong cannot be taken without appropriate details; generalized griping does not support storming the gates of usPs headquarters. the “self-interests” of all associations include ensuring open lines of communication – with the usPs in this case – so that the concerns and interests of all members can be represented. Verbally poking postal executives in the eye may be emotionally satisfying but it’s neither professional nor conducive to constructive relationships.
Returning to the March meeting, the writer claims that it “got very heated” and that “large businesses” who were “threatened by several proposed new and or expanded postal offerings,” and not the associations present, “were effective in dissuading the USPS from providing data services.”
Returning to the March meeting, the writer claims that it “got very heated” and that “large businesses” who were “threatened by several proposed new and or expanded postal offerings,” and not the associations present, “were effective in dissuading the usPs from providing data services.” that’s simply not true; he wasn’t there and, therefore, has no basis on which to make such assertions or to conclude who was (or wasn’t) effective. His characterizations of what went on at the meeting, who said what or why, and how the outcome unfolded are simply fictional embellishments designed to support his point of view and not representative of fact. It’s disingenuous for him to represent such presumptions as fact so he can adopt the role of the persecuted underdog left unprotected from “postal bureaucrats” by feckless “apologists and sheep.” the writer claims that associations have “failed to stop the Postal service’s illegal … and unethical competition with their membership.” Instead, he alleges, members have only received “excuses” and “requests for more detailed information” while the associations “have been protecting their own selfinterests and pet projects.” It’s unclear exactly what “change” was expected or what form of “illegal and unethical competition” was encountered. Regardless, the insinuations are off the mark. Responses that do not comport with his world-view are not “excuses” concocted to avoid representing members’ interests. Moreover, though the writer seems offended
It’s also incorrect to ask why there was “no industry press coverage” of the meeting; there was, and it wasn’t restricted. For example, the final version of the usPs statement on “by/for,” amended after further industry feedback, was published in the May 20 issue of aMsP’s Postal Points. It’s simply inaccurate to claim that any association’s members or the mailing industry is being kept in the dark about important developments; the facts do not support the writer’s statements. Hypothesizing that a “non-compete agreement with the Postal service” is at work is ludicrous; there is no malicious agreement with any company to the presumed exclusion of his or others of that size. Moreover, the inflammatory allegation that no-one is watching “the little guy’s back” is just more unvarnished hyperbole. I learned long ago there’s no point in arguing with such a mindset. ¡ leo Raymond is VP Postal & Member Relations, association of Marketing service Providers and can be contacted at 703-836-9200 x203.
www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com ¡ july - august 2013
HOT COmpanies Summer is in full swing, and amidst barbeques, baseball games, and trips to the beach, we in the mailing industry still have to somehow find the time (and desire!) to manage our mailing operations. Luckily for you, summer is not the only thing that’s hot right now — these companies are, too. But unlike summer, which will eventually fade away to the crisp, cool days of fall, these companies are sure to remain hot leaders in the industry for some time to come. These companies provide a wide range of services, from printers to ink to mail handling equipment to software,so whatever you’re looking for, you’ll be sure to find the company that suits your needs.
ContaCt info: ComPANy: CapStone Technologies LLC
emAil: utoViri (auto-`VEER-ê) by CapStone Technologies LLC is the future of mail finishing. Utilizing patented robotic technology, AutoViri eliminates manual handling of finished mailpieces, USPS trays, sleeves and pallets.
Initially developed in 2005 for the largest coupon mailer in the world, AutoViri is the centerpiece of their “lights-out” mailing facility. Results include: • Production cycle-time reduced from 4 days to 4 hours • Two facilities merged into one • Doubled annual production volume with less than half the staff • No human intervention on finished mail pieces Today, AutoViri is in its fourth generation and handling billions of statements and direct mail pieces annually. AutoViri is now affordable to all mailers interested in lower production costs, eliminating the risk of additional postage assessments and high ROI. With increased USPS scrutiny through Full Service IMB, mailers need processes to “prove” workshare discounts are being earned. Because manual handling is eliminated with AutoViri, physical processes are controlled and digitally tracked in-line using the IMB. Every piece, tray and pallet is robotically handled to complete a truly Automated Document Factory (ADF) and “bullet-proof” production process. Robotics may be new to the print and mail industry but the technology used is mature and reliable. CapStone’s exclusive commitment to print and mail providers, combined with the same precision robots used in Detroit and Japan, make AutoViri a perfect fit for any environment and high speed requirements. Go to the Media section of the AutoViri website to see production video
ContaCt info: COMPANY: Clear Image Technologies, LLC
WEBSITE: Clear Image Technologies
lear Image Technologies is a company focused on affordable, reliable solutions for the direct mail industry. With over 30 years experience in direct mail, we understand that each mailer’s needs are different and that one large, complex system is more than many companies need. Our goal to provide user-friendly, scalable, inserting alternatives. All of our products are modular.
In 2007, we developed the Picture Perfect Match System for companies doing match mailings by hand or hand checking the mailing off the end of their inserter. This visual match system, retrofitted to a customer’s existing inserter, displays images of the mail components on a monitor to allow the operator to visually inspect to ensure match integrity. This provided a low-cost, semi-automated system to companies with medium volume match mailings. In 2009, after many customer requests to stop the inserter in the event of a mismatch, we added the ability to upgrade to optical character recognition. Using the same cameras from the basic system, we could now decode the images to look for names and sequence numbers to match on and data recording of each piece processed. In 2010 we incorporated the ability to read and decode 2D (Data Matrix) and IMB barcodes. This data can be used to check against a sequence number. Now we offer station selection. By reading a barcode or number, individual stations are turned on and off allowing several smaller mailings with some, but not all, identical pieces to be merged into one. Each of our OCR/Barcode products produce an Excel file that can also be used as end of machine verification. Any product can be purchased individually and upgraded later. By partnering with equipment dealers like Tri-State Mailing Equipment in New York, Peak Business Equipment in St. Louis and Chicago, and Creative Mailing Solutions in Toronto, we’ve been able to provide sales, service and support to the Midwest, East Coast and Canada. We are constantly in the field, listening to our customers, the sales people, technicians and operators that use our products. Have a need not mentioned here? Call us!
CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: Collins Ink
or 23 years, Collins Ink has produced high quality innovative inkjet inks for Thermal, CIJ (single jet & array), Piezo and Micropiezo technologies, at a fair price. Collins Ink is the leader in providing standard and custom formulations of water-based, solvent-based, oil-based, and UV curable inks to fulfill customersâ€™ needs. Collins Ink manufactures and sells millions of liters of inks worldwide and has partnerships with most major printhead manufacturers.
As a leader in industrial inkjet, Collins Ink is continuously expanding their product lines by updating formulations for current inkjet print heads as well as emerging print head technologies. Through partnerships with print technology manufacturers, Collins Ink is able to expand a variety of applications where inkjet can be utilized by customizing inks for the newest print heads. Collins Ink sees the need for a wide range of inkjet fluids that include water-based, solvent-based, oil-based and UV curable inks. Collins Inkâ€™s research and development groups are focused on developing fluids with each of these bases because they will all have their future place in the inkjet world.
ContaCt info: COMPAnY: Colordyne Technologies
olordyne Technologies offers end-to-end solutions for the digital printing industry. We provide print management solutions across your operation, from the manufacturing floor, to the warehouse, to the back office. Our services include data and image file acquisition, variable data workflow, and color management / media profiling. Use the Colordyne Digital Printing System to produce product labels and tags, travelers, job tickets, logistics labels, invoices and packing slips, transpromotional materials, and insertions. The opportunities are endless!
Our high speed, high resolution digital color InkJet printers are powered by Memjet technology. The superior performance and price proposition, ease of use, self-maintainability, and scalability of the Colordyne digital print solutions create a powerful productivity tool suitable for use in a variety of business environments. Label convertors can utilize the 1600PC to profitably augment and grow current CMYK printing activities on print jobs of 5,000 feet (1,530m) or less. Brand owners and goods manufacturing companies can utilize the Colordyne line as a cost effective, just-in-time label, tag, and document printing solution to dramatically shorten supply chain lead-times, reduce inventory space and storage costs of pre-printed labels, and eliminate waste associated with obsolete and non-used pre-printed label inventories. Meeting and exceeding the needs of the tag and label print industry, Colordyne Technologies presents an affordable and scalable solution in the CDT 1600 line of digital color inkjet printers. Add value to your business by providing digital printing, variable data, and color management solutions, all offered by one company. The Colordyne 1600 line prints rich colors at full-bleed and excels in printing readable small fonts and sharp barcodes. Capable of printing full digital color at the same cost as monochrome, the Colordyne family of printers provides a custom solution for your business. Printing labels, tags, and documents in full color offers endless possibilities for branding and messaging. The CDT 1600 line of products allows you to print today for tomorrowâ€™s production.
CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: Crawford Technologies
s your company leveraging all of your document management investments? Are you moving from manual to automated processes as part of your Customer Communication Management (CCM) strategy? Companies who mail billing, statement and regulatory information to their diverse set of customers should have a set of best practices already in place, but there is a growing need to add to those best practices as the number of communication techniques grows.
Crawford Technologies gives companies the ability to strengthen workflow operations, increase customer satisfaction and enhance document management investments by leveraging 20 years of experience helping companies face those requirements and find solutions to complex communication needs. Whether you are adding high-volume inkjet capability or adding to your communications delivery channels, you should be talking to CrawfordTech. We have solutions to help you run your inkjet presses at full capacity, re-engineer documents on the fly, automate manual workflow processes, manage multi-channel customer delivery preferences, track your processes from production to delivery to return and more. Our inkjet enablement solutions provide the software and services you need in order to leverage your hardware investments to their full capability. Add CrawfordTech workflow solutions such as print-stream re-engineering and ADF to make print stream changes before or after pre-sort, initiate and monitor automated processes in your workflow, track those processes and report back for a complete view of your document management process. You get a more streamlined and efficient operation, plus documented compliance. Beyond automation in todayâ€™s CCM environment, consider Multi-Channel Customer Communications (MC3) management. MC3 requires the understanding of customer preferences for receipt of the communications your company is delivering to them. Our Channel Management solution eliminates the immense IT investments required to manage todayâ€™s multi-channel environment by connecting and managing customer preferences to any available channel. Whether you are delivering to a custom e-presentment environment, Digital Mailbox Services (DMS), email, mobile or document accessibility channels, such as Braille or PDF/UA, our solution can be implemented quickly and with less expense than in-house built applications; while adding new channels regularly. We are calling it CCM 2.0.; CrawfordTech has the solutions, the people and the proven track record to solve your document challenges. Learn more via www.crawfordtech.com/ MSThotcompany
ContaCt info: CoMPANy: Engineering Innovation, Inc.
pecialists in postage savings solutions for mailers of all sizes, Engineering Innovation Inc. (EII) offers solutions for all types of mail including Letters, Flats, and Parcels. EII is best known as the creator of the EZ-Flats manifesting system that simplifies presorting flats for Automation discounts. In the last three years, EII has rounded out its product offerings to include solutions for letters and parcels.
