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What to See at Print ‘13 Pages 26-27 september - OctOber 2013 www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com

How maximizing workflow strikes the right chord in your mail center.

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Optimizing your print and mail:

unlocking the value of your client communications. Page 24

Seamless acceptance:

a disaster waiting to happen?

A Look at Our

Industry

Our annual survey examines the changes experienced by the mailing industry over the past year. How does your organization stack up when it comes to wages, mail volumes, and more? Page 18

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Volume 26 Issue 6

September - OctOber 2013

Features

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A Look at Our Industry 2013 has been an interesting one for the mailing industry. there have been some ups, some downs, but one thing is certain: nothing ever seems to stay the same. By Amanda Armendariz

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The Symphony of the Mail Center How workflow can help you strike the right chord through greater effectiveness, ensured integrity and reduced costs. By Miranda Reeves

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Five Steps Toward Optimizing Print and Mail smart ways to unlock the value of your client communications By Grant Miller

Departments/Columns 6

Editor’s Note

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rolling with the changes By Amanda Armendariz

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Real-Life Management Does Your team Work? By Wes Friesen

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Software Byte

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Postal Affairs

Direct Marketing 101 What Does the Future Hold for Direct mail? By John Foley, Jr.

Ship It

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What’s Your priority? By Jim LeRose

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seamless Acceptance: the disaster we are about to experience! By Todd Butler

the current state of postal reform By Kim Mauch

Data Is King… especially When It’s on Demand By Christopher Lien

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My Two Cents

What to See at Print ‘13!

The Trenches Your customers Need Your expertise – Help them out! By Mike Porter

DiD You Miss our August issue of MAiling sYsteMs technologY? If so, you’re missing out! Our annual HOT COMPANIES issue is a must-read, complete with a look at some of the leading players in the industry. Check out the digital issue by scanning the QR code, or just visit our homepage at MailingSystemsTechnology.com.

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september - october 2013 ¡ www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com


editor’s note

with Amanda Armendariz

Mailing systems technology PUBLISHER Marll Thiede

EDITOR Amanda Armendariz amanda.c@rbpub.com

Rolling with the Changes Change. It’s one of those cliche words that we expect to hear in certain places: in graduation speeches, in cheesy 1980s songs and movies, and in just about any greeting card you’d grab from Hallmark. But you know how they often say that things are cliche for a reason? I’ve come to firmly believe that the same thing applies to the word “change.” It’s true — cliche or not, change is inevitable. It’s all around us. And if you don’t roll with the punches, you’re going to be left behind, with little hope of catching up. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. As I write this editor’s note, I am two weeks away from the birth of my second child, which means that by the time you read this, my firstborn, Kate, will have already met her brother or sister. I don’t know many more things that rank up there on the scale of change than an addition to the family, so you can see why it’s been on my mind for the past 38 weeks (but who’s counting?) I admit, I get a little panic stricken at times. But then I take a deep breath and remember that change is inevitable, and as long as I’m innovative and resourceful, I’ll adapt. Now you’re probably wondering why I’m musing on this in my editor’s note for a mailing magazine instead of for some parenting blog, but bear with me — there are some parallels. As you read through the features in this issue, you’ll notice that change — and how to deal with it — is an underlying but constant theme. Take our survey, for example. It’s a great tool to see how things change from year to year (salaries, staff sizes, mail volumes, and more), and knowing how things are changing helps those of us in the mailing industry more adequately adapt to the differences. Or take our article on optimizing print and mail; just a few short years ago, there wasn’t this focus on optimization. People got their mailings in their mailboxes, and that was it. No pressure. But now with the advent of digital communications and the various methods that you can communicate with your customers, you have to make sure that your mailings are relevant — or they’re going to be ignored. Optimization is key if you want to stay in the game. And since you can’t avoid change, check out our feature on maximizing your workflow. No matter how many changes your organization has seen in recent years, the tips contained therein will be sure to help you adapt to these differences. So yes, I understand that change can be a scary word. It can be something that we’d rather shirk from. But if we meet it head on, whether in our personal lives or our professional ones, we’ll find out that we’ve come out on top. As always, thanks for reading Mailing Systems Technology.

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Todd Butler, John Foley, Jr., Wes Friesen, Jim LeRose, Christopher Lien, Kim Mauch, Grant Miller, Mike Porter, Miranda Reeves

CIRCULATION

Rachel Spahr rachel@rbpub.com

ADVERTISING 608-442-5064 Ken Waddell ken.w@rbpub.com

GRAPHIC DESIGN Kelli Cooke

2901 International Lane • Madison WI 53704-3128 608-241-8777 • Fax 608-241-8666 rbpub@rbpub.com www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com

Volume 26, Issue 6 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 rbpub@rbpub.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


Real Life Management Does Your Team Work? For us fans of team sports, isn’t it exciting to see our favorite teams blend together their individual talents and abilities and achieve success as a unified team? the good news is that our teams in the business world can also achieve success — and a key to make that happen is teamwork. What is teamwork? I like Andrew carnegie’s definition: “teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. the ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results”. How can we develop stronger teamwork? Let me share ten principles of High performance teamwork that I think can be helpful*.

Ten Principles to Build High Performance Teamwork 1) Build Trust with Integrity. As a leader of a team, when we need to walk with integrity and build trust for us — and build trust among all team members. building trust comes down to being a person of good character. marsha sinetar said it well: “trust is not a matter of technique, but of character. We are trusted because of our way of being, not because of our polished exteriors or our expertly crafted communications.” We model integrity and build trust as we walk our talk, listen to others, always be honest — and be humble enough to admit our mistakes and ask for forgiveness when needed. 2) Put the Team First. In the middle of every high performance team is a common purpose — a sense of vision and mission that unites and inspires each individual team member. make sure you solicit participation from the team when developing the common purpose, remembering the principle that “change imposed is change opposed” and Ken blanchard’s quote that “none of us is as smart as all of us.” Alexander Graham bell summarizes well when he said, “All winning teams are goal oriented. teams like these win consistently because everyone connected with them concentrates on specific objectives. they go about their business with blinders on: nothing will distract them from achieving their aims.” 3) Communicate Openly and Candidly. High performing teams are empowered teams and information is a great source of power. sharing the team’s key performance metrics and indicators and on-going status is crucial. Ask yourself, “What do team members need to know on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to manage performance?” tools such as balanced scorecards, dashboards, team work review meetings and one-on-one coaching sessions can be helpful. 8

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4) Be Part of the Solution, Not the Problem. there is no substitute for personal ownership, responsibility and selfcontrol. these are traits that we can model — and intentionally encourage in our team members. Also, recognize that problems will arise — and they may be blessings in disguise if we learn and grow from them. mark Victor Hansen encourages us with “problems are good, not bad. Welcome them and become the solution.” 5) Commit to Excellence. one of my sayings is that “we can choose to be mediocre — or we can choose to strive for excellence. the choice is ours.” the reality is that if we don’t intentionally choose to strive for excellence the default choice is to settle for being mediocre. I resonate with mario Andretti when he says, “Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal — a commitment to excellence — that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” 6) Promote an Atmosphere of Respect. one way to show we really respect someone is to actively listen to them and then respond appropriately. socrates once stated, “You have two ears and one mouth. Use them appropriately.” James o’toole explains a benefit of active listening when he said, “Almost all employees, if they see that they will be listened to, and they have adequate information, will be able to find ways to improve their own performance and the performance of their work group.” showing respect also includes positive encouragement and expressing our appreciation and approval. I like charles schwab’s quote, “I have never seen a man who could do real work except under the stimulus of encouragement and enthusiasm and the approval of the people for whom he was working.” 7) Ask and Encourage the Right Questions. the art of questioning is an important management skill. It is a “pulling” technique — challenging people to think, to probe, to investigate, to challenge assumptions and to seek answers. John chancellor illustrated the importance of this skill when he says “If you take a close look at the most successful people in life, you’ll find that their strength is not in having the right answers, but in asking the right questions.” 8) Use a Rational Problem-Solving Process. Albert einstein supports the need for rational and thoughtful problem solving processes when he said, “the significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” *The Ten Rules have been adapted from John J. Murphy’s book “Pulling Together”.


