MARCH - APRIL 2016
MAKING AN IMPACT WITH YOUR TRANSACTIONAL COMMUNICATIONS. PAGE 14
THE MAILER SCORECARD. PAGE 16
TOOLS FOR THE
21ST CENTURY MAIL CENTER. PAGE 32
WHY IS EVERYONE TALKING ABOUT
INKJET? PAGE 20
TABLE OF CONTENTS
MARCH - APRIL 2016 | VOLUME 29 ISSUE 2
A Colorful Future By Amanda Armendariz
Real Life Management
Change Management: The Key to a Successful Future By Wes Friesen
Your mail piece is one of the best ways to engage your customers; don’t waste the opportunity. By Mandi McCoy
Understanding Your Mailer Scorecard
Don’t be caught unawares; make sure you know what the scorecard means for your operation. by Bob Rosser and Kurt Ruppel
What Are You Doing About Bill Stuffers? By Mike Porter
Why Is Everyone Talking About Inkjet?
A peek into the inkjet revolution By Grant Miller
Will Assessments Go Live This Summer? By Kim Mauch
Making an Impact with Your Transactional Communications
Is Your Mail Headed in the Wrong Direction? By Jeffery Peoples
Mail & Technology Merge
USPS Is Innovating the Core By Vincent DeAngelis
Direct Mail Evolution
Increase Your Customers’ Conversions up to 147% By Joy Gendusa
“I’m Not Dead Yet”
Transactional mail is still alive and kicking — and smart mailers will be sure to use it. By Kathleen J. Siviter
So You Want to Buy an Inkjet Press?
Here are some things to keep in mind leading up to implementation. By David Day 4
MARCH-APRIL 2016 | www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com
Why Mailing Fleet Asset Management Is So Important
Many mailers overlook these factors, to their detriment. By Adam Lewenberg
Tools for the 32 Logistics Twenty-First Century Mail Center
Tips and tricks to make running your mail center easier. By Bruce E. Little
Driving Profits with Improved Mailing Campaigns Memjet
PAGE 18 product spotlights what to see at the 2016 national postal forum
VOLUME 29, ISSUE 2 MAGAZINE STAFF Publisher Ken Waddell Editor Amanda Armendariz email@example.com Contributing Writers David Day, Vincent DeAngelis, Wes Friesen, Joy Gendusa, Adam Lewenberg, Bruce E. Little, Kim Mauch, Mandi McCoy, Grant Miller, Jeffery Peoples, Mike Porter, Bob Rosser, Kurt Ruppel, Kathleen Siviter Audience Development Manager Rachel Chapman firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising (o) 608-442-5064 (m) 608-235-2212 Ken Waddell email@example.com Design Kelli Cooke RB Publishing Inc. 2901 International Lane Madison WI 53704-3128 Tel: 608.241.8777 Fax: 608.241.8666 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com Online at www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com. REPRINT SALES ReprintPro 949.702.5390 www.ReprintPros.com All material in this magazine is copyrighted ©2016 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.
A COLORFUL FUTURE WITH AMANDA ARMENDARIZ Any mailing industry veteran (and, honestly, probably most entry level folks too) knows the drill when it comes to implementing color on mail pieces. The standard information is often thrown around regarding the facts and figures; color on mail pieces increases the likelihood that the pieces will be opened and, therefore, increases customer engagement. And a lot of mailers are using this implementation of color to improve the quality of their mail pieces. To those mailers, we say, great! Now, take it a step further and look at implementing inkjet as well. We know, we know; inkjet has been talked about for a long time, but a lot of mailers shrug it off as something that is too expensive, too out of reach for all but the highest volume mailers. Luckily, not anymore. There are plenty of options that allow almost any size mailer to implement this technology and quickly start seeing positive ROI. Check out the articles on pages 20 and 28 to evaluate if adding inkjet to your mail processes could be the right step. Now, I can already hear some of the naysayers now. “Mail’s declining (or, worse yet, almost dead); why waste time and money trying to improve a product that’s almost obsolete?” To that I say, clearly you have not been paying attention to the state of mail. Mail is still such a huge part of our lives, especially (perhaps most surprisingly) to the millennials. It establishes positive interaction and carries a degree of legitimacy that digital communication (likely) never will. So it’s a good sign when mailers are pushing forward, looking for new technologies to keep mail relevant in the ever-changing digital landscape, and I believe inkjet is a big part of that. Also, be sure to check out the articles on pages 14 and 22 for some very eloquent discourse on how mail is far from dead, and it’s actually one of the biggest tools in your arsenal when it comes to customer communication. If these articles don’t get you fired up regarding the future of mail, I don’t know what will! I hope you enjoy this issue of Mailing Systems Technology, and I hope I get the opportunity to chat with many of you at the National Postal Forum!
MAILING SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY (ISSN 1088-2677) [Volume 29 Issue 2] is published six times per year, (January/February, Annual Industry Buyer’s Guide, 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 | MARCH-APRIL 2016
REAL LIFE MANAGEMENT
By Wes Friesen
CHANGE MANAGEMENT: THE KEY TO A SUCCESSFUL FUTURE
ne of the most challenging yet important tasks for us in management roles is to effectively lead necessary changes. Change management is not easy — but it’s very important and there are tools we can use to be successful. What is change management? Wikipedia defines it as "an approach to transition individuals, teams and organizations to a desired future state.” Let’s explore this topic by looking at why change management is important, then we’ll explore some tools to help us excel.
Why Change? We need to change in order to be successful in a future that is different than what we have experienced in the past. President John F. Kennedy drives that point home when he said, “Change is the law of life and those who only look to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” We also need change to continue to improve our teams and better meet the needs of our stakeholders. Often change is not appealing, but it’s needed to move ahead. Charles Kettering explained, “The world hates change, yet is the only thing that has brought progress.” Let’s look at some models and tools to help us successfully lead and manage change.
John Kotter’s Eight Step Change Model Dr. John Kotter is a Harvard Business School professor and leading thinker and author on organizational change management. Kotter’s eight step change model is highly regarded and considered by many to be the definitive change model. His model includes the following eight steps: 1. Create sense of urgency. Help explain why change is necessary. Include the problem of the status quo and the desirability of a better future. President Ronald Reagan once quipped, "Status 6
MARCH-APRIL 2016 | www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com
quo, you know, is Latin for 'the mess we're in.'" 2. Build the guiding team. Find effective change leaders. Get the right people in place with the right emotional commitment, and the right mix of skills. 3. Create a vision for change. Really explain the “why” for the change, and then develop an understandable vision and strategy to achieve the vision. 4. Communicate the vision. Communicate the vision frequently and powerfully. Address people’s concerns and anxieties openly and honestly. 5. Remove obstacles. Take action to quickly remove barriers. Recognize and reward those who are making change happen, and identify resisters and help them see what’s needed for success. 6. Create short-term wins. Nothing motivates more than successes, so celebrate positive achievements. One of my key principles is that “success breeds success.” 7. Keep change going. Embrace and promote the philosophy of continuous improvement. Set goals to build on the momentum you’ve achieved. 8. Make change stick. Reinforce the value of the successful change, and make sure relevant policies, procedures and practices are being followed.
ADKAR Change Model Prosci’s ADKAR model is a coaching tool to help guide employees through the change process. ADKAR has ability to identify why changes are not working and help you take the necessary steps to make changes successful. ADKAR stands for:
A = Awareness of need to change D = Desire to participate and support the change K = Knowledge of how to make the change A = Ability to implement the change R = Reinforcement to sustain the change The ADKAR components are progressive — in other words, the first step in the change process is Awareness for the need for change, then Desire to participate and support the change, etc. You can periodically survey your employees and evaluate how they are coming along in the change process. For change to be successful, we need to help lead all of our team members along each of the change steps.
Leadership Role in Implementing Change Multiple studies have concluded that the number one key to a successful change initiative is effective leadership and management sponsorship. Leaders need to communicate, advocate and ensure overall awareness of the change process. Following are important roles for leaders to fill well: Communicator: Communicate with change leaders, project team and key stakeholders. Explain why the changes are needed and risks of not changing. Correct misinformation as it arises. Advocate: Demonstrate support for the change through words and actions. Liaison: Balance the needs of both project and business teams to achieve goals. Coach: Coach employees through the change process. Includes coaching people to prepare for changes in their roles and explaining new performance expectations.
