Page 1

JULY - AUGUST 2015

www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com

OUR ANNUAL HOT COMPANIES ISSUE! Meet the companies providing some of the most comprehensive services and solutions in the mailing industry.

PROFILES STARTING ON PAGE 16

TIPS AND TRICKS

JUSTIFYING YOUR PURCHASES

PAGE 32

PAGE 36

TO SAVING MONEY IN YOUR MAILING OPERATION.

TO THE HIGHER-UPS—AND GETTING THEM TO AGREE.

HOW CLOUD-BASED

DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS ARE BENEFITING SMBS. PAGE 38


Co-located Show:

SEPT. 13-16, 2015

McCormick Place | Chicago, IL | USA

GraphExpo.com

creative

FABRIC

3D

unique applications

flexo

COMMERCIAL

online

BINDING

NEWSPAPER print finishing transactional offset

tag & label

wide format Inkjet

specialty substrates cross media

meet

publishing

transform mobile

design

Hybrid

digital

pre-press

sign&display variable data

book

mailing&fulfillment photo magazine PACKAGING

IMAGING

the Delivery and Profitability experts — 500+ exhibitors

network engage learn

Sponsor:

inside Deliver—The Mailing & Fulfillment Center in focused co-located industry events

INg

The Imaging Network Group

Sponsor:

multi-channel success strategies in the PRINTERVERSE Theater

discover all the latest Design, Production and Delivery Strategies to Adapt, Expand and GROW!

PRINT, ONLINE & MOBILE! Explore all the latest research, market data, best practices, and solutions for bridging print with marketing!


TABLE OF CONTENTS

JULY - AUGUST 2015 | VOLUME 28 ISSUE 5

FEATURES

DEPARTMENTS/COLUMNS 05

06

08

32

09

Mailing Visibility Tools that Can Save You Money By Adam Lewenberg

10

36

12

38

Build a Better Business Case Tips to justifying changes to the higher ups. By Mark Fallon

Cloud-based Document Solutions: Enterprise Benefits for SMBs By Patrick Brand

HOT COMPANIES 16

4

Introduction to our 2015 Hot Companies

17

CapStone Technologies

18

Clear Image Technologies

19

Click2Mail

20

Collins Inkjet

21

Crawford Technologies

22

EAM-Mosca

JULY-AUGUST 2015 | www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com

13

14 23

Firtstlogic Solutions

24

ID Mail Systems

25

Imhoff Technologies

26

Melissa Data

27

NPI

28

Postmatic

29

Printware

30

Satori Software

Editor's Note

Summer Is Heating Up By Amanda Armendariz

Real Life Management

Why Ask Questions? By Wes Friesen

Software Byte

Advances in Post-Presort Software By Lloyd Moss

Intro to International Mail

Maximize the Options, Minimize the Expense of Int’l Shipping By Vincent DeAngelis

Postal Affairs

What the DC Appeals Court Rulings on Exigency and Full-Service Mean for Mailers By Kimberly Mauch

The Trenches

Who Would Want to Start a Mail Program Today? By Mike Porter

Direct Marketing 101

Technology Changes: Mobile Marketing and Communications By John Foley Jr.

Guest Column

How to Maximize Your Mail House’s Profits By Debbie Sylvester

APPLICATION ARTICLES 15

Latest Software Removes Extra Work Associated with Full-Service Intelligent Mail Window Book


EDITOR'S NOTE

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 5 MAGAZINE STAFF Publisher Marll Thiede

SUMMER IS HEATING UP

Editor Amanda Armendariz amanda.c@rbpub.com Contributing Writers Patrick Brand, Vincent D’Angelis, Mark Fallon, John Foley, Jr., Wes Friesen, Bill Jamieson, Adam Lewenberg, Kim Mauch, Mike Porter, Humberto Prospero Audience Development Manager Rachel Chapman rachel@rbpub.com Advertising 608-442-5064 Ken Waddell ken.w@rbpub.com Design Kelli Cooke

RB Publishing Inc. 2901 International Lane Madison WI 53704-3128 Tel: 608.241.8777 Fax: 608.241.8666 Email: rbpub@rbpub.com SUBSCIRBE Subscribe online at www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com. 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 Call 608.241.8777 Fax 608.241.8666 E-mail rachel@rbpub.com Online at www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com. REPRINT SALES ReprintPro 949.702.5390 www.ReprintPros.com All material in this magazine is copyrighted ©2015 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.

WITH AMANDA ARMENDARIZ I always appreciate the opportunity for a play on words, so releasing our annual HOT COMPANIES issue during the peak of the summer heat just seems right to me for whatever reason. I like to think that our readers are taking some time away from their busy lives to enjoy the summer, and perhaps they are lounging by the ocean or a wooded lake, scrolling through this digital issue on their iPads. (But who am I kidding; with the increasing demands of the mail center managers, it’s more likely they’re reading it during a busy day at the office, but hey, I’m hoping for the best for our readers!) No matter where you choose to peruse this issue, it’s definitely one you will not want to overlook. Not only do we have our normal features that speak to the most pressing concerns of those in the mailing industry, but we also profile some of the top (in other words, hottest!) companies that service our readers. I want to be clear that while we have a fantastic compilation, these companies are by no means the only ones out there. But we feel this is an excellent demonstration of what types of companies exist, what services they provide, and what their philosophies are when it comes to providing solutions to mailers. So try to find a few minutes in your day to sit down, page through, and see if the companies profiled within could be a potential match for your organization. After all, while we like to pretend summer will last forever, the reality is that 2016 will be here before we know it, so it’s important to get your 2016 plans and purchases in place long before then. And speaking of summer ending, I hope we’ll see you this fall at Graph Expo in Chicago. Talk about a fabulous cross-section of companies that service our industry! And of course we at Mailing Systems Technology will be there, so stop by our booth and say hello! As always, thanks for reading Mailing Systems Technology.

MAILING SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY (ISSN 1088-2677) [Volume 28, Issue 5] 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

www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com | JULY-AUGUST 2015

5


REAL LIFE MANAGEMENT

By Wes Friesen

WHY ASK QUESTIONS?

W

hy should we ask questions? What are the keys to asking effective questions? What are some key questions we should be asking? Good questions indeed. Some of you are already expert at asking questions and reaping the benefits. Some of you are like me — we realize that we have room to improve in asking questions and using that tool to help us be better managers and make our teams more successful. Let’s dig in and explore some answers to the questions raised above.

Why Ask Questions? Why should we ask questions? Here are some of the reasons why we should ask questions and why questions are so important: 1. We only get answers to the questions we ask. Asking questions is a great tool to find answers — and we never get answers to questions we never ask. Thomas Berger said “The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge.” 2. We ask questions to obtain information. The primary purpose of asking a question is to obtain information. I resonate with Lou Holtz when he said “I never learn anything talking. I only learn things when I ask questions.” 3. We ask questions to connect with people and show interest in them. Perhaps the most effective way to connect with others is by asking questions. By asking questions we can find out more about people which can help us build rapport, show empathy and build stronger relationships. 4. We ask questions to cultivate humility. It is wise for us to humble ourselves and seek knowledge and wisdom from others. Even King Solomon, perhaps the wisest man who ever lived, looked at the enormity of his leadership respon6

JULY-AUGUST 2015 | www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com

“The ability to ask the right question is more than half the battle of finding the answer.” —Thomas J. Watson, revolutionary CEO of IBM sibilities and said “I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties.” Og Madino adds, “Take the attitude of a student, never too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new.” 5. We ask questions to ensure understanding or knowledge. Questions can test for understanding and help clarify there is true understanding. 6. We ask questions to encourage further thought. Questions can be used to encourage people to about something more deeply. Socrates was famous for asking questions to stimulate thinking and draw answers out of people that never knew they had. 7. Questions can help us build better ideas. The old adage “two heads are better than one” applies when we are developing ideas. Asking questions can help us flesh out ideas and make them better than originally conveyed. 8. Questions can challenge mind-sets and help us get out of ruts. Questions can be the starting place to stimulate creative thinking, discovery and innovation.

What Are the Keys to Asking Effective Questions? Following are some keys to asking effective questions that will lead to the benefits described earlier: • Effective questions are open-ended, instead of yes/no questions. The goal is to draw people and information out and get more complete responses.

• When asking effective questions, it is important to listen and wait for the answer and not provide the answer. Active listening motivates people to share more deeply and can help us better understand their answers. • Behind effective questioning is also the ability to listen to the answer and suspend judgment. This means being intent on understanding what the person is really trying to say. This follows Stephen’s Covey principle of “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” • Effective questioning includes thought provoking questions that stimulate people to think and understand for themselves. For example, when working with people to solve a problem a good question might be “What do you think the problem is?”

What Are Good Questions to Ask Ourselves as Leaders? Here are some good questions to ask ourselves as leaders. I have adapted these questions from John Maxwell’s book “Good Leaders Ask Great Questions”: 1. Am I Investing in Myself? A Question of Personal Growth. The most important investments we make are not financial — but the investments we make to develop ourselves so we can better serve others. 2. Am I Genuinely Interested in Others? A Question of Motivation. Motives


matter. Are we primarily focused on helping ourselves — or helping others? 3. Am I Grounded as a Leader? A Question of Stability. One important component of being grounded is to be humble. Nobody likes following an arrogant leader. Rick Warren defines humility well when he said “Humility is not denying your strengths. Humility is being honest about your weaknesses. All of us are a bundle of both great strengths and great weaknesses and humility is being able to be honest about both.” 4. Am I Adding Value to My Team? A Question of Teamwork. John Wooden was quoted as saying there was one question he asked himself every day — “how can I make my team better?” 5. Am I Staying in My Strength Zone? A Question of Effectiveness. Sometimes we have responsibilities that force us out of our strength areas. But research shows we are far more effective when we spend the majority of our time operating in our

strength zones. Samuel Johnson was right when he said “Almost every man wastes part of his life in attempts to display qualities he does not possess.” 6. Am I Taking Care of Today? A Question of Success. Every day consists of 1,440 minutes that we can waste away… or make them count. I am encouraged by the words of John Wooden when he shared the advice from his father to “Make every day your masterpiece”. Making time every day in Stephen Covey’s Quadrant Two is important — doing things that are “important but not urgent” such as planning, building relationships, developing our faith, learning, and taking care of our health.

What Are Good Questions to Ask Our Team Members? Robert Half said, “Asking the right questions takes as much skill as giving the right answers.” I want to leave you with some potentially good questions to ask your team members at relevant times:

What do you think? How can I serve you? Did we meet or exceed expectations? What can we do to make the team even more successful? 5. What did you learn from this experience? 6. Did we add value to our stakeholders? 7. How could I help make your job better? 8. What do I need to know? 9. What am I missing? 10. If you were the boss, what is the one change you would make?

