july - august 2012
PC Meters vs. PC Postage: Which works best for you? Page 16
Aligning Standard Mail production to the needs of todayâ€™s marketers. Page 24
Dealing with the new addresses on the block. Page 12
Shining A LighT on Our Top Performers Page 30
Volume 25 Issue 4
Tonight’s Main Event: Postage Meters vs. PC Postage When it comes to choosing a postage solution for your operations, don’t overlook these important factors By Adam Lewenberg
July - august 2012
What’s in a Name? In the wake of numerous changes witnessed by mailing and fulfillment service professionals (not to mention the industries themselves!), the Mailing & Fulfillment service association decided a name change would be in the best interest of its members By Amanda Armendariz
The Last 25 Years—A Look at the Changing Place of Mail By John Payne
The New Standard aligning standard Mail production to the needs of today’s marketers By Jim Perkins
Real-Life Management Conferences: your secret Weapon for Management success By Wes Friesen
Mail Works! By Wanda Senne
Top Companies Profiles
stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place By Mike Porter
Ping-Pong, anyone? By Jim LeRose
Sensient Imaging Technologies
Postal Affairs the New addresses on the Block By Kim Mauch
Everything IMBC a true Multichannel Conversation By Kevin Conti and David Robinson
Editor’s Note shining a light on Our top Performers
[ PLUS ] 4
Pushing the Envelope a High-Wire act: stress the troubles but Don’t Hurt the Brand By Kate Muth
support for Intelligent Mail? yes, It’s in there By Christopher Lien
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Make sure you sign up for our monthly e-Newsletter so we can keep you posted with news alerts and updates! www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com
with Amanda Armendariz
Mailing systems technology PUBLISHER Marll Thiede
Shining a Light on Our Top Performers We all know about the troubles the USPS is having. In fact, I could probably save myself a lot of time writing editor’s notes and just recycle some old ones in which I talk about the issues facing the USPS — the note would probably be just as relevant today as it was for the issue I wrote it! But I think that’s a rather pessimistic view to take. Yes, the USPS is facing financial troubles. Yes, there are the problems with the pre-funding of retirees’ health benefits, the closing of post offices, the talk of eliminating Saturday delivery, and the fine line the USPS must walk being a not-a-government-entity-but-yet-not-a-private-business-either organization. Even people whose only interaction with mail is walking to their mailbox to get their mail at 5 pm know that the Postal Service is in trouble. So there’s really no point in re-hashing that. Instead, I think we should look at the bright side. Mail is still relevant — even among the tech-savvy 18-34 age group. There is still definitely a place for mail in today’s society, even if that place is slightly different than it has been in years past. And I think that sentiment is exemplified by our Top Performers issue. As you look through the profiles that begin on page 30, you’ll notice that there are many innovative, forward-thinking companies servicing all aspects of the mailing industry. With companies, products, and services like this, the future is looking very bright, indeed. As always, thanks for reading Mailing Systems Technology.
Amanda Armendariz firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kevin Conti, Wes Friesen, Jim LeRose, Adam Lewenberg, Chris Lien, Kim Mauch, Kate Muth, John Payne, Jim Perkins, Mike Porter, David Robinson, Wanda Senne
Rachel Spahr email@example.com
ADVERTISING 608-442-5064 Ken Waddell firstname.lastname@example.org
GRAPHIC DESIGN Kelli Cooke
2901 International Lane • Madison WI 53704-3128 608-241-8777 • Fax 608-241-8666 email@example.com www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com
Volume 25, Issue 4 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or subscribe online at www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com. For high-quality reprints, please contact our exclusive reprint provider. Scoop Reprint Source 800.767.3263 ext. 307 www.scoopreprintsource.com. All material in this magazine is copyrighted ©2012 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 25, 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 Conferences: Your Secret Weapon for Management Success as I write this, I am preparing to speak and attend the Fall MaIlCOM conference (www.mailcom-conference.com). Previously this year, I have spoken at and attended the National Postal Forum, spring MaIlCOM, and a couple of conferences. I and others have found that the “secret weapon” to being a successful manager in our industry is to attend conferences and draw deeply from the potential value they bring.
performance organizations from the industry’s top experts, peers, and vendors in the exhibit hall. you will also hear ideas about process improvements that can drive improved efficiency, effectiveness, and quality. you will learn how to improve quality and have more sustainable operations and eliminate waste. Included can be practical tips related to billing, work flow, job design, process analysis, and ergonomics.
getting the approval to attend important conferences like MaIlCOM and National Postal Forum has always been challenging — even more so under the current economic conditions. But actively participating in conferences is a key to success for you as a professional in the mail industry, and it is important to the success of your organization. so how can you obtain approval to attend conferences?
Keys to Getting Approval to Attend Conferences approval often comes down to the ROI to your organization — are the benefits worth the costs? Before discussing benefits, let’s start with the costs. there are ways to lower the cost to attend. First, if you are a Mail systems Management association (MsMa) member, you qualify for a MsMa discount for the MaIlCOM conference. Both MaIlCOM and National Postal Forum offer a discount for early registration.
Build a strong network and support group. MaIlCOM and National Postal Forum provide an opportunity to meet the industry’s top leaders and experts first hand. One of the great features of these conferences is how approachable the speakers are. also, there are many opportunities to network with peers from around the country — and then to build your own professional support group.
second, you can shop around for the least expensive transportation method. attendees will often double up on rooms to cut that cost. I know of a number of attendees that will offer to pay some or all of the travel costs out of their pockets. People that do that look at it as an investment in their careers — and it shows your management chain how committed you are to developing yourself and adding value to your organization.
Become inspired to succeed. the keynote and seminar speakers will inspire you to push even harder to help your organization to be more successful. MaIlCOM and National Postal Forum are noted for their wide selection of seminars, including those aimed at our personal and leadership development.
the biggest key to getting approval is to explain the return (benefits) to you and your organization. Here are some benefits that you can tailor to your own situation:
add more value to your key stakeholders. the investors of your organization will benefit from the cost savings and efficiencies that you adopt. In addition, you can learn ways to add more value to your customers and improve customer satisfaction and favorability.
learning ways to reduce costs and improve efficiency. you will learn updated information on how to minimize postage and shipping costs, and you will also learn ideas to improve the efficiency of your operations. I have seen my organization and others save thousands and even millions of dollars via learning and implementing work share postal discounts, shape-based pricing, targeted mailing, cleaner addressing and reduction of undeliverable mail, intelligent/selective inserting, full-service intelligent mail discounts, applying QR 2D barcodes, implementing six sigma and lean principles — the list goes on and on.
learn about the latest technology and automation and other tools. MaIlCOM and National Postal Forum are great sources to hear about the latest relevant technology from the speakers, peers, and vendors. I and others have seen significant cost savings and improved operations from wise investments in equipment and software. Here is the chance to see what might be of value to your organization. you can visit the exhibit hall and expand your list of vendor and supplier contacts for current and future reference.
learning best practices and Ideas for process improvements. you will learn the best practices of the country’s leading high-
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MaIlCOM and National Postal Forum also offer a number of sessions geared to leadership and management best practices, as well as proven ways to provide more positive work environments for your employees that will drive improved morale, motivation, and performance.
Improve your credibility within the industry and your organization. you will learn important information that will benefit you personally — and your organization. as you go home and apply what you know, you will gain greater respect and recognition. In addition, you can earn one or two professional certificates while at MaIlCOM and National Postal Forum. and, at MaIlCOM you can take advan-
With Wes Friesen
Improve your credibility within the industry and your organization. you will learn important information that will benefit you personally â€” and your organization. as you go home and apply what you know, you will gain greater respect and recognition. In addition, you can earn one or two professional certificates while at MaIlCOM and National Postal Forum. and, at MaIlCOM you can take advantage of the opportunity to earn the professional certifications sponsored by MsMa, including the MDC: Mailpiece Design Consultant; CMDsM: Certified Mail Distribution system Manager; or CMDss: Certified Mail Distribution systems suppliers. Note: for more information about these programs, visit www.msmanational.org.
Become a teacher, inspire others, and build a stronger team. With all the learning, networking, and inspiration you receive, you will be equipped to go back home and inspire and teach others. this will be rewarding to you â€” and your team! One final tip: if you do attend MaIlCOM and National Postal Forum, make sure you prepare a written report and share with your boss and team. also do a verbal presentation of the key highlights from your report and let your excitement about what you gained at the conference show through. good luck as you pursue getting approval to join me at future conferences like MaIlCOM and National Postal Forum! a Wes Friesen, MBa, CMDsM, EMCM, MDC, 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 825,000 customers. Wes is also the Marketing Director for Mail systems Management association (msmanational.org). He teaches university classes and is a featured speaker at national Conferences like National Postal Forum, MaIlCOM, and others. Wes manages the Billing, Credit and special attention teams with the able assistance of supervisors garret saiki, allison Rowden, jessica Eberhardt, Heidi Fouts and tom laszlo. Wes can be contacted at Wes.Friesen@pgn.com. Check out his personal web-site for free information (www.wesfriesen.com).
www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com a july - august 2012
With Christopher Lien
Support for Intelligent Mail? Yes, It’s in There Once again, the united states Postal service is back to requiring Intelligent Mail barcodes, and this time, it is drawing two lines in the sand. the first is the retirement of the POstNEt barcode and the requirement of the basic Intelligent Mail barcode in january 2013. simply put, if you do not have an Intelligent Mail barcode on your mailpiece come january 2013, you will not be able to claim automation discounted postage rates. the second line in the sand is january 2014, when the usPs will require Full service Intelligent Mail barcodes and, along with them, the requirement for unique container identification, electronic documentation, 45-day unique piece serial numbers, and a host of other requirements. While many mailers seem ready for the january 2013 requirement due to the usPs attempting its forced implementation several years ago, quite a few mailers are voicing concerns that they will not be ready for Full service IMb in 2014. Or are they actually ready for Full service IMb now? software is an essential component to Intelligent Mail barcodes, and many of the software solution providers have been working
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closely with the usPs for well over a decade on Intelligent Mail. It may surprise many software users how much support for Intelligent Mail already exists in the software they have.
Let’s Look at an exampLe Consider, for example, the unique serial number requirement for Full service IMb. In many ways, this is arguably the most critical component for the usPs in the IMb as it forms the backbone of its service performance and visibility commitment to its customers and what is required under the Postal accountability and Enhancement act. With unique serial numbers on all automation-compatible mailpieces, the usPs will have unprecedented visibility into the world’s largest postal delivery network. Prior to IMb, service standards were largely inferred from various tracking methodologies. However, with Full service IMb, the usPs will be able to “see” the mail being processed in new and critical ways. Moreover, mailpiece visibility also supports multi-channel marketing — an important and growing way for savvy marketers to reach new customers.