EII combines more than 30 years of mailroom experience with over 20 years of postal automation design experience to develop solutions that work for mailers of all sizes. EII’s mission is to develop practical products that work in the real-world and to provide service after the sale that is second to none. EII’s solutions include The CHAMP tabletop manifesting system for generating postal savings on a variety of mail, EZ-Flats for getting maximum discounts on Flat mail, EZ-Letters optimizes letter processing in a small footprint, and the revolutionary EZ-Parcels automatically processes USPS parcels. In line with EII’s commitment to provide the mailing industry with cost effective solutions for maximizing postage savings, these systems open up new savings/revenue opportunities for presorting companies, corporate mailers, government offices, and shippers. EII’s mailing systems enable manifesting of Commercial First Class Flats, First Class Package Services, Priority Mail (including Commercial Plus and Cubic rates), Bound Printed Matter Parcels and Flats, Standard Flats and Standard Nonprofit Mail and Marketing Parcels, Media mail, Library mail, and Parcel Select Nonpresort. EII equipment works in conjunction with EZ-Confirm.com to completely automate mail preparation and tracking for parcels that require tracking. All equipment includes options for Wide Area Barcode Reader, UMove Move Update processes, processing International Mail, and processing Inbound Mail.
s the world’s leading technology outsourcer for financial service providers and billers, Fis delivers customer communication management, print and mail, electronic presentment/payment and archive solutions. Fis output solutions provides total document design, production, delivery and payment solutions and is proud to provide print and mail solutions to several of the Us’ top banks, insurers, retailers and utilities. Fis maintains four primary print centers throughout north america — serving as internal DR with system redundancy. the print centers are served by a primary and a back-up data center. this hub and spoke approach to data management and processing provides for distributed print capabilities as well as added security. Reduction of total cost of ownership and time to market over a document’s lifecycle is the focus of Fis output solutions and we understand the importance of quick document implementation. Fis output solutions sets itself apart from the market through a commitment to: Deployment Flexibility: through its hybrid Cloud, Fis offers CCm that allows clients to offload expensive, resource intensive processing and fulfillment — while maintaining control over critical document strategies like messaging and correspondence management.
ContaCt info: Company: FIS
website: www.fisglobal.com www.fisglobal.com/productsdocumentoutput
Self-Service: Fis saas and asp clients manage the conversation with their clients through web-based design time and content management tools. we also make available a number of project reports and sla status updates through the aDF — all accessible via the Fis portal. Automated Testing: Fis utilizes the CsF Fastest solution to validate output is error free. this testing automation dramatically reduces change management costs and risk to clients. eAdoption Strategies: biller Direct solutions paired with proven adoption marketing help our clients reduce costs and speed receivables collection. leveraging the Fis payment portal, used by thousands of banks, Fis can significantly impact adoption by delivering electronic bills directly to these payment users’ online banking site. Investment in data and physical security: Fis is a market leader in its investment and commitment to ensuring the security of our customers npi. For more information on Fis output solutions, please contact email@example.com or visit www.fisglobal.com/products-documentoutput.
tom DeRosa, Vp-operations for Fis output solutions, joined Fis in 2011 with responsibility for 4 major north american print centers. tom has over 20 years experience in transaction printing and mailing, as well as client services, and it management experience. tom has expertise in transformative process management, saas CCm and color strategies.
tom’s previous experience includes the founding of two industry-recognized consulting firms, the 6200 Group and ppm Consulting. previously, tom managed the eastern division client service department at Dst output. tom is the former president and current vice president of the northeast region of Xplor.
ContaCt info: COMPAny: Gunther International
eMAIl: rom the people who invented the use of barcodes on documents, and built in guaranteed integrity at every stage, we provide service, expertise, value and insight into your mail project.
We balance your wants and needs and customize solutions on a personal basis, designing answers that meet your organization’s needs for today and for the future. And if we can’t meet your needs we’ll tell you. We can’t be everything to everyone, but when we do say we’re the best choice, you can trust us to be exactly that. Whether you’re running an enterprise output processing center or a service bureau, you have to protect your company by controlling your output effectively and providing 100% document integrity. All Gunther systems offer complete accuracy within almost any barcode environment, allowing you total tracking capability so you can trace not just the package but each and every sheet. Only the best put their trust in Gunther. For over three decades Gunther has been working with the largest companies and organizations, from insurance to financial institutions to service bureaus, consistently exceeding their highest standards for productivity and mail piece integrity. So why do most of the top 10 P&C insurance organizations choose Gunther mail inserters to guarantee their customer communications? Quite simply because they are the best mailing solution available. From 100% package integrity to Gunther’s exclusive HIPAA guarantee and on to the ground breaking Champion operating system for dramatically increased productivity. Although many companies work in the same market space, your operational and business needs are different. We build machines that are as unique as you are, tailored to your specific set of requirements both present and future. Over the past 30 years, Gunther International has worked with some of the most demanding, high volume mailers in the country. Meeting their high standards for productivity and mailpiece integrity has driven Gunther to assume a leadership role in technical innovation in the industry — in fact many of today’s most advanced mail and finishing technologies were pioneered by Gunther. We either have the solution to your mailing problems today or we’ll develop it.
CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: Kern USA
WEBSITE: wwww.KernCan.com www.KernEDGE.com
EMAIL: eaders in document management innovation, Kern has been helping customers manage business critical documents for over 66 years. Known for the fastest and most reliable production mail systems, Kern’s solutions cover the complete document lifecycle.
Mail Inserting | Kern invented the first automatic inserter and has continued to innovate with speed, control, and efficiency. Kern’s range of inserting solutions include the world’s fastest inserting platform, the Kern Ai-33. High speed, mid range, and low volume solutions are built to withstand the most demanding mail production environments.
Inkjet Printing | The Kern iMpres is the smart solution for high volume inkjet printing. Designed to reduce the total cost of print for the largest segment of print applications, monochrome. The Kern iMpres features a unique paper path that combines simplex and duplex printing in a single unit. High speed, DOD printing technology delivers high quality monochrome plus MICR or spot color in a compact foot print with the lowest cost per page in the industry. From transactional documents to book-on-demand printing, the Kern iMpres paired with Kern’s pre- and -post solutions give printers complete flexiblity over their digital print. Electronic Document Management | Kern EDGE is a cloud document workflow platform for flexible and rapid application development. Kern EDGE is scalable for organizations from the enterprise to SMB’s in need of business process automation. Improve your business for less with powerful document workflows on Kern EDGE. Learn more at KernEDGE.com See these solutions and more at PRINT 13 and get free access to the exhibit hall from Kern by registering at KernCan.com/print13. Visit Kern in Booth #848 Kern is the only company to guarantee 10 years of production grade output and is located in Columbus, Ohio. Kern’s top priority remains on creating a successful partnership with customers around the world. Kern manufactures, distributes, services, and supports its production mail, electronic document management, and digital printing solutions, worldwide. Kern provides solutions to banking, government service, telecomm, insurance, public utility, and other mailers who are looking for a better production mail solution, as well as a partner that is committed to customer success.
CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: Mail Green
ail Green has been delivering superior quality remanufactured ink cartridges and postal supplies since 2008 and has become the most trusted name in aftermarket consumables. Our mission is to deliver highly reliable, quality driven consumables to the mailing industry, and to provide a cost-saving alternative to high priced Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) supplies.
A Focus on Quality, Reliability and Performance Mail Green focuses on delivering exceptional products that rival the OEM’s in quality, reliability and performance. We leverage the superior design of the OEM cartridge and add value through our professional remanufacturing processes and highly efficient, USPS compliant ink formulas. Because the recycled core of the Mail Green cartridge was originally manufactured by the OEM, we are able to take advantage of the OEM’s excellent design capabilities. Leveraging the OEM’s high quality standards eliminates the risk to the consumer commonly associated with so-called “compatible” cartridges and gives Production Managers the peace of mind to focus on their mission critical operations. Mail Green Ink Cartridges for Pitney Bowes, Hasler and Neopost Postage Meters Mail Green remanufactured postage meter ink cartridges have been developed and tested in the most demanding mailing environments. Our broad customer base includes Transactional Mailers, Direct Mailers, Lettershops, Mail Service Providers, Presort Bureaus, Corporate and Institutional In-Plant Mailers and Print-to-Mail Houses. Our line of Pitney Bowes remanufactured ink cartridges includes replacements for all Connect+ and DM series postage meters. Our Hasler and Neopost products include replacement ink cartridges and reservoirs for all IM, IS WJ and IJ Series postage meters. Mail Green Ink Cartridges for HP Addressing and Bar Coding on Glossy Paper Stock Mail Green offers a wide variety of fast drying HP ink formulas for printing addresses and barcodes on glossy coated stock. Because we understand that printing on glossy paper presents unique challenges, we provide no-cost samples for testing and evaluation to help Production Managers make informed purchasing decisions. With more than nine formulas developed specifically for glossy stock, we’re confident we can provide a solution for even the most challenging glossy mailpieces.
CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: MELISSA DATA
EMAIL: elissa Data specializes in affordable data quality solutions to help you achieve the greatest level of contact data accuracy for high response, low-cost direct mail and fulfillment applications
MAIL PREPARATION SOFTWARE: MAILERS+4 CASS/PAVE Certified postal automation software processes mailings for maximum postal discounts and direct mail savings. MAILERS+4 verifies, corrects, and standardizes addresses for ZIP + 4 encoding and IM barcodes; presorts for First-Class, Standard and Periodicals; generates mail.dat files, sorts lists for localized mailings by record count or radius; and eliminates duplicate records. Add-on software to MAILERS+4 enables geocoding to the ZIP + 4 level; Residential/Business delivery type indicator; Canadian address verification and postal encoding; plus easy access to Move-Update services for NCOALink and Canadian NCOA. The Internet Menu links mailers to online mailing lists for immediate purchase and download, plus multiple list hygiene, data enhancement, and suppression services. ADDRESS QUALITY SOLUTIONS: The Data Quality Suite, available as APIs or Web service, includes tools to validate, standardize and enrich contact name including address, name, email and phone info â€” at point-of-entry or in batch. Other cloud and batch services include: Global Address/Standardization to specific country postal requirements of 240 countries, plus transliteration of many major character sets; Geocoder Object to enrich postal addresses with rooftop latitude/longitude coordinates; and PAVE Gold Presort Object to automate bulk mail processing for maximum postal discounts. Our Batch services department offers a full automation or FTP solution for CASS/DPV and NCOALink processing.
SMARTMOVER MOVE-UPDATE SERVICES: No hassle services include USPS NCOALink 48-month processing, Canada Post 72-month NCOA processing, plus PCOA (proprietary) and MCOA (multisource) change-of-address processing. Available for batch, real time, fully-automated, and custom processing. MAILING LISTS: Get online counts, purchase and download mailing lists in minutes, or let a list specialist help you select the leads for your targeted business.
ommunications are at a critical juncture as physical and digital communications collide. However, Neopost USA is at the helm of this changing landscape to align our industry expertise with an intimate understanding of our customer’s business, and help them navigate these changes with scalable business solutions for postal and related digital communications. Whether businesses seek to generate leads, increase efficiency or reduce costs, Neopost USA is the ideal partner to prepare, deliver and manage communications using the next generation of customized solutions. As a leader in communications and shipping solutions, with decades of expertise, Neopost USA has adapted to changing customer needs and innovated to provide notable business solutions. As a pioneer for the first electronic meter, the first folder/ inserter with automated settings and renowned digital ink jet mailing systems, Neopost USA only continues its long tradition of industry leadership with new innovations that integrate digital and physical communications. In addition to these software solutions, Neopost USA is differentiated by the industry’s most knowledgeable experts, who have a depth of expertise in our customer’s business and understand their unique needs.
CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: Neopost
Neopost USA continues to be a trusted advisor to businesses of all sizes and industries, who seek expertise in streamlining their communication processes and strategies. As a partner, Neopost USA not only helps customers navigate this changing landscape, we support business operations with a focus on product and services that save time and money in the preparation, delivery and management of communications. Neopost’s scalable systems are supported by a combination of direct sales and a network of independent dealers and branch offices that provide sales, supplies and local service to customers nationwide. With more than 5,900 employees worldwide, Neopost USA is also supported by a significant global network. At Neopost USA, we are bringing our vision to life with reliable solutions that will lead our customers through this rapidly changing landscape. Easy to use solutions combined with extraordinary customer support reflect our commitment to our customers. These smart solutions bring simplicity to customers, allowing organizations to focus on their priorities, including operations, growth strategies and profit.