Resistance Manager: Identify and manage resistance. Respond to questions and concerns.
Personal Change Management Example About three years ago I had a change in management responsibility and inherited some teams that needed to make some changes. Recent benchmarking had confirmed that the teams were very effective and did quality work. But benchmarking also confirmed that the teams were not as efficient as some of our peers. The starting place for effecting change is to make the case for change. In this case, we emphasized the need to become more efficient based on what was best for our key stakeholders. Customers would benefit by paying less for the services we provide. Shareholders would benefit from lower costs. Employees would benefit from being part of industry leading teams that would not be future targets to be outsourced (i.e. higher job security). To become more efficient we needed to reduce staff, and have reduced 20% of our staffing all through attrition — no involuntary lay-offs! To accomplish this, we have clarified expectations, increased performance monitoring and coaching, and provided extra doses of positive reinforcement. Some members of the teams were at or nearing retirement and decided it was a good time to retire — which ended up being a win-win for them and the teams. Intentionally working through the ADKAR process, and being intentional about having supportive change management has been key to a successful change. I am especially gratified by two facts: 1) Our performance metrics have not suffered, and in fact in some cases have improved, and 2) A recent job satisfaction survey showed that overall job satisfaction was actually slightly higher than it was before the change effort! Much of the credit rests with the team supervisors who have done excellent working showing high levels of care and accountability. Managing change is not easy — but if done well pays huge dividends for all involved. Good luck as pursue changes that add value to your team and its stakeholders! P.S. I will be speaking this Spring at National Postal Forum (session titled: How to Develop High Performing Teams) and MAILCOM (sessions titled: Your Team Can Soar! and Best Practices of Great Leaders). Maybe I will see you at one of these great conferences! ¾
Wes Friesen is a proven leader and developer of high performing teams. Wes and his teams have earned multiple awards from a variety of organizations over the years. He has extensive experience in leadership and management roles, in both the business and non-profit worlds. He is also an award-winning University Instructor and Conference Speaker. His new book has just been published, Your Team Can Soar! Powerful Lessons to Lead and Develop High Performing Teams and can be ordered from Xulonpress.com/bookstore or wesfriesen.com or an online retailer. Wes can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com | MARCH-APRIL 2016
By Jeffery Peoples
IS YOUR MAIL HEADED IN THE WRONG DIRECTION?
nless your mail is addressed properly with a clean, correct and current address, presorted, and containerized correctly according to the most current postal regulations, and the containers (bundles, sacks, trays, and/ or pallets) labeled accurately and directed to the right USPS entry facility, your mail could be seriously delayed on its way to its recipient. In fact, it very well could take the “scenic route” getting to its destination. And besides going to the beach, the mountains or grandma’s house, the scenic route is rarely a good way to go. For you as a mailer, these delivery delays can be very costly. When was the last time you updated your mailing and shipping software to the most recent postal reference data files from the USPS? Most of this information changes and must be updated within your software every 30 days. If you don’t keep up with it, your mail delivery will be delayed, you will risk having mail rejected at acceptance time and soon you will face assessments long after you actually entered your mail. You’ve most likely heard terminology such as Labeling Lists, Drop Ship Destination Data, City-State Files, Zone Chart Data, and so forth, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out what all these terms really mean, and why they are important to your mailing operations. The short answer: the USPS provides this data to your software providers and they in turn provide it to you. If you don’t update your software’s data frequently you face a growing number of unpleasant consequences. Presort errors from using old Labeling Lists will show on your Full-Service Mailer
The bottom line? Update your presort/ post-presort software with the latest data as soon as you get it. Scorecard, which will start costing you money when the USPS starts its Full Service assessments in July 2016 — just a few short months from now. But you might pay much more when you start Seamless Acceptance and face those assessments, too. Mailers who use old Mail Direction files and use eInduction already face the loss of their drop ship discounts for mis-shipped pallets that end up at the wrong entry point and this is already very expensive. Labeling List Files These files contain the Labeling List information, which is used by presort software to properly label bundles, sacks, trays, and pallets of mail. These lists are updated monthly and dictate which ZIP codes may be combined together into the handling units, such as trays and sacks, as well as which ZIP codes may be combined together on containers, such as pallets. Mailers often confuse the Labeling List data with the Drop Ship data (see below), but the two are used for completely different purposes. In 2015, the USPS reduced the grace period for using an old labeling list file to 60 days, but that is from the induction date, not the mailing date. For
all practical purposes this means that mailers cannot presort their mail more than 45 days before they mail. Drop Ship Product Files These files are used to properly identify postal facilities that may be used by mailers to transport (drop ship) mail to facilities closer to the final destination of the mail. Included in this group of files is the Mail Direction File, which is used to identify when postal facilities “re-direct” mail to other postal facilities. For example, if a postal facility is undergoing renovation, some of the mail classes or processing categories, it would normally process are re-directed to a nearby facility during the renovation period. This is a temporary condition, so this information is communicated using the Mail Direction File rather than making short term changes to the actual facility listings. The bottom line? Update your presort/ post-presort software with the latest data as soon as you get it. You should also try not to do your presorting more than 30 days in advance of the mailing. The sooner you start doing this the less you will have to worry about. ¾
Jeffery Peoples is Founder and CEO of Window Book, where he has created many innovations since 1989 that make using the Postal Service easier and more profitable for mailers and shippers, including the first-ever: electronic Domestic Mail Manual (DMM), MAC Gold shipping system, commercial postal statement management system that supports both Mail.dat & non-Mail.dat presort data, and the first Priority Mail Open and Distribute system that goes from analysis to printing PMOD labels for tracking mailings.
MARCH-APRIL 2016 | www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com
By Kim Mauch
WILL ASSESSMENTS GO LIVE THIS SUMMER?
hat, exactly, are the assessments? Basically, they allow USPS to collect postage for mailings that were prepared incorrectly for the programs a mailer is participating in. For example, if a mailer isn’t meeting the barcode uniqueness requirement for Full-Service mail, the mailer would refund USPS their Full-Service discount. It’s important to note that not all mailers and not all programs will be subject to invoicing right away. For now, invoices will be tied to four mailing preparation options: Full-Service, eInduction, Seamless Acceptance, and the Move Update requirement. And within each of the programs, only specific requirements will be checked. With these changes, USPS is using a new method to check the quality of mailings. Today, MERLIN machines randomly checked a portion of a mailing for quality. The new system checks every mail piece as it is scanned through mailing equipment and compares it to the submitted electronic documentation. This census method cuts down on the time spent verifying mailings, but it also opens mailers up for errors that won’t be caught until the mail is in the mail stream. To compensate, mailers will be measured for all their mailings across a calendar month. Mailers will only be assessed if the errors are over established thresholds.
Checking the Data To avoid errors, mailers will need to keep track of their mail quality. The penalties for going over the error thresholds vary from fractions of a penny to re-paying postage for some pieces. Mail Service Providers
should pay special attention, as their customers will expect them to submit compliant mailings. USPS posts each mailer’s quality details in the Mailer Scorecard, available in the Business Customer Gateway. There are separate views for Mail Owners and electronic documentation submitters, giving each a view into the quality of their mailings. Each of the programs and their requirements are available in the Scorecard, along with a rolling summary of the mailings performed each month. Mailers can check the scorecard at any time to see if any error thresholds have been exceeded. When the Mailer Scorecard was first released, the data consistency and quality within the scorecard itself was spotty at best. The Postal Service, along with representatives from the mailing industry, painstakingly evaluated each data point in the Scorecard, making sure that the data was represented consistently in a useful way. Several rounds of programming and layout changes were performed, the last wave ending in January.
Documenting the Process With the previous verifications, most of the rules and thresholds were documented in internal USPS publications. With the more rigorous testing of the census method, mailers wanted more detail about the policy surrounding assessments. How were the requirements measured? What penalties would be applied, and how? These policy questions have been collected in a proposed new USPS document, the Publication for Streamlined Mail Entry for Letters and Flats. At first this document was a mash-up of documents from the differ-
ent programs, but after several rounds of feedback from the industry this document will help mailers navigate the assessment waters. Using this information, along with the data from the Mailer Scorecard and their own quality processes, mailers will be able to contest any assessments they deem inappropriate.