Does your current software solution provide unique serial numbers? Most likely, yes. Many software solutions have starting sequence numbers that can be reset manually or automatically to ensure 45-day uniqueness by mailer identification. Moreover, some solution providers also offer tracking services either directly or with partners to provide piece and container-level visibility. the second significant requirement for Full service IMb is electronic documentation. the driver behind this requirement is for the usPs to reduce labor costs during mail acceptance by eliminating paper postage statements. It also provides the ability for the usPs to determine what is known as the “byfor relationship.” the “by-for relationship” identifies the mail owner, mail preparer, and postage payer. Electronic documentation involves submitting a data file into PostalOne! or manually entering postage statement information into the usPs Postage statement Wizard. there are currently three different ways software solutions support electronic documentation today. the first is simply facilitating the use of the usPs Postage statement Wizard. the software generates the postage statement and the user simply keys the information into the Postage Wizard page. For mailings of 10,000 pieces or fewer, this is likely the easiest and most cost-effective way to comply with this required component of Full service IMb.
lishing fields, has developed and actively supports both the Mail.dat and the Mail.XMl file formats to upload postage documentation into PostalOne! Of the two formats, Mail.dat is the most readily available, and indeed dozens of software solution providers have been actively supporting and providing Mail.dat (often at no charge) for decades. Even if your current solution does not have Mail.dat enabled, you may be surprised at the modest investment to do so considering the tremendous time savings it provides in facilitating mail acceptance and payment. Moreover, Mail.dat has numerous other uses in transportation planning and co-mingling. the final required components for Full service IMb, such as support for Customer supplier agreements, Intelligent Mail package barcode, and Intelligent Mail container barcodes, are also becoming readily available as standard components in presort software solutions. Check with your current solution provider and you might be surprised to find that support for Full service IMb is already in there today, well in advance of january 2014. a Christopher lien is Vice President, software Marketing, Bell and Howell.
For mailings larger than 10,000 pieces, the IDEalliance association, a not-for-profit organization in the information technology and pub-
ARE YOU STAYING ONE MOVE AHEAD OF THE USPS®? » » » » » »
IMb™ barcode generation – Check! IMb container barcode generation – Check! Unique piece and container numbers – Check! Mail.dat generation and update capabilities – Check! Test Environment for mailers compliant – Check! Customer supplier agreement support – Checkmate!
We are, and we can help you stay one move ahead too. With BCC Mail Manager™ you get the most comprehensive Intelligent Mail® barcode presort solution on the market. Try it yourself free for 30 days at bellhowell.net/MST or call us at (800) 397.9069
Limited time offer. Bell and Howell, the Bell and Howell logo, and BCC Mail Manager are trademarks or registered trademarks of Bell and Howell, LLC. Intelligent Mail, IMb, and USPS are trademarks of the United States Postal Service. © 2012 Bell and Howell, LLC. All rights reserved. www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com a july - august 2012
The Trenches Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place It seems the us economy has turned a corner. Well, if nothing else, at least we can see the corner now. I can tell because customers who wouldn’t even consider spending money with us a year ago are now willing to have a conversation. But caution and uneasiness are still restrictive forces. People are hesitant to make decisions — even those decisions that have a clear benefit or a reasonable ROI. I can understand the need for caution. Nobody wants to make the wrong move. But delaying can often be more damaging than making a choice that turns out to be less than 100% perfect. this is particularly true when you know that you will eventually be forced to make a decision whether you are ready or not. take Intelligent Mail Barcodes, for example. unless the usPs changes its mind again, postage discounts for automated mail will only be granted to mailers that use the Full service variety of IMB. standard service IMB and POstNEt will be retired. Few organizations can afford to lose the discounts upon which their postage budgets are currently based. so they will need to find a way to utilize Full service IMB. For some organizations, this will be a big change. Waiting until the fourth quarter of 2012 to decide what to do will put them at a disadvantage. and yet, there are companies who today still don’t feel they are ready to make that decision. I suggest they make a choice and get on with it. Even if it turns out that you want to change your approach somewhere down the road, you’ll at least be preserving your postage discounts and accumulating valuable information that will help you be more confident about taking the next step.
The Cost of Waiting Perfectionism in the document business is something we all seek to attain with every mailing. But there are times when the pursuit of perfection in other parts of the business gets in the way of progress. I’ve seen that happen time and again with some of my clients. Most often, clients feel that they haven’t thoroughly investigated all their choices. Or they believe they can accomplish what needs to be done without any outside help. there is nothing wrong with that train of thought. unfortunately, what usually happens is that they are never able to make the time necessary to do that detailed analysis. Or they can’t free up the internal resources necessary to take on the new
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project. Before they know it, they’ve gone several months without taking any action at all! In the meantime, their competition may be taking advantage of the procrastination. Rivals may be developing new capabilities, aggressively increasing their market share, or raising awareness for their goods and services within the marketplace. Once a prospect or customer starts relying on your competitors for advice or information, once they start investigating alternatives to the products that you offer, it may be very difficult to bring them back into the fold.
Taking The Risk OuT Of DecisiOns
take advantage of trial offers or guarantees. Enter into short-term agreements at first if they are not too expensive.
look for customer reviews or analyst opinions. take advantage of your personal network and sites like linkedIn or twitter to solicit opinions.
Find an (unbiased) expert. an assessment of your current and desired conditions, along with a list of recommendations can expose you to the best alternatives.
Delaying necessary actions until you’ve analyzed the situation to death could turn out to be a costly mistake. I’m not suggesting that anyone start making decisions about procedures, hardware, software, or postage without thinking it through. that would be irresponsible and it could get you fired. But I am suggesting that making a choice that has a high probability of creating the desired result is often possible without assessing the impact of every little detail.
Uncertainty something to consider about the document printing and mailing business today is that the future is somewhat uncertain. there are a lot of variables that could affect the viability of decisions that are made today about document operations. Postal service standards and delivery networks, digital postal delivery channels, mobile technology, postage rates, social networking, demographics, mail volume decreases, government regulation, global economic con-
With Mike Porter
ditions, and environmental concerns are just a few of the issues that could alter the way you do business over the next few years. No one can really predict how trends, technologies, or events will change how we create and distribute information in the future.
make after succumbing to my perfectionist tendencies aren’t any better than the ones I make with much less stress and anguish. And making progress is always more satisfying than having lots of loose ends.
So making the best decisions based on what you know today, keeping your options open, and understanding the necessity of flexibility may be the most appropriate strategy for document operations managers right now.
When you can make a decision where the rewards outweigh the risks, and you’re reasonably sure it is the right move, put perfectionism aside and take some steps towards progress. a
Trust Yourself As a small business owner, I have to make lots of decisions. I am almost never really sure of the right choice. But I’ve got to make those decisions. I do a reasonable amount of research and then make up my mind. Curiously, I’ve found that the decisions I
Mike Porter is a reformed perfectionist and President of Print/Mail Consultants, a consulting firm that helps print and mail facilities maximize their potential. Get more thoughts about document operations by subscribing to the free newsletter, “Practical Stuff” at www.printmailconsultants.com
www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com a july - august 2012
With Kim Mauch
The New Addresses on the Block usPs announced two new address types this year, giving its customers new ways to get their mail and packages delivered. However, mailers should be aware of these new addresses, as there are a few “gotchas” that could cause problems if mail is sent to the wrong address. Both these new address types make it easier for end customers to get their mail — especially packages. let’s take a look at these new programs. PO Boxes That Look Like Street Addresses Post Office Boxes are a staple in the mailing world. Many people and companies hold a PO Box and enjoy the security of getting their mail at their local post office. However, outside shipping agents like uPs and FedEx will not deliver packages to a usPs Box. Enter the unfortunately named “Move to Competitive street addressing for PO Boxes” program — affectionately called “PO Box street address” or “PBsa” by the industry. With this program, mail receivers can use the street address of their post office, along with their PO Box number, rather than the standard “PO Box” designation on their mail. By using the street address, customers can get all their deliveries, including those from private carriers, all at one location. this is a great service for people who already have a PO Box and don’t want their packages delivered to their home. this also allows usPs to better compete with private mail box companies or CMRas (Commercial Mail Receiving agents) such as uPs store and Mail Boxes Etc. Mail addressed to the original PO Box and the related PBsa address will all go in the same box. However, there are a few side effects of this program. Firstly, there are several restrictions on any materials delivered through the usPs that will not be waived for PBsa. shipments of alcohol and anything over 70 pounds will not be accepted for delivery. so you won’t be able to ship that new couch to your PO Box. some mailers, especially those in the financial and legal system, have restrictions about what types of addresses can be used to register an account or to prove residency. these mailers already have systems in place to identify PO Boxes and CMRas, but the data you’ll get back from PBsa addresses doesn’t fit neatly into existing processes. these mailers will need to implement one of the following ways to identify a PBsa: } a list of all the possible PBsa addresses is listed on the usPs RIBBs website (http://ribbs.usps.gov/mtcsa). } all PBsa addresses will get a carrier route of C770-C779 when passed through the ZIP+4 product or Cass Certified software.
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} If you already identify your CMRa addresses using the DPV CMRa table available through Cass Certified software, the same table will identify PBsa addresses. However, a different field in this table is used to identify the PBsa addresses. } For users of the DsF2 files, PBsa addresses can be identified in the “PO Box throwback” table. Otherwise, mailers will have a hard time identifying these addresses as they look like any other address with a secondary. a sample PBsa address is: 534 Main St #12 Hampden MA 01036-2001 A New Way to Pick up and Ship Parcels For those struggling to be home for their parcel deliveries, usPs is trying a system called gopost. located in high-traffic areas like transit stations and shopping centers, gopost lockers offer an alternative to delivering mail to your office or doorstep. Customers sign up for an account at http://www.gopost.com, then find the location most convenient for them. When ordering, the customer uses the gopost address and their account number, and the shipper sends the mailpiece. the customer then receives an email or text along with a barcode when the package arrives. they can then visit the lockers, scan the barcode, and get their item. they can also send packages from the same lockers. this setup is fairly straightforward; however, mailers, especially those that send both packages and other mail such as catalogs, will want to handle these addresses slightly differently. gopost lockers are intended primarily for parcels, and the customer is charged for each piece of mail sent to their gopost account. so you won’t want to use the gopost address for any follow-up communication, such as promotional catalogs or invoicing. Fortunately these addresses are very easy to identify, as they have “gopost” in the address line. a sample gopost address is: 308 gopost #PI123456 Arlington VA 22203-1557 While PBsa and gopost take a bit of additional work on behalf of the mailer, they do give customers some good shipping options. By identifying and handling these addresses appropriately, you’ll be able to better communicate with your customers. a Kim Mauch is a subject matter expert in mailing preparation and submission at satori software. Contact her at email@example.com.