Dennis P. LeStrange, President and Chief Executive Officer
Yes, our industry is changing. But change begets opportunity. Mail is — and will continue to be — important to our customers regardless of its form. We respect the value of our core business but we want to exploit electronic documentation and shipping opportunities as we transition into the customer-driven, digital future of our industry. Neopost USA is ready and able to help customers make the inevitable physical-to-digital transition seamlessly, comfortably and affordably. Simply put, our goal is to apply our knowledge and solutions to our customer’s stated needs so that we, our customers and our customers’ customers succeed and prosper.
CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: NPI
PI Sorting systems are designed to optimize your sorting operations with advanced design and intelligent software. Built around patented antijam technology, the sorters run more economically as time-wasting jams are virtually eliminated. Multiple motors precisely located throughout the sorter, instead of a single motor power transmission system, drastically reduce maintenance costs and power consumption. Modular ergonomic design promotes seamless upgrades and modifications to support your expanding operations and improve production efficiency. NPI Sorting Systems provide solutions for products ranging from postcards, letters, flats, and even small to large parcels. The NPI Catalog of Sorting Systems represents some of the most innovative, advanced and fastest Sorting Systems on the market, but Sorting Systems are only half of the equation.
NPI Software Suites are as versatile and innovative as sorters. Through the advent of Intelligent Mail and the universal Mail.dat format, efficient data management is now the key to sort optimization, enhanced qualification and postage savings. NPI’s OptESuite of software products allow our customers to predetermine sort plans, identify what levels of qualification is best for their operation and understand what it takes to maximize postage savings before a mail piece even hits the sorter. This allows customers in the Printing Industry and Large Standard mailers to realize real savings through commingling and co-palletization. The same technology also allows Service Bureaus to analyze different mail streams to determine the most profitable mail streams to commingle. In today’s mailing world, you can’t afford to be second. If you want your operation to be as efficient, profitable and successful as it can be, you need to contact NPI. We will analyze your operation and offer real solutions to help you be first.
ContaCt info: COmPany: Postmatic, Inc.
EmaIl: ostmatic, Inc. has been recognized as the leader in postage stamp affixing equipment for over 35 years. That is an outstanding achievement. Equipment manufacturers only get to become the de facto standard solution across three decades by creating high-quality products and taking care of their customers. Postmatic has done both.
Our inline stamping bases feature heavy duty construction and provide years of troublefree service for high volume mail operations. Whether soliciting for donations, appealing to voters, seeking new business, or reaching out to valued customers, the presence of a real postage stamp makes a difference in open rates and response. Companies that donâ€™t use Postmatic equipment for in-line operations often attempt to re-purpose other devices, such as tabbers, to apply stamps. Tabbers are unable to place the stamps in the correct orientation when used while inserting, so stamping envelopes with machines designed for something else is an offline operation. In an industry with already slim profit margins, this additional overhead expense is significant. Tabbers also generally lack the tracking and document integrity controls that are more commonly found on inserting equipment. Besides being expensive, using tabbers to apply postage can also increase customer dissatisfaction due to mistakes or unfinished mail pieces. Extra operations always increase the risk of errors.
Postmatic inline stamping equipment is specially engineered to work with automated inserting systems capable of processing mail up to 18,000 pieces per hour. We use sophisticated positioning technology to detect the location of stamps on the coil and place them correctly on envelopes. Extra unproductive steps such as rewinding stamp coils are eliminated. Postmatic is constantly developing new tools for mailers including vacuum transport bases for inline systems to support read/print functionality and camera output verification. For static printing, our Print One base allows mailers to print return addresses, indicia, logos, and more. Organizations can use a single standard envelope for multiple jobs, reducing the headaches and expense of warehousing and inventory. Organizations have many options for creating mail. When the job calls for postage stamps, there is only one set of solutions that thousands of mailers have counted upon for decades â€“ the products of Postmatic.
ContaCt info: COMPANy: Satori Software
EMAIL: rom data processing to post-sort and entry planning, prepare USPS compliant mailings without the aggravation of deciphering complex postal regulations. Satori Software will provide the support you need to help your mailing operation thrive now and into the future.
Satori Software delivers contact data quality and mailing preparation solutions, including address validation and correction, postal sorting and data enhancement. Organizations that use Satori products and services reap the benefits of highly accurate contact information, reduced returned mail, faster delivery times, better internal efficiency and the opportunity to maximize postage discounts. Our USPS CASS and PAVE Gold certified mailing software offer address correction, appends, 48-month NCOALink updates and fully support USPS Intelligent Mail requirements. With the addition of the Postalsoft Presort software, we support mailers of all levels, from those who prefer wizard-based processing to production mailers who need automated, document management systems and advanced sorts. Our post-sort solutions, Monticello and the EasyTrack mail stream monitoring service allow you to provide additional services, reports â€” and value â€” to your customers. Satori Software works actively with key industry associations including PostCom, MTAC, IDEAlliance and AMSP to provide you with the latest industry news. Our participation ensures that our mailing solutions deliver all the functionality you need to achieve the best postage discounts. Plus, improving the accuracy and integrity of lists results in a better return on investment for your clients. Satori Software, a Neopost company since 2009, has delivered industry-leading address management solutions for over 30 years. With U.S. Headquarters in Seattle, WA and a European Office in London, U.K., Satori Software customers include leaders in healthcare, financial services, education, direct marketing, fundraising and US federal and state agencies. Please call 800.553.6477 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Satori Software is a nonexclusive NCOALink Full-Service Provider Licensee of USPS. The following trademarks are owned by USPS: CASS, PAVE, NCOALink and USPS.
ContaCt info: COMPANy: TEC Mailing Solutions
PhONE: 866.379.9437 ®
EMAIl: ot would be one way to describe TEC Mailing Solutions’ array of hosted platforms, although “on fire” would be more accurate. Organizations seeking to improve their list processing functions would be advised to consider hosted solutions, and TEC is the clear industry leader.