What’s the Timeline? As stated above, USPS has stated that they will be activating this process in July, assessing any mailing errors for the month of June. Mailers had requested a full six months to review their data after the Scorecard modifications were complete and verified by the industry. With a late January deployment of the final changes, mailers will have only four months to review their data and make any necessary adjustments to avoid assessments. USPS has pushed the implementation date on this project back many times, so it’s quite possible that the date will slip again. We’ll likely hear more at the National Postal Forum in March.
Next Steps In the near term, mailers who haven’t looked at their Mailer Scorecard should do so as soon as possible. Early identification of troublesome mailings will be key to avoiding assessments. Once they go live, it’s likely there will be a few months of churn where the bumps in the process are smoothed out. Then, we can likely expect that the verified requirements will be expanded and thresholds will be tightened. The July date is just the beginning. ¾
Kim Mauch is a subject matter expert in mailing preparation and submission at Satori Software. Contact her at email@example.com.
www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com | MARCH-APRIL 2016
By Mike Porter
WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABOUT BILL STUFFERS?
oes your organization add bill stuffers or pre-printed inserts to envelopes containing transactional documents? During most of the time I worked for a print/mail service provider, our customers regarded those inserts as highly important. We instituted several processes and procedures to make sure we received this material on time, matched inserts up with the correct jobs, and had instructions for what to do if we ran out during production. If my own mail is any indication, transactional document mailers are still using envelope stuffers extensively. Reliance on pre-printed inserts hasn’t changed much in the last couple of decades for mailers of bills and statements. Neither have the limitations inherent in this communication medium. Those limitations complicate the document inserting workflow. I have attended production planning meetings convened by one of my consulting clients to discuss their monthly billing runs. Bill inserts were a consistent topic. They talked about them every time. Only a certain number of insert stations were available on the mailing machines, and the number of inserts to be sent frequently exceeded the capacity of the equipment.
Let’s Make a Deal!
would trade it away for future consideration. It was like watching the NBA draft! All kidding aside, figuring out how to use envelope stuffers effectively is a problem for many organizations. They must somehow resolve the issue of having more inserts than stations. Some organizations might split the billing runs to accommodate all the desired insert combinations, but that complicates job reconciliation and increases machine idle time. Splitting jobs also increases exposure to errors such as printing a segment twice or mistakenly skipping a portion of the job. Fortunately, there are other approaches a document center might take to address the matter of limited insert stations. Document center managers can satisfy all the departmental players without destroying their inserting productivity rates or adding to quality assurance burdens.
Transpromo Still an Option Printing some offers or notices on the transactional documents themselves is one way to do it. The practice of transpromo was never as widespread as proponents predicted, but it’s still a viable solution. Many document composition software packages include transpromo functionality so implementation can be fairly straightforward. A change in USPS First Class postal rates several years ago removed the extra postage charge for the second ounce, making it less expensive to add transpromo pages to transactional documents.
The departmental wheeling and dealing for temporary occupancy of the available insert stations was pretty entertaining. The group had to take careful notes recording which departments had relinquished their spots one month, and when they were to Do You Need Return Envelopes? be compensated. Sometimes a depart- Freeing up an insert station reserved for ment receiving an insert spot from another remittance envelopes can be a strategy
also. A study of customer payment methods may show it is workable to stop providing the return envelopes to large numbers of customers who pay electronically. Or you might consider two-way envelopes where the outbound envelope also serves as the return container.
Modular Components As inserting equipment becomes more modular, rolling in extra stations for those jobs requiring a greater selection of inserts might work for you. This could be an option where limited space prohibits permanent expansion of the mailing machines, or when only certain jobs need the extra capacity.
Variable Envelope Messages Finally, look into adding variable data inkjet printers to the inserting machines. Devices on the market today print full color images of acceptable quality on the outside of outbound envelopes. Envelope messages can take the place of a bill stuffer and free up one or more insert stations. Inserts still convey important information to recipients of transactional documents. If they didn’t generate sufficient response, mailers would have stopped using them long ago. Limits on the number of different inserts that can be onboard on the mailing machines are restrictive however, especially when mailers are trying to target their messages more precisely. Adopting some of the approaches made possible by technological advances, mailers can augment bill stuffers with a mix of different mediums to get their messages noticed. ¾
Mike Porter is President of Print/Mail Consultants, a firm that helps document producers save money, raise productivity, and make their mail more effective. You are invited to visit www.printmailconsultants.com and sign up for his free newsletters.
MARCH-APRIL 2016 | www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com
MAIL & TECHNOLOGY MERGE
By Vincent DeAngelis
USPS IS INNOVATING THE CORE
man embarked on a round-theworld speaking tour in 1895. Two years later, he arrived in London. His name was Samuel Clemens — an American humorist, novelist and social critic. You may also know him by his pen name, Mark Twain. While Twain was in London, a rumor circulated that he was gravely ill. It was soon followed by a rumor that he died. According to a widely repeated legend, a major American newspaper actually printed his obituary and when Twain was told of this by a reporter, he quipped: “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” To that note, some of the world’s most well known and profitable companies owe their long-term success to being able to reinvent themselves when they recognize that the landscape in which they compete is changing or will soon undergo permanent change. Cell phone maker Nokia started as a paper mill in 1865. Wrigley, a leading maker of confections, originally sold soap and baking powder. But, not all changes take companies in such divergent directions. In order for the United States Postal Service to continue to compete, and even thrive, in an ever evolving digital world, it will need to build upon the great work it has already done and remain responsive to the current and forthcoming changes in customers’ needs. The great opportunity the USPS has in front of it is twofold; help digital communications become more effective and introduce new products in the digital space. The USPS will need the same laser-like focus that it has shown in the package services arena to evolve its suite of products. As a side note, I often tell the story that
when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I worked in the USPS sales organization, we had to compete in the package arena with a product that offered one or two scans per package, pick up only when the carrier stopped to drop off your mail regardless of time and a fee structure that allowed for only one price whether you mailed one or 1,000 packages. Today, you get more scans than you know what to do with, expanded pick-up options and the ability to get pricing based on your shipping profile. These changes, as well as dynamic routing, predictive delivery and upgraded carrier scanning technology, just to name a few, have allowed the USPS to have significant growth in its package services product line. This new focus will begin with keeping mail relevant in a universe that is using digital communications more and more each day. But, before we begin this thinking, we must first define digital communications. Then, we must define what advertisers want the outcome to be from this type of communication. I recently saw this concept defined as “effective digital communication is the ability to create persuasive communications in different media, be it websites, video, audio, text, or animated multimedia.” I believe we can all agree this is a definition that encompasses a majority of the elements of a digitalized world. Then the question is: what do advertisers want from their digital communication messaging? Ultimately, we could suppose that the goal is to drive traffic from their messaging and bask in the resulting revenue. What better way to meet those goals then utilizing a channel that has been around since the beginning of hard copy communication?
Why would advertisers use an old-school channel in a time when digital advertising is exploding? It is because it works. One example would be the direct mail 3.5% response rate compared to the email 0.12% rate. Alas, the Postal Service needs to do more… and it is. It is allowing enabling technology that will make digital marketing efforts even more effective through the use of direct mail campaigns. Those technological advances — QR Codes, Near Field Communication, Augmented Reality, Video in Print and Informed Delivery — are just a few of the recent innovations that can successfully drive the lift of a multi-media marketing campaign. USPS reinvention and change is happening. And as an added benefit, the USPS is encouraging customers to try these innovations by offering discounts on mail that utilizes emerging technologies… in effect, putting its money where its mouth is. That is not greatly exaggerated. And, to quote the late, great infomercial legend Billy Mays, “But wait, there’s more!!” The USPS is poised and ready to take advantage of its lofty place on America’s top trusted brands list, its extensive retail footprint and its ability to enforce security of information through one of the country’s oldest federal law enforcement agencies to build upon and introduce new products in the digital solutions space. The work it is doing under its Digital Platform (Digital Identity Services, Digital Security Products and Digital Applications) can help the USPS generate new revenue streams that augment its core products and services. And, in the end, this will allow the USPS’s story to be one more in line with Netflix as opposed to Blockbuster. ¾
Vincent DeAngelis is Vice President, Postal Relations, Neopost USA. Headquartered in Milford, CT, Neopost USA provides mailing, business communications management and shipping hardware and software solutions. As businesses increasingly move to digital communications, Neopost USA continues to help its customers communicate via physical mail, digital communications and parcels. For more information on Neopost USA, visit www.neopostusa.com.
www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com | MARCH-APRIL 2016
DIRECT MAIL EVOLUTION
By Joy Gendusa
INCREASE YOUR CUSTOMERS' CONVERSIONS UP TO 147%
ave you ever looked at a product online, and a short time later seen an ad for that same product on a completely different website? Yeah? Then you’ve been “retargeted.” Retargeting — also known as remarketing, or Google follow-up advertising — serves ads to consumers based on their previous internet activity. It sounds sinister, doesn’t it? But it’s a powerful online marketing tactic that’s growing in popularity. (You’ve probably heard of it or at least noticed it!) To wit: } 20% of marketers have a dedicated retargeting budget } 64.3% of marketers expect to increase their retargeting spend
It’s an easy direct-mail add-on option to include in your services line-up. It costs little to get started and customers will LOVE it. It’s called DirectMail2.0, and it’s now available as a white label service for printers and mailers nationwide. This integrated marketing program also comes with mail tracking (so clients know when their postcards will hit mailboxes) and call tracking (so they can see exactly how many calls they get and listen to them — even the ones they miss). Customers can quickly log on to a dashboard that shows them all of this information, including how many times their online follow-up ads have been seen and by how many people — so they know exactly what kind of response they’re getting.