With Wes Friesen

There are a number of rational problem solving processes to choose from. One such approach is to follow these steps: 1. Gather data 2. Review facts 3. Define the problem and desired end-state 4. Ask questions and identify alternative solutions 5. Evaluate each alternative 6. Select “best” alternative 7. Implement chosen alternative 8. Evaluate after the fact the effectiveness of solution; make changes if necessary 9) Promote Interdependent Thinking. The key here is to promote “we” thinking — not “me” thinking. Vince Lombardi encourages us to “Build for your team a feeling of oneness, of dependence on one another and of strength to be derived by unity”. Having talented team members and encouraging development of individuals is important — but Michael Jordan puts it into perspective when he said, “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” Phil Jackson adds “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” 10) Pull the Weeds. Most people on a team are willing and able to “play by the rules” and be a value added member of a successful team. But the reality is that sometimes we may have a team member that is either not capable or is not willing to meet expectations — even after we have tried to remedy the situation. We are then faced with the choice of allowing the “weed” to remain and hold back the team’s success, or to remove the weed so the rest of the team can grow. Let me close with a quote from soccer great Mai Hamm. “I am a member of a team, and I rely on the team. I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion.” ¡ 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. Wes leads his teams with the able assistance of Supervisors Allison Rowden, Jessica Eberhardt, Heidi Fouts and Matt McHill. Wes teaches university classes and is a featured speaker at national Conferences like MAILCOM, National Postal Forum, FUSION and other regional and local events. Check out his personal web-site for free information (wesfriesen.com). He can be contacted at wes.friesen@pgn.com. www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com ¡ SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2013

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Software Byte

With Christopher Lien

Data Is King… Especially When It’s On Demand As the race to define, consume, and monetize the big Data trend continues, the relevance of name and address as the foundation of quality data continues to escalate. Last year Gartner predicted that by 2017 the cmo will spend more on technology than the cIo. Data quality software is squarely at the center of that prediction.

Zero client options are what are typically referred to as cloud or hosted services. With nothing to install, zero client options provide a low barrier to entry at almost any level of an organization. these solutions offer remote 24x7 access models where you typically pay only for what you consume.

A clear trend has been established where data quality tools are being used for tasks beyond mail preparation and postal discount qualification. We’re seeing customers leveraging data quality tools to cleanse and enhance their lists to make critical business decisions, particularly in the marketing office. they’re able to do so with a high degree of success only with a complete, correct, and current address.

With the need for on demand data quality expanding through your organization and the rise of suppliers claiming to be the best solution to meet your need — how do you choose? there are three crucial questions to ask when evaluating data quality partners:

complete records consist of a well formed and validated set of elements, including address, city, state, and ZIp + 4. correct data builds on the complete concept to ensure the deliverability of an address, correct abbreviations, and clean up misspellings. current lists maximize the impact of your efforts by making sure that the recipient associated with the address in the record has not relocated since they were added. the Us census bureau points out that roughly 12% of the population of the United states moves annually. that’s over three million moves a month — making regular processing of a list a requirement to keep the foundational name and address elements current. organizations are increasingly seeking to have this data available on demand. While few established options for true on demand data quality exist from trusted partners, they are starting to emerge — and they’re coming in a variety of forms of integration that generally fall into three buckets: thick clients, thin clients, and zero clients. thick client solutions generally require the most up-front investment, integration, and configuration. typically this is installed software that requires licensing and setup, but generally has the added benefit of functionality beyond data quality while keeping all your data local. Depending on the implementation, thick clients can make the on demand element difficult or cost prohibitive to achieve without acting more like a thin client and sending your data off for processing. thin client solutions are installed software that simply acts as an interface to a hosted solution. You’ll be required to install and configure this software, but generally with minimal capital investment for the software itself. this type of solution uses the thin client to prepare a communication to a hosted data quality service where your list will be processed and returned to the thin client for you to retrieve. 10

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Can you trust them? You’ll be sharing with someone one of your most valuable assets. While a lot of the buzz around big data is new, the concept of enhancing data quality with list processing is not. make sure you find a partner you can trust with a track record of successfully and securely protecting data at all stages of the process — in transit, at rest, and while it’s actually processing. How close is the provider to the source of the data? In the United states, we’re fortunate to have a trusted source for the foundational tasks for name and address cleansing — the United states postal service. the Usps offers licenses to this trusted data to selected providers. If the data quality provider isn’t getting their primary data source from the Usps or is getting to that data 2nd or 3rd hand — the quality of your efforts could suffer.

Does their solution meet your requirements? this relates back to the earlier discussion around types of clients to access data quality. because everyone has unique needs, there can be a myriad of approaches to implementing a successful data quality solution. they key is to find a provider with a flexible set of products to allow you access to data in a way that meets your organizations requirements. With the requirements of and options for on demand data quality continuing to experience explosive growth, one thing remains clear: complete, correct, and current name and address data are foundational to every initiative from mailing to marketing and beyond. be sure to select an experienced partner you can trust that has a solution that meets your unique needs. ¡ christopher Lien is Vice president, software marketing, bell and Howell.


Ship It

With Jim LeRose

What’s Your Priority? OK, so you’re making an online purchase and it’s time to decide on one of several shipping choices offered in the shopping cart. One day, two day, three day, cheapest way, Ground, Air, Next Day Saver, Economy, USPS and a plethora of other options exist, but the question is; which one will get you the package delivered on the day you want it and at an acceptable price point? That choice just got a bit easier since the USPS recently introduced day-definite one-, two-, or three day Priority service. The idea is to indicate precisely which day you will receive your order. This new branding is now accompanied by up to $100 in free insurance, a feature every e-commerce company has been asking for. The sleeping giant has awoken. One of the most important elements when selecting a shipping service is knowing when it will arrive. Even though the USPS Priority service, which has a solid reputation for reliable service, has been around for many years, the old delivery window of two to three days was simply too vague, pushing merchants to only offer more costly services from UPS & FedEx. Since the USPS delivers to every address in the country every day (except Sunday), this latest announcement positions it to totally dominate this segment. As a matter of fact, it already owns 53% of the three-day delivery market now. There’s more good news: even with the new “Day Specific Delivery” announcement and free insurance up to $100, the USPS Priority service costs the same as it did last year and since there is no Fuel Surcharge, no Residential Fee, and no Delivery Area Surcharge, odds are this will be the overriding preference for e-consumers. For merchants it gets better; the Postal Service can provide free packaging and even customized and co-branded boxes or bags at no extra charge. That can amount to a big savings and a huge competitive advantage. Enter Peter Manning, the USPS e-commerce Shipping Solutions Specialist (bet you didn’t know the USPS had them) in New York City. Peter opines, “While it’s not a guaranteed service like that of UPS or FedEx Ground, the reliability factor is impressive and proven and it’s fast making this a great customer experience. Most merchants don’t even know we have an experienced e-commerce team, made up of logistics professionals throughout the country whose sole purpose is to work with commercial merchant accounts to help them build sound fulfillment strategies.” Guess what? There are over 300 of them nationwide! Manning continues, “Unlike competitors, the USPS team is not commission-based, allowing us to operate and consult without any hidden agenda. My customers’ agenda becomes my agenda. If there’s an opportunity to help them succeed by partnering with the USPS, we’ll make it easy for merchants and their 3PLs to do business with us.”