So what’s so hot about hosted? Greater profitability to the end user! Expensive add-ons, constant updates and changes to postal regulations are no longer burdensome; couple this with workflow improvements and the savings can exceed the cost of the service. Since traditional applications require data transfer over the Internet to process NCOA, there is literally no downside to going hosted, making it impossible to justify the continued use of legacy applications. TEC’s hosted platforms span the market space. TECAgora centralizes list processing functions for multi-location commercial printers with robust enterprise capability. Those seeking a “lights out” operation will never outgrow TEC’s Web Services API, the most capable API in the industry. With the addition of MailPreparer, TEC brings a new breed of extremely easy to use and affordable solutions that are perfect for those who would like to add direct mail to their offerings. Innovation leaders are taking note too. Ricoh, among others, has recently signed with TEC to provide the next generation of mailing solutions. TEC is an exceptional fit for business savvy vendors that are continually seeking to add value by offering technology that reduce risk and increase profitability to their partners. What’s going to keep TEC hot? TEC’s organizational goal is the elimination of traditional list processing. This can be achieved by consuming the services through production tool sets like VPD, W2P and/or MIS via TEC’s Web Services API. Operational efficiency can be obtained by simply turning on the functionality, and no longer requires a budget or team of integrators to pull it off.
ContaCt info: CoMPANY: US Monitor
ince 1973, US Monitor has built a strong reputation as the nation’s most reliable and effective mail monitor service by bringing together state-of-theart technology and old-fashioned attention to detail. We have monitored hundreds of millions of pieces of mail for thousands of customers who choose us for our leadership, integrity, and experience.
Mailstream Intelligence: To help solve mail delivery issues that impact revenue, we’ve developed a highly experienced Strategic National Seeding Network combined with the Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMb) to give you the power of Mailstream Intelligence. In addition to investigating delivery inconsistencies, we work with you to develop a game plan for future mailings. You can predict the day your mail will be in-home with a high degree of accuracy if you have a mail monitoring strategy in place and have historical data to see the trends for your mailings. Why IMb tracking alone doesn’t work: The IMb is a good, reliable tool for tracking your mail delivery. But it’s only one tool in an overall monitoring strategy, and it has its limits. When you rely on IMb alone, you can only speculate on delivery and the actual delivery date cannot be verified because it is only a projected in-home date. At US Monitor, we augment IMb with our proprietary Strategic National Seeding Network. Mailers who have seed locations collecting and reporting on endpoint mail delivery are able to see when that last mile of the mail delivery has been disrupted. USPS Changes Coming in 2014: With the uncertainty at the USPS, the need for tracking your mail is now greater than ever. The USPS is going through many changes that are likely to impact delivery, such as the USPS “network rationalization” and the planned closure of 150 postal facilities in 2014. With US Monitor’s strong mail monitoring strategy, you have the power to follow your mail from drop off to delivery. With real-time statistics and alerts, you can manage your company’s mailings and adjust to any unexpected problems.
july - august 2013 ยก www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com
(and Easiest) Way to Reduce Postage Costs By Adam Lewenberg
If you are looking for the easiest way to save money on postage, look no further. Presort services will pick up your mail daily, weekly, or as needed, and commingle it with other clients' mail on their sorting systems to get you lower postage rates. they will make sure your mail meets all postal regulations and there is no work involved except scheduling the pickups. these services will save you six to 39% based on your volumes, densities, weights, and types of mail submitted. Client Savings Low to Mid Volumes Mid to High Volumes
fers (3 and 5-Digit) at rates at $.36-.384 (see chart below) and the usPs pays them the difference in a Value added Rebate (VaR). this payment by the usPs covers their transportation, operations, and hopefully leaves room for them to make a profit.
Higher volume mailers can typically get a larger percentage of the savings as shown on the chart below. Items that determine your rate are volumes, frequency, ZIP Code densities, machine read rates for your mail (typically determined from a test), and how 1 Ounce Letter 2 Ounce Letter 3 Ounce Letter 6 Ounce Letter competitive your local market is $0.027 (6%) $0.227 (34%) $0.148 (11%) $0.148 (8%) with other presort providers. $0.055 (12%)
In this article, we will go through the details of how these services work and what items you need to consider, making sure it is the right fit for your company. as I always state, I have no affiliation with any presort service, but prior to starting Postal advocate, did run the largest presort program that had over 4,000 users.
USPS Sort Level
1 Ounce Letter
2 Ounce Letter
3 Ounce Letter
6 Ounce Letter
3-Digit How do these services work? 5-Digit these providers have one or several sorters that are similar to what the usPs uses in its facilities. these sorters read the address on the mailpiece and spray the barcode on the bottom right. they can then sort the mail into bins to where it is going throughout the country. Presort providers work on a revenue split arrangement with the customer and the usPs. Here is the most common: • First-Class Mail Single Piece Postage Rate $.46 • Rate the customer meters the mail $.433 ($.027 savings) the presort service sorts the mail as deep as they can get it. Hopefully, most will be to the highest sort levels the usPs of-
Client Rate Low to Mid Volume Mid to High Volume
What Mail Qualifies? • First-Class Mail Letters – Most presort services are looking for non-handwritten letter mail up to the maximum weight of 3.5 ounces. there are services that will pick up as little as 400 pieces per day or single pickups of 1,000 pieces or more. last year the usPs came out with a program called “second Ounce Rides Free” to get people to add more content to their mail. this savings only applies at the discounted rates listed on the chart above and creates extra incentive to use a presort service. www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com ¡ july - august 2013
• First-Class Mail Flats – Many presort services will have flat sorting machines and can process non-handwritten pieces as large as seven to 12 ounces. The client savings and presort service profit is much greater for flats and typically they can have lower thresholds for pickup. It is best to combine your letter and flat volumes when negotiating rates and determining eligibility. It is important to note that the USPS does not offer a Value Added Rebate (VAR) for flats like they do for letters. This means is that you will need to meter your mail at the lower rates (3 and 5-digit) and the presort service will send you an invoice for the difference of your negotiated rate minus the metered price.
• What other services do they provide? Metering, fulfillment, etc.