1. 2. 3. 4.

Here is a final quote from Anthony Robbins: “Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better results.” I wish you and your team the best of success as you ask better questions and get better results! P.S. I will be attending and speaking at the Las Vegas MAILCOM conference September 28-30. If it fits your schedule I would enjoy seeing you there! ¾

Wes Friesen, MBA, CMDSM, MDC, EMCM, MCOM, CCE, CBA, CBF, ICP, CCM, CMA, CM, CFM, APP, PHR manages multiple departments for a utility based in the Northwest. Wes also teaches university classes and is a featured speaker at national Conferences like MAILCOM, National Postal Forum, NACUMS, and other regional and local events. Check out his personal website for free information (www.wesfriesen.com). He can be contacted at pchefdebi@comcast.net.

www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com | JULY-AUGUST 2015

7


SOFTWARE BYTE

By Lloyd Moss

ADVANCES IN POST-PRESORT SOFTWARE

B

ack in 2013 when the PRC ruled the proposed Full-Service mandate constituted a rate increase of about 4%, their figure was based on the extra work most mailers had to do to comply with the requirements. Knowing what we know now, this was not far off in terms of what costs smaller and mid-size mailers were facing. Since Intelligent Mail was first introduced, software vendors have continually tried to make it easier for mailers to comply with Full-Service requirements. Presort programs can now automatically assign unique piece, tray and container barcode numbers, and most will make it easy to store and use the “By/For” information required in Mail.dat files. As a result, mailers need to do very little additional work to presort and print a Full-Service job. The extra work really comes next on the post-presort side: preparing for and interacting with PostalOne! And this explains why certain post-presort software is becoming more and more crucial to a mailer’s success. Lots of mailers need to make changes to their Mail.dat files, and in the past you waited for jobs to be imported into a post-presort product, then had to actually know something about Mail.dat to make changes. Then you validated and uploaded the files to PostalOne!, made sure the files were successfully processed, and then retrieved documents from the PostalOne! dashboard to have your mail accepted. After acceptance you went back to PostalOne! and downloaded the finalized statements for your accounting department or your clients. This is a lot of extra work and it required expertise your company may not have in abundance.

Take a good look at the post-presort market right now — you will see the amazing strides post-presort software is making in reducing the amount of labor required to make changes to Mail.dat files and interact with PostalOne!. To simplify post-presort Mail.dat changes, some post-presort software can now hunt down new Mail.dat files on your network and quickly import them to your server. And, more intuitive user interfaces allow users to make the most common changes without knowing much about the Mail.dat specification. Why need to know the piece weight is in the MPU file or the mailing date is in the CSM file? Today’s advanced post-presort software allows for easy-to-use navigation screens to handle all the most common edits in one place. Mailers can even automate their interactions with PostalOne! whether they have a post-presort editor or not. Now there are off-the-shelf products that automate file uploads to PostalOne! and can provide e-mail/text message notifications of PostalOne! events. No more having to look at the USPS MDR Client dashboard to see if your Mail.dat files made it! Mailers can also use vendor-supplied products and services to automatically receive PostalOne! documents via e-mail or transfer this information right to their network. No searching for or downloading postage statements and confirmation pages! Mailers can subscribe to receiving files with all of the data in their PostalOne! statements for accounting or jobshop systems. The result of this automation is not just time and cost savings, but it opens these job functions to less-skilled employ-

ees while reducing any human error factors. This cuts labor costs, training costs and helps mailers deal with employee turnover and absences.

Simpler, more reliable business processes often have a value that transcends their hard-dollar savings. Some mailers have used this automation to take one more step: improve operational efficiency to the point where it actually costs LESS to handle a Full-Service mailing than it did before Full- Service. I’ve seen mailers create e-mail notifications for their DMU’s of new statements in PostalOne!. When a mail clerk gets one of these e-mails, they begin the verification process. Another e-mail signals the mailer’s logistics department to load their trailers when a statement is finalized. Automating these hand-offs saves time and money. Simpler, more reliable business processes often have a value that transcends their hard-dollar savings. Using the right software quickly transforms Intelligent Mail from a cost center to a cost-savings center. As adoption of these innovations increases, the extra cost of Full-Service will actually decrease! ¾

Lloyd Moss has worked for postal software vendors since 1991 and has assisted hundreds of mailers of all types. Lloyd helps clients with all avenues of process efficiency within the post-presort market including investigating their current systems and implementing recommended best practices mailing management solutions. He also served as a subject matter advisor on U.S. Postal Service eDoc and Intelligent Mail Full-Service projects for three years while at Accenture.

8

JULY-AUGUST 2015 | www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com


INTRO TO INTERNATIONAL MAIL

By Vincent DeAngelis

MAXIMIZE THE OPTIONS, MINIMIZE THE EXPENSE OF INT'L SHIPPING

T

here are three current circumstances that every shipping customer and shipping service vendor should understand to maximize the options and minimize the expense of international shipping.

1. B2C and C2C Growth The growth in B2C and C2C commerce has stimulated an appreciable change in international shipping trends. That expansion has, in turn, changed physical package characteristics and revved up service demand. The effects are easy to see: shipments are becoming lighter, price-sensitivity is proliferating, small/medium enterprise shipping has risen and single-carrier vs. multi-carrier options have grown fast.

2. Demand By Weight The international shipping landscape has shifted because of a change in US air export demand by weight. Since 2005, the 21-70 lb.-package category has decreased in popularity by 3.9%. Similarly, the 3-20 lb.-package category has declined by 5.9%. In contrast, the less-than-three-lb.-package category has grown a whopping 23% from 21.7% in 2005 to 44.7% in 2013. There has also been a shift in US air export service level changes from 2005 to 2013. The popularity of one-to-two-day service has fallen from 52% to 33% while three-plus-day service has increased from 47% to 66%. These stats clearly show that consumers and businesses are willing to wait a few days before receiving their shipments.

3. Small Business Clout

The shift from single-carrier to multi-carrier international shipping options accelerates every year. There are four chief market changes attributable to small businesses increasing their presence in the export-package market: Developed economies are investing in infrastructure and other business-boosting benefits to capitalize on B2C eCommerce growth. Cost pressures are forcing competitors to look for ways to improve profitability. Cost management is becoming increasingly influential in determining customers served, contract discounts and rate changes. Consolidators and re-mailers have become a market force offering shipping options that undercut postal services and commercial carriers around the world on price alone. These consolidators and re-mailers, however, seldom compete on service.

Cross-border eCommerce is projected to grow enormously in the next three years. Cross-border revenue in 2018 is expected to hit $307 billion (up from $105 billion in 2014) and cross-border shoppers are expected to increase by 40 percent in that same time span. The preference for deferred service will continue for several years. Competitor acceptance of market realities will prompt strategies to balance networks, manage costs, exploit trade with Canada and Mexico and optimize position for deferred services demand. Efforts to expand free trade agreements, improved trade credit and stronger trading partner economies will aid U.S. package exports but there will be no near-term improvement.

Short-Term Prognosis

B2C and B2B business to continue growing. Fierce competition among existing international shipping carriers and new market entrants to pressure commercial carriers to modify their global strategies Commercial carriers to transition more international deferred air volume out of express networks eCommerce cross-border shipping to continue to out-pace global economic growth

I see the international shipping competitive landscape developing in these ways during the next two to five years: Trading-partner economies will stabilize but short-term demand for US goods will diminish because of a strong dollar. Canada may be the strongest near-term growth opportunity for major partners in North and South America. Long-term GDP outlook for Mexico is strong. Near-term outlook for European trade is improving but likely to weaken over the long haul. Near-term trade growth with Asia has tapered significantly but remains a strong long-term growth opportunity.

Four International Shipping Activities to Expect

These details serve one, all-encompassing goal: to help ensure that everyone in the international shipping chain — carrier, customer and recipient — has the best possible experience. That means the cycle will continue to expand and grow. ¾

Vincent DeAngelis is Vice President, Postal Relations for Neopost USA. Neopost USA, headquartered in Milford, CT, provides mailing, business communications management and shipping hardware and software solutions. For generations, we have worked with our customers to send, receive and connect their customer communications in the most secure, efficient and professional manner possible.For more information on Neopost USA, visit www.neopostusa.com.

www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com | JULY-AUGUST 2015

9


POSTAL AFFAIRS

By Kim Mauch

WHAT THE DC APPEALS COURT RULINGS ON EXIGENCY AND FULL-SERVICE MEAN FOR MAILERS

A

fter a long deliberation, the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit finally ruled on two key cases late this spring. While I am not a lawyer, there are some interesting implications for mailers going forward. Let’s take a look at each of the cases to see what mailers can expect in the future.

The Exigency Case History The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA) gave mailers rate

court of appeals, believing that the price increase should be permanent.

The Ruling On June 5, 2015, just months away from USPS reaching its $2.8 billion limit, the appeals court issued their ruling. While it agreed that the exigent surcharge should not be permanent, it disagreed with the methodology used to calculate the profit limit. In the PRC calculation, it used the amount of mail lost, but did not compound the amount when mail was lost over multiple years. This “count once” philosophy

While the exigent court ruling has received the majority of press, it’s unlikely to have far-reaching implications beyond the next few years. predictability by tying rate increases for each Market Dominant class to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). However, a provision in PAEA allowed the Postal Service to request a higher rate increase in “extraordinary and exceptional” circumstances. The USPS first filed for an exigent price increase in 2010. After many years of back and forth, a 4.3% increase was approved by the PRC in 2013 and was first applied in 2014. The PRC limited the exigent surcharge duration by stating that USPS must remove it when it had earned $2.8 billion in profit. USPS opened a case with the

10

JULY-AUGUST 2015 | www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com

limited the amount of revenue USPS could claim. The appeals court agreed with USPS that the “count once” rule didn’t make sense, and ordered that the PRC modify their calculations without this rule applied.

What This Means for Mailers There are two initial takeaways from this ruling. First, the exigent rates will eventually be rolled back. This is great news for mailers whose postage budget is already very tight. However, the new question is when. Depending on how the PRC re-calculates the profit limit, the exigent prices

could be around slightly longer than originally planned or for years to come. USPS has requested to keep the 4.3% surcharge in place until the new number is determined by the PRC. If approved, it’s unlikely that the rollback will happen in 2015, so mailers thinking about their remaining budget should keep this in mind. Industry is concerned that safe guards be put into place to protect mailers form USPS over collecting on exigent revenue. If the new number is more than what USPS has collected, industry is requesting that it be applied to future CPI. Once the rollback is implemented, it is unlikely that there will be many longstanding effects; ideally, this would bring back some of the mail volume lost due to the increased prices.