Imagine the marketing power of direct mail combined with Google follow-up ads. It could mean a huge revenue boost for your customers! It’s great for them — AND for you! … and with good reason! These built-in online follow-up ads provide: } Improved conversion rates } Increased return on investment (ROI) } Cost-effective branding All of that adds up to:
Better returns for your customers.
MARCH-APRIL 2016 | www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com
The best part: The online portal and dashboard are branded with your company’s name and logo. Your customers never deal with DirectMail2.0, they only see it as an extension of your own business. PostcardMania was a beta company for DirectMail2.0, and it added over $1
} Retargeting can boost ad response up to 400% } Nearly three out of five online buyers said they notice ads for products they looked up on other sites } Retargeted customers are four times more likely to convert than new customers } 26% of customers will return to a site through retargeting } Retargeting can increase conversion rates by 147% } Website visitors who are retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to convert on that web site Pretty convincing, huh? But first, your customers need to get prospects to their website with direct mail!
Even with so many high-tech marketing options available, direct mail is still one of the most effective lead-generation tools. You know this better than most, but here are some stats to help your argument: } 60% of direct mail recipients say they were influenced to visit a promoted website } 73% of US consumers said they prefer direct mail for brand communications because they can read the information at their convenience } 56% of Americans say they enjoy receiving mail } 39% of customers try a business for the first time because of direct mail advertising } 92% of Millennials are influenced to make a purchasing decision as a result
of direct mail they received, compared to 78% for email Imagine the marketing power of direct mail combined with Google follow-up ads. It could mean a huge revenue boost for your customers! It’s great for them — AND for you! You can offer the program to your customers, too — right away and without any startup cost or added stress to your team — by letting DirectMail2.0 fulfill the orders for you! They’ll provide your clients with mail tracking, call tracking and Google follow-up ads under a white label so it looks like YOUR business is providing it! When your customers log in to their dashboard to see their returns, they’ll be logging in from YOUR website! ¾
Joy Gendusa is the Founder and CEO of PostcardMania, a fully-integrated marketing firm specializing in direct mail. She used postcards to grow PostcardMania from just a phone and computer to a $22 million enterprise in less than a decade. PostcardMania offers free postcard samples for your industry — request a sample pack today! Connect on Twitter: @postcardmania or @joygendusa. Visit directmail2point0.com or call 800.956.4129 to learn more about an integrated white label system for your business!
www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com | MARCH-APRIL 2016
By Mandi McCoy
MAKING AN IMPACT WITH YOUR TRANSACTIONAL COMMUNICATIONS very month, like clockwork, your organization has a prime transactional opportunity with a captive audience — your customer. Whether print or digital, your company has the opportunity to interact with your customer to drive an overall better customer experience. Through the use of transactional communications, designing an engaging communication creates a personalized, interactive, colorful and promotional or educational message that encourages a long-term customer experience and satisfaction. But don’t lose sight on continuing to incorporate into your business strategy cost saving measures that support overall solid practices in operational excellence, postal optimization and multi-channel delivery preference. What Are Transactional Communications? Effective delivery of transactional communications continues to reinvent itself. With the rise of the customer experience and customer expectations, the preferred delivery method is just as impactful as the transactional content itself. These mailings include statements, bills, policy notices, EOBs, late notices and other time-sensitive account-level transactions. Research 14
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suggests the average customer spends two to five minutes with a transactional communication; this is much longer than you’ll get with a direct mail piece. This is where you’ll be able to make a more impactful communication with the use of full-color messaging and Customer Communications Management (CCM) software solutions versus producing a black/white monochromatic communication. Target Color Messaging Incorporating a colorful, personalized strategy with targeted messages throughout a transactional communication will require an investment in production and operations cost. To help offset the additional cost, consider optimizing your mailing processes by combining smaller jobs to increase the postal density and take advantage of the second ounce free. By increasing postal density, this will help to qualify your mailings for lower postage rates and faster speed of delivery. As a suggestion, add an additional marketing page since the second ounce rides free. Instead of mailing a separate marketing correspondence, include the communication within the First-Class Mail transactional mailing for higher readability, lower postage and
faster delivery. To incentivize the move to color, the Postal Service specifically offers incentives in the form of a postage rebate at the time of mailing. As background, postal incentive programs were initially introduced in 2011 and have since developed into offering repeated incentives for more personalized color messaging printed on the transactional document. This year’s promotion is called the “2016 Personalized Color Transpromo Promotion” and offers an upfront postage discount to mailers who use personalized dynamic/variable color print for transpromotional marketing and consumer messages on their bills and statements. The Personalized Color Transpromo promotion runs July 1 through December 31. Registration for the program begins on May 15 and runs through the end of the promotional period. Service Providers Transform the Need for Color Mid to large tier service providers are well-positioned and equipped to support enterprise mailers’ high-quality, full-color inkjet needs that in-house operations may lack. This is due to high implementation costs of hardware, software, experience and the lower per sheet cost of color that
service providers can offer. In addition to print service providers, many Hosted Managed Services (HMS) providers offer robust offerings that support data-driven services, such as interactive document composition, responsive design messaging management, and preference management capabilities. Postal Optimization One of the top business goals for enterprises is to reduce postage spend. That should come as no surprise since these rising postage costs account for approximately 67% of operationsâ€™ budgets. If you are nodding your head in agreement, you are certainly not alone. Additionally, enterprises have faced many challenges by not leveraging new innovations and technologies around postal optimization. As a first step to a postal optimization strategy, start with the data integrity. Each year roughly four billion First-Class Undeliverable-As-Addressed (UAA) mailpieces are destroyed due to poor address quality. Fortunately, USPS data shows the rate is slowly decreasing year-over-year, but clean data continues to be the responsibility of enterprise mailers. As a best practice, conduct an electronic process of your customer data
each mailing through a USPS certified Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS) presort and address validation software. CASS Certified automation software identifies the Delivery Point Validation (DPV), ZIP+4, LACSLink, SuiteLink, and other ancillary services during the mail preparation stage. Since the Full Service Intelligent Mail barcode was introduced, presort automation and physical commingling have also been a key optimization tool to improve productivity and postage savings. Take an evaluated look at your data integrity. If you are finding your organization has a higher than average CASS error rate (industry average is two percent), you may want to consider taking additional pro-active actions for increasing resolutions. One of the ways to optimize your data is to take your address scrub one step further by processing the mailing list through a solution called Address Element Correction (AEC). AEC is a two-step USPS process, depending on the severity of missing or inaccurate information. This electronic process has an estimated resolution rate of 60-70%, which moves towards a cleaner, quality and deliverable address. Your organization may opt to utilize the USPS directly, or there are service providers that manage
the process in an automated fashion. Additionally, on average, 17% of Americans move every year. Maintaining a Move Updates method every 95 days will increase the deliverability, client satisfaction and decrease the costly return mail expenses attributed to both the USPS and the mailing industry. Pre-mailing Move Updates, such as USPSâ€™ National Change of Address (NCOALink) provides updates based on what the customer has filed with the postal service. In 2015, the USPS rolled out a nationwide no-fee post Move Updates service that incorporates Address Change Service and Secure Destruction called USPS BlueEarth Secure Destruction. This service was primarily designed for customers in the telecommunications, financial, insurance and health industries using First-Class Mail. USPS BlueEarth Secure Destruction helps lower the carbon footprint of the Postal Service and participating customers through efficiency, and provides fast and accurate electronic information to participants about their outgoing mail pieces that could not be delivered. If your organization is looking for enhanced
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By Bob Rosser and Kurt Ruppel
UNDERSTANDING YOUR MAILER SCORECARD
here’s an old baseball saying that you can’t tell the players without a scorecard. In the mailing world, a new saying is emerging: “You can’t understand your mail quality without your Mailer Scorecard.” The U.S. Postal Service has introduced this new tool to help mailers track how well they are doing in meeting various mail quality metrics as the agency transitions from manual review of mail quality to more automated processes. Why Care about Your Scorecard Mail Service Providers (MSP) have always focused on mail quality because we know that high-quality mail drives efficient processing and timely delivery. This in turn makes mail more valuable and reduces upward pressure on postage rates. We also know that what gets measured gets managed — and improved — making the Mailer Scorecard an important new tool for controlling postage costs. How Is Mail Quality Assessment Changing? 16