• Standard Mail – This is the fastest growth area in this space because Standard Mail volumes are remaining constant while First-Class Mail is declining. The model is different because the rate is not based on the sort levels, but on destination entry discounts earned by moving mail closer to its final destination. Most Standard Mail given to presort services will already be barcoded and trayed by the client. All the presort service is doing is getting it to the right Destination Network Distribution Center (DNDC) or Destination Sectional Center Facility (DSCF) where the mail is going. In exchange, the USPS offers additional discounts shown below that the presort service will share in for doing the work.
What else do I need to know? There are specific items you need to understand before committing to a service.
USPS Entry Discounts Savings
Automation Letters <3.3 Ounces
Automation Flats <3.3 Ounces
How to select the right service provider In many markets, you may not have a choice because there is only one presort provider covering your area. In these situations, you still want to look at their reputation in the marketplace and potentially take a tour of their facility to make sure your mail is going to be handled in a secure manner. If you are lucky enough to have a choice of vendors, here are the items you want to consider: • Rate/Savings – What savings level are they offering and do they charge fees for any of the following: o Transportation o Items that cannot be read on their machines. o Address corrections and running mail through FASTForward. o Other miscellaneous charges. • MPTQM Certifications – The best run presort services will have this level of certification that shows they meet the highest standards in processing and security. • Security Procedures – Since they will be handling your mail, you need to make sure it is processed in a secure environment. As an example, this mail may have financial and medical information that could be harmful if exposed. Look at their internal processes, security cameras and if they have had issues in the past. • What types of mail can they process? Letters, flats, standard, international?
JULY - AUGUST 2013 ¡ www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com
I do not have the exact numbers, but I am going to guess that there are about 100-150 independent presort services throughout the US. Most of these will have one to three sites located in a specific geographic area. Pitney Bowes also created the largest presort network in the US with its acquisition on PSI. They have 35 facilities and process over 14 billion pieces each year. Because of their footprint, they can move mail between facilities easily that can speed delivery, as well as pick up mail in areas where they do not have a site, furthering their reach.
• Pickup Time – What time can they pick up your mail? Most companies want to schedule for 4-5:00 pm because that is when the mail is complete. Can they accommodate this schedule or will it need to be earlier based on when their truck is in your area? • Day Delay – Most presort services will require that you date the mail for the next day because they are going to process it that evening and deposit it into the mail in the morning. Mail moving out of the area can make up some of this time based on it being barcoded and sorted but this does delay local mail. This is going to become less of an issue as the USPS moves to slow mail from one to three, to two to three day delivery in their network consolidation plan. • Billing Charges – As we discussed above, know exactly what you are paying for. I have seen presort invoices where when the fees were added back in, were more expensive than single piece rates. Low to mid volume customers may do best with a no bill program on their letter mail. • Address Quality Issues – Can the presort provider give you any data on mail that gets changed through their FASTForward system so you can clean up your addresses for the future? • Consider Barcoding Yourself – If you do consistent mailings, you may want to barcode these in-house and not have to share the savings. Look at the cost of staff, software, hardware and transportation to make the right decision. Conclusion Presort Services are the best and easiest way to reduce postage costs because they do all of the work and you save six to 39% on your mail. Hopefully this article gave you a framework to look at these providers to see if they are a fit for your operation. Adam Lewenberg, CMDSS, MDC, is President of Postal Advocate Inc. and runs the largest Mail Audit and Recover firm in the United States. Their mission is to help entities with large numbers of locations reduce mail related expenses, recover lost postage funds, and simplify visibility and oversight. He can be reached at 617.372.6853 or adam. email@example.com.
www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com ยก JULY - AUGUST 2013
An AddrEss Almost four billion people in the world do not have an address, but thatâ€™s about to change.
In Calcutta, India, slums are common. They house thousands of people, yet residents have no official address and thus no way to apply for government services, social benefits, or even a train pass. They cannot open bank accounts and may not be able to get health care. In effect, they have no legal identity or social standing. They do not exist. 40
july - august 2013 ÂĄ www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com
veryone Enter the Hope Foundation and gO Code, an Irish company that has developed a digital coding system. together, they are trying to tackle an intractable problem in the developing world: how to provide an address to the 4 billion people in the world who do not have one, and thus allow full participation in society. gO Code has launched addressing the unaddressed, an effort modeled after the universal Postal union’s (uPu) ongoing global initiative to provide an address for everyone in the world. alex Pigot, developer and principal of gO Code, preaches the possibilities of doing so by using geo-coordinates, or a location’s longitude and latitude coordinates. With geocoding, a dwelling can get an address even if a community is not permanent, such as a refugee camp, or has no street names or formal addressing system. In Calcutta, the Hope Foundation has used the gO Code system to assign a unique identity to each dwelling in the unplanned settlement so the foundation could track and identify every resident of the settlement. the residents got an address — an alpha-numeric series — based on their dwelling’s geo-coordinates, which allowed them to apply for social benefits, obtain a train pass, open a bank account, or access medical services. the foundation maintains the database of addresses and can use the information to track progress of its programs and to identify and help individual citizens. the Calcutta effort, while highly successful, also illustrates the inherent difficulty of assigning location codes in some parts of the world. “It [addressing] is a piece of the national infrastructure and government is the keeper, but that doesn’t get us to a person who doesn’t have an address,” Pigot noted. “sometimes, you have to bypass the gatekeepers.” at a june roundtable discussion hosted by the u.s. Postal service’s Office of Inspector general (OIg), Pigot presented his overview of the work the Hope Foundation and gO Code have done in the slums of India. the OIg organized a roundtable at the National Postal Museum to broaden discussion on an OIg white paper that studied the value of the ZIP Code to the u.s. economy. the paper made headlines in the spring with its finding that the socio-economic benefit of the ZIP Code is worth almost $10 billion. With numerous addressing and postcode experts in attendance at the roundtable, the discussion readily evolved from insights on the value of a post code system to the importance of a comprehensive addressing system throughout the world. the group echoed many of the issues raised by the uPu in its addressing initiative.