The Full-Service Case History In September 2013, the Postal Service filed a notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) outlining the price and sortation changes they intended to apply in 2014. Along with the usual small mail preparation adjustments that usually accompany a rate increase, USPS noted that they intended to require Full-Service mail preparation for all Automation rate mail. The mailing industry protested that the requirements for Full-Service preparation were too onerous. The PRC ruled just two months later that the Full-Service requirement was equivalent to an additional rate increase, and required USPS to either factor it into the CPI calculation or back down from mandating Full Service. The Postal Service backed down from requiring Full Service, but quickly filed a case in appeals court, claiming that the PRC had overstepped its authority over postal rates, and into the realm of mail preparation.


The Ruling The US Court of Appeals finally ruled on the case on May 12, 2015. The ruling found that there are some cases where mail preparations could have an impact on the total cost for mailers to prepare that mail. However, the PRC hadn’t consistently applied this consideration when evaluating all mail preparation changes. Because the system for evaluating mail preparation changes and prices has not been defined, the appeals court ruled that the PRC must articulate an “intelligible standard” for when mail preparation changes affect rates, and then re-evaluate their ruling using this new standard.

What This Means for Mailers The PRC has quite a bit of homework ahead of them, and we expect that there

will be some back and forth between the PRC, USPS, the mailing industry and other interested parties as they define the line between mail preparation and pricing authority. Once the boundaries have been defined, the Full-Service standard, and perhaps other mail preparation changes, will be re-evaluated. The outcome of these deliberations will determine how the PRC will be able to affect new mailing rules. The scope of possibilities is quite vast. If the PRC is able to review each mail preparation change as a potential rate impact, they will have more authority to shape future rules. This would also give the mailing industry more input into the rule making process, which could extend the review process. After the messy 2015 price increase, the mailing industry would likely appreciate

the chance to participate in this process. However, depending on how detailed the line is drawn, it’s possible that each preparation change could be a challenge to the line, increasing the churn in defining rules and limiting the Postal Service’s rate flexibility. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to return to the 10 month price and rule definition process that was in place before the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, but mailers have expressed concerns about USPS shifting costs onto mailers in the form of rule changes. The court decision could provide more protection for mailers and a venue to express their concerns regarding these cost shifts in front of the PRC. This addition of oversight authority by the PRC could require a much longer notification and comment period. ¾

Kim Mauch is a subject matter expert in mailing preparation and submission at Satori Software. Contact her at kmauch@satorisoftware.com.

www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com | JULY-AUGUST 2015

11


THE TRENCHES

By Mike Porter

WHO WOULD WANT TO START A MAIL PROGRAM TODAY?

S

ome traditional print shops and other businesses currently outsourcing their mail processing are interested in bringing the mail function in-house. “Really?" you might think. "Don’t the printers know what’s going on in the mailing industry? Aren’t they aware that mail volume is down, postage rates are unpredictable, and the future state of the US Postal Service is uncertain?” Those who have been supporting mail operations for a long time may find it hard to believe that someone would want to get into the mailing business. The stress of the last few years may have had them wondering if it was time to get out! But perhaps adding a brand-new mailing service to an existing print operation is a better opportunity than it seems. One could set up the mailing operation to take advantage of all the current tools and techniques, without any legacy baggage. Someone starting in mail will just accept the USPS distribution network and delivery standards as they are today. The shifts in lead times and closing of facilities that have occurred over the last few years wouldn’t be much of a factor for them.

Multi-Channel from the Ground Up A print shop adding mailing services could embrace the concept of channel integration from the very beginning, as part of a total customer communications service offering. It might be easier to start from scratch with the freedom to choose the best software, hardware, and techniques to exploit multi-channel communications,

intelligent mail, move update compliance, tracking, and electronic documentation. Choosing software solutions that integrate all aspects of outbound communication right out of the box sounds simpler than the onerous integration efforts endured by companies invested in legacy solutions. A new mailer definitely faces challenges. The pieces a shop prints and mails are likely to be variable and highly personalized. It’s not the spray and pray business anymore. Producing mail today means considering each document as valuable and unique. That’s a change for a printing company used to thinking about their work as large batches of identical shells or postcards. It may mean adding processes for matching up personalized material, dealing with more data, or handling variable page counts. Creating highly personalized communications will require the introduction of concepts new to the print shop including document control barcodes, tracking cameras, intelligent inserters, or reprints.

New Skills and Approaches The biggest challenge for printers getting into the mailing business may be changing the mindset of the individuals who work for the organization. Successfully selling personalized print and mail to their customers takes a skill set that goes beyond referencing a rate card and competing on price. Selling multi-channel integrated campaigns is a lot more consultative. Each job is different. Operationally there are more stringent quality control measures the mailer must implement along with new services to learn about such as

PURLS, QR codes, and coordinated postal/ email campaigns. Postal preparation software is easier than ever for inexperienced users to get up to speed. But everything about commercial mailing will be new for them. Address hygiene, qualification levels, move update compliance, permits, intelligent mail barcodes, and more are details a new mailer must learn. Keeping up on USPS changes requires access to sources of news and information a traditional printer may not have used in the past. I would definitely point new mailers towards their local Postal Customer’s Council as a valuable resource.

Mail Is Work, but Worth the Effort Today, success in mail requires strategic planning and more work than a decade ago. But with a plan and an interest in getting the most out of the mailing operation, new mailers can create whole new streams of revenue for their businesses. Approaching mail as a strategic component to a communications plan gives printers creative freedom. They can help their customers take advantage of the strengths of mail, leveraging other channels simultaneously. On the surface, getting into mail today might seem foolish. Though still healthy, it’s probably not considered a growth industry. Combined with other aspects of outbound and inbound communication however, a modern integrated mail function provides opportunities beyond those available to organizations currently providing a commodity service.¾

Mike Porter is President of Print/Mail Consultants, a firm that helps companies lower costs, develop future strategies, and improve quality in their document operations. You can read more at Mike’s blog. Or visit www.printmailconsultants.com and sign up for Practical Stuff, a free newsletter for document print and mail professionals.

12

JULY-AUGUST 2015 | www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com


DIRECT MARKETING 101

By John Foley, Jr.

TECHNOLOGY CHANGES: MOBILE MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS

T

he relationships between businesses and their customers/prospects are rapidly changing. Not only do we have the issue of who has more control (the answer is the customers, clearly), but we also have changes in the way information is sought, transmitted, received, and acted upon. Businesses today must stay in tune with these dynamics. Their strategies, tactics, and yes, even the way they are organized and operate, must change if they are going to remain competitive and profitable. Although retail is a major example of a strong mobile marketing and communications adapter, changes are being seen in much broader examples than just the retail industry. Retail is bearing the first brunt of (or benefiting first from) the mobile wave, and there are lots of good examples there. But, in the end, this transformation will affect the way all businesses interact with customers and prospects, as well as how they operate internally. Mobile marketing and communications trends are changing the relationships between businesses and their customers. There is no question about that. But the underlying technologies we have been discussing also present significant opportunities for change in the way companies are organized and operate. These technologies are already affecting the way people work, and the relationships between employees and employers.

The Virtual (Untethered) Organization Way back in 1993, William Davidow, a venture capitalist, and Michael Malone,

a business writer, foresaw what they called the “virtual corporation,” bringing together findings on the effects on companies of information technologies, organizational dynamics, and manufacturing systems. Their book, The Virtual Corporation, highlighted some very early adopters of the virtual strategy, including Lenscrafters and Taco Bell Express. They explained how ad hoc aggregates of companies or virtual corporations were combining to deliver instantaneous, customized services and products, and defining new linkages between company, supplier, and customer. These visionaries were way ahead of their time. Over two decades later, their predictions certainly ring true. What they called the virtual corporation, we are calling untethered businesses. Although they foresaw many things, even these bright guys couldn’t possibly have foreseen the impact cloud computing and mobile communications have had in the last couple of years — and will continue to have — on businesses and their customers in 2015 and beyond. But their basic concepts were solid. If you can lay your hands on a copy of this out-ofprint book, it would be worth your while to give it a read. (Check out Amazon!) So, what is an untethered — or virtual — business? Les Pang, Ph.D., of ISACA, describes a virtual organization as, “a flexible network of independent entities linked by information technology to share skills, knowledge, and access to others’ expertise in nontraditional ways,” saying, “virtual organizations do not need to have all of the people, or sometimes any of the people, in

one place to deliver their service. The organization exists but you cannot see it. It is a network, not an office.” In a paper submitted to the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Scott M. Preston from Michigan State University had this to say about virtual (read: untethered) organizations: “Virtual organization requires a different way of perceiving the world by those who wish to participate in it. There are four key characteristics of virtual organization as process. First, virtual organization entails the development of relationships with a broad range of potential partners, each having a particular competency that complements the others. Second, virtual organizing capitalizes on the mobility and responsiveness of telecommunications to overcome problems of distance. Third, timing is a key aspect of relationships, with actors using responsiveness and availability to decide between alternatives. Last, there must be trust between actors separated in space for virtual organization to be effective.” As the relationships between our businesses and our customers and prospects continue to change, we need to do our best to combat these changes and work with our customers and prospects to deliver the information that they want, where they want to receive it. Rather than be afraid of these changes, we need to learn to embrace mobile marketing and communications to provide the best service possible. ¾

John Foley, Jr. is the CEO of interlinkONE and Grow Socially. John and his team consult with print, mailing, and fulfillment companies on transforming and thriving by maximizing the success of their services through new technology and strategies, write strategic marketing plans to get them on a path to multi-channel success. Learn more about John at JohnFoleyJr.com, and his companies at www.interlinkONE.com and www.GrowSocially.com.

www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com | JULY-AUGUST 2015

13


GUEST COLUMN

By Debbie Sylvester

HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR MAIL HOUSE’S PROFITS

T

he last 15 years have been a difficult time of industry consolidation for printers and mail shops. You have no doubt seen friends and competitors acquired or shut their doors as it has become ever more difficult to thrive in an era of declining print and mail volumes. But some companies are still thriving. We’ve noticed that the most profitable mail houses tend to use the following strategies for success:

Focus on a Competitive Niche: The printers and mail shops thriving in today’s market are those which have selected a few market niches to focus on where they can be particularly competitive, and then have matched the technology they use to their chosen market. For example, if your specialty is large production runs for the financial services market, being competitive may require investing in a state-of-theart digital printer and a continuous flow operation. If your specialty is quick-turn solicitations for the nonprofit industry, a high-speed laser printer combined with decades-old inserting equipment may work perfectly well.