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The traditional model for mail quality assessment is for the physical mail to be presented to USPS clerks in either the mail preparer’s plant (known as a Detached Mail Unit) or at a nearby USPS facility with a Business Mail Entry Unit (BMEU). The clerks review the mail, usually using a MERLIN device, evaluating aspects such as physical characteristics, mail preparation, and qualification for the rate(s) claimed. In this model, quality is tracked on a mailing-by-mailing basis with only a sample of the mail being reviewed. If issues are identified at time of review, the preparer can take the mail back and correct any problems or a postage adjustment can be made based on the individual mailing. In the evolving model for quality assessment, electronic documentation (eDoc) describing the content and make-up of the mail is provided to the Postal Service through the PostalOne! portal using Mail. dat files, Mail.xml messaging, or the Postage Statement Wizard. In this model the Postal Service evaluates the data provided and compares it to Mail Processing Equipment (MPE) scans of individual mail piec-
es, handling units (trays) and containers (pallets) — resulting in a “census” review of all pieces in the mailing. Various quality metrics are tracked across a calendar month, with thresholds established for each quality metric. If at the end of the month, all of an eDoc submitter’s metrics are below the thresholds, the mail is judged to be of good quality and no further action is taken. If any of the eDoc submitter’s metrics are above its threshold, the mail is assessed a postage penalty for the pieces in error above the threshold across the entire month. Automated Mail Entry Programs Covered by Scorecards Programs covered by Mailer Scorecards include Full-Service, Move Update verification, eInduction and Seamless Acceptance. Separate versions of the scorecards are available for eDoc submitters and for Mail Owners. eDoc submitter scorecards allow MSPs to view mail quality data across multiple production facilities and across multiple clients. Mail Owner scorecards allow owners to parse their data by vendor.
Thresholds The Postal Service has established the thresholds for each of the quality metrics based on data it has gathered from previous mailings. The agency has committed to monitoring and adjusting thresholds as these automated mail entry programs grow and additional data becomes available. The Postal Service works with all mailers wanting to participate in Full-Service, eInduction and Seamless Acceptance to ensure their mail quality meets the required thresholds before allowing participation in each program. Once a mailer is in a program, their scorecard is also monitored by the Business Mailer Support (BMS) Analyst or BMEU manager, who will reach out to the mailer if they see any quality trends that are of concern.
way.usps.com/eAdmin/view/signin). From your dashboard, choose Mailing Reports, then Mailer Scorecard. At that point, select whether you are an eDoc submitter or a Mail Owner, and then select which month’s data you want to view. The image below shows a Full-Service scorecard that is broken out by mail owner and mail preparer (by facility). The top section provides volume information for the month. The next section shows verification metrics. These metrics can be displayed as either numbers or percentages. Move Update information is included in the Full-Service scorecard, but is currently for information only.
The scorecard allows users to drill down to specific jobs and specific errors to gather more detail about when and where an error occurred. This information is also useful in diagnosing and correcting errors and inefficiencies in mail production workflows. Note that most items displayed in the scorecard are defined as “errors,” which are metrics that can result in a postage penalty if they are over the allowable threshold for an entire calendar month. A few items are simply “warnings,” which are important mail quality metrics, but aren’t currently used to drive postage assessments.
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Navigating Through Your Scorecard The Mailer Scorecard is available through the Business Mailer Gateway (https://gate-
www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com | MARCH-APRIL 2016
Get Your Ticket to Postal Success
With March Madness in full force, there is no better time to focus on coaching your team to victory! Come explore our winning approach to Seamless Acceptance, and learn how to optimize eCommerce fulfillment.
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Firstlogic Solutions, LLC 888.725.7800 email@example.com www.firstlogicsolutions.com
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Produce brilliant, sharp text and images with the Mach 5 Digital Color Printer from Neopost. Powered by Memjet technology, create full color envelopes twice as fast, at a third of the cost of the competition. Perfect for short runs and on demand printing yet also built to sustain long print jobs. Neopost 1.800.NEOPOST www.neopostusa.com
When Global Capabilities Matter
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SAP DATA SERVICES 4.2 is SAP’s premier global data quality platform with data validation for over 240 countries including: DATA PROFILING – data analysis, ADDRESS CLEANSE – CASS™, NCOALink® & DSF2® global address cleansing & geocoding, DATA CLEANSE – data standardization, MATCH – deduplication & householding. DATA INTEGRATOR Extract, Transform & Load (ETL). Batch/real-time software available “On-Premise” on WINDOWS®, LINUX®, SOLARIS® & AIX®. Firstlogic Solutions, LLC 888.725.7800 email@example.com www.firstlogicsolutions.com
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A-Qua Mailer™ desktop and web provide Address Standardization, Duplicate Elimination, Full-Service NCOALink® and Presort; easy maintenance with no directory updates. Lorton Data’s strategic approach, extensive capabilities, and renowned customer service result in higher returns on your marketing investment.
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Kirk-Rudy will be demonstrating inkjet addressing, tabbing and postage stamp application, all in one complete mailing system. Featuring the world’s fastest high resolution inkjet, the Phoenix, along with their patented KR545T, the only tabber on the market that can apply 3 tabs in one pass, its one complete system that does it all. Kirk-Rudy, Inc. 770.427.4203 www.kirkrudy.com
RISO’s cut sheet inkjet technology delivers high-speed printing of variable data, using a heatless imaging system that produces flat, dry, full-color output with no paper curl at 150 PPM - and uses less energy – all in a fraction of the footprint of larger systems. RISO, Inc. 978.777.7377 www.us.riso.com
Lorton Data 651.203.8200 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ultimate Mailing Solution
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Fuel Your Growth with Satori® Software
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Whether you’re a small print shop or a print service provider processing thousands of mail jobs – Satori Software has the solution to meet your needs. From our simple but powerful desktop solution Bulk Mailer®, to our customizable Architect solution, and our new Satori Ignite data processing solution - we can fuel your growth. Come see what’s next in mailing. Satori Software email@example.com 1.800.553.6477 www.satorisoftware.com
WHY IS EVERYONE TALKING A peek into the ABOUT INKJET? inkjet revolution
nkjet products and solutions have advanced extensively over the past few years due to the evolving needs of world class companies and customers. Inkjet continues to rise in popularity as companies seek to achieve operational excellence while at the same time producing higher value communications through an intense focus on productivity, speed, accuracy and precision. Improved Quality Industry-leading inkjet printers can produce higher-quality output to meet even the most demanding color quality standards and service level agreements (SLAs). With high volume production inkjet printers, users can produce more impactful communications with high print quality of up to 2400 dpi, resolution that delivers a wider color gamut and smoother gradients that rival offset quality. Inkjet users can also achieve
MARCH-APRIL 2016 | www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com
improved quality through multiple drop sizes that offer flexibility to run high-quality and low-quality jobs on the same machine. The measure of quality must be measured in more than the ink of the page â€” todayâ€™s personalized communications mean that operations must hold the privacy of data to the highest quality standard, ensuring precision and accuracy throughout the print and mail process. High quality color inkjet printing used to be out of reach for all but the highest volume mailers. But today there are offerings that allow operations in the one to 10 million monthly impression range to get the benefits of color inkjet with a platform the offers a lower capital and run cost. Broader Market Application The latest inkjet technology platforms allow for broader market applications, with the ability to produce output on wide range of
substrates, including color, glossy, standard offset stocks and even untreated stocks. Previously, coated stocks had to be treated with a bonding agent in order to produce high-quality print. To ensure printing quality, many inkjet printers have built-in primer systems that prepare untreated paper to receive ink. In other words, when commercial paper is fed into an inkjet system, users can choose to apply a coating that facilitates ink adhesion. Not only does this improve the color and clarity of resulting documents, it also greatly reduces the likelihood of irregularities or misprints. The associated waste reduction in both paper and ink result in tangible savings for businesses. Flexibility and Productivity Inkjet used to just be a solution for highly variable, lower quality jobs. However, today inkjet is increasing in popularity due to its flexibility and productivity. With one inkjet
By Grant Miller printer, users can do a range of high-quality jobs to inexpensive jobs alternating between high-speed/low-quality and lowspeed/high-quality. Through higher speeds, users can be more productive and competitive with the same level of assets. Furthermore, a smart investment inkjet does not require a “forklift” upgrade as the printers can be improved to the next generation of technology without completely replacing the asset. Conversely, toner technology required a complete integrated ecosystem that needed to be completely replaced. Now, there are fully integrated printing and finishing solutions that allow for a seamless migration to inkjet leveraging an existing cut-sheet workflow that even include dynamic perforation options built-in. Device Consolidation Modern inkjet printers are an integrated, fully variable solution, meaning they can
avoid multipass with an overprint. In contrast, most offset printers must print the same paper multiple times to incorporate colors and variable data. Inkjet printers provide an opportunity to create higher-value communications — such as making mail more colorful, interactive, engaging and integrated with digital communications. Single-run functionality also signals the approach of fully automated printing systems, where human intervention is minimized from start to finish. Not only will this bring greater workplace efficiency, but staff will be able to turn their attention to more specialized tasks. Cost Inkjet systems typically require extremely high volume print jobs to be most effective. However, recently introduced systems for medium and small volume levels are making inkjet more affordable and attainable.