With With Kevin Kevin Conti Conti & David & David Robinson Robinson
A True Multichannel Conversation this this month’s month’s article article describes describes how how some some organizations organizations are are covering the impact of mail communication covering the impact of mail communication in in the the context context of of multichannel customer customer conversation. conversation. multichannel
redisredisaa true true
as mailers mailers prepare prepare for for the the january january 2014 2014 usPs usPs deadline deadline for for full-serfull-seras vice Intelligent Intelligent Mail Mail requirement requirement for for postal postal discounts, discounts, many many orgaorgavice nizations nizations continue continue to to plan plan for for improved improved customer customer communication communication models models to to drive drive their their business. business. so so how how do do the the seemingly seemingly unrelated unrelated events events of of postal postal compliance compliance and and customer experience experience touch? touch? One One of of the the ways ways understood understood by by numernumercustomer ous organizations organizations is is that that mail, mail, which which still still accounts accounts for for the the majority majority ous of of customer customer “touch “touch point” point” events, events, can can be be better better leveraged leveraged with with the the visibility visibility that that the the Intelligent Intelligent Mail Mail barcode barcode (IMb) (IMb) can can provide. provide. the the fullfullservice IMb IMb can can provide provide critical critical event event triggers triggers into into aa multichannel multichannel service conversation model model — — beyond beyond simply simply “I “I sent sent the the mail. mail.” ” conversation While some some organizations organizations are are strong-arming strong-arming customers customers to to move move While to electronic electronic communication communication as as aa way way of of reducing reducing tactical tactical mailing mailing to costs, costs, others others are are taking taking aa more more customer-focused, customer-focused, customer-prefcustomer-preference driven approach. Enhanced erence driven approach. Enhanced customer customer profiles profiles allow allow orgaorganizations to to develop develop and and orchestrate orchestrate customer customer conversations conversations that that nizations can improve improve the the customer customer experience experience by by presenting presenting the the “best “best next next can step” step” across across customer customer preferred preferred channels. channels. So what what does does this this have have to to do do with with the the day day in, in, day day out out mailing mailing So world? world? Well, Well, consider consider a a monthly monthly customer customer statement, statement, which which is is neither neither the the beginning beginning nor nor the the end end of of a a customer customer relationship. relationship. From a a customer customer perspective: perspective: From
If If you you answered answered “yes” “yes” to to any any of of those, those, especially especially the the last last one, one, then then your organization should consider leveraging the mail visibility your organization should consider leveraging the mail visibility serservices of of Intelligent Intelligent Mail Mail (i.e., (i.e., Confirm Confirm and and aCs) aCs) that that are are aa result result of of vices the unique unique ID ID assignment assignment required required in in the the january january 2014 2014 IMb IMb fullfullthe service service deadline. deadline. some organizations organizations are are considering considering how how mail mail visibility visibility events events (e.g., (e.g., some mailed, mailed, delivered delivered to to the the nearest nearest post post office, office, returned/failed returned/failed and and remittance remittance sent) sent) can can be be continually continually monitored, monitored, converted converted to to converconversation events, events, and and fed fed into into customer customer engagement engagement models models to to drive drive sation proper organization organization response. response. Key Key to to these these models models is is to to understand understand proper customer customer preferred preferred channels, channels, applications, applications, and and devices devices to to drive drive relrelevant next actions. evant next actions. Mailing Mailing organizations organizations are are encouraged encouraged to to “have “have aa seat seat at at the the table” table” when new new customer customer experience experience models models are are conceived conceived to to ensure ensure when that mail, mail, especially especially properly properly instrumented instrumented Intelligent Intelligent Mail, Mail, has has the the that appropriate appropriate contribution contribution to to these these programs. programs. With With less less than than 50% 50% of of overall overall full-service full-service IMb IMb adoption, adoption, the the indusindustry has a way to go as the deadline draws closer and hopefully, try has a way to go as the deadline draws closer and hopefully, as as part of of this this final final IMb IMb push, push, additional additional value value of of mail mail communication communication is is part driven by by multichannel multichannel customer customer communication communication programs. programs. driven Kevin Kevin Conti Conti is is Director Director of of Mailing Mailing solutions solutions at at Pitney Pitney Bowes Bowes software. software. David David Robinson Robinson is is currently currently the the Director Director of of address address Quality Quality for for Pitney Bowes. Pitney Bowes.
} } If If you you were were looking looking at at aa company’s company’s product product or or service service on on aa webwebsite this week, wouldn’t it be helpful if the mailed statement site this week, wouldn’t it be helpful if the mailed statement you opened opened today today contained contained additional additional relevant relevant information information on on you that same same product product or or service? service? How How convenient convenient would would it it be be to to that scan scan aa QR QR barcode barcode on on the the statement statement to to take take you you back back to to that that original original website? website? } If you had had aa poor poor customer customer service service experience experience this this week week with with } If you aa company company via via the the call call center, center, could could the the statement statement you you just just opened opened help help repair repair your your relationship relationship by by re-enforcing re-enforcing your your value value as aa customer? customer? as } } When When an an important important document document is is expected expected in in your your mailbox mailbox (especially when you aren’t home yet) wouldn’t (especially when you aren’t home yet) wouldn’t it it be be helpful helpful to have have electronic electronic notification notification or or follow-up follow-up on on that that communicommunito cation? What What if if the the piece piece couldn’t couldn’t be be delivered? delivered? Wouldn’t Wouldn’t you you cation? want want to to be be notified notified through through email email or or mobile mobile device? device?
www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com a a july july -- august august 2012 2012
With Jim LeRose
Ping-Pong, Anyone? uPs and FedEx are undeniably two of the best-run companies in america, but their customers tend to forget: they are in the business to make money. Often shippers forget that, so my goal is to remind you. these are publicly traded companies, owned by investors. to increase their stock price and pay higher dividends they need to increase the amount of money they earn each year – just like every other publicly traded company. Consequently, both of these bellwether organizations must increase what you pay for their services to satisfy investors.
use alternative carriers including regional, international and the usPs. Negotiate your agreements with uPs and FedEx during or after the transition to these carriers to properly set your tier levels.
Check your invoice every week to make sure you are paying what you expect. If your company simply pays the invoice without validation, I recommend you utilize a professional auditing service.
Now more than ever, shippers need to lower transportation costs to be and stay competitive. It all starts with rates. Many tend to think they’ve got a step up on the Dynamic Duo (uPs and FedEx) and cleverly use one to keep the other in check during rate and contract negotiations. But, both uPs and FedEx know what these savvy shippers are up to, and since there is only one other carrier option, this situation resembles a game of Ping-Pong where the duo are the paddles and their loyal customers are the ball.
Invest in multi-carrier shipping technology to enforce business rules, enable the use of multiple carriers and compare rates and services. It also demonstrates to the incumbent you can, and are willing to, switch. that provides critical leverage.
Customers that get slammed each year with elusive fees, confusing terms, and spin from the incumbent become disgruntled and switch to the other carrier, and the story repeats itself year after year. the problem? this is cyclical; each carrier poaches roughly the same number of competitive customers as the other. the end result? Higher transportation costs for you, higher profits for them.
In summary: When trying to reduce transportation costs, many shippers feel like a ping-pong ball being whacked back and forth by the Dynamic Duo. Follow the five simple steps above to avoid getting hit with the paddle! a
In spite of your best efforts, both carriers have successfully deployed a strategy that has proven to increase your costs, and lately they are becoming more aggressive, even punishing their customers now for leveraging one of them against the other. Did you know you could now be penalized for attempting to renegotiate a contract before its expiration? In 2011, both carriers on the same day announced their customers would be penalized for utilizing third party contract negotiators to help lower rates. What’s coming next year? Handcuffs and house arrest if you ask your uncle Bob what his company is paying for shipping? since most customers only read a small fraction of the terms and conditions in their agreements (you know the sections pertaining to the discount percentages) they end up paying a lot more than they think. to lower your transportation costs, I recommend the following five steps:
Carefully read and make sure you understand the entire carrier agreement. If you don’t have the time or the ability, get help from someone that does. Miss one word or sentence, and you’ll pay more than you think.
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accept it: the ping-pong winner will probably be either uPs or FedEx, not you. It’s unlikely you will outwit these brilliantly run companies with combined values of over 70 billion.
jim leRose is Principal of agile NyC Metro and President of advantaship.com. jim has been a transportation industry consultant for over 25 years. His clients have saved millions on transportation costs. agile has helped companies such as jP Morgan, audiovox, Intuitive surgical, Panasonic Electric, Petco and over 1,000 others. jim welcomes your comments and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888.214.1763. you can also visit his blog at www.agilenewyork.com.
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tonight’s main event, we feature the ultimate battle between two serious contenders. In the white corner, we have the long-term reigning champion postage meter/mailing system. It has had a remarkable run since its debut in 1920. In the red corner, we have the up and comer PC Postage, which has been experiencing tremendous growth since it started in 1999. We are going to have a fair fight and only focus on the pros and cons of each to arrive at a winner.
Round One: Ease of use Both are very easy to use. With a postage meter, items are placed on the scale, the proper class is chosen (they typically default to First-Class Mail, which is the most common) and the postage prints directly onto the envelope. For items too large to fit through the feeder, meter tapes are printed, peeled, and placed onto the piece. With PC Postage, the user logs into a program or website, chooses the appropriate class, weighs the piece (or enters the weight), and generates a label from a label or local printer.
Round Two: speed Hands down, we have to give this to the Postage Meter. systems can process 20-310 pieces per minute and are designed for production. With PC Postage, the labels need to be applied one by one. also, many mailing systems will seal the envelope at the same time the item is metered, which is clearly not an option with PC Postage. this might not sound important, but you need to think about how much postage is being done in your operation to see the actual impact. If you are spending $100 per month in letter mail, this is most likely less than 200 pieces per month, or 10 pieces per day. speed does not typically become an issue at low volume use. But if you are doing $1,000 per month, this now becomes 100 pieces per day and starts to make more of an impact.
Round Three: Rating Both contenders can do most rate structures. Postage Meters will typically have rates for discounted mailings like First-Class Mail or standard Mail automation where PC Postage may not. But if you are a large Priority or Express Mail user, the usPs has plus based rates (contracted with the usPs) that typically can only be found with PC Postage providers.
Round Four: Printing Postage Meters can print an indicia in the upper right of the piece, plus a message or graphic directly to left of the imprint. Newer high-end systems can provide flexible printing across the top ¾” of the envelope where a return address can be added in one pass. PC Postage can print either just the postage or the entire shipping label including the destination address, usPs tracking barcode, return address, and postage. they can also hide the postage amount if you do not want end users to know how much it cost to ship (typically done when you are charging the customer for shipping and handling).
Round Five: Flexibility the postage meter is perfect for the office environment where ev-
eryone runs their own mail. anyone can walk up to the system and quickly generate postage. the PC Postage solution is loaded on a single PC that is most likely not open for everyone to use. Even if the solution is web-accessible, any label printers and scales will typically be linked to the same PC. PC Postage shines when people need flexibility on where their postage is generated. since many of the providers have webbased solutions, workers can generate postage in the office, while traveling, or when working from home. Postage can be applied onto label sheets that work on almost any printer.
Round Six: accounting Most postage meters can track funds by department and typically have a designated number of accounts when the machine is installed. lower-end units will be able to give you a summary only of how much postage you have spent over a period of time. Higher-end systems can give you detail of the specific transactions that you processed. PC Postage provides transaction level reporting and can give you much more information based on how the item was sent through the system. It can provide the sender’s address, tracking number, and a direct link to see delivery status all in one place. Keep in mind that to get this level of detail, this information needs to be entered up front when the piece is being processed. this would be tedious for simple letters but helpful when doing packages.
Round Seven: space typically, companies making decisions between the two are looking at smaller end mailing systems that are relatively compact. the size difference between a low-end postage meter, and a label printer and scale from a PC Postage provider will be negligible. larger mailing systems will take up more space but are designed to handle larger volumes than would typically be recommended for PC Postage.
Round Eight: Postage Payments Postage Meter providers will all allow you to prepay postage into an account, have it pulled directly from your bank accounts, or advance you funds. some low-end systems also accept credit cards. the advance option is very popular and the fee may be included inside your lease agreement. Keep in mind that this form of payment is similar to a credit card in that it charges hefty fees if bills are not paid on time and in full. PC Postage can have funds pulled directly from your bank account, can link to your CaPs account with the usPs, or be paid via credit card. Most customers will choose the credit card option because of the flexibility and simplicity it provides.