Use Postal Logistics to Minimize Mailing Costs: The USPS reduces what it charges to deliver a piece of mail commensurate with the work you save them. If your mailing is large enough, you can save money by drop shipping trays of mail to the Network Distribution Centers (NDCs) and Sectional Center Facilities (SCFs) closest to the mail’s ultimate destination. However, all mail being drop shipped needs to

be sorted, sleeved, tagged and strapped according to stringent postal service regulations to ensure its acceptance at the final destination point. Another alternative is to work with a commingling company who will pick up your unsorted mail, combine it with mail from other sources to meet minimum quantities, and ship it to the mail facility closest to its destination. Using a major commingling

sive operations and developing a flexible workforce. Additionally, focus on reducing profit-killing down-time by investing in continuous processing equipment and avoiding having jobs lined up on your press waiting for client approval.

Expand into New Value-Added Services: Unfortunately, the price erosion surrounding commodity mailing ser-

While you should build your business by becoming increasingly competitive handling certain types of mailings, you should also seriously consider what additional services you could offer that provide higher profit margins. company provides a multitude of advantages for a mail house because it handles all of the sorting, sleeving, tagging, strapping, paperwork and shipping, while customers benefit from our substantial volume discounts.

Decrease Direct Labor Costs: Mail houses focusing on maximizing profit should look seriously at options to decrease their labor costs, such as outsourcing labor-inten-

vices is likely to continue. While you should build your business by becoming increasingly competitive handling certain types of mailings, you should also seriously consider what additional services you could offer that provide higher profit margins. Some fields that could allow you to build upon your existing expertise and interests include digital marketing, data analytics and fulfillment operations. ¾

Debbie Sylvester, VP of Sales at MailSmart Logistics, has been helping businesses and nonprofits save money on direct mail for 19 years. She can be reached at 302.545.1629. If you’re interested in exploring ways to maximize your profits in more depth, we’ve developed a 17-page eBook titled “Maximizing Your Mail House’s Profits” with more learnings from the front lines. Download your free eBook at www.MailHouseProfits.com.

14

JULY-AUGUST 2015 | www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com


APPLICATION ARTICLE

Latest Software Removes Extra Work Associated with Full-Service Intelligent Mail Back in late 2013 when the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) ruled that the proposed Full-Service mandate constituted a rate increase of about 4%, this was based on the extra work most mailers had to do to comply with the requirements. This was not far off in terms of what costs smaller and mid-size mailers were facing at that time. In the six years since Full-Service Intelligent Mail was introduced, software vendors continue to make it easier to comply with Full-Service requirements. Most presort programs can now automatically assign unique piece, tray and container barcode numbers. Most will make it easy to store and use by/for information required in most Mail.dat files. As a result, most mailers need to do very little additional work to presort and print a Full Service job. The extra work comes next: post-presort editing and interacting with PostalOne! Some mailers will need to make changes to their Mail.dat files, and in the past you had to wait for jobs to be imported into a post-presort product — then have to know something about Mail. dat to make your changes. Then you had to validate and upload the Mail.dat files to PostalOne!, make sure the files were successfully processed, and then retrieve documents from the PostalOne! dashboard to have your mail accepted. After your mail was accepted you would have to go back to the PostalOne! dashboard and download the finalized statements for your accounting department or your clients. This can be a lot of extra work and it may require expertise your company does not have in abundance. Thankfully Window Book software has been reducing the amount of labor required to make post-presort changes to Mail.dat files and interact with PostalOne!. To simplify post-presort Mail.dat changes, Window Book has released its Advanced Workflow Automation Manager for its DATMAIL post-presort editing software. It can hunt down new Mail. dat files on your network and quickly import them on your server. DAT-MAIL’s “Navigator” and “Advanced Navigator” user interface allow users to make the most common changes without any knowledge of the Mail.dat specification. Window Book also has two offerings which together can completely automate a mailer’s interaction with PostalOne!. Both can be used by any mailer that submits Mail.dat whether they have a post-presort editor (DAT-MAIL) or not. eDM10X automates file

uploads to PostalOne! and can provide e-mail and mobile phone text message notifications of each PostalOne! event. No more having to look at the MDR/MDX Client dashboard to see if your Mail.dat files made it! PostalWeb is a mobile friendly web site that allows eDM10x users to automatically receive their PostalOne! documents via e-mail or secure file download right to their network. No more searching or downloading postage statements or confirmation pages! Mailers can also subscribe to receiving XML files with all of the postage information that was in their PostalOne! statements for accounting or jobshop/business management systems. The result of all of this automation is not just a time and cost savings, but it opens these job functions to less skilled and less expensive employees. Some mailers are now using this automation to take one more step: improve operational efficiency to the point where it actually costs LESS to handle a Full-Service mailing than it did before Full-Service. For example, some eDM10X users create e-mail notifications for their Detached Mail Units of new statements in PostalOne!. When a mail clerk gets one of these e-mails, they begin the verification process. Another e-mail signals the mailer’s logistics department to load their trailers when a statement is finalized. Automating these hand-offs saves time and money. Simpler, more reliable business processes often have a value that transcends their hard-dollar savings. Window Book is quickly transforming Full-Service Intelligent Mail from a cost center to a cost-savings center. As adoption of these innovations increases, the extra cost of Full-Service will drop making it easier for the USPS to impose its mandate. Call 800-524-0380 or e-mail PostalSpecialist@windowbook.com to learn more about increasing your PostalOne! Productivity and removing the Extra Work Associated with Full-Service Intelligent Mail. Be sure to ask us about our latest technology that now makes it easy and affordable for small and mid-sized mailers to go Full-Service (even if you think it is too expensive or you don’t have the in-house IT resources…).

See a short four minute video. Go to: www.WindowBook.com/automation4you


BY AMANDA ARMENDARIZ

MEET OUR 2015 HOT COMPANIES!

O

ne of the things I like about attending various trade shows, like the National Postal Forum, is the chance to meet with various companies face to face and discuss their latest achievements, services and solutions. Now, granted, I am not in the market for many of the products being offered, being as I am not a mailer myself, but as the editor of a magazine that serves the mailing industry, I consider it my job to stay up to date on the latest offerings by some of the major vendors. Consider this issue of Mailing Systems Technology’s Companies your portable, condensed exhibit hall floor. we don’t profile every company in the industry, and the interaction will not be two-sided (at least not until

16

JULY-AUGUST 2015 | www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com

Hot No, no, you

reach out and contact them!) but it’s the next best thing to traveling to a trade show and meeting with the exhibitors one on one. So take an hour over your morning cup of coffee, ignore the incoming emails, and just allow yourself to peruse the following pages. You’ll get to know some of the latest solutions provided for the mailing industry today, as well as meet some of the faces behind these companies. And when you are presenting to the higher ups, making the case for 2016 purchases, you’ll have some great ideas fall back on, thanks to the companies profiled here. As always, thanks for reading Mailing Systems Technology.


CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: CapStone Technologies LLC

PHONE:

402.880.4673

WEBSITE:

www.AutoViri.com

P

EMAIL: hysical and Digital mail both exist and organizations in the mail processing business work to connect these two worlds. You take a digital file, process it, print it on paper, use it to create and send physical mail. You send that digital file to the USPS via MAIL.Dat or XML, and expect them to take the exact and correct postage amount from your banking CAPS account to pay for the mail you produce.

dgoodkind@captechno.com

With the use of the IMB, and the mailing files you upload to the Post Office, they populate the USPS Mailer Scorecard to verify that you have done your job correctly (or not) - they match IMB mail to the digital file you send them. If the physical mail and the digital mail don’t match they may charge you postage penalties – expensive penalties. Robotics are changing the face of the print/mail industry. They are already in operation at some of the nation’s most forward thinking companies. Our robotics have handled billions of pieces of mailing documents saving labor and now moving to avoid postage penalties for make-up errors as shown on the USPS Mailers Scorecard. Why wait to have the USPS tell you if your physical mail matches your digital file. With our fully integrated robotic CapStone AutoViri systems we only send a digital file that matches your physical mail after production, before induction. Individual CapStone AutoViri robotic systems save time, effort and labor at proven ROI.

Dan Goodkind, President of CapStone Technologies LLC, is a long-time veteran in the print-to-mail industry. Goodkind has served the industry in multiple roles both with private companies and a variety of industry associations. His past efforts include a national sales role for Diamond Marketing Solutions following their purchase of the company Goodkind founded and grew for over 20 years, Goodkind & Goodkind Direct a very large national mailing production facility. Goodkind’s industry leadership includes numerous board, chairman, and advisory roles for associations and committees

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

COMPANIES

2015 2013


CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: Clear Image Technologies, LLC

PHONE:

314.853.5867

WEBSITE: Clear Image Technologies

C

www.clearimagetechnologies.com

EMAIL: lear Image Technologies is a company focused on affordable, reliable solutions for the direct mail industry. With over 30 years experience in direct mail, we understand that each mailers needs are different and that one large, complex system is more than many companies need. Our goal to provide user-friendly, scalable, inserting alternatives. All of our products are modular.

larry@clearimagetechnologies.com

In 2007, we developed the Picture Perfect Match System for companies doing match mailings by hand or hand checking the mailing off the end of their inserter. This visual match system, retrofitted to a customers existing inserter, displays images of the mail components on a monitor to allow the operator to visually inspect to ensure match integrity. This provided a low cost, semi automated system to companies with medium volume match mailings. In 2009, after many customer requests to stop the inserter in the event of a mismatch, we added the ability to upgrade to optical character recognition. Using the same cameras from the basic system, we could now decode the images to look for names and sequence numbers to match on and data recording of each piece processed. In 2010 we incorporated the ability to read and decode 2D (Data Matrix) and IMB barcodes. This data can be used to check against a sequence number. Now we offer station selection. By reading a barcode or number, individual stations are turned on and off allowing several smaller mailings with some, but not all, identical pieces to be merged into one. Each of our OCR/Barcode products produce an Excel file that can also be used as end of machine verification. Any product can be purchased individually and upgraded later. By partnering with equipment dealers like Tri-State Mailing Equipment in New York, Peak Business Equipment in St. Louis and Chicago, Mailers Engineering in Los Angeles, Timpac in San Francisco, and Creative Mailing Solutions in Toronto, we’ve been able to provide sales, service and support to the U.S. and Canada. We are constantly in the field, listening to our customers, the sales people, technicians and operators that use our products. Have a need not mentioned here? Call us!

18

JULY-AUGUST 2015 | www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com

COMPANIES

2015 2013


CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: Click2Mail

PHONE: 855.294.5601

WEBSITE:

https://integrate.click2mail.com

C

OMMITMENT TO CONTINUOUS INNOVATION Click2Mail.com does much more than making mail easy for small and medium businesses. As a pioneer in cloud-based hybrid mail and API-enabled mailing automation, our technology has helped thousands of businesses streamline the printing and mailing of millions of letters, statements, postcards and self-mailers through cloud-based automation.