Changes in inks and substrates have also significantly lowered the operating cost of inkjet printers, making them economically equal to, if not better than, alternative technologies for mid-sized print volumes. The cost of inkjet printers has also significantly deceased as the range of compatible substrates and inks has expanded, eliminating the need for expensive, specialized products. The ability to print on a wider range of substrates with reduced waste, has also brought down overall printing costs. As the inkjet revolution continues, vendors will continue to expand size offerings to ensure efficiency and quality are attainable at every volume size. ¾ GRANT MILLER is global vice-president of operations and product management at Pitney Bowes. Pitney Bowes offers the industry’s broadest range of inkjet format sizes.
STOP BY BOOTH 609 AT THE NATIONAL POSTAL FORUM
www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com | MARCH-APRIL 2016
“I’M NOT DEAD YET” Transactional mail is still alive and kicking— and smart mailers will be sure to use it.
ans will quickly recognize the “I’m not dead yet” quote from the famous comedy scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and — unlikely though it may seem — there is a connection between the scene, the quote, and the state of transactional mail. In the Monty Python sketch, bodies of plague victims are being brought out to the street for collection in a cart, when one victim brought out loudly insists “I’m not dead yet. I’m getting better!” Unfortunately his arguments are ignored by countrymen who are used to plague victims dying, and his pleas are met with a blow on the head and a spot in the wheelbarrow cart. But the moral of the story may be that preconceived conclusions often lead us to respond with a status quo attitude. Folks go along with the status quo, and the more we hear the tale told, the more we buy into the 22
MARCH-APRIL 2016 | www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com
ending. It’s the self-fulfilling prophecy theory, to some extent; if everyone says the victim will die, we adjust our thinking and expectations in that direction rather than focus our energy on helping him survive. I see a similar phenomenon when it comes to transactional mail. For years I have heard businesses, the Postal Service, its regulators, and others in the industry talk about the decline of First-Class Mail and the “death spiral” of this medium, which includes transactional mail. The more people have talked about it and presented “data” around it, the more the industry at large has bought into the inevitability that eventually this mail will all but disappear as it is replaced with digital alternatives (the prevailing theory for why this mail volume has decreased). But is it true? Or are we all just looking at transactional mail usage with the preconceived notion that digital alternatives are
better and will continue to replace transactional mail? And if it is true that use of transactional mail has declined — for whatever reason — does that mean we should resign ourselves to a preconceived ending of its death, or should we be helping the victim get better? Yes, Total FCM Volume Has Declined, But… Yes, total FCM volume has declined over the past 14 years. That is indisputable. But do we really know why? And is there really nothing that can be done to grow FCM volume? This is where you have to be a bit of a “postal geek” (like me!), and dig through some of the available data. If my business started losing significant sales of a particular product, the first thing I would want to know is “why?” followed by “how can we fix it?” To get to the why of FCM volume
By Kathleen J. Siviter the previous year (by only a fraction, but still an increase!). So FCM used by businesses (presort) has not declined at the same pace as total FCM volume and in recent years is actually seeing stabilization of volume and perhaps even some growth on the horizon. Why?
declines, however, you have to be able to dissect FCM volume by the many markets that use it, then look at the trends for each. That takes data collection and analysis that either the USPS has not performed, or that it has not shared the results of. But there is some data publicly available that at least starts this exercise. The USPS publishes annual reports that break its FCM volume into postage rate product categories, such as Single Piece (largely consumer mail) and Presort (business mail). If one looks at trends over the past 15 years for total First-Class Mail volume, it has definitely declined. But if you separate First-Class Mail volumes generated by businesses, the trends are not the same. While total FCM volume has significantly declined each year since 2008, for instance, presort FCM volumes have not declined at the same pace, and in 2015 presort volumes actually increased over
Better Market Data Needed This leads to one of my main points in this discourse — if no one is collecting the right data to determine FCM market trends and why volumes are changing, and look at what industries are using FCM mail for what purpose, and how external forces (or postage rates/service) may be causing businesses to change their mailing behaviors… how can we know the real factors leading to FCM volume decline… or growth? For the FCM markets that are declining, how can we know whether there is anything that could help breathe new life into this “dying” patient? Without the data to tell us what is wrong with our patient, how can we attempt to help the patient improve? And we need to understand that this is not just one patient, this is many different patients (representing a diverse FCM user industry), some of whom may be perfectly healthy while others may need treatment! There are many different types of business FCM users, ranging from financial industries, to medical, to legal, to telecommunications, and many more. These markets and users should not be treated as one because each has different market pressures, goals, and ways they use FCM/ transactional mail. While it may be true that FCM usage is being replaced by electronic communication for some types of business users, it may not be true for others. The bottom line is that there needs to be more comprehensive research done to identify specific markets using FCM, determine if they are declining or growing, and for those declining, identify the reasons/ factors leading to the decline, and explore ways to add value to the FCM medium to make it more attractive to those business users. There are also new opportunities and new markets for transactional mail that need to be better explored, particularly in light of other business trends.
In recent years, there have been a few significant changes that could positively impact the use of First-Class Mail. First is the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, and the changes to requirements that over time impact the way health care providers communicate with patients. Second are the cyber-attacks and data security issues that are plaguing most large businesses that routinely store customer data. Not only are many businesses looking at hardcopy transactional mail alternatives to digital communications, but businesses are sending customers letters about cyberattacks and their data protections. Standing the Test of Time I recently had the privilege to see John Cleese and Eric Idle perform live in a small theatre in Virginia, where they brought shrieks of laughter to a very diverse audience of both old and young admirers. Their comedic talent has certainly stood the test of time, and I am a believer that First-Class Mail also will stand the test of time, if we give it the attention it may need. So as an industry, let’s not be too quick to add transactional mail to the “bring out your dead,” cart. Instead, we should be pushing the USPS and industry analysts to perform meaningful studies that identify the markets using FCM, the volume trends for those markets, and ways that FCM could be improved to make it more attractive to each market, as well as exploring new uses and markets. Let’s look at all the ways we can revive, evolve, enhance and grow this powerful customer engagement tool! ¾
KATHLEEN J. SIVITER is president of Postal Consulting Services Inc. (PCSi) and has over 30 years’ experience in the postal industry, having worked for the U.S. Postal Service, Association for Postal Commerce (PostCom), and a diverse set of clients with interest in the postal industry. She also serves as the Director, Community & Brand Development, for PostalVision 2020 (www.postalvision2020.com), an initiative designed to engage stakeholders in discussions about the future of the American postal system. www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com | MARCH-APRIL 2016
By Adam Lewenberg
WHY MAILING FLEET ASSET MANAGEMENT IS SO IMPORTANT
e manage some of the largest mailing equipment fleets in the world and find the same issues happening in every organization that lead to overspending, fees and lost postage. It does not matter if you have five locations or 2,000; there are certain processes that need to be in place to effectively manage the equipment and postage spends. Without these, you can rest assured you are overspending. You might think that it is just a few dollars, but our average savings numbers are over 50% of equipment spends from companies that thought they had proactive processes. Here are the tools needed to do this on your own or at least help you be able to better diagnose holes that need to be filled in the way you manage equipment and postage spends throughout your organization. 24
MARCH-APRIL 2016 | www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com
Step 1: Identify Current Equipment and Postage Spends Throughout Your Locations This sounds like an obvious first step, but you would be surprised at how many companies do not have any reports outlining this spend. Even those that do are mostly incomplete. Without this data there is no way to effectively manage this category. Here are the core pieces of information that you need to pull together: Listing of all locations with mailing equipment. This needs to have the following items included on the report: Location address with contact information. Model and serial numbers of all equipment along with installation dates. Lease terms — End of lease dates, amounts, and items included on the lease.