A key competitive differentiator for the USPS: it isn’t looking for all of a merchant’s freight, just the piece that makes the most sense. Manning states: “In a complex shipping environment, there will always be a need for multiple carriers, and consumers want options when they purchase online. I don’t ever ask merchants to give me all of their freight in exchange for my best incentives. Our role is to educate customers on how to leverage our vast network to their advantage. The key is helping them have their items delivered fast and at the right price, all while integrating seamlessly into their operation. They won’t be able to figure this out by visiting a retail counter at a local Post Office; rather, customers need to work with the commercial side of our organization, and we have a lot of expertise available to support them.” ¡

Here are eight quick benefits of the new USPS Priority service: 1. Free Package Pickup 2. USPS Tracking when you ship online and retail 3. Up to $100 insurance included 4. No tiered revenue requirements 5. Delivery within one, two, or three days based on where your package originated and where it’s being sent 6. Saturday delivery and residential delivery at no extra charge (Saturday Pickups can also be arranged) 7. Flat rate & regional rate pricing available. Example — a 15 lb. parcel can be shipped regionally to a residential address for $5.32 when using the USPS regional packaging! (Compare that to the competition)! 8. Domestic pricing still to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and all US Territories.

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 jim.lerose@agile-network.com or 888.214.1763. If you need a direct link to an expert to help you win business and avoid shopping cart drop-outs, contact Peter Manning at peter.l.manning@usps.gov or 212.330.5052. If he can’t help, he’ll put you in touch with a specialist in your area that will.

www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com ¡ SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2013

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The Trenches Your Customers Need Your Expertise – Help Them Out! How often do you go out of your way to help your customers get the most benefit from their mailed communications? Whether you work for an in-house document operation or an outside service provider, that’s a pretty good question to ask yourself. people in the mailing business — those that keep up on the latest trends and strategies and know how the postal system works –— could probably do a lot more to help their customers. but they believe they don’t have the time. this isn’t a matter of avoidance. the time issue is a real problem. even those organizations that recognize the importance of guiding their customers through the complex world of multi-channel communications or postal regulations may be unable to follow through. they spend all day dealing with other urgent matters that invariably come up in their own operations. It’s difficult to make the time to do some outside- the-box thinking. Guess what? Your customers also suffer from a lack of time. maybe worse than you.

Provide Big Benefits by Delivering Ready Solutions Imagine the appreciation for your proactive efforts if you were able to save your customers money, improve on the deliverability of their mail, or coordinate their messaging strategies across multiple communication channels. When you begin solving customer problems instead of concentrating solely on getting mail out the door, new ideas and opportunities become more apparent. Anytime you can present a complete solution you generate time-saving benefits for your customers. And you heighten the probability of successful implementation. that’s pretty much the approach I’ve taken with my business. Any new product or service that we introduce these days has to not only provide a benefit or address a situation; it has to do so without requiring much time or effort on the part of our clients. the reason for this philosophy? We’ve had several clients that paid us for work we did (either writing or consulting) and then never used it to accomplish anything. I realized that something had to change if we were going to grow the business like I wanted. We won’t get referrals and repeat business from companies that get no benefit from our last engagement with them! so today we’re always encouraging our clients to let us do some of the things that they think they can do themselves – but in reality never seem to get to. this approach produces real results that we’ve taken the responsibility for delivering — instead of making work for our clients. people experience a degree of relief and appreciation when tasks get off their to-do lists and onto ours. 12

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12 WAYS

to make Your customer’s mail better

01. clean up mailing lists 02. simplify terms & conditions 03. Link print & digital 04. Improve readablity 05. Add transpromo content 06. Improve segmentation 07. track the mail 08. Improve reply/remittance pieces 09. Add variable images 10. Variable printing — outside envelopes 11. reconfigure flats to letters 12. reconfigure letters to self-mailers

You can create the same kind of reactions from your customers.

Using Document Industry Knowledge When was the last time you scanned your customer’s prospect mailing list to identify wasteful conditions such as duplicates, hopelessly undeliverable addresses, or people that are already customers? Have you read the actual documents to see if you can suggest strategies such as improved relevance via the use of variable text instead of boilerplate terms and conditions? thought about targeted variable messages or images printed on the outside envelopes to increase open rates? Have you suggested using Qr codes to attract the attention of mobile customers? the paper bills I get in the mail usually include pleas from billers to convert to paperless delivery. they tout the convenience of paying my bill with my phone or tablet. they want me to use my mobile device to do business with them, yet few of these messages include a Qr code. And many of the codes I see send me to a page that is not mobile-optimized or has nothing to do with going paperless. perhaps you could help your customers achieve a higher paperless conversion rate by making the enrollment process easier.


With Mike Porter

I know it sounds counter-productive to suggest measures that will reduce print volume. But businesses that generate transactional documents have expressed a keen interest in switching their customers to paperless delivery. Print volumes are going to decrease no matter what. Lower demand for printed documents leads to overcapacity in the print and mail industry. Without a way to add value, the processing of paper bills and statements becomes a service with commodity-driven profit margins. For a print service provider or an in-house operation facing elimination due to outsourcing, this scenario is bleak. It seems worthwhile to make time to develop deeper relationships with customers now. Show them you can help them reach their goals and increase your chances of replacing the revenue lost in print volume with services that generate higher profits.

Show your customers that you have your finger on the pulse of the industry. You know they are interested in alternative methods of communicating with their audience. Making time to help them develop a strategy gives you the opportunity to participate in the new plan. Physical mail should be part of the overall strategy. Your knowledgeable input will show your customers how to exploit the advantages that postal mail provides. ¥ 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. For more of his thoughts and ideas visit www.printmailconsultants.com and sign up for Practical Stuff – the free newsletter for document operations. Your questions on this topic are welcome. Send them to mporter@printmailconsultants.com.

www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com ÂĄ SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2013

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My Two Cents The Disaster We Are About to Experience! The concept of Seamless Acceptance, as explained at the National Postal Forum, is that there will no longer be any acceptance units or trained acceptance personnel. Mail service providers (MSPs) will bring their mail to the back dock of their local Post Office, SCF, or NDC and unload. There will be some sort of kiosk where the driver can scan/type in an identification code that links the mail on the dock to the mail.dat file preloaded by the MSP. This check-in will start the postal delivery clock. The concept is for most mail to never be verified by a human being. Using Six Sigma averaging techniques, an MSP’s mail will be periodically spot checked by postal employees somewhere within the system. All other quality standards will be verified by equipment and computers with the averaging of failures (noncompliance) over 30 days. If there are consistent quality failures, remedial actions will be taken by postal computers and necessary postage adjustments made automatically. These monetary adjustments to the associated MSP permit account will be processed weeks after a mailing has been delivered, leaving the MSP no recourse but to pay the increased cost. During the Seamless Acceptance session at NPF I asked who and where postal employees would be making decisions about our mail. Decisions like whether the content in a mailpiece allowed it to be mailed at non-profit rates, Standard Mail rates or make a determination that First Class rates were required. Who would determine if the weight claimed was the correct weight with the appropriate amount of postage paid? Who would determine if the mailpiece met DMM marking regulations, met the physical dimensions for the rate claimed, passed the droop test, had the correct number of tabs, had the final fold in the correct position, had the address correctly placed on the mail piece, met the aspect ratio, had corners rounded at the correct circumference, used the approved cut and tie ratio for perforations, anchored internal components appropriately, met the consistent thickness standard, and verify that a thousand other complex, infuriating postal rules were faithfully adhered to by all customers, MSPs, PSPs, large mail owners, and never-mailed-before postal customers? I received no answer to my questions.