EMAIL:

khumphrey@click2mail.com

Our approach is simple, but powerful. We offer print-to-mail services on-demand: on the Web, in the Cloud, via APIs — even via e-mail. Click2Mail helps you send mail whenever, wherever and however you need it, with no minimum volume — one or a thousand, printed and mailed the next day. Postcards or letters printed in economical black on white or full color, with a choice of formats, plus document personalization with templated variable data functionality. Most importantly, we know mail inside out and offer on-demand outsourcing services that produce professional-quality mail. Give us your First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, Certified Mail, Priority Mail and more, and rest assured that every address will be CASS standardized and that every mailpiece will have a traceable Intelligent Mail barcode. Producing high quality postal mail is not simple, but mail remains an essential communications tool for most companies, and Click2Mail’s goal is to make sending a critical business document via hybrid mail as simple as sending an email. Click2Mail’s innovative cloud-based mail outsourcing services provide a variety of simple interfaces to meet specific needs of your organization. Email to Mail provides a simple postal mail interface through email. You or your computer application send an email and Click2Mail prints and mails the attachment(s) via First-Class Mail the next day. Web Services APIs automate postal mail from your internal systems or application. Click2Mail offers you a choice of APIs that enable the integration and/or automation of programmatic mail sending processes into any system or application. XML/PDF provides a batch processing interface for large and small mailers. MailJack desktop print driver sends postal mail directly from within applications. Click “print” and your document(s) will be printed by Click2Mail and mailed the next day. MailMyDoc Add On for Google Apps is a free app that gives Docs users the ability to send their documents via First-Class Mail with just three clicks. Sound interesting? Call us today at (855) 294-5601 and find out what mail automation and print-to-mail outsourcing can do for your bottom line — and peace of mind.

COMPANIES

2015 2013


CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: Collins Inkjet

PHONE:

513.948.9000

WEBSITE:

www.collinsinkjet.com

EMAIL: PAST: Collins Inkjet was founded in 1989 in a garage under the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn, NY as a one-man operation supplying ink for Kodak continuous inkjet printers. Early on, Collins established the principles that still guide everything it does today. Collins’ goal is to be the best supplier its customers have, and to treat all its partners as it would like to be treated.

Info@collinsinkjet.com

In the late 1990’s, Hewlett Packard, through its OEM partners, introduced a line of mailing and addressing printers. Collins had been producing inks for the mailing and addressing industry for a number of years and entered the market with a range of inks specifically formulated to meet the needs of the mailing industry. Collins succeeded in capturing a significant percentage of the market and eventually entered into a series of contracts with Hewlett Packard in which Hewlett Packard sold empty inkjet ink cartridges to Collins, which Collins filled with an ever-increasing portfolio of inks. Eventually, Collins started formulating inks for other printheads and printers. Collins went from only producing water-based inks to producing water-based, oil-based, solvent-based and UV curable inks and established relationships with most major inkjet printhead manufacturers. PRESENT: High-speed inkjet printing is growing rapidly and expanding into new markets. Collins has been investing heavily in order to meet the ever-increasing needs of its customers. • Collins continues to expand its lab capabilities • Collins purchased a wide range of printing platforms and ink curing solutions • Collins created its own pigment dispersion operation • Collins purchased a new printhead refurbishment and parts support operation for Kodak Versamark brand printers • And soon, Collins will install an electron beam (Ebeam) curing unit to meet what Collins expects to be a greater demand for safer curable inkjet inks. FUTURE: Collins plans to continue expanding its capabilities to meet the growing demand for high-speed inkjet printing. Where no other options exist, Collins will attempt to create hardware and software solutions that it will sell to its existing customers and OEM partners. Collins will continue to execute its strategy of expanding geographically so that it can provide prompt customer service to customers

COMPANIES

2015 2013


W

hat makes a Hot Mailing Systems Solution? The answer should be the one that provides everything thing you need, nothing you don’t and support to back you up today, tomorrow and anytime in the future. Moreover, your solution provider should have expertise across the document management landscape including hot areas such as Output and Customer Communications Management, Archive and ECM solutions and Document Accessibility options to reach and communicate with all of your customers. Our experts and innovative technology gives companies the ability to strengthen workflow operations, increase customer satisfaction and enhance document management investments. We leverage 20 years of experience helping companies find solutions to complex document management needs. We have solutions to help you run your inkjet presses at full capacity, re-engineer documents on the fly, automate manual workflow processes, manage multi-channel customer delivery preferences, redact sensitive customer information, produce high-volume accessible documents, archive your customer communications and more. Crawford Output Management solutions improve operational efficiency and ROI by reducing, and in many cases eliminating, the manual processes typically associated with reprints, transforms, multi-channel delivery, reporting, and tracking. This ability helps you respond to changing customer preferences toward multi-channel communications by delivering unparalleled solutions that streamline and automate your workflows.

CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: Crawford Technologies

PHONE:

866.679.0864

WEBSITE:

www.crawfordtech.com/ hotcompany

EMAIL:

sales@crawfordtech.com

For Archive, we leverage world-class records management to comply with industry regulations, while storing hundreds of millions of customer communications in a single, unified archive. This allows companies to leverage universal print-stream archiving solutions across industries, business applications, print formats and document types. Our solutions classify, transform, index, and efficiently store all types of high-value customer communications. Our Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Solutions optimize your content distribution strategy with a seamless and cost-effective approach that consolidates and streamlines your high-value document output. Organizations can eliminate the bottlenecks associated with ECM content distribution, making it easy for you to access the documents you need, and output them to your customers in the format they prefer most. In the Document Accessibility area, our solutions and services produce alternate customer communications formats for your blind and partially-sighted customers, as well as those unable to read traditional print. Organizations can quickly transform transactional print documents to meet the ever-growing needs of an underserved portion of the population. Conversions include: Accessible PDF (PDF/UA); Braille; Large Print; Audio and E-text. With a wide array of solutions and expertise, we invite you to learn more about our company, people and solutions via www.crawfordtech.com/hotcompany.

COMPANIES

2015 2013


CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: EAM-Mosca Corporation

PHONE:

800.459.3420

WEBSITE:

www.eammosca.com

M

osca Equipment Meeting Needs of Mailing Industry EAM-Mosca, a high performance strapping systems provider has built an impressive base in the mailing and graphic arts markets. The company’s product range spans solutions from operator cycled walk-up models to fully automatic systems that strap Flats, Bundles, Tubs and Trays at high speed with minimal or no operator intervention.

EMAIL:

info@eammosca.com

High Performance and Productivity Goals EAM-Mosca, based in Northeastern Pennsylvania, has placed well over 20,000 machines in the Americas in industries as diverse as graphic arts, mailing, fulfillment, corrugated, poultry and many other industrial and consumer goods. The company’s stated goal is to serve customers reliably for millions of cycles over many years by combining innovative equipment, high quality strapping materials, and support programs to help performance driven customers meet productivity goals. Significant Cost Savings Possible The high cycle efficiency of Mosca systems along with more secure seals and the ability to perform reliably with low-cost, lightweight straps has made Mosca the leading supplier to the mailing industry.The high reliability of Mosca systems also means less costly downtime and improved deliverability. Range of System and Automation Options In addition to the entry-level ROM Fusion walk-up model, EAM-Mosca offers the ROMP-6 Evolution in a walk-up version for off-line applications; and its inline, automated belt or roller conveyor-top models for high-speed automated operations. Its compact footprint, high reliability and Mosca’s heat seal or proprietary ultra-sonic, tamper-evident seal make it a good fit for many applications. The ROMP-6 Evolution is equipped with either a thermostatically controlled heat seal or Mosca’s patented Sonixs technology, a smokeless ultrasonic welding technique. The Evolution design includes a compact cabinet, side or front coil loading for convenient changeover, push-button strap threading, and a fully enclosed strap feed track for exceptionally reliable feeding. The USP-2 Traymaster was developed for strapping trays destined for the United States Postal Service. It straps sleeved mail trays lengthwise, in the direction of the conveyor, without tray-turning or transfer accessories at speeds of up to 30/trays per minute. The Traymaster has an excellent reputation while operating in extremely high-cycle, high speed environments and can be found in hundreds of mailing rooms and USPS facilities. 22

JULY-AUGUST 2015 | www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com

COMPANIES

2015 2013


CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: Firstlogic Solutions, LLC

PHONE:

888.725.7800

WEBSITE:

www.firstlogicsolutions.com

F

irstlogic Solutions’ roots run deep in the postal industry. Our Postalsoft solutions represent over 30 years of software development excellence starting with the original Firstlogic, Inc. based in La Crosse, Wisconsin to SAP BusinessObjects and now Firstlogic Solutions.In fact, 75% of our company team members are former Firstlogic, Inc. and SAP BusinessObjects employees.

Proven, Reliable, Robust & Scalable. Companies have grown to rely on the ACE, DataRight IQ, Match/Consolidate and Presort solutions for over 30 years.The parsing/address assignment engine and the matching algorithms have evolved over the years setting the standard for the postal industry for accuracy and performance. SAP Postalsoft DQ 8.0 to Firstlogic DQ 9.0. In 2014, Firstlogic Solutions launched the next release of the SAP Postalsoft DQ 8.0 platform that reached end-of-life.Postalsoft customers are able to seamlessly upgrade to the Firstlogic DQ 9.0 platform without making any changes to their production environments. Lower Costs, Increased Margins, Higher Customer Satisfaction. Our mission is to enable our customers to grow their businesses with greater operational efficiencies and higher quality results.We deliver a complete array of address and data quality solutions from Firstlogic DQ 9.0 for the U.S. to SAP Data Services for U.S. and international processing. “On-Premise” and “In-Cloud” Options. Run world-class Firstlogic address and data quality software solutions “on-premise” or “in-cloud” or both. Companies now have the choice to run on their own servers or in cloud servers as software-as-a-service or choose a hybrid approach. From U.S. to International Processing. Grow from Firstlogic Data Quality 9.0 to SAP Data Services 4.2 enterprise platform for expansion into Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. Full USPS & Platform Support. Firstlogic and SAP address and data quality solutions are available for batch and real-time applications for USPS CASS, NCOALink and DSF2. The solutions are available “on-premise” on Windows, Linux, Solaris and AIX platforms and “in-cloud” using a Windows interface. Our Valued Customers. We have the privilege to serve customers from small mail shops to major financial firms and the largest retailer in the world. We welcome you to explore our solutions, our people and our service excellence. Firstlogic, Firstlogic Solutions, ACE, DataRight IQ, Match/Consolidate are registered trademarks of Firstlogic Solutions, LLC. USPS Trademarks.