Annual meter, maintenance and rate change costs along with any parts and labor charges listed out by item. Postage spent over a 12 month period by location including balances in each account. Listing of all USPS permit accounts along with current balances and the past 12 month usage levels. There are a few places that you will need to go to get this information: Mailing Equipment Vendors — If you have a dedicated account manager, they should be able to provide you with some of the reporting discussed above. You can also call into their customer service area to get the needed information. Mailing Equipment Vendors’ Websites — All of the vendors have a way to view postage activity, see invoices and mon-
itor your accounts online. It takes some work getting everything set up but it is worth it to be able to manage the process. Accounts Payable — This is where you find rogue spend that was not provided by the vendor. You can typically find the invoice or account number, vendor name and amount paid. This is the best way to fill in the blanks on your mailing spends. USPS Account Managers and USPS Business Customer Gateway — If you have enough mail spend, the USPS will assign an account manager to you. Regardless, you should link every current and past permit account to the USPS Business Customer Gateway https://gateway.usps.com. Step 2: Validate the Spends with Your Internal Account Owners We find that five to 15% of all mailing equipment and accounts are not in use and need to be cancelled. The issue is that no one is reaching out to the locations to validate the equipment and postage that is being paid for or sitting on accounts. We have found over 600 meters either sitting in storage or that people did not realize they were paying for and could have the equipment removed. The equipment vendor has no incentive to do this type of service because they would lose revenue. Here are the key items to check to find these inactive accounts: Postage Refill Activity — For any meter that has not been refilled in over six months, check with the location to make sure it is still needed. High Spend Ratios (Equipment Cost/ Postage Use) — For any meter that is spending more for the equipment than the postage, see if it can be rightsized or moved to another location (if the lease is not expired) or removed. Annual Maintenance Agreements — Make sure the equipment is still being used and the contract is justified. Step 3: Manage all Postage Accounts There are often millions of dollars in dormant/lost postage accounts and there are simple ways to keep this from happening for the future. The key is to have visibility to all of your accounts and monitor the funds in each on a monthly basis. When you send money into your meter vendor or the USPS to fund postage, it is an asset. You are actually sending it in to a bank account that needs to be managed. The issue is most
companies expense these funds as soon as they send them in, which leads to loss. Here are some best in class ways to eliminate losing postage in the future. Consolidate your metered postage accounts — The vendors should let you set up all of your meters on a single funded postage account. The benefits are: it is easy to manage, you get a consolidated statement of activity and if meters get turned in, the funds go back to the master account vs. potentially getting lost. Decide on a postage funding method and stick to it — We find many companies prepay for some accounts and then borrow funds from the vendor for others (Sometimes even within the same account). All of this leads to loss, confusion and fees. View your permit balances on the USPS Gateway as discussed above. Check your balances at least monthly. Step 4: Right-Size Your Fleet The bottom line is businesses spend less on mail than they did just a few years ago. With electronic substitution, outsourcing and consolidating to production areas, many locations are left with small day-to-day mail volumes that do not demand the same levels of equipment. Most organizations have huge overcapacity in their equipment and the vendors again have no incentive to help properly right-size. To make matters worse, this is one of the categories that you cannot search the internet to see what things are supposed to cost. Here are the key strategies to properly right-size your fleet. Consolidate your mailing spends to one or two vendors and use your total spend to leverage better rates for everyone. We recommend setting up master service agreements that define your rates and terms for years to come. Set up defined mailing equipment packages at fixed price points that cover the spectrum of usage throughout your locations. Stop relying on the mailing vendor to survey your locations. You want to be in control of what your sites’ core requirements are for machine speeds, sealing, feeding, accounting, weighing etc. This will eliminate any chances of vendor upselling on features or pushing to larger models than needed. Make sure to get two or three options for every renewal to make the best decision. Consider PC Postage for low/mid-volume locations. The way that this software can www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com | MARCH-APRIL 2016
distribute postage and consolidate data throughout the locations may be superior to meters for the right application. Step 5: Develop a Standardized Reporting Platform The key to effective fleet management is to have a system to keep track of all of this spend and activity, so you can be in control to make better decisions in the future. Many organizations might look at this spend at one point in time, but will not continue to monitor activity to be able to implement future changes as they are needed. This continual tracking is the key to savings because agreements, mail volumes, location moves/consolidations and issue management are a continual fact of life in every organization. You need a way to be able to monitor the following: Equipment Changes — Mailing equipment is constantly being updated and it is important to know what you have out in the current fleet. End of Lease Dates — Most mailing fleets have varying end of lease dates that need to be managed. Most of the vendors have automatic lease extensions (evergreen clauses) if you do not act by a specific time. Also, you want to make changes at the end of lease to avoid remaining balances added to the new agreement or paying longer than required. Postage Spends — We recommend that you have a way to monitor the refill activity of each meter and transaction from every permit account. Vendor Invoices — We have found clients spending tens of thousands in vendor fees and overcharges that can easily be eliminated if the bills were being properly managed. Location Activity and Contact Notes — It is important to be able to know who you spoke to at the locations and what transpired. Also, what changes took place and when. Without this, it is difficult to know the history of the account and what is needed for the future. Issue Management — There are always things coming up throughout the locations that need to be managed. In your reporting, we recommend that you have a way to track renewals, terminations, new equipment requests, billing issues, service problems and location moves and consolidations. What I have described might sound like a lot of work, but once it is set up and things are being proactively managed, it is easy to maintain and actually a time savings. The best part is that by having this much data at your fingertips, it gives you complete control and full transparency to make changes to reduce costs. When you factor the equipment and postage together, this can be a very large spend for an organization. With the process and tools above, you can build a holistic strategy to save money and to optimize this category. 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 multi-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 57% and over $20 million on equipment, fees and lost postage. He can be reached at 617.372.6853 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
MARCH-APRIL 2016 | www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com
SO YOU WANT TO BUY AN INKJET PRESS? Here are some things to keep in mind leading up to implementation.
won’t repeat what has been written many times and is at the core of many inkjet vendors’ whitepapers, exalting the benefits of transitioning to inkjet equipment. Instead, I will discuss the workflows required to leverage ROI from day one through the entire life of your investment. When attending nGage’s Inkjet Summit the past two years, one thing I heard over and over was the need to prepare for the big day. Workflow is the key to enhancing and improving the profits you expect to gain with your new purchase. While the term “workflow” can be used in place of “Automated Document Factory,” the terms are not necessarily interchangeable. In the case of inkjet, there are many workflow solutions you should implement before the first image comes off your new press. Some impact your ADF, while others are simply enhancements that take advantage of the capabilities of an inkjet press. A starting point is to take a look at the types and sizes of jobs you want to
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migrate. First off, are they composed in the correct print format? If not, going back and changing legacy applications can be costly and time consuming. Are your jobs segmented to optimize both print and post processing equipment? If not, lost productivity will cut into your profits Have you identified which pre-printed stationery you can eliminate now that you can print the shells? Again, two choices exist, going back to the legacy application or enhancing the document post composition. Here are just a few of the workflow steps you should consider to enhance immediate profitability of your new investment or increase your productivity of your existing investment: Combine small jobs to make large jobs to ensure that the presses would run profitably Segment large jobs for optimization of rolls, inserters and mailing processes Tweak name and address positioning to fit standardized envelope Deploy a GUI based job setup tool
Process updated mail files for postal optimization Replace pre-printed shells with online color forms Automate file processing to ensure that the new presses will run optimally Implement step-by-step SLA and job tracking improvements to improve operations management and control Remove multiple touch points: As I like to point out, there is gold in your workflow. The trick is figuring out how to mine it. Try this exercise and see what the multiple touch points your existing workflow creates cost in your day-to-day CCM. First you need a stack of one dollar bills or some dimes. Think about all the times there is human intervention in your workflow, and place your money on the table. In most complex workflows for CCM you will find there are many places these multiple touch points can be streamlined and, in many cases, automated. That saves time and money, giving you a better ROI.