Round Nine: Investment Postage meters start at around $20 per month on special promotions and can grow to over $1,000 based on speed and options. agreements are typically all-inclusive including a base unit, scale, meter, service and rate changes. you need to make sure you are getting the right solution and not overpaying for speed or features you can live without.
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PC Postage runs anywhere from free for limited feature systems to $35 per month for a premium package designed for shipping. to purchase the peripherals, label printers will run $80-400, and scales will cost $50-150.
Round 10: supplies Meter Tapes/Labels: to do a true comparison, we have to look at what it costs to print the postage only from both options. Postage meters run from $.01-$.13 for tapes. the higher prices are for lower volume systems where supplies are purchased at smaller quantities. PC Postage labels range from $.03-.07 each. Ink: Postage meters will also have a charge for ink of $.003-.06 per impression. Most PC Postage thermal label Printers will not have an ink cost. also, if label sheets are run on local printers, the cost should be negligible because it is spread over 24 labels. Make sure you know the supply cost for the model you are looking at prior to entering an agreement.
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Final Verdict: Draw the judges cannot come out with a clear cut winner because it depends on the application of what you are sending. If you are doing high volumes of letter mail, in an office environment, with lots of people, the postage meter is the clear winner. If you are focused on packages and want the flexibility of printing the address and barcode in one pass, PC Postage is your clear solution. Other than that, it depends on the pros and cons of each solution to know what will work best with your application. The information in this article is based on publicly available information on the vendors and services listed above. The commentaries discussed are opinions and are not endorsed by any of the vendors in this space. adam lewenberg, CMDss is President of Postal advocate Inc. with over 19 years of experience in the mail industry. their mission is to help entities with large numbers of locations reduce mail related expenses, and make their spends easy to manage. He can be reached at 617.372.8653 or email@example.com.
In the wake of numerous changes witnessed by mailing and fulfillment service professionals (not to mention the industries themselves!), the Mailing & Fulfillment Service Association decided a name change would be in the best interest of its members.
By Amanda Armendariz the Mailing & Fulfillment service association (MFsa), a familiar name to many in our industry, recently announced a name change in order to reflect the evolving needs and responsibilities of the members it serves. the almost 500 members of the national trade association for the mailing and fulfillment industry voted in overwhelming favor of changing the official name of the association to the association of Marketing service Providers, a fact that was announced during the annual conference in june. Mike Kellogg, Chairman of the Board, shares that the idea of changing the name was a well-accepted and almost unanimous one. “I am very excited because a lot of work went into the process of changing the name, and to have it almost universally accepted is gratifying.” Chris lien, a board member of the newly dubbed aMsP, concurs. “[We wanted to] change the name of the association to
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more properly reflect the types of services and direction our constituents are providing. as the association of Marketing service Providers, we believe our new name will correctly reflect our growing membership and the expanded types of services we offer.” this name change comes three years into the five-year strategic plan the association embarked upon in 2009. several years ago, the association’s leadership noticed that some developing industry trends (the commoditization of printing services, for example) weren’t exactly favorable to the members, the association, and the mailing industry. the needs of the mailing industry as a whole were evolving, and the then-MFsa stepped up to the challenge to re-brand the association to better reflect the changes. But while the name change may be the first big thing that people notice about the association, it’s certainly not the only change going on behind the scenes.
as lien explains, “the name change reflects only part of the overall strategic direction for our association. We recognize that mail and direct marketing are changing dramatically, and in this rapidly changing multi-channel world, we want to continue to reflect an association that is well-prepared to help guide its members through these technology transformations.” Board member Charles Buchanan concurs. “It is an appropriate step to help define the organization as we continue to evolve in support of the association members and help them compete effectively in a changing marketplace. the name of the association must reflect a current, relevant and vibrant entity which is engaged and helping influence the future of our industry. We are building an association which is not only engaged in what is going on right now, but focused on the future and understanding the changing needs facing our members including supporting other services, companies and a broadening industry base.” association president, Ken garner, agrees. “I see it as the natural outcome to changes impacting our industry and membership. Most members have recognized the need to broaden their menu and products and services beyond single channel content distribution. While we know that physical mail is, and will remain, a critically important part of any successful marketing campaign our members understand the need to develop more robust value propositions built around multi-channel, integrated content distribution methods.” some have raised the concerns that removing the words “mailing” and “fulfillment” from the association’s name might dissuade those people who identify as mailing and fulfillment professionals from joining. Board member tamera Caserta, however, believes this is not the case. “We are hoping to bring in members that provide these types of services to their clients. the companies that just offer mailing or just offer fulfillment are evolving and adding more services. I think it’s our job as an association to help them make that transition so they’re not left behind. We’ve always been in the marketing services business; now we’re calling it like it is. Removing the words “mailing & fulfillment” from the name of the association doesn’t mean we still don’t offer those services or educate those companies that offer them.” Kellogg agrees with this assessment. “Most of our folks have brick and mortar operations that complement their data opera-
tions. We want to leverage that key element and educate our members on the disparate disciplines that make up the still amorphously defined “marketing service provider.” We think that others will be more likely to seek out this value proposition if they believe that it is inclusive of them and the name change speaks to that. We all know that printers are seeking more services to provide and that data-driven digital printing is growing. We think that our association has a good story to tell them as they navigate in those waters.”
those few people who might be turned off by the new name would be missing out on the many benefits of being an association member. there are local chapter networks; a robust, thriving membership; educational forums to assist members in succeeding in their current businesses; networking opportunities; and some of the best conferences in the industry. Ken gossett, immediate past chair, can’t say enough about those. “Having just returned from one of the best annual conferences ever, I must say that conferences are very high on my list of benefits. the content and presenters are incredible! I always come back with great ideas for my business and always am much better informed on the critical issues facing our industry.” these conferences allow members to participate in refreshing Q&as that would not be available elsewhere. “I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the Postmaster general, Patrick Donahoe, was the keynote speaker,” gossett continues. “He also provided members [with] time for a very candid Q & a session! It was truly a privilege to have Postmaster Donahoe as our guest.” these conferences also exemplify the willingness of the association to adapt to a changing landscape. as lien notes, “We have broadened our conferences and our networking forums to provide expanded education and discussion beyond traditional print, mail, and fulfillment topics. Many members have been actively bridging physical mail with mobile technology such as QR codes, offering expanded services to assist mailers and marketing professionals. We have also been very active as an association in postal legislative discussions.” Keeping members informed is also a critical tenet of the association. the premier monthly publication, Postscripts, provides the members with relevant articles on business operations, management, government affairs and the latest innovations in our quickly changing industry, while PostalPoints is published every three weeks and is considered absolutely essential to anyone in the mailing business. the association also has a legislative steering Committee, led by garner, and this committee is a respected and effective voice on the hill for all matters relating to our industry, especially postal issues. No one can predict where the mailing and fulfillment industries are heading. But if the actions of the association of Marketing services Providers are any indication, a willingness to adapt goes a long, long way toward staying relevant in a constantly changing landscape.
www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com a july - august 2012
25 The Last Years
the “mail,” meaning the us postal mail, has changed forever. just the fact that 25 years ago, in 1987, the “mail” would, and could, mean only one thing to most consumers, tells most of the story. today, email has eclipsed postal mail and many people have migrated to a more digital life. But, is email responsible for the decline in postal mail? Or are there other factors that have played a role in changing the definition of “mail”? this raises the obvious questions: How, why, and when did the postal mail decline happen? Perhaps the easiest question to answer is how this happened. One invention changed the game, more than any other factor:
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—A Look at the Changing Place of Mail By John Payne
email. the advent of email caused physical, person-to-person mail to essentially disappear overnight. Email was extremely attractive to consumers, offering ease-of-use, instantaneous delivery, simple retrieval, and management of their personal mail. this didn’t lead to a shortage of mail for the usPs to deliver, but the statistics hide the story. Email led to a disappearance of the singular component — person-to-person mail — that made postal mail a desired experience for consumers. When we were kids, we used to wait eagerly for the mail to arrive. Now, many of us loathe the visit to the mailbox because nothing enjoyable is waiting for us there. just looking at searches for “post office” on twitter shows that out of 100 random tweets, 16% are negative comments and only
two are positive comments. Comments on long lines and rude service are simply too common.
The History of Decline When did it happen? Email started making serious inroads near the turn of the 21st century. In the 1990’s, the usPs was a $55B business, the size of many Fortune 10 companies. Mail volumes still pushed forward — even though the demise of the post office was already widely starting to enter public debate. the reality is that a shift in business model overcame a natural pivot toward a decline in mail. the postal mail category actually grew because while email took the person-to-person mailpiece, business mail remained and the direct mail business soared. But, it’s impossible to save a business long term with a solution that only works well for one constituency. Consumers seeing more and more standard or junk mail have less and less incentive to want to see the mail waiting for them. In 2005, first class mail fell below junk mail in volume for the first time. Coincidentally (or not), 2006 was the last year that the usPs turned a profit. the usPs sees the issue as “a decline in mail volume.” this is not the problem — it’s the effect of the issue, which is that there are faster, cheaper communication alternatives. In short, over the last 25 years, the usPs and most of global posts looked at their business the wrong way. they saw themselves as being in the mail delivery business and not in the communications business.
ply state, “I want my paper.” Not true. What they want is “owned proof.” they want control/ownership of document, whether in digital or non-digital form. Email also quickly got the reputation for being unsafe, as three out of four messages sent were deemed as spam. Email was open for abuse and fraught with security issues. It did not represent a viable solution for businesses to safely and effectively communicate with consumers. Without a secure, reliable solution, businesses continued to send physical mail, enduring the growing, significant costs and inefficiencies. as a result, consumers continued to endure the pain and inconvenience of managing their physical mail, manually sorting, filing and storing what was important to them and throwing out the rest.
What Will 2037 Look Like? Postal mail will keep migrating to a faster, safer, more convenient solution. Consumers want anywhere-anytime-access for everything in their lives: music, tV, movies, photos, contacts, files, and records. they will expect the same thing from mail. this industry will take three important hurdle-jumps in the next 25 years: structural, emotional, and political.
Companies will have to prove that they are ready for the change: Businesses like at&t and time, Inc will have to grow weary of spending over $1B on paper and postage each year; consumers have to be willing to accept a change that will lean on their “nostalgia” for the post office; and the us government will have to embrace the digital path.
We haven’t said that postal mail is going to zero, and for good reason. In a recent survey, only four percent of users were ready to eliminate postal mail in favor of email. People crave several things from a new service to make it truly a replacement. If it is faster, less expensive, and safer than a competing service, it may replace that service entirely. Physical mail still has many advantages over email and other paperless methods employed by many large billers/businesses.
to overcome these barriers, we need a system that honors physical postal mail while taking advantage of the digital experience. Companies and consumers alike will have to be shown that digital letter mail can give a better experience. But, not just as a delivery/ storage solution. Intelligent product features will read the mail and provide alerts on the information, even take actions pre-defined by the users.