COMPANIES

2015 2013


CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: ID Mail Systems, Inc.

PHONE:

860.344.3333

WEBSITE:

www.IDMailSystems.com

I

D Mail Systems is a company dedicated to innovative and cost effective solutions for postal operators, presort bureaus, private delivery, and corporate & university mail rooms. For over 18 years, ID Mail has gained experience in the postal industry, domestic and international, providing affordable and reliable mail sorting & processing systems. ID Mail’s objective is simple: to create unique systems that increase productivity and throughput while lowering costs and creating postage savings.

EMAIL:

Sales@IDMailSystems.com

One of ID Mail’s unique systems, the MAX-M, is the lowest priced OCR workstation on the market. Created for USPS postage saving, this processing workstation for letters, flats, parcels and small packages generates savings on almost all classes of US mail. For example, the MAX-M can save over a dollar per Priority Mail piece when using USPS Commercial Plus rates. It is easily configured for a single station or networked group of multiple stations and is IMb & IMpb compliant. When it comes to automated systems, ID Mail also has a unique line of mail sorters, the Dispatchers, for postcards, letters, flats, parcels, packets, mixed mail streams and “rest” mail. Comprised of three different automated sorting systems, the Dispatcher, the Dispatcher MX and the Dispatcher Max, all provide excellence with extreme flexibility, one-pass OCR imaging, weighing, labeling, printing & sorting with advanced software programming. All three of these systems can be configured for incoming or outgoing mail and/or programmed for virtually any coding needs. The Dispatcher MX and the Dispatcher Max are rugged and robust systems built for extended usage (21 hours/7 days a week). With efficient, dependable and affordable solutions, ID Mail provides a smart alternative to out of date equipment and hand sorting. ID Mail is also proud to offer refurbished systems as an environmentally and economically friendly alternative. No matter how large or small, simple or difficult the project, ID Mail will find you the best solution with maximum savings!

COMPANIES

2015 2013 24

JULY-AUGUST 2015 | www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com


CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: Imhoff Technologies

PHONE: 888.306.1048

WEBSITE: www.imhofftech.com

N

o matter the size of your mailing operations, Imhoff Technologies offers solutions that can be customized to precisely meet your mail automation software needs. All commercial mail packages are CASS and PAVE certified, Partnering with the industry leaders gives Imhoff Technologies the tools to find the right solution for your company. From address correction and standardization through duplicate detection to presorting and printing the Intelligent Mail barcode these solutions utilize the same proven software engines. Imhoff Technologies offerings set the stage for on-target mailings with real-time NCOALink, suppression list, DSF2 and phone append processing through their extended services and the creation of Mail.dat files offers support for use with PostalOne! Combined with bestin-class support Imhoff Technologies is always the perfect fit for improving mailing efficiency and meeting your cost savings goals. Imhoff Technologies where customer service and software meet.

EMAIL: Imhofftech@gmail.com

COMPANIES

2015 2013


CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: Melissa Data

PHONE:

800.635.4772

WEBSITE:

www.MelissaData.com

L

EMAIL: ooking to Expand Your Mailings to Other Countries? Melissa Data Can Help Today’s technology and data-driven communications allow us to live in an increasingly integrated and interconnected world. It creates great opportunities for companies of all sizes to compete and thrive in international markets.

sales@melissadata.com

And, like many of our customers, Melissa Data is going global too. First, we’ve partnered with Canada Post, Royal Mail, and Deutsche Post to bring additional reference datasets into our data quality and address management solutions. These solutions help verify, standardize, and format international addresses to support customers expanding into new international markets. And, Melissa Data now has offices in the U.K., Germany, Australia, and India that allow us to get closer to our customers and provide the critical services and support needed for success. We can help you mail or ship to international markets with address verification tools that correct and verify data for 240+ countries and territories, standardize addresses to a country’s local format, and add missing components such as postal codes, regions, and more. Additional features include transliterating native character sets (i.e., changing Chinese characters into Roman letters) and adding geocodes (see below). Our global address verification tools are available as a Cloud service, or integrations with Microsoft Excel and SQL Server, Oracle, Salesforce, and other popular CRM and e-commerce platforms. And, to ensure that accurate address data enters databases at the point of entry, Melissa Data also offers Express Entry, a service to auto-complete an international address with a fully-verified and deliverable address. Along with address verification, we can also geocode the addresses in your mailing lists by adding precise lat/long coordinates for over 40 countries, including Australia, France, Singapore, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. Converting addresses to map locations enhances target marketing campaigns, mailings, and lookups based on location or a geographic radius. For customers looking for innovative products for the domestic market, Melissa Data has a new service called LeadGen. You can easily integrate this Cloud API into your custom applications or as a private label to get Consumer, Business, Occupant, and Property Owner lists. You can purchase lists immediately and be invoiced at regular intervals. It’s ideal for high-volume list buyers and brokers, and mailing houses looking for a new revenue stream. We’ve been in business for 30 years, and as we go for 30 more, we’ll keep thinking of new ways to support mail and shipping providers as globalization shrinks the world, bringing customers and businesses closer together.

COMPANIES

2015 2013


CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: NPI

PHONE:

888.821.7678

WEBSITE:

www.npisorters.com

N

PI Sorting systems are designed to optimize your sorting operations with advanced design and intelligent software. Built around patented antijam technology, the sorters run more economically as time-wasting jams are virtually eliminated. Multiple motors precisely located throughout the sorter, instead of a single motor power transmission system, drastically reduce maintenance costs and power consumption. Modular ergonomic design promotes seamless upgrades and modifi cations to support your expanding operations and improve production efficiency. NPI Sorting Systems provide solutions for products ranging from postcards, letters, flats, and even small to large parcels. The NPI Catalog of Sorting Systems represents some of the most innovative, advanced and fastest Sorting Systems on the market, but Sorting Systems are only half of the equation.

EMAIL:

michelle@nationalpresort.com

NPI Software Suites are as versatile and innovative as sorters. Through the advent of Intelligent Mail and the universal Mail.dat format, effi cient data management is now the key to sort optimization, enhanced qualifi cation and postage savings. NPI’s OptESuite of software products allows our customers to predetermine sort plans, identify what levels of qualification is best for their operation and understand what it takes to maximize postage savings before a mail piece even hits the sorter. This allows customers in the Printing Industry and Large Standard mailers to realize real savings through commingling and copalletization. The same technology also allows Service Bureaus to analyze different mail streams to determine the most profitable mail streams to commingle. In today’s mailing world, you can’t afford to be second. If you want your operation to be as efficient, profitable and successful as it can be, you need to contact NPI. We will analyze your operation and offer real solutions to help you be first.

COMPANIES

2015 2013


CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: Postmatic Inc.

PHONE:

763.784.6046

WEBSITE:

www.Postmatic.com

P

EMAIL: ostmatic, Inc. has been recognized as the leader in postage stamp affixing equipment for over 40 years. That is an outstanding achievement. Equipment manufacturers only get to become the de facto standard solution across four decades by creating high-quality products and taking care of their customers. Postmatic has excelled at both.

info@postmatic.net

Our inline stamping bases feature heavy duty construction and provide years of troublefree service for high volume mail operations. Whether soliciting for donations, appealing to voters, seeking new business, or reaching out to valued customers, the presence of a real postage stamp makes a difference in open rates and response. Companies that don’t use Postmatic equipment for in-line operations often attempt to re-purpose other devices, such as tabbers, to apply stamps. Tabbers are unable to place the stamps in the correct orientation when used while inserting, so stamping envelopes with machines designed for something else is an offline operation. In an industry with already slim profit margins, this additional overhead expense is significant. Tabbers also generally lack the tracking and document integrity controls that are more commonly found on inserting equipment. Besides being expensive, using tabbers to apply postage can also increase customer dissatisfaction due to mistakes or unfinished mail pieces. Extra operations always increase the risk of errors. Postmatic inline stamping equipment is specially engineered to work with automated inserting systems capable of processing mail up to 18,000 pieces per hour. We use sophisticated positioning technology to detect the location of stamps on the coil and place them correctly on envelopes. Extra unproductive steps such as rewinding stamp coils are eliminated. Postmatic is constantly developing new tools for mailers including vacuum transport bases for inline systems to support read/print functionality and camera output verification. For static printing, our Print One base allows mailers to print mailer’s precancelled permits, return addresses, indicia, logos, and more. Organizations can use a single standard envelope for multiple jobs, reducing the headaches and expense of warehousing and inventory. Organizations have many options for creating mail. When the job calls for postage stamps, there is only one set of solutions that thousands of mailers have counted upon for decades — the products of Postmatic.

28

JULY-AUGUST 2015 | www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com

COMPANIES

2015 2013


CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: Printware LLC

PHONE:

651.456.1400 x418

WEBSITE:

www.ijetcolor.com www.printwarellc.com

P

rintware is considered an industry expert in the short-run inkjet printing markets for envelopes, direct mail and label printing. Based in St. Paul, MN, Printware has been a leader in the digital print market for more than 30 years. Known best for manufacturing Platestream digital computer-to-plate (CtP) systems, Printware now also engineers and markets the iJetColor family of digital inkjet solutions powered by Memjet technology.

EMAIL:

sales@printwarellc.com

“The impact of inkjet technologies on mailing and envelope printing is an interesting look into higher profits and customer response,” stated Tim Murphy, President of Printware. “These new technologies bring new revenue opportunities to print shops, making it extremely affordable to produce 4-color envelope jobs and to also capitalize on new short-run direct mail opportunities that give clients great response rates. The iJetColor Digital Press provides low cost, personalized printed images in print volume as low as one unit.” Printware’s iJetColor Press family consists of two models; one for envelopes, letterhead and direct mail - and another for label and packaging applications. The iJetColor Workflow with Color Matching technology is an integral part of both iJetColor press systems. The iJetColor Direct Mail/Envelope Press is a compact, table top, 4-color inkjet press powered by Memjet technology suitable for supporting production paper stocks as heavy as .02 inch/.5 mm on up to 8.5” by 17” substrate for product personalization of full bleed 4 color envelopes; direct mail and post cards; stationery; and invitations and greeting cards. The iJetColor Label Press is a compact, table top, 4-color inkjet press suitable for printing on production label stocks, variable data barcoding, shelf labels and product labels for retail and industrial applications. The system features roll-to-roll and fan fold printing; continuous label printing, integrated cutter, 60 feet per minute speed, gap and black mark sensing, advanced spot color matching application, and integrated touchscreen user control system. Printware’s iJetColor Workflow is based on the industry standard Navigator Harlequin RIP and workflow with specially designed features for use with the iJetColor Press. It provides users with significant features and benefits including a complete workstation CPU for a true turn-key solution, which is variable data enabled for easy, on demand personalization. The iJetColor Press is offered with a comprehensive package that includes factory installation and training, a full year warranty, 24/7 support and a no-finger pointing guarantee.