By Kate Muth
another participant of the OIg roundtable, Xinhang shen, developer of Natural area Coding system software, recommended that all countries migrate to an entirely new addressing standard, even developed countries that have sophisticated addressing and post code systems. He envisions his Natural area Coding, which uses a grid system to assign 10-digit codes to locations, as the new ZIP Code for the 21st century because it would eliminate the problems associated with different languages on international mail, and it would provide a single standard among countries.
shen’s system sets a code to a precise location, using a series of grids to divide the world into 30 equal sections of latitude and longitude. the system then assigns a 10-character code to pinpoint a location on that grid, within 10 meters on a map. among the advantages of Natural area Coding, shen said, is that it is language and database independent, valid for both areas and locations, and available for every house, building, or other location in the world. It can be used to speed dispatching of emergency services, and to locate and document emergency sites reliably and quickly. shen noted that a handful of countries without a modern addressing system have adopted the Natural area Coding system, including lebanon, Mongolia, and Nigeria. With more than one solution for providing addresses to the unaddressed, roundtable attendees were particularly mindful of the dangers of working at cross purposes for what is ultimately the same overarching goal. Richard abas, developer of the geotude system being deployed in Malaysia, said it doesn’t matter which addressing standards is chosen; it is important that the world agrees on one standard. “In 1884, the International Meridian Conference was held in Washington to set a prime meridian and it determined greenwich would be 0 degrees. u.s. leadership set it as the standard,” abas noted. “a leader just needed to choose it.” In his presentation, gO Code’s Pigot reached a similar conclusion on the role the united states could play. “the Postal service could champion a modern system of addressing for every person on the planet,” he said. Kate Muth is a freelance writer who has studied and written on postal topics for 20 years. she also has done consulting work for a wide range of clients, including the Office of Inspector general. However, she had no involvement in the ZIP Code paper. www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com ¡ july - august 2013
GROWS UP No longer just for small companies, online postage is now an option for virtually any business. By Maia Benson
JULY - AUGUST 2013 ยก www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com
nitially geared for the small business owner and those working out of their home, the next generation of online postage solutions supports the needs of larger companies – especially enterprises with branch offices or a distributed workforce.
Enterprises face increased pressure to drive down operating costs across the board. Mailing and shipping expenses can add up quickly when businesses operate out of multiple locations. Mail center expenses are receiving closer scrutiny by CFOs; however, mail managers are discovering they lack clear, consolidated visibility into mail expenses outside of the main headquarters office and even less ability to actively control and manage the spend. This can be especially true in industries with local offices or home-based employees, such as financial services, insurance, and retail. With this lack of standardization and control, waste is common.
Expensive ‘make do’ processes cost enterprises time and money Without the proper oversight or automation tools, organizations have adopted processes that lead to higher costs and delays when it comes to sending mail and packages. • High Retail USPS Expenses. Branch offices fall back on oldschool practices, such as daily trips to the closest USPS location to purchase stamps and shipping labels — at full retail price. This wastes time of staff and leads to larger postage expenditures and over-stamping. • Wasteful Transport Expenses. In some organizations, branch employees will actually courier all outgoing mail and parcels to the home office each day for processing. While this takes advantage of economies of scale and automation, the savings aren’t realized due to the expense of this unnecessary step. • Improper Service Options. When they run out of stamps, it is not unusual for office managers to simply choose an overnight service — which ensures that “mail goes out” but at a cost that far exceeds the needs. • Approximation of Postage Expense. Ad hoc processes used by branch and home offices for petty cash and postage reconciliation don’t lend themselves to accurate reporting. Finance and accounting departments have difficultly clearly understanding the postage expense and even when they do, have little ability to actively set limits on the spend. Manual reports and no controls, cannot provide meaningful insights into postage expenditures. • Stand-alone Solutions. Some branch offices use one-off tools, including online postage, to manage mail and shipping at their specific location — but these solutions are not tied into enterprise reporting systems, so CFOs, Finance and Procurement remain out of touch. Ten years ago, online postage was introduced as a small business solution to make it convenient to manage low volume mailing and shipping needs. Now, online postage has grown up, addressing and can address the full range of enterprise mailing and shipping, reporting, and postage spend control needs.
The Next Generation of Online Postage Solutions Today’s more advanced online postage solutions offer the best of both worlds for enterprises: they give enterprise users the ability to control postage spend in multiple offices from one, central location while allowing branch offices to avoid time-consuming workarounds and visits to the post office. With new web-based postage resources, branch offices and corporate HQ can each get the right tool for their portfolio of mailing and shipping needs. Whether sending high priority documents or shipping small packages, the new online postage solutions can do it all. CFOs appreciate the new-found visibility into mail and shipping costs across multiple locations and their ability to control this expense. Branch offices and remote workers can adopt easy-to-use web-based tools that solve their mailing and shipping needs without any hassle and added effort to send in postage expense invoices to HQ. Best-in-class online postage programs should provide enterprise reporting the way an enterprise would like to see it. Enterprises have different reporting needs and output requirements so sophisticated reporting tools need to be flexible and easy to access and use.
Branch offices and remote workers can adopt easy-to-use web-based tools that solve their mailing and shipping needs without any hassle and added effort to send in postage expense invoices to HQ. Since online postage is web-based and relies on the existing hardware (printers) within an enterprise or branch office, there is no additional capital investment. Once an enterprise makes the decision to implement online postage, new processes and outcomes can be in place within days, not weeks. Online postage can be accessed from any Internet-connected computer; the only hardware requirement is a printer. Users simply log in to their account, connect to their printer, and begin. Most programs include step-by-step online help as well as access to a help desk for any necessary troubleshooting. Enterprises can continue to take advantage of savings and volume discounts on shipping, Express Mail, and Priority Mail services they currently enjoy. The most effective organizations will employ the “right-sized” solution for each mailing and shipping need. This may range from production mail systems to mailroom postage meters, to online postage solutions built for a laptop. Easy to implement solutions are now available. Enterprises win big when they can manage and administer mail and shipping expenses across every environment. Maia Benson is Digital Products Lead, Pitney Bowes.
www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com ¡ JULY - AUGUST 2013