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in those units and eliminate all in-plant DMUs. What the industry needs from the Postal Service is a modified Seamless Acceptance. We need some verification when we present our mail to selected postal facilities. We need the assurance that if there is something wrong with the physical makeup of the mailpiece we can take it home to fix it. We need to know if there are any content issues prior to entry, so the mail owner can approve (pay for) any postage adjustments.

Every mailer should have the option to have the content and physical aspects of their mailpiece verified prior to acceptance at a postal facility. As an MSP, I do not want to hear a month after a mailing (and the customer is long gone) that a mailpiece’s content did not meet the non-profit rate eligibility and I must pay the difference. I cannot afford to make a First Class mailing to New Orleans in the middle of July, have it sit on a postal truck in a postal parking lot for a week (while a hurricane rages) and have it weigh slightly more than two ounces instead of slightly less than two ounces due to the humidity. As an MSP I cannot have a mailpiece that conforms to DMM regulations jam a DBCS machine and 30 days later be billed non-machinable rates because a defective gate solenoid was not swapped out during routine postal maintenance to save money.

So What Is the Solution?

Can Seamless be implemented in such a way that it protects postal revenue? Keep my competitors from intentionally cheating on mailpiece design and content requirements, giving them a competitive advantage? Prevent novices from entering underpaid mail through their own ignorance? Allow me to take my mail home to be reworked if it does not qualify at the rates I have presented it?

Every mailer should have the option to have the content and physical aspects of their mailpiece verified prior to acceptance at a postal facility. We as an industry must demand the availability of verifications limited to content and the physical make-up of the piece. This would allow for MSPs to rework a mailing or have the mail owner approve upcharges due to content issues prior to entry. The physical aspects of a mailpiece that need to be verified would be piece weight, dimensions, design compliance, droop/ rigidity, paper weight, tab size and placement, accurate postage evidencing (correct permit) and address placement. Content verification would determine if it must be mailed at First Class rates or whether it was disqualified from non-profit rates.

Yes, but the Postal Service cannot eliminate all of the acceptance units across the country. They can significantly reduce the staff

What would not be checked? Anything that can be checked by the machines! Barcode accuracy, barcode quality, sort accuracy,

SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2013 ÂĄ www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com


With Todd Butler

container tags, total pieces, correct depth of sort for postage rates claimed, total pieces entered, and anything else whose accuracy can be determined without human intervention. Here is the simple fact for MSPs. If we produce an unreadable barcode, it will cost more to apply a label and re-inkjet the piece than the postage upcharge would cost. Therefore we would not fix it; we would pay the upcharge. If large customers want full blown seamless with periodic samplings to determine accuracy of mailpiece design and content then allow them that option. For the rest of us, retain a few acceptance personnel in strategic locations that would continue to verify content and the physical aspects of our mailpieces. There would

be no in-plant postal personnel (DMUs), no paperwork review, no weigh count verifications, no Merlins. There would be piece weight verification, content verification for postage claimed, and a determination that the mailpiece submitted meets DMM specifications. Essentially I want to see a significant increase in the MDA ranks and have them verify compliance before entering my mail. I do not want some nameless janitor picking ejected mailpieces up off the postal processing floor making the assumption that my mail did not meet postal specifications and therefore should be charged more postage. ยก Todd Butler, Butler Mailing Services, can be reached at 513.870.5060, toddb@ butlermail.com or www.butlermail.com.


Postal Affairs

With Kim Mauch

The Current State of Postal Reform It’s no secret that Usps is losing money — we see it each time its financial report is published. to compensate, Usps has streamlined almost everything within its power, including plans to close half the sorting centers across the country. even with these changes, the red ink persists. the postmaster General testified in July that the only way to truly save the post office is to pass legislation that will enable $20 billion in annual savings by 2017. For its part, congress seems content to let Usps teeter on the edge of this financial chasm and give lip service to necessary postal reform. Defaulting on $11.1 billion in retiree payments and having maxed out it borrowing limit of $15 billion has not provided sufficient motivation for congress. With only a couple days of operating cash on hand, it appears Usps will have to run out of money and be unable to make payroll before congress will get something onto the president’s desk. postal reform acts have been proposed in both the House and the senate, though neither provides the necessary $20 billion in annual savings, and minimal progress has been made in getting them to the floor for a general vote. Let’s take a look at what both candidate bills look like as congress is recessed for the summer:

House Bill HR 2748, Proposed by Darrell Issa, R-CA this partisan bill is mostly concerned with limiting taxpayer impact, should any deficits continue. Its provisions are not popular with postal unions, including: } Allowing 5-day mail and 6-day parcel delivery } Amortizing retiree pre-funding requirements from 2015 to 2056 } replacing the board of Governors with a full-time committee } migrating to-the-door delivery to curbside and cluster boxes } eliminating special rates for political parties and phasing out some special rates that charge less than delivery costs } balancing employee payment and benefits with other federal workers } eliminating no-layoff clauses in union contracts } enabling new products and services including ad space on vehicles and facilities, a chief innovation officer and higher caps on market tests this bill is much less controversial when compared to Issa’s 2012 postal legislation. However, if you do the math, the combination of all these provisions does not meet the $20 billion sniff test the postmaster General proposed. Additionally, it kicks the pre-funding can further down the road. the partisan nature of its terms gives it little chance beyond the House. However, the bill has already gone through initial markup and is ready to be called for a vote soon. 16

september - october 2013 ¡ www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com

Senate Bill S 1486, Proposed by Tom Carper, D-DE and Tom Coburn, R-OK this nonpartisan bill is still getting worked on in committee, so the details are still fuzzy. this bill is more sympathetic to the postal union, and includes: } restructuring retirement payment expectations, and returning any surplus to Usps } eliminating the retiree health pre-funding mandate } Allowing qualifying employees to enroll in medicare } postponing any service standard changes or plant closings for two years } Allowing 5-day mail and 6-day parcel delivery, and eventual elimination of saturday delivery } shifting new addresses to curbside and cluster box delivery, and encouraging existing to-the-door locations to shift as well } enabling new products and services including offering state and local government services, delivery of beer, wine and spirits and additional services that take advantage of existing resources the senate was able to pass a more comprehensive bill last year, and this year’s iteration brings it more in line with the House proposal. though it is being marketed as nonpartisan, there are many senators on both sides of the aisle that don’t like it. there is pressure from the left to maintain service standards and saturday delivery, while raising rates. Like the House bill, it does not provide the $20 billion in savings needed to fully balance the postal checkbook.

What’s Next If the senate bill is taken to the floor, and both bills pass, a committee will have the difficult task of reconciling the two bills. Due to the dissimilarity between the bills, the final bill will likely lack some of the more effective strategies included in each of them. While the process is straightforward, the actual chances of action are dim. With only months left this year, congress has yet to act on some of the more basic required legislation. plus, with a major election in 2014, it’s unlikely anything will happen until Usps runs out of operating cash. What can the mailing industry do? For congress, visibility is the key. contact your state representatives and senators. Invite them to tour your facility. explain to them how your business relies on Usps. Let them know how important postal stability is to you, their taxpayer. ¡ Kim mauch is a subject matter expert in mailing preparation and submission at satori software. contact her at kmauch@satorisoftware.com.


Direct Marketing 101

With John Foley, Jr.