1. Postal mail is an aggregation point 2. Postal mail is push mail 3. Postal mail is considered safe Consumers are looking for an aggregated solution. until adoption of a better, aggregated model occurs, physical postal mail will keep pouring into households. Hence, McKinsey is estimating 150 billion pieces of mail delivered in 2020, down from the peak of 213 billion pieces in 2007. But, note: 150 billion is still very significant. With the obvious cost incentive, you would have thought businesses would have moved their paper statements and bills over to electronic communications in the past 10 years. undelivered postal mail alone costs american businesses over 1.8 billion dollars a year. this was the promise of paperless that never happened. turns out that a 15-18% adoption rate from consumers going paperless is the natural plateau, as most users don’t like the multiple passwords/ecosystems they have to go through to get paperless communications. Consumers are also unsure of retention policies and are not willing to give up the control that paper instills. they sim-
On the political side, the us government will have to support digital solutions on every front. the social security administration is moving to paperless payments in 2013. this will be pivotal, as the age group least likely to migrate to a “techy” solution will be forced to do so. that should open the door for adoption of a ‘digital postal system’ as well. If unemployment payments, and other services move to digital communications and payments, then the shift will happen. In 2012, over 70% of households are paying their taxes via e-File according to the IRs. If every government agency moves to a digital communications system, that will lead to the shift in postal mail as well. Earlier this year, Postmaster general Patrick Donahue told usa today that the usPs would probably have to limit mail delivery to just three days a week within the next 15 years. With statements like these, we should expect physical postal letter mail to have nearly entirely given way to an aggregated digital postal mailbox system by 2037. john Payne is the CEO of Zumbox, Inc.
www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com a july - august 2012
The New Standard Aligning Standard Mail production to the needs of today’s marketers By Jim Perkins
Direct marketing has never been more sophisticated than it is today. In the past 10 years, we’ve seen advances in technology and business practices running the gamut from multichannel, geo-targeting and digital integration, to social media, PURLs, and mobile. Marketers today do not only have to plan campaigns — they need to orchestrate them, coordinating various elements and components to create customer experiences that break through the clutter and motivate prospects to act. Standard Mail remains an important part of the marketing mix, but only to the point where it can fit with and enhance a wellcoordinated multichannel campaign. Fortunately, innovations and new technologies in presort and mail logistics have created an environment where you can help deliver:
Consistent, reliable delivery dates; Faster rollouts; Lower, fixed pricing; and Greater accuracy, integrity, and tracking.
These “new standards” for Standard Mail can make mail a more attractive option for direct marketers, simplify workflows, improve response rates, and enhance the value you provide to your clients. Well-orchestrated campaigns. Standard Mail has a reputation for uncertainty. Often, marketers will hear that delivery will occur anywhere between “three days and three weeks.” However, with 24
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the right approach to Standard Mail, you can achieve more precise delivery windows — often within a one- or two-day range (i.e., delivered in seven to eight days). These consistent, reliable in-home dates are critical for four big reasons: 1. Marketers can time mail delivery to arrive at the right time, which is especially important for those who are promoting a sale or special event. 2. They can more easily integrate multichannel follow-up programs, such as emails, texts, and phone calls, to coincide with mail delivery. 3. Call centers can forecast volumes and staff accordingly — avoiding situations where prospects are put on hold. 4. Managers can view in-progress result tracking with greater confidence, without the uncertainty often experienced with inconsistent Standard Mail delivery. Speed to market. When you are handling your own mail, it pays to send out an entire campaign on the same day — that way you can maximize postal discounts. However, when you work with a presort service provider, you can get mail out sooner, staggering your drops over time without losing any density discounts. Budget consistency. Marketers and business owners need the ability to forecast expenses. When postage costs vary depending on how much volume you are sending out on any given day, it makes it difficult to plan in advance. With the right presort service,
you can negotiate a fixed-cost price for postage that is likely less than what you are paying today. Real-time metrics. Marketers rely on reports and metrics more than ever — not only to analyze the results of campaigns — but also to make real-time decisions while the campaign is in progress. While web, call center, and social media efforts have always been easy to track, now mailers can provide the same level of visibility if they have the right tools, barcodes, and systems in place. Stepping Up to the New Standard with Postal Optimization Postal optimization refers to any coordinated, strategic approach intended to optimize workshare discounts while maintaining the marketing impact of a given direct mail campaign. Two of these tactics you can handle in-house are data hygiene and format selection. Incorporating routine data hygiene tasks into Standard Mail practices will help ensure that your mailing lists are accurate, uniform, and maintained over time as customers come and go. Simple functions such as de-duping, move updates, and address validation can decrease production and mailing costs, while data cleansing processes can improve match rates when adding additional information to customer data files. For the most cost-effective Standard Mail, size and format matter. You need to work within USPS guidelines, as mailpieces smaller than 5” x 6” or longer than 15” are subject
to increased costs. With a little upfront knowledge, marketers can design pieces to meet these dimensions, even converting flat-sized mail pieces to letter-size mail, which easily cuts costs — without diminishing the creative impact of a piece. During the campaign development stage, it’s also important to be certain that the end product is machinable, avoiding mail formats that are too thick or too rigid to run on USPS processors. For the heavy lifting — and significant improvements in making Standard Mail work as part of an integrated multichannel marketing campaign — you may need to bring in third-party specialists. Commingling mail is the cornerstone of any Standard Mail enhancement strategy. This process combines mailings from multiple companies, sorting different sized letters (whether postmarked with a stamp, permit, or meter indicia) to create a single mailstream. Most mailers understand that this increased volume helps ensure that more mail will qualify for 3- and 5-digit presort rates, which could save you one to two cents per piece depending on the size and density of a particular mailing. However, commingling has become more important given today’s complex contact strategies, because commingling can also help your mail qualify for destination-rate discounts. The ability to induct mail at a Network Distribution Center (NDC) or Sectional Center Facility (SCF) not only offers greater savings, it provides you with the control and reliability you need to know when mail will reach its intended recipient. www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com a JULY - AUGUST 2012
} While most presort services offer commingled mail, look for organizations that also specialize in advanced mail logistics, which involves identifying the most cost-efficient way to induct mail at the point closest to its final destination. Often, this will involve a combination of strategies, including consolidation and a network of independent trucking operations, which work together to maximize discounts and marketing impact. Where a Presort Service Can Add the Most Value Whether you are orchestrating a major multichannel campaign launch or creating an ongoing stream of customer outreach, you need to be on top of all of the details, especially when budgets are tight and expectations are high. While standard Mail obviously offers cost benefits, mailers remain leery simply due to misperceptions over timing and visibility into the mail.
makes it easy to monitor mail, allowing for better coordination throughout your organization — especially important for multichannel campaigns. you can anticipate response and improve your ability to measure ROI. a few national presort suppliers take service and quality to the next level through investment and management of logistics. look for presort service providers with a large transportation fleet, a strong safety record and tight security procedures, plus a network of distribution hubs for presort and induction. top-quality logistics operations should include 24/7 access to service and support, as well as incident tracking and geo-loca-
In many cases, standard Mail is inducted at a local Post Office and must then work its way through several gates within the usPs processing system. Delivery dates may vary greatly, as your mail must work its way through the “queue” at each stop along the way, from the local Post Office to the local sCF to the local NDC across to the destination NDC, then the destination sCF, until it reaches the mail recipient’s Post Office, and eventually someone’s home. a best-in-class presort service, however, can help ensure that your mail bypasses these stops — inducting mail directly at the destination sCF. the combination of commingling and logistics can decrease the time it takes for your mail to reach its intended recipient, but more importantly, you can expect your mail to arrive in consistent, predictable timeframes. By adding reliability to the attributes of standard Mail, marketers can time delivery based on key events, orchestrate multichannel marketing programs, and staff their call centers with confidence. However, such precision does not come without the right infrastructure. Best-in-class presort operations have made significant investments in hardware, software, and personnel to build a network that provides for the reliability, savings, and integrity today’s marketers demand. Often, these firms maintain dedicated transportation departments that: } Manage multiple operating centers across the country; } Work with large national and regional consolidation partners; } Deliver directly to national and regional consolidation centers; and } self-deliver to local sCFs. In many cases, such robust, diverse networks can induct as much as 82-87% of mail at the destination sCF, bypassing many usPs stops along the way. see the chart above. With the right partner, you can also offer greater visibility into the mailstream. the Intelligent Mail barcode and tracking software 26
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tion tracking. so, if the truck carrying your mail has a flat tire in sheboygan, the presort supplier can locate a nearby, available vehicle to offload your mail from the stricken vehicle and keep the mail moving on its way. as technology continues to evolve, large national service providers have the bandwidth to stay on top of the latest tools, including software that can track weather patterns across the nation or traffic accidents — even road construction — which means that trucks can be quickly re-routed to avoid any possible delays. Improved Predictability through Technology and Logistics Marketers have so many sophisticated tools available to create effective communications it can often be challenging to determine the optimum marketing mix. thanks to innovations and new technologies in presort services and mail logistics, standard Mail can now take its rightful place among the other sophisticated — often digital — tools in a multichannel marketing campaign. With improved visibility into the mailstream, and a better ability to predict in-home dates, standard Mail can complement digital marketing efforts. Businesses working in tandem with a professional presort services provider can rely on standard Mail for greater accuracy, integrity, and tracking — along with lower, fixed pricing and predictable delivery dates. It’s a winning combination for a complex marketing environment. jim Perkins is senior Vice President, Pitney Bowes Presort services.
October 7-10, 2012 McCormick Place South â€˘ Chicago, IL USA
Print Integrated Sheetfed Presses | Digital Continuous Feed Presses Black and White Printers | Workflow Management | Post Process/Press Consumables & Substrates | Inline Finishing | Mailing Solutions
With Wanda Senne
Mail = Meaningful ConneCtions Even though my 24-year old son knows what a postage stamp is (considering I work in the mailing industry) I know he doesn’t buy them. His method of communication is digital. But when he really wants to impress, he actually spends time to buy a card and hand write a message (I have hope).
the fMRI scan showed larger multiple areas of recognition in areas of the brain considered to process emotional, memory, and motor functions when holding a physical piece compared to one small focus point area when viewing the same message on screen/digital messaging.
Billy graham reminds us of the importance of meaningful connections: “People can become so encumbered with being “connected” to information that they “disconnect” from others. technology can weaken relationships and push the reality of life out of the way.”