COMPANIES

2015 2013


B

uild Your Business with “Just Right” Software and Services Goldilocks had the right idea. Not breaking and entering, but getting just what you need from a single source. After all, whether you’re just starting a mailing operation or expanding into new services, one-size-fits-all doesn’t work for businesses any more than it does for clothes. A Neopost company since 2009, Satori Software provides the support and technology you need — from data processing to post-sort and entry planning — to help your mailing operation thrive now and into the future. As your organization grows and evolves, we can assist with industry insights, software and services that address your challenges and new opportunities. We at Satori Software blend years of postal insights gained through active participation in industry workgroups to develop products that fulfill your mailing business’s needs and help you keep ahead of the game when those needs change. How? We champion your interests with USPS in key associations, including PostCom, MTAC, IDEAlliance and Epicomm. Our people actively participate in the planning meetings, advisory councils and workshops where industry changes manifest. We speak on your behalf to help form the rules and regulations. Plus, we gain invaluable insights so we can make sure your software meets upcoming requirements. From Comprehensive Mailing Solutions … Mailers of all levels, from those who prefer simple wizard-based processing to those whose operations capitalize on automated, document management systems and advanced sorts, have grown their businesses on Satori solutions. Our USPS CASS and PAVE Gold certified mailing solutions offer address correction, 48-month NCOALink updates, full support USPS Intelligent Mail requirements and much more.

CONTACT INFO: COMPANY: Satori Software

PHONE:

800.553.6477

WEBSITE:

www.satorisoftware.com

EMAIL:

sales@satorisoftware.com

… To Communication Optimization In today’s business environment, clients are looking for more than efficient mailing service. They’re looking for expertise that can help improve their bottom-line results. We offer solutions you can use to make that leap by providing additional services that improve the quality of their mailing lists and help them achieve better results from mailings and marketing campaigns. So, as your mailing needs and postal regulations become more frequent and far-reaching, know that we’re here to help, with solutions “just right” for your business.

Bob Schimek, Satori Software Inc. As Senior Director of Postal Affairs, Bob Schimek serves as the primary liaison between Satori Software and the U.S. Postal Service on technical matters affecting the company’s comprehensive mailing solutions. Schimek leverages his 26+ years of mailing industry experience to provide strategic direction for Satori Software’s mailing business.

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

30

An acknowledged thought leader on postal issues, Schimek represents Satori Software and its customers at many postal industry associations, including MTAC, as the current Industry Leader for the Mail Prep and Entry Focus Area, IDEAlliance, as the Chair for the Mail.dat specification, and PostCom, as Vice-Chair and a Board of Directors member. All in all, Schimek works collaboratively with both industry and USPS to help ensure specifications meet the needs of the industry and the USPS initiatives.

JULY-AUGUST 2015 | www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com

COMPANIES

2015 2013


MAILING VISIBILITY TOOLS THAT CAN SAVE YOU MONEY

32

JULY-AUGUST 2015 | www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com


By Adam Lewenberg

O

ne of my team members always says, “People don’t make bad decisions, they just lack the needed information.” With the right data you can find ways to do the following: } Reduce mailing equipment costs } Save money on postage by being able to see mail discounting opportunities. } Better manage postage funds to eliminate loss, avoidable fees and excessive balances. Our goal with this article is to guide you to what tools are available for you to gain access to your information and find savings for the future. We are focusing on mailing equipment and postage spends because this touches the majority of organizations and this category is often overlooked. It can be very difficult to gain visibility because the data is not often provided in a format that is complete or easy to understand. For every mailing system you need to know the following pieces of information: } Account numbers – Every meter or PC postage license will have 2-5 different account numbers and most are not listed on the same invoices. You have a main installation account, lease account, prepaid postage account and advance postage account if you borrow funds. } Lease Information – Most mailing systems today are leased and you have to be very careful about your end dates and terms. Most of the meter vendors have evergreen clauses that automatically renew your lease for an additional year if you do not notify them within 90 days of the end of term. To make matters difficult, your end of lease date is not listed on any of the invoices and or on the online systems. It is something that needs to be requested or may be on an initial communication from the vendor. } Equipment Descriptions – Model, serial number, installation date, and a description of the unit. You might think you have model “x” but this is typically broken out to 2-5 different models and serial numbers.

} Postage Spends – These are the usage levels and balances in the prepaid and advance accounts. } Invoice Detail – The charges that you are paying for the different services such as rentals, maintenance, rate changes and leases.

Online Tools

The rest of this article is going to focus on what tools are available to help you manage this data. This is the key to having better cost controls, increasing accuracy in budgeting and finding cost savings. In the chart below, this category is broken out by the types of data required and the different groups that can support you in your quest for information.

Meter Vendor

PC Postage Providers

Mail Audit and Recovery Firms

Lease Billing

Yes

N/A

Yes

Lease Terms

No

N/A

Yes

Rental Billing

Yes

Yes

Yes

Maintenance Billing

Yes

N/A

Yes

Equipment Detail

Some vendors

Yes

Yes

Mailing Equipment Spends

(End of lease dates and equipment covered)

(Model, Serial Number, Install Date, Description)

Postage Spends Postage Transactions

Yes

Yes

Yes

Postage Statements

Yes

Yes

Assist and review vendor bills.

Mail Class and Cost Center Detail

With additional subscriptions and costs

Yes - Enterprise versions only.

Assist and review class detail.

View all account numbers by location

No

Yes

Yes

Consolidate total spend by location (Equipment and Postage)

No

Yes

Yes

Link postage spends to equipment costs to determine right sizing opportunities

No

Yes

Yes

View consolidated spends by location for multiple sites

No

Yes

Yes

Consolidate multiple vendors onto single view

No

No

Yes

View contacts and notes from your locations

No

No

Yes

Assistance getting information onto web tools

Limited

Will create login, linkage and training.

Will create login, linkage and training.

Management Tools

(Lease, Rental, Maintenance and Postage)

www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com | JULY-AUGUST 2015

33


There are three places that you can to go for support: 1. Meter Vendor – This is your provider for mailing equipment. They all have online tools where you can get access to your information. 2. PC Postage Providers – If you are generating stamps and package labels through your computer, these providers have online tools that can give a higher level of information. 3. Mail Audit and Recovery Firms – These vendor-neutral companies typically focus on organizations with 20 or more sites with equipment and provide a deeper level of data visibility and account oversight. They are brought in to better manage the data, find ways to yield savings, reduce costs and increase the ROI.

Mailing Equipment Spends The biggest differences between three support models are how the information is presented. Meter Vendors – Although each vendor provides different levels of detail, you should expect similar information to what you are being sent in the mail. Some of the meter vendors provide the ability to see your inventory of equipment. PC Postage Providers – They can provide details of all of your subscription and supplies costs. They will also list out levels of service and start dates. Mail Audit and Recovery Firms – They are reviewing each invoice for accuracy and displaying the summary information regarding your bills. They should be able to show all of the lease details including end of term dates and as well as a deeper view of all equipment and services.

Postage Spends This is one of the most important areas to manage online and all providers have tools that can help support your needs. Meter Vendors – Most vendors provide you a way to see past postage statements online as well as the different refill transactions. This information can be downloaded into excel for ease of management. For an additional monthly fee, they can give you visibility to the cost center and class breakdown of your mail. This level of detail is the best way to reduce postage costs 34

JULY-AUGUST 2015 | www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com

because you can see specific areas where mail can be moved from one type of service to another. PC Postage Providers – These companies have the highest level of detail in one place. You can see past statements, transaction history, cost center and class detail as well as which users ran mail throughout your enterprise. Mail Audit and Recovery Firms – They take the data available from the meter vendors and PC Postage Providers and consolidate it onto their dashboards. Many companies never access the information described because they do not have the time or understanding. These firms will pull the data into their needed format, consolidate it for ease of viewing and provide recommendations for savings.

PC Postage Providers – These services provide detailed reporting around your spend. The subscription costs are typically simple and it is easy to link them back to the postage spends. If you have multiple locations with the same vendor, they can provide summary reports linking service charges to usage levels. They may also set the online visibility up for you while linking your sites together. Mail Audit and Recovery Firms – This is where these firms shine because their business is about presenting the data in an easy way to obtain savings. They can provide dashboards providing visibility all of the equipment at each location and link this to the postage activity to determine the Spend Ratio (Equipment Cost over Postage Spends). This makes it easy to analyze if the equipment level is in line with your spend. Since they focus on multi- location organizations, they can show you your costs at each site, across your enterprise, and from all of your vendors. They will provide 24/7 access to web-based tools, maintain the data and provide visibility to the needed parties. They will then help implement cost savings found inside the data.

With the data available you can

now go in and find savings, but it is typically more manual. The big

challenge is linking the equipment costs to the postage spends. Management Tools Now that you have the data on the equipment and postage, what do you do with it to drive savings? Each of the providers handles this in different ways. Meter Vendors – With the data available you can now go in and find savings, but it is typically more manual. The big challenge is linking the equipment costs to the postage spends. You would need to export your different invoices, summarize by site and then link the postage spends to these costs manually. The postage exports are typically listed by account number and meter serial number which may be different numbers than what is listed on the equipment invoices. If you have multiple sites, each can be linked for viewing but the data may not be consolidated together. The big challenge is finding all of your account numbers and linking each one to the vendor’s website. These systems are designed to be client initiated, but there are support tools that can help. Also, some vendors will require that you have multiple log-ins if sites are not on consolidated billing.

Conclusion We find that most organizations are not using the data above either because they do not understand what is available or don’t have the time to manage it. There are great tools from all of the providers to get the detail needed to make better decisions and find ways to save money. It just takes making the first step to get your accounts set up and to get you the visibility needed. ¾

ADAM LEWENBERG, CMDSS, MDC, President of Postal Advocate Inc., runs the largest Mail Audit and Recovery firm in the United States and Canada. Their mission is to help organizations with large numbers of locations reduce mail related expenses, recover lost postage funds, and simplify visibility and oversight. Since 2013, they have helped their clients save an average of 52% and over $15 million on equipment, fees and lost postage. He can be reached at 617.372.6853 or adam.lewenberg@postaladvocate.com.


BUILD A BETTER BUSINESS CASE Tips to justifying changes to the higher ups.