What’s the Future Hold for Direct Mail? News flash: direct mail can grow and achieve new heights as a marketing channel. It’s easy to assume that direct mail will go the way of the dinosaurs and die out. But direct mail will be around until the very day that postal service stops. In fact, as it evolves, many marketers find that the response rates go up as direct mail becomes a way to connect with customers in a more personal manner. Especially when marketers are implementing the right strategies and practices, they will find that new technologies will help direct mail thrive as a premium marketing channel. As the digital world grows, it gets to a point where more and more consumers ignore all the various communications. When consumers are bombarded with messages on their phones, tablets and computers, eyes start to glaze over and ears tend to tune out. Marketers need a way to grab the attention of their target market and incorporating direct mail does just that.

points of contact. It will help create a seamless multi-touch campaign that is not intrusive but compelling and brand-building, all the while embracing technology as it advances. ¡ 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. In addition to his role at Grow Socially, Mr. Foley serves a CEO for interlinkONE, an integrated multi-channel marketing web solutions company serving the print and fulfillment industries and marketing departments.

In fact, marketers will need to take advantage of advancing technology and use it to create direct mail pieces that function as more than just a piece of paper or words and graphics. Compelling copy and slick pictures are great, but when you can add in something a little above and beyond that, then you really take the whole direct mail experience to another level. For example, augmented reality can be tied into a direct mail campaign and really make an impression on the audience. We’re not talking virtual reality goggles and headsets here. Augmented reality is a way to utilize digital technology to enrich a real-world experience. Taking digital information and laying it over a video feed (think about those televised football games where you can easily see the bright yellow first-down line) is augmented reality. With direct mail, you can encourage your audience to sit in front of their webcam and hold up the direct mail piece to see what happens. Maybe they will win a contest. Maybe they will reveal a very special offer. The only limit is your creativity (and your budget). Advancing technology also means that lists can be made to be more segmented and “clean.” Every marketer knows that a bad list can torpedo a good marketing campaign. So making sure the data collected is correct and on point is huge to the success of any campaign. So this allows for better targeted mailings and also for more personalized messages. In the future, direct mail will be key in breaking through the barrier of message bombardment. It will be targeted and on-point, with personalized and creative copy that falls in step with advancing technology. It will be a means of bridging the gap between personalized tangible marketing materials and other non-physical www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com ¡ SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2013

17


A Look at Our Industry 2013 has been an interesting one for the mailing industry. There have been some ups, some downs, but one thing is certain: nothing ever seems to stay the same. by Amanda Armendariz

I’m sure I say this every year, but summer seems to go by so fast. And as it draws to a close, I always have a hard time believing that it’s time, once again, to reveal the results of our annual survey. Part one focuses on wages & operations, and I’d like to sincerely thank everyone who participated. Your input helps us take an in-depth look at the average wages, mail volumes, trends, and more that are affecting our industry. This analysis helps mail professionals like yourself get a better glimpse of where they stand compared to their peers, and can better aid you in planning for the upcoming year. I hope you find the results as helpful and enlightening as we did, and be on the lookout for part two of our survey (the opinions portion... and who doesn’t love to share their opinions?) in the November/December issue.

Mail Center Managers Male vs. Female

How many FTE (full-time equivalent) employees does each manager supervise?

66%

34%

Interestingly enough, our percentages for the gender breakdown of mail center managers stayed exactly the same as last year: 66% were mail, and 34% were female. I guess they’re not kidding when they say that due to the economy, once people find a job, they stay put!

6.7% 3.3% 4.4%

0-5 FTE 6-10 FTE 11-15 FTE 16-20 FTE

58.9%

26.7%

20+ FTE

On average, a mail center manager has spent 16.2 years in the mailing industry. 13% 11-15 years

31%

09%

6-10 years 1-5 years

16-20 years 20+ years

17%

29%

It looks like the management workload might be easing up slightly. Last year, 52% of managers only managed 0-5 employees, while this year it’s up to 58.9%; likewise, last year, 14% of folks managed more than 20 employees (yikes!); this year it’s a much more doable 6.7%. Meanwhile, 59% of managers are responsible for additional departments or functions (such as printing, document processing, and administrative), compared to 62% last year.


Certifications

Last year, our respondents reported that 21% of mail center managers were USPS EMCMPcertified. This year, it was down to 10%. Only 6% report being CMDSM-certified (compared to 14% last year), and 10% reported having CMM certification. With the exception of CMM certification (which was 11% last year), that’s quite a change! This seems to bear out the assertion that we’ve commonly heard that due to budget cuts, less time and money is being spent on certifying professionals.

The Economy

How has the economy affected you and your operation this year?

40 30 20 10

The 5 Most Popular Education Options

Has had no effect Took on additional responsibilities

13.3%

Salary concession

13.3%

Salary freeze Working additional hours

15.6%

Number of mail center managers decreased

21.1%

Other

40.0% Local PCC conferences/ meetings National Postal Forum Vendor’s user conference Other non-mailing national conferences (i.e. management training courses) Online continuing education classes Only 37% said that they thought managers would attend any national conferences in the next 12 months, as well.

Training and Other Education

Like last year, local PCC conferences/meetings were the most popular way to keep mail professionals in the loop.

Average Salary <$30,000 $30,000-39,999 $40,000-49,999 $50,000-59,999 $60,000-74,999 $75,000+

09% 15% 24% 19% 24%

The average salary for a mail center manager is $50,458, a slight increase over last year’s $50,137 (hey, a raise is a raise, right?).

09%


Supervisors

35%

65%

A Look at Salaries

The average salary for a supervisor is $40,175, an increase from last year’s $38,500.

34%

Fifty-two percent of our respondents reported that their mail center had supervisors.

$40,00049,999

34%

Training and Certification

Just like we saw in the managerial section, the percentage of supervisors who possessed some sort of certification has dropped sharply compared to last year’s survey.

12%

02%

$30,00039,999

09% $50,00059,999

16%

06% <$30,000

$60,000+

03% Supervisors and the Economy

USPS EMCMP

CMDSM

CMM

The top three most popular training choices for supervisors were: 1. Local PCC conferences/meetings 2. Online and on-site continuing education classes (tied) 3. National Postal Forum

Has had no effect

62%

Took on additional responsibilities

15%

Salary concession

06%

Salary freeze

18%

Working additional hours

12%

Number of mail supervisors decreased

9%

Other

6%

Did You Know?  On average, each supervisor supervises six full-time employees, which is double last year’s amount, when supervisors reported being responsible for, on average, three full-time employees  Supervisors have spent an average of 11.88 years in the mail center  Only 17% of supervisors supervise other departments and functions, a substantial decrease from last year’s numbers.

Did You Know?

15% of employees are represented by unions, compared to only 11% last year. 25% have an employee incentive program, which is pretty consistent with last year’s 24%.

Staff

39% 61%


A Look at Wages

20

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHTS:

15

Entry level

High

2011 - $12.13

2012 - $12.15

2013 - $12.57

2011 - $12.90

2012 - $13.28

2013 - $13.83

2011 - $14.12

2012 - $13.60

2013 - $13.74

2011 - $17.01

2012 - $17.01

2013 - $16.70

Upgrading to the latest equipment shouldn’t mean higher production costs.