Consumers affected by physical media (a.k.a., mail) are not just the older demographic! Direct Mail transcends the age demographic (18- to 34-year olds) primarily associated with digital. I know many people think young adults react only to messages from the digital space; however, the reality is that they would prefer to receive offers through the mail over email or text messages.
the reality is that mail works! you’ve known that for a long time. Research shows that mail is currently in a “renaissance” period. among the research is a leading marketing “blogger’s” observation: “Mail may be one of the oldest forms of marketing but could be considered one of the freshest forms of marketing in our digital age.” Did you know that the brain reacts differently to messages received digitally compared to what I call “meaningful communications,” a.k.a. hardcopy mail? according to a case study on behalf of Britain’s Royal Mail by leading global research agency Millward Brown, functional Magnetic Resonance Imagery (fMRI) scanning comparing tangible materials (a.k.a., mail) to digital messaging showed that mail: } leaves a deeper footprint in the brain — more “real” or relational to the brain } Involves more emotional processing (important for memory and brand associations) } Produced more brain responses connected with internal feelings (suggesting greater “internalization” of the ads/material)
Red = brain activity viewing mail Blue = brain activity viewing digital
Other research pointed out that 79% of mail received in households is being examined and read a lot more closely than in the past! a Nielson study of various online and hard copy messaging techniques (envelope, printed envelope, self-mailer, wrapper, and email) published this april provides more insight: } Printed envelopes were opened and message read by 84.5% or recipients — most opened advertising method tested } standard envelopes opened and read by 75.6% } selfmailers: 71.4% } Wrappers: 71.2% } Email open rate: 80% — second to physical envelope (but remember the impact in the brain comparing digital to mail!) } Personalization of envelope was key (44% said they would investigate offer further online compared to 36.6% who viewed a non-individualized offer) } Word-of-mouth “pass-along” of a personalized envelope is twice as effective as an email (14.2% vs. 7.8%) } My age group (55-65) valued an email advertisement more than 16-34 year olds (well, interesting, but I’m more biased towards mail!). Bottom line: It’s important that we do not equate the current usPs’ financial condition with the value of mail! Mail is meaningful… and it works! a Wanda senne is the National Director of Postal Development for World Marketing. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 770.431.2591.
july - august 2012 a www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com
Pushing the Envelope
With Kate Muth
A High-Wire Act: Stress the Troubles but Don’t Hurt the Brand
a june conference in Washington to imagine a Postal service for the 21st Century, many speakers suggested the Postal service leverage the strength of its “brand” to find its role in the digital world. the conference, called PostalVision 2020, heard from a wide range of industry leaders, including those from hard copy industries and visionaries from the digital arena. Many agreed the Postal service should focus on how to link the physical and digital worlds, and it should explore opportunities that rely on its strengths. For example, Postmaster general Pat Donahoe said he sees an opportunity for the Postal service in identity authentication services of some kind. some international posts provide such authentication services through registration at retail post offices or through a “digital identity” that consumers could use to log in and obtain other government services or to handle financial transactions. While the Postal service hasn’t released any specific vision around such a service, it’s a promising sign that it is exploring the option. Its new Digital solutions team is reportedly hard at work considering a wide range of opportunities. People often cite the Postal service’s strong brand recognition and its reputation as a trustworthy provider of services as key strengths of the Postal service. With a presence in every community in the country, trucks on nearly every street, and a stellar track record around privacy and security, the Postal service has earned its valued brand identity. But I have to wonder if the Postal service’s brand is suffering a bit these days. the constant drumbeat of bad news around its financial situation, around its cost-cutting plans and reductions in services is surely taking a toll on its brand. In addition, all of this uncertainty makes customers and employees uncomfortable and doesn’t inspire confidence in the organization.
so, what can it do to protect the brand? It’s not an easy question to answer. PMg Donahoe seems to be trying his best to put forward an aggressive cost-cutting plan while speaking optimistically about the future of mail. this is a tough balancing act and I’m not sure even the Flying Wallendas could pull it off. On the one hand, he needs to make clear the seriousness of the Postal service’s financial troubles so that Congress and stakeholders will buy into the restructuring plan. On the other hand, he can’t do it in a way that scares away new business. given the attachment that many americans feel to their local Post Office or to their letter carrier, any changes in service will cause a stir and generate publicity. a strong public relations campaign remains critical. Ironically, one solution might be to promote a digital strategy. Focus some media attention on new ideas for generating revenue in a changing communications market and it might remind the public that all great businesses and entities need to adapt to changing conditions. Of course, the Postal service should also remind stakeholders that hard copy communications won’t disappear tomorrow — $66 billion in revenue is still a sizable chunk of change. But as the mail mix changes and people rely less on mail for correspondence and financial transactions, the Postal service can’t look exactly as it does today. It has to be leaner and more agile so it can respond to customer needs in an evolving marketplace. It has to change to survive. this type of change won’t hurt the brand. It will help it. a Kate Muth is President of Muth Communications, a writing, editing and consulting firm. Contact her at email@example.com.
I have heard some people in the mailing industry say they are concerned that with each negative news story, the Postal service brand takes another small hit. the financial news stories have been negative for a few years now, and those small hits add up to a big wallop. just as the Postal service is considering its first steps into the digital marketplace, it might find some of the luster has faded from its brand recognition.
www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com a july - august 2012
Welcome to the 2012 issue of Mailing Systems Technology’s Top Performers. It’s hard to believe that once again, it’s time to profile the top performers in the mailing industry; seems like it was just yesterday that we were gearing up for 2011’s edition! As editor, I always love looking through this issue, because it’s so inspiring to see the companies that fill the following pages. These top performers often provide vastly different services, but yet, they share the distinction of being crucial to our industry. So whether you’re looking for ink or for software, check out these companies first. As always, Mailing Systems Technology strives to be your number-one educational resource, and with this Top Performers issue, I think we’ve succeeded.
Bell and Howell, LLC is a leading provider of hardware, software and service solutions for paper-based and digital messaging. The companyâ€™s portfolio includes products that reduce production and postage costs; increase operational efficiency, message impact and relevancy; and ensure integrity and quality. Supporting these offerings is one of the largest dedicated service organizations in the industry. The company is headquartered in Durham, N.C. and maintains facilities in Wheeling, Ill., Bethlehem, Pa., Rochester, N.Y., and Waterloo, ON.
Our Solutions Inserting & Finishing Bell and Howell offers a complete line of inserting and finishing solutions for all market segments.
TOP PERFORMERS 2012
BELL AND HOWELL
The modular design of our systems provides the flexibility to fit the needs of any application, add functionality when needed and optimize return on investment. Bell and Howell solutions range from simple inserters to sophisticated inveloping systems to provide customers with the degree of automation and intelligence they require.
Sorting Solutions and Postal Software Our sorting and postal solutions enable mailers to maximize postage discounts while achieving the highest degree of efficiency throughout the mailing process. Bell and Howell letter and flats sorting platforms are used throughout the U.S. and Europe, and process more than 100 million mailpieces every day. Our new parcel manager system lowers the cost of parcel fulfillment and delivery by automating the tasks of reading, weighing, labeling, and sorting parcels or flats, at speeds of up to 6,000 piece per hour. Our postal software solutions allow mailers of all sizes to perform all of their postal processing needs using a single solution. We provide comprehensive data management capabilities such as parsing, validation, data enhancement, data matching and consolidation, which will enhance the quality of all customer interactions.
IQ Software The IQ Software Suite is all you need to manage, automate and raise your productivity in the most secure and transparent manner possible. IQ Software Suite offers best-of-breed technology that includes postal and data management, item and job tracking, client services, and system software solutions. IQâ€™s open and modular architecture provides capabilities that easily integrate with existing solutions. Modules of the solution are available as a software package or as a hosted service.
Vision Technologies JETVision is the leading integrity and quality control solution, and designed to lower costs, improve productivity, collect and analyze data from virtually any system or production process. JETVision is available in several different hardware configurations, with a wide range of software offerings. The hardware configurations are designed for easy integration with a production system, process or work area, and the software offerings are packaged to address unique quality, integrity and productivity requirements.
Our Services Our Services group sets itself apart from the competition with unmatched knowledge, reach, reliability and infrastructure. We accelerate ROI by integrating leading-edge technologies, robust performance analytics and proven methodologies. We believe a highly integrated, strategic service partnership with continuous operational improvement is the best foundation for achieving business success. By becoming an extension of your business dedicated to delivering the highest levels of performance and value, we enable you to focus your resources on what matters most â€” moving your business forward.
BELL AND HOWELL 3791 S. Alston Avenue Durham, NC 27713 800.220.3030 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bellhowell.net 31
COMPANIES 2010 TOP TOP PerfOrmers 2012
COLLINS INK Collins Ink is in its 19th year of formulating, manufacturing and selling inkjet inks. Collins Ink is cooperating with Kodak Versamark, Inc., by having Kodak as the exclusive distributor of all of the inks that Collins manufactures for use in Kodak Versamark continuous inkjet printers. In addition, Collins manufactures more than 80% of the KV brand inks. These inks are used in bindery line, lottery ticket and transactional printing applications, where speed and performance are paramount. Collins operates out of an 83,000 square foot,Ink state-of-the-art, technical development manufacturing siteisintoCincinnati, Ohio. Collins Corporation does one thing: We makeand inkjet inks. Our goal be the kind of company with which we would like
to partner. Having this philosophy does two things: it inspires a certain amount of customer loyalty and it makes it easier for An authorized us to comeHP to distribution work every partner day. for over three years, Collins Ink is one of a few ink companies being furnished new 45A cartridges, into which Collins’ brand inks are filled. In addition to supplying a variety of black inks to suit most application parameters, Collins haslook developed specialty inkscontinue for the direct mail Collins Ink provides spot for color matching capability in both As we toward many the future, we will to push themarket. envelope and develop new inks your unique applications. ColKodak and typeof inks. New bulk systems Stations)inare for providing HP inks for Our largegoal users at linsVersamark is made up of HP a group dedicated people who (Bulk work Supply with customers anavailable honest and straightforward way. is to lower costs. make your experience with Collins a positive one, whether or not you decide to use our inks. Collins high quality inkjetsupplying inks for Thermal, CIJ (single jet & array), Piezo and inks Micropiezo technologies, at Collins has produces also established signifiinnovative cant business water-based, oil-based and solvent-based to printers utilizing Xaar fair price. Weonare the leader in providing standard and custom inkjet formulations water-based, solvent-based, oil-based, and aSpectra drop demand printheads. In addition, solvent-based inks areofsupplied to customers utilizing Domino and and UV curable inks to fulfill customers’ needs. Twenty-one years of inkjet experience and a hands-on approach to the market has Videojet CIJ technology. enabled Collins to pioneer the industrial inkjet market. Our reputation for strong technical leadership and experienced R&D allows us to collaborate with manySpecialty industry leaders suchUV as Curable HP, Lexmark, more. In April 2009, Collins acquired Hexion Chemical’s InkjetXaar and and Optical disc coating business. Collins plans to become the leader in UV inkjet technology and will improve, expand and aggressively promote the platforms in the graphic arts and industrial market. Collins has combined its research and development skills with very efficient manufacturing. This has allowed Collins to gain market penetration through providing high-quality inks with value pricing and outstanding service.
COLLINS INKink CORP. Collins Corp. 1201 Edison Dr.Dr. 1201 Edison Cincinnati OHOH 45216 Cincinnati 45216 Phone: 513-948-9000 513.948.9000 Web: www.collinsink.com email@example.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.collinsink.com 32
Mailing Operations Solutions Driven By Over 16 Years of Crawford Technologies Expertise Crawford Technologies is built on a foundation of industry leading technology for the print and mailing industries. Focused on the High Volume Transactional Output (HVTO) market, CrawfordTech software allows 700 HVTO providers globally to transform, enhance, print, mail, track, and archive their critical customer communications. Offering a modular Automated Document Factory (ADF) solution, CrawfordTech delivers components for your print and mail workflow that will transform your processes and translate into added savings and increased ROI. PRO Production Manager provides a complete and affordable end-to-end document workflow management system. Operations Express provides automated mail processing across your existing printer and inserter investments. Benefits include the optimization of equipment utilization, increased operator productivity, better customer support capabilities, and significant implementation savings due to our renowned compatibility with existing operations environments.