Do you plan on: • Purchasing new equipment or software? • Implementing a project to reengineer a critical process? • Justifying the expansion of the department? Before undertaking a major expense or transformation, a leader needs to get approval from their senior management. An effective technique is to draft a clear business case that clarifies the costs and benefits to the company and their customers. For most endeavors, a business case includes the following eight points: 36

JULY-AUGUST 2015 | www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com

1. Executive Summary 2. Problem Statement 3. Impact Statement 4. Proposed Solutions 5. Basic Project Plan 6. Costs 7. Benefits 8. Restated Summary The Executive Summary is an abridged version of the overall business case. This section includes a statement of the problem, the issues addressed, the suggested solution, costs vs. benefits, and next steps. If

possible, the Executive Summary should be one page, and two pages at most. Most senior leaders are pressed for time, and want information presented in a succinct manner. Although it’s the first section, the Executive Summary is usually written last. A good technique is to use key words and phrases that appear in the main text. Planned repetition will plant the seeds and reinforce the positive points that support approving the proposal. Also, some senior managers will only read this section, so it’s imperative to deliver the important points that support your case.


By Mark Fallon The Problem Statement defines the issue, need or opportunity being addressed. The statement should begin with a general assertion, supported by more details. The problem should be stated as an overall company problem, not just a departmental issue. For example, a manager may want to upgrade an old inserter. The general problem could be: “The existing inserter is not adequate to meet the current and future needs of the company.” The details could include examples of the lack of adequate integrity controls, slow speeds and down time for repairs.

The Impact Statement explains the issues caused by the problem. As with the problem statement, the focus needs to extend beyond the department and to the company. Whenever relevant, link the problem to customers and costs. Be specific, and include examples when possible. Back to the inserter project. The impact statement could highlight how the limitations of the inserter caused statements to go out late, or that there were errors in mailings to customers. Costs may include additional customer service calls, overtime or fines for privacy violations. The exact number of calls, overtime hours and fines should be listed. If a senior manager from an impacted department (e.g., Customer Service, Sales, etc.) will provide a testimonial or quote, that will add to the case. The Proposed Solution should describe the project or acquisition the business case supports. Make sure to explain not only the actions being taken, but the objectives of those actions. In other words, the solution explains the results of the project. So in the case of a new inserter, the proposed solution is not just “buy a new inserter.” The solution should state what the new equipment will be able to accomplish that the current machine can’t. Include a description of the capabilities, speeds and throughput of the new inserter. The solution is lowering costs and increasing the quality of statement production. The Basic Project Plan is an outline of the timeline and resources required for the project. Instead of every line or activity, provide the milestones and key completion dates. List the titles, responsibilities and time commitments of people needed to make the project successful. If specific individuals are required, include their names as well. For a new inserter, the basic project plan would include key steps – drafting and publishing a request for proposals (“RFP”), reviewing responses, selecting a vendor, accepting and receiving equipment, and transferring applications to the new equipment. A detailed project plan would be developed after the business case is approved. The Costs section is the proposed budget for the project. Detailed information on costs — equipment pricing, programming hours, etc. — should include the reasoning and sources for estimates. If possible, point to previous projects of similar scope.

Be careful not to underestimate the efforts required to successfully implement the proposed changes. Many inserter vendors will provide a price range for budgeting purposes. Issuing a request for quotes (“RFQ”) to vendors will provide more accurate information, including basic equipment, additional functionality, software and installation costs. Ask your Information Technology for their input on any additional requirements (e.g., server installation, network wiring, etc.) and programming hours. Benefits can include measurable and intangible gains from the proposed changes. Measurable benefits can vary, and often include labor, material, postage and pricing. While not easy to measure — appearance, branding and consistency are valuable advantages that should be considered. Also, managers need to look beyond their own departments for the positive impact of a project. For example, a new inserter with faster speeds, greater capabilities and higher integrity provides gain for the mail operation and the company. There’s an opportunity to reduce headcount, use different envelopes, combine mailings, etc. The resulting mailpiece presents a better image for the company to their customers. Eliminating errors will also reduce calls to customer service, further saving the company money. There may be even more benefits to other departments, and it’s incumbent on the project manager to seek them out. The document began with an Executive Summary, and it’s helpful to finish with a Summary. This section will be brief — just a paragraph or two. The purpose is to provide a logical ending to the document, and restate the argument in support of the proposal. A well drafted Summary leaves the reader with a positive attitude towards the project. When purchasing new equipment or software using the RFP process, managers may have to write two separate business cases. The first business case is designed to get approval for the project, allocate budget funds and assign staff. After a vendor has been chosen, a second business case may need to be drafted to approve the specific purchase. ¾ MARK FALLON is President & CEO of the Berkshire Company (the “best-kept secret in the mailing industry.”) For more information, visit www.berkshire-company.com. www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com | JULY-AUGUST 2015

37


CLOUD-BASED DOCUMENT SOLUTIONS: ENTERPRISE BENEFITS FOR SMBs

I

t’s no secret that new technologies are changing the way businesses do business. More specifically, the emergence of the cloud is transforming the way organizations implement and use new solutions and applications. SaaS (Software as a Service) allows businesses of all sizes to adopt new technology solutions at a fraction of the cost of implementing inhouse, while delivering flexibility, security, and headache-free maintenance. This is great for large enterprises, but even better for small and medium businesses (SMBs), who are no longer restricted by legacy IT systems or small IT budgets. In fact, we are seeing explosive growth and adoption of cloud-based services by SMBs. In the US alone, the number of small businesses using cloud computing is expected to more than double in the next six years, rising from 37% to 80% according to a recent study by Intuit and Emergent Research. In addition, IDC found that almost 81% of all US companies with more than 100 employees are already using cloud applications. Another significant trend emerging is the convergence of physical and digital com-

38

JULY-AUGUST 2015 | www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com

munications. Increasingly, businesses are integrating their physical and digital communications to meet changing customer requirements. Businesses recognize the value of physical communications, but also need the flexibility to change content on the fly or, more importantly, to create an added digital experience for their customers.

Escalating Needs Let’s first look at the document management needs of SMBs. Businesses that produce and send transactional and information-based communications need to: } Ensure that the right content accurately reaches the right customers through the right channels; } Comply with privacy and other regulatory requirements across industries and around the world; } Enhance document designs to grow revenue and build their brand; } Adapt easily and quickly to customers’ digital document and mobile communication needs; } Quickly route production onsite, or to an outsourced service as capabilities are stretched;

} Do all this without making costly changes to core platforms. Finally, a document solution must be flexible enough to react to these changing needs in real time. Such a wide range of capabilities typically requires several software and hardware solutions to meet these demands and produce documents at very high processing rates. This level of solution had been expensive, complex, and out of reach for most SMBs. Enter SaaS — now businesses can access via a subscription approach all the capabilities they need to enhance documents, modify, and print locally or with a partner, or send digitally in a secure and compliant cloud environment. By packaging enterprise capabilities into a cloud-based digital document hub, SMBs can address these challenges in a simple and cost-effective way. The cloud puts all document management operations on a single platform. This single platform approach is important, because SMBs typically deal with an assembly of diverse point solutions from a variety of vendors, addressing different parts of


By Patrick Brand the workflow. For example, there can be separate software to: create documents; access physical addresses; access electronic addresses; correct and standardize addresses; presort and optimize mail pieces for postal discounts; print on a variety of different printers; execute electronic distribution; and archive documents for retrieval. All these disparate, purpose-built, individual point solutions can require an expert for each one. SMBs usually don’t have lots of IT experts on hand, so if an expert is out, the work doesn’t get done. By contrast, a cloud-based single platform is easy to implement, with one-time setup. It is easy to use without needing much IT support and easy to integrate into a workflow. In addition, the SaaS approach means the software is not local, it’s in the cloud. This makes it accessible through any browser, and it’s always value priced: you only pay for what you use. Beyond the cost savings and efficiency, a digital document hub gives SMBs the ability to: } Make documents more effective at cross-selling products and promoting services, employing color and design modifications without engaging IT support; } Protect customers’ data privacy through advanced barcoding capabilities and tighter end-to-end controls, which can be built into the system; } Access remote services when key employees don’t show, equipment goes down, big jobs come along that existing staff can’t handle, or disaster recovery is needed. Being able to access outside services in the cloud makes it easy for businesses to focus on what they are good at, while using appropriate remote sources for everything else. The cloud-based SaaS approach gives SMBs the choice to decide which hardware, software, and services they

want to use and which they want to take care of themselves.

Customer Preferences Changing Increasingly, the customers of SMBs are demanding multiple approaches to communications to meet their needs. This requires businesses to accommodate diverse customer communication methods, which range from physical communications, digital experiences on physical channels (such as Augmented Reality, QR codes, and others), to a fully digital experience via email, web, and mobile technologies. The answer is a multi-channel communications hub that can automate and adapt to the various channel needs of a business and its customers. This centralized digital document hub, which creates and changes communication mediums into a digital format, enables businesses to optimize the delivery to customers via physical or digital media. A digital document hub can also serve as middleware linking an SMB’s legacy system output to today’s communication demands. By providing compatibility with these legacy systems, the middleware can use their diverse inputs into the platform to drive the diverse outputs that go into all the communication channels the business wants to use. Key to this capability is the interoperability the digital document hub provides between all the processes across the workflow. The output from one function seamlessly becomes the input for the next function. For example, cleansed and standardized addresses are used to create presort and split mailings.

Four Key Document Management Functions Let’s look at four use cases which a cloudbased digital document hub can positively impact: } Multi-channel management: Send documents to customers via mail and/

or through digital sending channels. No need to manage special handling requirements for customers wanting digital documents. } Document enhancement: Change color, logos, and fonts; highlight text; and put personalized messages into existing communications. Also offer white space to different parts of the organization for them to insert their messages. In the future, the ability to drive deeper digital experiences on physical documents. } Outsourcing: Route mailings to off-premise print-to-mail production facilities. Reduce the cost of maintaining a mailroom by outsourcing peak volumes, as well as maintain production levels even when equipment fails. } Print file conversion: Convert the print output file from the host platform to the language of the destination printers, so they function at full speed. This helps meet print and mail deadlines by maintaining print speeds and gets the most out of hardware investments. In conclusion, cloud-based SaaS document management solutions for SMBs are easy to use and require little or no IT involvement to implement and maintain. The digital document hub can offer a new level of interoperability between processes. Pricing can be tiered or volume based, depending on needs. This approach gives SMBs an integrated, end-to-end hardware, software, and services solution, and enables a multi-channel approach. It simplifies the process, provides new accuracy and precision, and combines onsite and off-site capabilities and physical and digital delivery channels in a way never before available to SMBs. ¾

PATRICK BRAND is Senior Vice President and General Manager, Global SMB Products and Business Strategy, Pitney Bowes.

www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com | JULY-AUGUST 2015

39

Mailing Systems Technology July/Aug 2015  

Mailing Systems Technology July/Aug 2015

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you