2011 - $11.50

05

2012 - $11.24

Connect with Savings 2013 - $11.74

10

Inserter operators

Addressing machine operators

Mail handlers

How many employees are in your company? 11.4%

Our remanufactured Pitney Bowes Connect+ series ink cartridges deliver the quality and reliability you’ve come to expect from Mail Green, at a price that’s easy on the budget. Connect with Savings. Connect with Reliability. Connect with Mail Green. Mail Green 866.760.6027 orders@gomailgreen.com www.gomailgreen.com

25.7% 28.6%

Top-Quality Mailroom Supplies, Affordable Prices

34.3%

Fewer than 10

10-99

100-500

500+

What is your average monthly OUTGOING mail volume? Less than 50,000

15.7% 8.6% 45.7%

5.7%

50,000-299,999

Typac, Inc. is the premier source for strapping machines, mailroom supplies and equipment serving businesses nationwide. A one-stop shop for all of your business’ mailing needs, Typac carries a range of products including tabs/wafer seals, envelope sealing solution, and both new and premium remanufactured ink — all at a great value. Typac, Inc. 800.356.8964 info@typac.com www.typac.net

300,000-499,999 500,000-999,999

24.3%

1 million or more

What is your average monthly INCOMING mail volume? 8.8% 2.9% 11.8%

< 5,000 5,000 - 19,999 20,000 - 49,999

55.9% 20.6%

50,000 - 74,999 75,000+

We “Supply” the Savings Why pay OEM prices for postage metering and addressing supplies? Mail Green remanufactured ink cartridges for Pitney Bowes, Hasler, Neopost and Data-Pac postage meters, and HP ink jet addressing deliver quality, reliability and performance comparable to the OEM at a fraction of the cost. When it comes to postal supplies, there’s no better way to save than with Mail Green. Mail Green 866.760.6027 orders@gomailgreen.com www.gomailgreen.com


The Symphony of the Mail Center the mailing industry is at a crossroads. mail center managers have to contend with thousands — even millions — of incoming and outgoing mailpieces, along with managing their employees, keeping on top of the latest trends and technologies, and dealing with factors beyond their control — like the economy and regulatory environment. Having workflow processes in place that allow you to easily meet your mailing goals of integrity, efficiency, volume and cost reduction is fast becoming an essential tool in the modern mailer’s arsenal. most importantly, implementing a workflow system can require a relatively small investment that yields a sizeable return. In many ways, running a mail center is like conducting a symphony — there are many different parts that must be harmonized to achieve a common goal.

How workflow can help you strike the right chord through greater effectiveness, ensured integrity and reduced costs

By Miranda Reeves

Increasingly, mail centers are being required to hit every note correctly. Ask yourself these questions about the content that you are responsible for mailing: Does the document have to be error-free? Is the document regulated? Are you required to track and report on it? Does it contain customized or personal information? If the answer to any of those questions is yes, you are dealing with what is known as “critical communications.” some of the mailpieces that fall under this umbrella might surprise you. some are obvious, such as sensitive documents found in the healthcare and financial industries, both of which are increasing their outsourcing activities. these include explanations of benefits, regulation letters, credit information, account statements and checks. Government examples range from property tax letters to payroll statements, and a very timely example — voting ballots. others are less intuitive, like lottery tickets, casino coupons or even local business flyers that do not contain highly sensitive information but might contain customized messaging or even a customized and time-sensitive redemption code or pUrL that is necessary for evaluating the effectiveness of a larger campaign. the common thread of all these communications is that your business depends on delivering them with integrity. Whether your mail center resembles a large orchestra with dozens of players, or a tightly knit quartet, your ability to have a single point of control for all that is being asked of you is crucial. For mailers in today’s world, being able define workflows, track mailpieces and provide analytics on them is just as important as delivering accurate documents. regulations like HIpAA and regulation Z require that mailers are able to report on their output for compliance purposes. mailers who use manual processes to track such information are not only costing themselves more time, but also introducing human touch points and, in turn, increasing the chance of error. mailers also often have to contend with incoming information that is contained in

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different formats, such as PDFs, often used for direct mailing. Having the ability to automatically extract addresses from these files and break the document into separate mailings is a time-saver. Being able to feed the data into your own production and mail files is another way to improve your workflow process. Another challenge that mailers face is being able to efficiently and easily correct addresses. “Undeliverable as addressed mail” is an enduring reality, but what’s changed is how mailers (and the USPS) can perform address correction. Not only is it possible for mailing data from PDFs to be captured, mail centers also need to be able to edit this data for cleansing and sorting. Connecting to the USPS’s CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System) for address verification can also be incorporated into the overall automated mailing processes. With the deadline for mandatory IMb approaching in 2014, many mailers are looking to implement it into their systems. What some do not realize is that the workflow solutions that were often relegated to invoicing are equally useful for organizing the processes and tracking of mailpieces. If you have already implemented barcodes but are scanning those barcodes by hand, there is an opportunity to automate that step as well. Just by incorporating a tabletop inserter, a camera and document-level barcodes, mailers can have the power of automated piece-level tracking. 2D barcodes can also be used for inserter cameras to control the insertion process. This information can then be reported on precisely, including files of only which mailpieces are missing and need to reprinted. As mail center managers, being able to act on information in real time is an asset. Assigning deadlines for time-sensitive jobs, seeing those

deadlines in a central location and being able to compare them to a job’s status provides actionable insight into which jobs are falling behind — and which should be prioritized. Looking at the big picture is also necessary for mail center managers. Being able to generate reports on consumables, how printers are being utilized, where and when interventions are taking place, job run times and even specific user activity is valuable in ensuring that the mail center runs like a well-oiled machine. The end result is what all mailers strive for: 100% delivery. In addition to integrity, lowering mailing costs and taking advantage of postal discounts is another opportunity that many mailers are pursuing. The USPS is making a significant push for mailers to barcode their pieces but stresses that a barcode alone is not enough to qualify for discounts. There are certainly high-volume discounts available but these require specific sortation software that is Presort Accuracy Verification and Evaluation (PAVE)-certified and can handle the mail types you deal with — Standard or First-Class mail, letters, postcards, etc. Not only does presorting allow the USPS to process mail more efficiently, it benefits mailers by giving you access to lower postal rates and decreases in delivery time — another factor that is often important for critical communications. Staying informed of the latest discounts that are available to you is only half the battle. If you don’t have a system in place to use those discounts, or if the system you have is so inefficient that it requires an investment of another valuable resource — time — then you should consider a system that makes the process work more efficiently for you. Miranda Reeves is senior product manager, Ricoh.

www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com ¡ SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2013

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STEPS TOWARD OPTIMIZING Smart ways to unlock the value of your client communications

BY GRANT MILLER

A digital migration is clearly underway. Tweets, mobile apps, email and e-billing continue to make headlines. However, most consumers today prefer to receive their communications through a mix of digital and physical channels — and the majority prefers mail for financial and healthcare information. Many organizations find that enhancements to their essential communications generate the strongest returns. Fortunately, there are opportunities to streamline mail production, improve mail performance, and reduce the costs of both print and postage. There is currently a lot of buzz around a concept called the “White Paper Factory.” This end-to-end, integrated print-to-mail approach can transform how communications are produced, helping businesses improve operational performance, better leverage client communications, and build stronger client engagement for revenue growth. Taking this full “White Paper Factory” approach can be a highly complex effort. However, you can actually take a simpler approach by choosing specific improvements that align best with your organizational needs, goals, and constraints. So how do you get started? Here are five key opportunities that can help deliver powerful results — and some things to keep in mind to get the best results from every improvement.

ELIMINATE YOUR PRE-PRINT INVENTORIES By leveraging variable data digital color print technologies, you can replace your old practices of pre-printing inventories

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SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2013 ¡ www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com

of color shells, forms, inserts and envelopes. And, by applying proven just-in-time manufacturing processes, you can harness these technologies to combine data, content, personalization and color into a re-engineered, highly efficient workflow. The White Paper Factory approach to print and mail starts with blank rolls of white paper. With this step, you can utilize digital variable print to combine data, content, personalization and color in a single workflow, and automate the process end-to-end. These changes help to eliminate pre-print inventory costs, waste from obsolescence, and costly manual processes. They can also enable your organization to be more agile in responding to regulatory and business needs.