TOP PERFORMERS 2012
PRO Unique ID Manager provides creation of the USPS Intelligent Mail barcode unique identifiers required for USPS mail tracking capabilities allowing organizations to maximize their postal discounts across a broad range of applications. PRO Mail Tracker takes Intelligent Mail a step further by providing organizations with a full mail tracking system, which integrates the USPS feed into your organization. In March, we announced PRO Channel Manager, the premiere management solution for Digital Mailbox Services. PRO Channel Manager provides all of the capabilities an organization needs to provide their documents to customers using alternative channels such as e-Delivery, Digital Mailbox Services, and accessible document delivery methods. The Recipient Preference Manager maintains delivery preferences for each of your customers, and tracks which channel they want to receive each document type through and which of those documents they want to be ‘paperless,’ so you can suppress printing and save money. Optional components include: print-stream transforms to PDF and HTML; Indexer; Streamer for creating channel bundles and suppressed print files; automated application processing; a workflow manager for full automation; a workflow editor for GUI workflow setup; Operations Express for document re-engineering; Transpromo Express for adding messages, images and links; Host print file and metadata capture and forward components. Adding to our workflow and mailing solutions, our Document Accessibility Services division provides the service of transforming business documents into accessible formats such as Braille, Large Print, Audio, and e-Text to support customers with disabilities. This service helps our customers stay compliant with increasing disability legislation throughout North America. We host this service from a secure print and mail facility in New York where we can print and mail these documents on your behalf. For the past three years we have been ranked on the PROFIT 200 list of fastest growing companies and this year on the Branham300 list of top Information and Communication Technology companies. Other awards include the Xplor Innovator of the Year award, recognition in the GRAPH EXPO MUST SEE ‘EMS program and the ONDEMAND Expo Best of Show program. Learn how Crawford Technologies can help your business improve efficiencies, save money and uplift customer satisfaction and operational ROI by contacting us today. Visit www.crawfordtech.com/MSTTop50
CRAWFORD TECHNOLOGIES 866.679.0864 www.crawfordtech.com/MSTTop50
TOP PERFORMERS 2012
ENGINEERING INNOVATION Specialists in postage savings for mailers of all sizes, Engineering Innovation, EII, resolves the challenges of mail management workflow for letters, flats and parcels. EII, best known as the creator of the EZ-Flats Manifesting System, has enhanced its product offerings to include new parcel solutions. You can select either simple OCR assist, with the EZ-OCR Workstation or full automation processing with the EZ-Parcel System. Both are turnkey solutions for the IMpB eDoc deadline. EII combines more than 30 years of mailroom experience with over 20 years of design innovation. The product line includes automated workflow solutions that easily integrate into production environments. Presorting companies, corporate mailers, and shippers will find EII’s commitment to quality products will result in significant postage savings. The innovative systems generate revenue opportunities, while offering varied options for small and large facilities. • EZ-OCR Workstation resolves the eDoc and IMpB requirement for mail processors. The Workstation automates the keying process by leveraging OCR technology to capture address information, print and IMpB label, and generate postal compliant eDocumentation. EZ-OCR allows operations to realize enhanced throughput, when compared to traditional manual keying stations, and generate required documentation. • EZ-Letters is a highly scalable “out-of-the-box” unit at a mere 3x5 feet. Its single-sided stackers allow it to be set up against a wall to fit into the tightest mail room. Double-sided and multi-tier sections are also available to allow for higher volumes and more complex sorting requirements. • EZ-Parcels delivers a scalable system for processing parcels: single-piece, presort, and mixed parcel. This scalable solution is designed for small and large shippers to leverage savings afforded by USPS parcel rates and for mail service companies consolidating parcels from multiple clients. Key is the ability to weigh, dimension, and label on the fly. Options include an incoming conveyor and outbound sortation. This Manifest Mailing System eliminates metering while enabling cost-center charge-back functionality, optimal for outsourcing and facilities management. • The CHAMP’s processes mail utilizing smart class conversion combined with differential weighing and industry-leading manifest software. The Champ enables the handling of multiple types of mixed-weight mail simultaneously, while positioning mailroom staff to obtain optimal postage discounts. The CHAMP also simplifies Priority Mail preparation for discounted Commercial rates. • EZ-Confirm is a web-based solution that simplifies and enhances the Certified Mail process. It allows staff to create mail faster at their desk and eliminates completion of handwritten cards and receipts. Its patented tracking technology includes easy search-ability and significant postal savings for accountable mail. • EZ-Flats combines automation and personnel to work more efficiently and effectively than other sorting technologies with the included bundle-based module. Designed as a Manifest Mailing System (MMS), EZ-Flats eliminates the need for a meter as it processes mixed-weight flats. Once weighed and read by the OCR, a label is produced featuring permit indicia, barcode, piece ID, and proprietary sort codes to expedite automation discounts. EZ-Flats leverages dynamic sort logic to identify 10th piece bundle upgrade processing in real time.
ENGINEERING INNOVATION 800.350.6450 eii-online.com
TOP PerfOrmers 2012
Lorton Data Lorton Data offers an extensive array of data management, analytic, modeling, enhancement and processing services and products for multi-channel direct marketing, fundraising, and other communication programs. Lorton Data serves customer organizations across all industries, including direct marketing firms, letter shops and printers, nonprofit organizations, healthcare providers, finance and insurance companies, government agencies, and educational institutions. Lorton Data has clients throughout the United States, and in Canada, Mexico, England, and India. Our cloud-based A-Qua solutions, and expert assisted A-View services, enable organizations to create and maintain profitable interactions with their target audience. Lorton Data’s strategic approach, wideranging capabilities, and renowned customer service result in higher returns on marketing investment.
A-Qua Mailer A-Qua Mailer is Lorton Data’s complete on-demand direct mail data processing service designed to replace on-premise software functionality for direct mailers of all types. Through A-Qua Mailer, users access CASS Certified ZIP + 4 coding, NCOALink and DSF2 processing, PAVE certified Postal Presort, Duplicate Record Elimination, Record Suppression, and IMb services. A-Qua Mailer was the first true cloud-based software replacement in the commercial mail software and service market. This on-demand model allows clients to process information using their Internet browser rather than purchasing, installing, and maintaining mailing software. Though cloud-based processing is relatively new to the mailing industry, it is not new to Lorton Data. The company has a 20-year history of providing access to mail data processing services without the requirement for client-side software.
A-Qua Command A-Qua Command is a fully automated, cloud-based, enterprise mailing software alternative that fits directly into the mailer’s workflow. Using a Windows command line interface, driven by templates and configuration files, users automate their repetitive and similar address quality and mail list processing tasks.
A-Qua FTP, A-Qua SDK In addition to the A-Qua Mailer and A-Qua Command, Lorton Data provides two additional automated solutions for accessing its mail data processing services. A-Qua FTP enables user access to services from within their workflow processes, and is particularly well suited for high volume and/or high frequency procession situations. A-Qua SDK is provided free of charge to users who want to access the company’s services programmatically.
A-Qua Lists A-Qua Lists is Lorton Data’s cloud-based list purchasing and fulfillment system. Lorton Data works with the largest compilers of consumer data to provide comprehensive information for 200 million consumers and more than 135 million households. Lorton Data also works with the largest compilers of business data to offer profile information on more than 20 million businesses. Lorton Data is a trusted source for consumer and B2B marketing lists and leads.
A-View A-View describes the type of services Lorton Data provides to clients who have complex data processing or service needs. Solutions may take the form of recurring complex data manipulation jobs, or may be one-time projects. The type of work performed may or may not be related to direct marketing. Expert assisted list acquisition, data and transaction analysis, and auditing are common A-View services.
LorTon DATA 2 Pine Tree Drive Ste 302 Arden Hills, MN 55112 651.203.8290 email@example.com www.lortondata.com 35
TOP PERFORMERS 2012
MAIL GREEN Mail Green is an innovative developer of remanufactured ink cartridges for high-volume mailers. Our vision is to provide our customers with the ability to cut operating expenses as a direct result of their commitment to environmental sustainability. Mail Green remanufactured ink cartridges are made from recycled Original Equipment Manufacturer cartridges. As a result they are not only eco-friendly; they are highly cost-effective and provide savings of up to 45% versus purchasing directly from the OEM or their authorized dealers. Mail Green customers also realize an added return on their investment through our ink cartridge recycling program. We make recycling easy by buying back the empty cartridges, and issuing electronic pre-paid return shipping labels. Our recycling program provides production mailers with a very simple way to get paid to “Go Green.”
A Focus on Quality, Reliability and Performance We focus on delivering exceptional products that rival the OEM in quality, reliability, and performance. Our business model allows us to leverage the superior design of the OEM cartridge and add value through our professional remanufacturing processes and highly efficient USPS compliant ink formulas. With an unwavering commitment to continual process improvement, an ongoing investment in proprietary ink filling systems, and the development of high-tech microchip programming hardware & software, Mail Green consistently delivers the highest level of quality, reliability and performance with each product we produce. This commitment to quality gives Mail Managers the confidence to focus on what really matters… the efficiency and profitability of their core business. Mail Green Ink Cartridges for Postage Metering and Inkjet Addressing Mail Green ink cartridges have been specifically developed for the most demanding production mailing environments. No matter how your organization uses mail as a medium to communicate, we have a cost saving solution to fulfill your needs. Our broad customer base includes Transactional Mailers, Direct Mailers, Lettershops, Outsourced Mail Service Providers, Presort Bureaus, Corporate and Institutional In-Plant Mailers and Print-to-Mail Shops. Our line of remanufactured ink cartridges includes replacements for the following: • Pitney Bowes DM Inﬁnity, DM1000, DM500, DM400, DM300, DM200, DM100 • Hasler WJ PRO, WJ250, WJ220, IM330-IM490, WJ135-WJ215, WJ60-WJ110 • Neopost IJ15K, IJ110, IJ90, IS330-IS490, IJ65-IJ85, IJ35-IJ60 • We have an exceptional line of HP ink formulas for high speed addressing and barcoding Mail Green remanufactured ink cartridges prove that it pays to Go Green!
MAIL GREEN 15130 Ventura Blvd., Suite 317 Sherman Oaks, CA 91403 866.760.6027 Info@gomailgreen.com www.gomailgreen.com 36
Melissa Data specializes in affordable, flexible data quality solutions to help you achieve the greatest level of contact data accuracy for high response/ low-cost direct mail and fulfillment applications, target marketing effectiveness, and successful CRM.
Mail Preparation Software: MAILERS+4 CASS/PAVE certified postal automation software processing mailing 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 mailings lists for immediate purchase and download, plus multiple list hygiene, enhancement, and suppression services.
TOP PerfOrmers 2012
Address Quality Solutions: The Data Quality Suite, available as an API or WebSmart service, includes Address Object to validate, standardize, and enrich contact data at point of entry, or in batch. Other on-premise, in the cloud, and batch service solutions include: Canadian and International address validation/standardization to specific country postal requirements; GeoCoder enrichment with precise geographic and demographic data to the 11-digit delivery point; 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 that uses your own custom folder and consistent layout for CASS/DPV processing. Data Appends: We also offer contact data append solutions to fill in the blanks in your contact database. Choose from Business or Consumer services that add names, addresses, phones, or email data to your customer records. SmartMover Move-Update Services: No hassle, batch 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 options, all services are offered with a lowest-price guarantee.
Deduplication Solutions: MatchUp, available as a software, API, or batch service, is a powerful, customizable program to identify duplicate records. MatchUp incorporates intelligent fuzzy matching algorithms that let you specify up to 16 matchcodes at one time, enabling millions of different combinations to find, merge, and/or eliminate duplicate records across multiple files, to create a single, accurate view of your customers.