CONSOLIDATE PRINT JOBS In shifting to variable data digital color print, you can standardize inputs and automate consolidation of smaller print jobs. This helps to eliminate time-consuming manual changeover processes and the risk of human error that comes with them. By consolidating multiple smaller jobs and printing them in presort order, you can eliminate physical presorting processes, and optimize your presort-discount postal savings. Many organizations still send multiple mailings or statements to the same household. If your organization is among them, you may also discover benefits to taking a White Paper Factory approach that merges print streams; combining documents into a single mailpiece. This can help you to mail fewer mailpieces per household and reduce postage expense; reduce duplications in accompanying


disclosures to lower print and paper costs and reduce postage even further; and leverage your print-and-mail operation for routine correspondence and other office mail.

ADD COLOR AND RELEVANT OFFERS Transactional documents have the highest open and read rates of all consumer correspondence. These are an important customer touchpoint and a great opportunity for engagement. Make sure they create a positive brand experience. ď ˝ Use color and graphics to highlight and clarify the call-to-action. The right use of color can significantly improve readability, helping to increase customer satisfaction, decrease call-center volume, and even accelerate payments. ď ˝ Personalize and target your correspondence to show your clients how well your organization knows and understands them. Harvest insights from Big Data and customer analytics, and apply these insights using variable data digital color print to enable more effective and immediate personalized cross-sell, upsell and retention messaging. ď ˝ Combine personalization with color to increase response rates even further. The right use of color can also significantly improve readability, helping to increase customer satisfaction, decrease call-center volume, and even accelerate payments.

OPTIMIZE YOUR ENVELOPES Now you can print on plain white envelopes, including Business Reply Envelopes (BREs) at the time of production, eliminating pre-print and including the most current addresses and messaging. You can also easily shift between black-and-white and full-color printing as you choose. This just-in-time approach enables one-pass printing of the proper brand logo, Intelligent Mail barcode, targeted messaging, even last-minute offers personalized by client. It increases agility, reduces waste, and, by starting the sales on the outside of the envelope, can lead to substantially better open and response rates.

MAKE YOUR OWN ENVELOPES ON THE FLY Organizations interested in reducing mailing costs and increasing efficiencies even further can eliminate use of standard envelopes, adopting new specialized wrapper technology instead. Unlike prefabricated envelopes, wrappers are crafted on the fly from rolls of plain white paper during the document production process. Your wraps can be configured to produce closed-face envelopes with scalloped flap or windowed envelopes, all with the same look and feel as traditional options. Through a combination of reduced paper usage, improved warehouse management, and significantly less scrap, using wrappers instead of envelopes is estimated to lower mailpiece costs by 20 to 40%. Grant Miller is Vice President, Global Strategic Product Management, Document Messaging Technologies, Pitney Bowes.


PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: WHAT TO SEE AT PRINT 13 B

39 OOT Customer Communications: 02 H

What’s Your Preference?

Companies adapting to their customers’ changing communication preferences can rely on Neopost’s Delivery Preference Manager (DPM) to reduce costs, enhance company image and improve customer satisfaction. DPM provides companies with a simple and effective method to manage their communications, either through traditional mail or an alternate digital channel, whichever way their customer prefers. Neopost 203.301.3657 c.elliot@neopost.com www.neopostusa.com

B

5 OO Matching, Sequence Checking, 41 TH 6

Verification, Station Selection…

From the lowest price visual match system to the automated OCR/Barcode match system, to our latest Station Selection system, Clear Image Technologies has a solution for you. All of our Picture Perfect Match System products are modular, so you only buy what you need today but have the flexibility to upgrade tomorrow. Clear Image Technologies 314.853.5867 larry@clearimagetechnologies.com www.clearimagetechnologies.com

Upgraded to CCM 2.0 Yet?

Maximize Productivity and Profitability

B

54 OOT 12 H

Fannon Products’ high output Near Infrared ink-jet drying system provides a cost-effective solution for curing inks on all paper surfaces. Increase your productivity while reducing power consumption! Fannon provides drying solutions for all Ink-jet and Web Drying applications. Fannon Products, LLC 810.794.2000 Sales@Fannonir.com www.Fannoninfrared.com

PRINT IT! MAIL IT! WIN IT!

B

23 OOTH 1

The New Mailstream creates stand-out direct mail with a new Scratch Off Label application ideal for covering security codes data and winners. Ten processes in one pass including; three glue types, tear-off coupons/reply cards, tip-on cards, trimming, slitting, scoring, strike-perforations and tape strips. Maintain mail integrity for delivery to mail bins with Mailstream! Rollem 800.272.4381 scorwin@rollemusa.com www.rollemusa.com/mail

B

96 OOTH 0

B

52 OOT See Why Gunther Is Different 12 H

Customer Communications Management (CCM) is a popular topic, but is your business leaving valuable resources on the table? CCM is evolving; today there are more output channels and more formats, including accessible e-documents (PDF/UA). Join CrawfordTech at PRINT ’13 and learn how fast and painless end-to-end CCM can be. It’s CCM 2.0.

We’re not your typical mail inserter manufacturer! Gunther builds solutions that suit your applications, not the other way around. We balance your wants and needs, and customize mailing solutions on a personal basis, designing equipment that meets your organization’s needs for today, and for the future.

Crawford Technologies 866.679.0864 sales@crawfordtech.com www.crawfordtech.com/PRINT13

Gunther 800.864.1490 sales@guntherintl.com www.guntherintl.com


Kern to Demo Complete Print to Mail Solution

B

84 OOTH 8

Master Intelligent Mail with Ease

B

46 OOT 09 H

At PRINT 13, Kern will demonstrate its latest technology for digital printing, high speed inserting, and electronic document workflow. The Kern iMpres, a monochrome inkjet press, will be printing a transactional document roll-to-roll. Those documents will be inserted on the world’s fastest inserting system, the Kern Ai-33. Register for a free exhibit hall pass at kerncan.com/print13

Stop by booth 4609 to learn how to get your mailing operation shipshape in time to meet the upcoming USPS Full-Service deadline. Then see how our comprehensive mailing solutions help all mailers, especially ones with automated document management systems, streamline mail production from data processing to post-sort and entry planning.

Kern 614.317.2600 info@kerninc.com kerncan.com

Satori Software 800.553.6477 sales@satorisoftware.com www.satorisoftware.com

Straight Shooter Shows Off New Solutions

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46 OOT 54 H

Straight Shooters’ NEW LF MINI Digital Printer Feeder now features 9”x12” capability, self-centering paper guides, simple set-up, patented Buckle Separation and Floating Acceleration Table. It works with OKI, Ricoh and other brand printers. Also see the NEWLY RE-DESIGNED R-12 continuous feeder used for a variety of mail, print, bindery and packaging applications. Straight Shooter Equipment Company 800.785.4177 gdbarkley@feedstraight.com www.feedstraight.com

Quartz Infrared Lamps

Fannon Products manufactures over 3000 different infrared emitters for all printing applications and manufacturers. Lamps range from medium wave to near infrared wavelengths. Twin tube lamps are available in lengths up to 6 feet with 24k gold reflectors. Fannon Products, LLC 810.794.2000 Sales@Fannonir.com www.Fannoninfrared.com

B

Increase Profits – Affix Stamps Inline

50 OOT 18 H

Postmatic manufactures a full line of High-Speed, High-Production Postage Stamp Affixing Systems for use inline affixing while inserting and no rewinding of the coil is required. Inline Vacuum Transport Bases available for Stamping, Ink-Jetting, Read & Print Systems, Camera Verification and others. Manufacturing proven, reliable inline solutions since 1972. Postmatic 763.784.6046 info@postmatic.net www.postmatic.net

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54 OOT 12 H

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Since 1977, Efficiency through Innovation.

48 OOT 12 H

See how NPI dominates with its leading-edge sorter technology. Thanks to our “Customer First” policy and automation specialists, NPI continues to develop a diverse customer base throughout the world, including post offices, print shops, banks and insurance companies. Incoming or outgoing, NPI is able to offer you a solution! NPI 888.821.SORT (7678) www.npisorters.com


ApplicAtion Article

Power Your Customer Communications Although many sectors of the mailing industry are incorporating digital based communication channels, one thing remains the same: building strong one-to-one customer relationships by providing relevant content impacts overall business performance. Historically, physical mail has provided a tangible and emotional form of communication that established trust and personal relationships with customers. While physical mail continues to be the primary channel used by small and medium-sized businesses for transactional mail, including bills/invoices, statements, pay/employee slips and contracts, research shows that more than half of small and mediumsized businesses that are currently sending physical transactional mail aspire to adopt a digital solution within the next three to five years to meet their customers’ channel preference. In an age of diverse communications channels ranging from email and direct marketing, to text messaging and mobile applications, consumers are feeling the stress of information overload. Therefore businesses must provide customized, relevant and compelling communications to build relationships — a daunting task if you don’t have the right resources and partners. Neopost USA offers technology to businesses seeking to break through the clutter with tailored customer communication solutions, and expertise on how to improve communicating with customers by offering them choice. As a leader in communications and shipping solutions, Neopost USA is ready and able to help customers manage the digital shift seamlessly by guiding them through the prepare, deliver and manage processes that are crucial to success. According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, people are tuning in to communications technologies at an ever-expanding rate, and the resulting reality is a hyper-connected, “always on” environment where people are linked continuously through email, and other channels, on smart devices. Neopost USA recognizes the inherent challenges of building personal relationships through multi-channel communications, and has solutions to help businesses successfully manage both physical and digital transactional data distribution. With decades of experience, 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 pioneer for many industry communications advancements, Neopost USA continues its long tradition of industry leadership with new advances that integrate digital and physical communications. As technology around the distribution of transactional data have evolved, many organizations have either invested in or have considered investing in web-based document delivery systems. While these systems are prevalent today, they have proven disappointing

to business seeking to reduce costs through the suppression of physical mail. Consumers have largely rejected this channel because they create biller confusion, aren’t optimized for mobile devices and exacerbate username and password fatigue, not to mention security concerns. Neopost USA works to power customer communications by successfully bridging the gap between physical and digital processes through easy-to-use, smart solutions. With products that streamline workflow processes to prepare, deliver and manage customer communications, Neopost USA allows organizations to focus on their priorities, including operations, growth strategies and profit, and realize greater business performance. For businesses, optimizing the customer communication workflow by investing in modern transactional data distribution technology can result in concrete operational efficiency improvements that include faster document delivery, reduced days sales outstanding and paper suppression rates that average of 12-15 percent, higher than any other solution. Further, scalable digital solutions can increase effectiveness of customer communication, while ensuring they are delivering the right message through the right channel. In short, customized communications are vital for maintaining strong business performance, and can only be realized by recognizing a customer’s communication preferences in the evolving hyper-connected landscape. Companies that leverage these digital approaches to meet the changing needs of customers realize efficiencies found with minimized time and cost, maximized reliability and strong customer relationships. At Neopost USA, we are bringing our vision to life with reliable digital solutions that will lead our customers through this rapidly changing landscape. PRINT 13 will present a monumental unveil of Neopost USA products that will lead the way into the digital age. Neopost USA’s digital solutions provide a simplified communications process, reduction in costs and improved overall customer satisfaction. These smart solutions will simplify business operations and allow our customers, and our customers’ customer to succeed.

Neopost USA www.neopostusa.com 1.888.NEOPOST [636.7678]


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Postal Facility Closings May Impact Your Mail Delivery The Postal Service is facing profound changes as it grapples with serious short-term challenges in funding and infrastructure, while managing for long-term viability and growth. As a result, changes are now happening in how the USPS does its business — and direct mail marketers need to stay aware of these changes to adapt and capitalize. To generate more than $20 billion in total savings, Postal Service management has embarked on needed changes including costcutting, consolidating and streamlining USPS infrastructure to better match mail volume. One area of cost-cutting currently underway is an effort to “right-size” the Postal Service’s network infrastructure to support current and future expected mail volumes, a process the USPS calls “Network Rationalization.” The goal is to reduce the number of mail processing facilities from 417 in 2012 to less than 250 after 2014. Mailers need to continue to stay informed and to monitor their mail closely while the final phases of Network Rationalization take effect in 2014. Do you know the impact Postal Facility closings will have on your mail delivery? Are you comfortable with the fact that your mail may be traveling an additional 315 miles from its new SCF facility to reach its destination? Now is the time to make sure you have a mail monitoring solution in place to help benchmark and identify inconsistencies in your mail delivery. One tool in this monitoring is the use of the Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb), which scans mail pieces at various points as mail moves through the Postal Service’s delivery network. IMb-Full Service is a vital tool for mailers to help them predict in-home delivery dates — with post-delivery monitoring to verify and validate. The problem, however, is that it fails to track the last mile of a direct mail piece’s journey. To know exactly when and where every single piece of mail is delivered, it’s important to use a combination of IMb technology and seed locations. Seeding names to track mail delivery is essential. Together with IMb, mailers can achieve full visibility on the delivery information of their mail pieces. With USPS Sectional Center Facility consolidation, it’s important to supplement IMb-Full Service with actual physical seeding data that captures actual in-home delivery. Mailers need to have dynamic dashboards with customized reporting to have a fullinformation view of their mail delivery performance, with accurate in-home date reporting, to see how these USPS developments are affecting their mail investment — and to troubleshoot where needed. While IMb technology can inform marketers of the whereabouts of their pieces within the USPS system, there’s no telling when it will actually reach consumers’ homes. That is, unless marketers use a Mailstream Intelligence service that provides them with

real-time information on when mail reaches its intended recipient in-home. Only by combining an IMb scan at the SCF level with the actual in-home delivery of a seeded piece of mail can marketers quickly respond to unanticipated delays and better protect their investment in direct mail campaigns. Another upside to Mailstream Intelligence service: Mailers can access a wide variety of detailed reports online — documents that reveal such key moments as when a piece left the printer’s truck to the second it arrives on a recipient’s doorstep. But while there’s no denying the need for both barcode technology and seed locations, it’s critical that marketers leverage the real-time data they collect from this two-pronged system to make the best business decisions possible — and quickly. Between the IMB, mail seeds and a strong mail monitoring strategy, you have the power to follow your mail’s journey through the mail stream from drop off to delivery. With real-time statistics and alerts, you can manage your company’s mail and adjust to unexpected difficulties. Mailers who have a clear view of how their mail is delivered to different parts of the country can anticipate what these delays are going to do to their campaigns. Mailers who have seed locations collecting and reporting on endpoint mail delivery will be able to see when that last mile of the mail delivery has been disrupted and act to compensate for the marketing.

For more information about Mailstream Intelligence, please contact Paul Ercolino, President of US Monitor directly at 845.875.6303 or at paul@usmonitor.com.

US MONITOR www.usmonitor.com paul@usmonitor.com 845.875.6303


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.

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Schedule a consultation with a Direct Mail Specialist today www.pb.com/AMSP 888-245-7267 AD62013

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Mailing Systems Technology September/October 2013  
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