Mailing Lists & Sales Leads: Get online counts, purchase and download mailing lists in minutes, or let a list specialist help you select the leads for your targeted business consumer, or saturation mailing communications. Lists are guaranteed for 100% deliverability and the lowest price.
Guaranteed ROI: Our unique ROI Offer guarantees you will save as much money as you invested in our Data Quality API Suite or WebSmart Service in the first 120 days, or you get it all back. Our online mailing lists and NCOALink services provide the highest quality at the lowest price guaranteed. Free trials are available for most products. Call 1.800.MELISSA (635-4772) or visit www.MelissaData.com.
MeLISSA DAtA 22382 Avenida Empresa Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688 1.800.MELISSA www.MelissaData.com 37
TOP cOmPanies 2012
“Neopost makes it a priority to understand our customers’ changing needs. We continue to deliver solutions and a level of service tailored to their needs. We thrive on making the customer experience as simple and smooth as possible. While Neopost is a global organization, we at Neopost USA have a local market distribution model, which means that our customers have quick and easy access to all of our products, our services, and our people. All together, this uniquely positions us as the right company to lead our customers through a rapidly changing market. We know how to deliver exactly the business solution they need to manage their mail and parcels regardless of how they are delivered now or will be in the future.”
Neopost UsA At Neopost USA, we partner with our customers to help them with their postal and related communications needs. Companies of all sizes rely on our flexible and easy- to-use line of mailing, shipping, addressing, document, and communication management solutions that are designed to help our customers achieve higher levels of efficiency, control, and value in their operations. By leveraging unmatched industry experience, Neopost partners with its customers and helps them achieve the highest level of mailing operation efficiency. Neopost simplifies and streamlines customers’ postal and related digital mailing processes so their businesses can run more effectively. Many Neopost customers report increased process efficiency, enhanced mailpiece security and integrity, and dramatically reduced mailing and shipping costs. Neopost USA expects its employees to think like customers. With that basic principle in mind, its sales, service, and administrative professionals know exactly how to provide new levels of support quickly and efficiently. While our reach is global, our nationwide network of authorized dealers and branch offices ensures that we can serve our customers’ needs locally. Our employees demonstrate the industry-specific expertise, which allows customers to embrace us as trusted advisors. Our employees are authorized to resolve customer issues on the first contact with alacrity, concern, and passion. Neopost USA is the American operating company of Neopost S.A., the world’s fastest-growing provider of innovative mailing and shipping solutions and services. Neopost S.A. is the European leader in facilitating the flow of content of a letter, parcel, or electronic documentation anytime, anywhere. It has a direct presence in 18 countries and its products and services are sold in more than 90 countries. During its 90-plus-year history, the Neopost group has pioneered creative yet practical mailing solutions, including the first electronic postage meter, the first folder/inserters with automated setting adjustments and its renowned digital ink jet mailing systems. The Neopost group’s attention to progress continuously improves customers’ mailflow procedures. More than 300 of its employees worldwide are dedicated to research and development. Their innovations distinguish Neopost’s current catalog and future generations of systems, software, infrastructures, mail management and digital networks.
DeNNis p. LestrANge President & Chief Executive Officer Neopost USA
This combination of new product development, value-added services and a nationwide network of dealers and direct sales channels confirms that Neopost USA is the leading creator of scalable solutions for the postal and related digital communications industry. Equally important is Neopost’s level of customer service, unprecedented in the industry. Neopost’s easy to use products, services, mail management strategies, and best-practices provide the value and peace of mind its customers deserve.
Neopost UsA 478 Wheelers Farms Rd Milford, CT 06461 203.301.3400 www.neopost.com 38
Many enterprises manage customer interactions as singular, silo’ed events without using all of today’s communication channels. Pitney Bowes Software solutions offer personalized, relevant communications across print, mail, web, email, call center and mobile touchpoints in ways that truly engage customers.
TOP PerfOrmers 2012
Pitney Bowes software inc.
We link data quality, location intelligence, demographic data, and sophisticated analytics with a powerful customer communication engine. This means that customer data can be mined around communications, while content is formatted and customized for preferred delivery channels. Whether produced in batches, or using interactive or on-demand modes, you’ll be able to maintain a consistent brand and voice for communications in print, mail, web, email, and more. For the mail delivery channel, Pitney Bowes Software solutions maximize postal discounts and enhance deliverability by correcting customer addresses, updating data for customers who move, and complying with USPS Intelligent Mail regulations. Our solutions can help you reach customers through alternate channels like email and SMS. You’ll gain a 360-degree view of all your communications and customer interactions across these multiple delivery channels.
Automated, Compliance-Focused, Mailing Efficiency Solutions • Enterprise Address Management for Closed Loop Address Quality, Postal Compliance and Savings: Automatically close your address update loop with perpetual customer data updates. Undeliverable addresses, change of address or incomplete addresses are flagged and sent to customer data owners to take action without missing opportunities. • Intelligent Mail Barcode: Besides lower postal rates, Intelligent Mail benefits include address correction, virtual return mail, tracking and delivery confirmation. You can also embed data into the barcode that provides specific information, unique to every single piece of mail sent. • Mail Efficiency: Maximize postal discounts, improve mail delivery and create a more efficient mailroom operation. Benefit from comprehensive, affordable solutions and industry-leading performance with a range of platforms and operating systems and supported by industry experts. • CASS Certified Software: Validate, correct and standardize customer address data. Fully certified by the USPS, our solutions provide a reliable, efficient and affordable way for reduced postage costs, accurate address lists, more efficient mailroom operations and improved mail delivery. • Move Verification for Mail and Postal Compliance: Ensure your organization maintains eligibility for postal discounts. Move verification helps manage address changes efficiently, while reducing the overhead of return mail. • Presort Products for Mail and Postal Compliance: Maximize postal discounts, presort to the highest level of precision, and prepare files for printing with our presort solutions. • SERP Approved Software: Since mailings meet Canada Post Corporation (CPC) standardization requirements, avoid surcharges for non-standardized pieces and obtain substantial cost savings from CPC discounts and incentives. • Track and Trace for Mail and Postal Compliance: Add mailstream intelligence with powerful mail tracking and data management solutions. Create Intelligent Mail barcodes, capture mailing statistics and connect data to other areas of your business for robust, integrated tracking. • On-Demand Offerings for Mail and Postal Compliance: Combine the best of both worlds: high quality solutions from Pitney Bowes with the ease of use, maintenance and support available from an on-demand product.
PITnEy BOwES SOfTwARE InC. One Global View Troy, NY 12180 800.327.8627 firstname.lastname@example.org www.pb.com/software 39
TOP PerfOrmers 2012
SATORI SOFTWARE Businesses worldwide use Satori Software to achieve the highest data quality and attain optimal postage rates. Satori solutions offer overall increased address quality, improved deliverability and eliminates the challenge of deciphering complex postal regulations.
Production Mailing Solutions with Integrated Address Management MailRoom ToolKit solutions integrate address correction and presorting into database management systems, websites and other workflow processes. High-end production mailers use MailRoom ToolKit Architect to integrate address correction and postal presorting into webto-print, transactional and variable-data mailing systems. Architect also supports integrated 48-month NCOALink processing for fully automated change-of-address updates, Basic and Full-Service Intelligent Mail technology and more. Its client/server architecture scales to meet the needs of the most complex printing and mailing organization. SAP BusinessObjects Postalsoft products, now available from Satori Software, support the most complex mailings, including many optional procedure agreements and niche classifications to improve speed and flexibility.
Desktop Mailing Preparation Software Bulk Mailer Business delivers accurate mailing preparation in a powerful, easy-to-use desktop application. CASS and PAVE Gold certified Bulk Mailer Business includes a multiuser interface, which grants users access to address lists and task templates from a central location, and ensures the generation of unique Intelligent Mail barcodes. Additionally, the wizard-based processes and reusable templates simplify mailing preparation and reduce training hassles.
Integrated Data Enhancement Services Improve customer service and accurately predict mail delivery with EasyTrack. Transform raw data into easy-to-understand, actionable reports used to improve mailing operations and identify processing delays that occur in the mail stream. Satori Software products feature our real-time* Move Update service. Once activated, customers may process address lists against the 48-month NCOALink data set via a secure Internet connection anytime. Thereâ€™s no manual import/export and no messy data merge. Satori Software has delivered industry-leading address management solutions since 1982. Headquartered in Seattle, WA, with an office in London, UK, Satori Software provides solutions for a wide range of companies â€” from three-person operations to Fortune 500. Today, Satori continues to expand its mailing preparation software and offers a complete range of contact data quality solutions. * As a nonexclusive NCOALink Full Service Provider Licensee, Satori Software receives weekly NCOALink updates from USPS.
SATORI SOFTWARE 1301 5th Ave, Suite 2200 Seattle, WA 98101-2676 800.553.6477 email@example.com www.satorisoftware.com 40
TOP PerfOrmers 2012 SenSient imaging technologieS Sensient Imaging Technologies is an industry leader in the development and manufacture of high-quality, innovative inkjet inks. Our core competency is in recognizing untapped market segments, applications, and opportunities, and in developing highperformance, customized ink solutions in response to these needs. As the global leader in color, Sensient has the background, the expertise, and the technology to help guide our customers into new markets, new media, and new applications with new and better ink solutions. At the forefront of technology, we are continually evolving with the digital revolution impacting all print industries, setting new industry standards for product performance and innovation. With a global scope of capabilities, including R&D and manufacturing centers around the globe, Sensient combines the resources of an international company with the nimbleness and flexibility of a boutique operation, providing personalized service and support to our customers. Leveraging our global presence, industry-leading insight, and advanced technology, Sensient Imaging Technologies partners with customers to formulate innovative, customized ink solutions that meet their unique challenges. Whether itâ€™s sublimation textiles, packaging, or direct mail printing, Sensient has the expertise to formulate the ideal ink for any media or printing technology. By applying our comprehensive knowledge of ink formulation, printing technology, and global market trends, Sensient has the ability to rapidly develop and deploy proprietary inkjet solutions that are consistent, reliable, flexible, and cost-effective. Our direct mail solutions, for instance, are precisely formulated to meet the specific challenges of the industry, providing exceptional optical density, decap times, and durability. From R&D through manufacturing and distribution, Sensient Imaging defines industry best practices for safety, efficiency, and risk management. Sensient is a recognized and well-respected global supplier that conforms to both local and federal standards, regularly achieving the highest marks from third-party regulatory agencies and certification programs. We also partner with leading OEMs to both meet and exceed their stringent guidelines. Sensientâ€™s global sourcing and manufacturing capabilities ensure continuous, uninterrupted supply, thereby mitigating risk. Our products are made with ingredients and raw materials that originate from strictly qualified global sources and are manufactured under the highest safety and quality management standards. Sensient has long-term proactive sourcing plans, contingency plans, and a predictive supply position for all ingredients and raw materials to ensure consistent supply. As printing markets continue to grow and evolve, there are not only new opportunities but also new challenges. Sensient Imaging can be your guide through these new obstacles, ensuring that youâ€™ll always have the right ink solution for your needs.
SenSient imaging technologieS 2724 Loker Avenue West Carlsbad, CA 92010 800.642.2345 www.sensientinkjet.com 41
Mailing Systems Technology July - August 2012