By David Day Graphical User Interface (GUI): This simple option in your CCM workflow can make all the difference in the world. For many years the day-to-day workflow management was done from the Command Line; in the past it was also the only real option. Today, a GUI can allow more of your FullTime Equivalents (FTEs) to manage the workflow and solve problems. A user interface is not only more intuitive for today’s up and coming workers, it also provides a visual method for quickly looking at and changing your workflow on the fly. Automatic Reprint: Automation is the most significant component of streamlined processes. If your company doesn’t have an automated reprint and management function, you are burning time and money. Today, customers expect their information to be delivered in a timely fashion, and if you aren’t sure when, where and if their statement was printed and delivered, you will face a communications nightmare. Apply USPS data: Part of a connected and intelligent CCM is being able to use advanced features like Intelligent Mail barcodes from the USPS. By being able to apply pertinent data from the USPS to the mail pieces in your workflow, you are able to take advantage of discounts, track the delivery and report throughout the organization for SLA and compliance management. You want to make sure you can apply this type of valuable data without having to go back to your composition system — you want to add it on the fly to your print file at the right stage of your output management workflow. Eliminate costly manual processes: From an enterprise-wide perspective this is one business process improvement that will
affect many different departments. Consider all the times you touch the customer communications output process through manual or human interaction. Reducing or eliminating these touches will greatly enhance throughput, reduce errors, improve information time to customer and reduce your output and customer service costs. You are not only saving dollars, but better utilizing your resources. Co-mingling of print jobs: From a print and mail perspective there is often optimization that can occur in what communications you are sending out, where they are going, and how you can bundle them. Look at your workflow today and see if you can easily co-mingle print jobs by geographic delivery area. What is the impact? Bring more work together and make sure it is optimized by your mail sortation software to provide optimal mail densities for reduced mailing cost. Whitespace management: The management of whitespace on the page has been talked about for many years now. The basic premise is that you can analyze your print stream or print file after it has been composed to find whitespace and add valuable marketing content. You can also use document reengineering techniques to modify your communications in order to optimize page counts. In short, the management of the whitespace on a document is akin to optimizing your mail densities and shipping palettes. The more value you get out of every page, the better it is for your CCM. Composition software and applications: Looking at our tips above for how to leverage print stream data, it is worth pointing out that you can extend the life of your current and working composition software and applications. For many companies the
prospect of changing their composition processes would open the door to missing SLAs and costly re-programming. By using processes that leave your working processes in place, and by adding value after the composition step, you can extend the life of these systems while still making your CCM goals a reality. Time of your FTEs: One of the greatest achievements in adding value to the CCM workflow is being able to take the FTEs you have on your team and place them on high-priority projects that have the goal of changing the business in positive ways. By moving people from manual processes and implementing time saving ways of achieving information and analytic gains, you will also achieve better return not only on the investment in your people, but in the hardware and software running in your CCM workflow. These are a few of the things you should consider to automate your workflow and take full advantage of your new press. Everything you do in advance of the arrival of your press will greatly benefit your operation and your bottom line. ¾ DAVID DAY, EDP brings over 32 years of experience in the document management & mail industry. As an active member of Xplor for over 17 years, David frequently presents at local and global Xplor meetings. He has also been a guest speaker at various company user and industry groups including National Postal Forum, Graph Expo and Mailcom. David, Product Marketing Manager at CrawfordTech, is responsible for worldwide for their Enterprise Output Management Products. He works with customers, prospects, sales and product development to identify customer requirements, evaluate solutions and make product recommendations. www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com | MARCH-APRIL 2016
MAKING AN IMPACT CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 capabilities with Move Updates and the reason the mail piece was undelivered, this is a good sustainability program to check into. Service providers also offer automated return mail offerings to optimize the deliverability of the mail piece and a better address with third party tools. Over the past year, the USPS has been pushing closer to the implementation of Seamless Acceptance. This will track the automation of the Full Service Intelligent Mail barcode through a new monthly reporting system within the Business Customer Gateway called the Mailer Scorecard. There are still hiccups with the accurate data verification, but the USPS and mailing industry are active in monitoring its progress. With that said, there are actions you can do now to prepare your mailings in time for Seamless Acceptance, such as keep monitoring the Mailer Scorecard against your eDoc data
for accuracy and maintain a good system for address quality. Driving Towards an Optimal Customer Experience Ultimately, today’s communications need to meet customer expectations and provide a good customer experience. Unfortunately for the printing industry, this means a shift to electronic communications in addition to print and mail and the need for managing these customer preferences. However, as we see influenced by USPS promotions, these channels do not need to be siloed. CCM solutions as well as offerings from service providers enable enterprises to provide an integrated experience that gives their customers that prefer print a bridge to the electronic world through the use of QR codes, pURLS, augmented reality and other emerging technologies that provide interactivity and additional
information that can be overwhelming to provide in print. In addition to providing management of these customer channel preferences, they also provide analytics tools that help enterprises gain an understanding of how customers are interacting with their communications today, providing the necessary insight to fine-tune the overall customer experience. ¾
MANDI MCCOY is the Research Manager, Service Provider Consulting Services at Madison Advisors. In this role, Mandi is responsible as the lead resource and research analyst for custom consulting projects and Continuous Advisory Services within the service provider market. Additionally, Mandi will work in conjunction with the VP of Research and Enterprise & Technology Consulting Services to provide guidance in the service provider research and development space.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR MAILER SCORECARD CONTINUED FROM PAGE 17 Current Status of Mailer Scorecards There has been vigorous discussion between the Postal Service and the mailing industry around data quality. The USPS Mail Entry and Payment Technology team has developed a robust testing protocol for all scorecard data. Since late 2015, this team has been actively reviewing scorecard data and making corrections as needed. This review process is being overseen by Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) Task Team 23 — Readiness for Trend-Based Verification. With the January 31 PostalOne! software release, the Postal Service has invited mailers to begin verifying data they see in their Full-Service scorecards. Data in other scorecards is still being reviewed internally by the Postal Service. The other scorecards are expected to be available for mailer review after additional software releases later this year. Full-Service error assessments are scheduled to become payable this summer. The plan is for the first round of postage adjustments to be issued in July for mail quality assessed throughout the month of June. Assessments for all other scorecards are pending Postal Service and mailing industry agreement that the data in the scorecards is accurate and reliable. 30
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Good News and Bad News The evolving model of mail quality assessment can be both good news and bad news for mailers. First the good news. In the past a quality error on a single mailing would have resulted in a quality assessment. This could now “average out” over the course of a full month, especially if it is an anomaly for an otherwise high-quality mail preparer. In addition, because the new model is using a census evaluation of all mailpieces, rather than sampling a very small portion of a mailing, having a verification sample pulled from an abnormal section of the mailing is avoided. The bad news is mailers will no longer have immediate feedback about a specific mailing and will no longer have the option to rework a mailing if any errors are found. Mail preparers must rely on rigorous processes and procedures to produce consistently high-quality mailings. That’s why understanding your Mailer Scorecard is so important. Your scorecard is the tool that will allow you to monitor your mail quality throughout the month and address issues as they arise. If you are consistently tracking your mail quality, there will be no surprise postage assessments at the end of the month.
We view the Mailer Scorecard as an essential tool to manage the quality of the mailings a company produces. If you haven’t started using your Mailer Scorecard, check it out — it contains a wealth of information that will help you manage your mailing operations and improve the quality of the mail you produce. Odds are that if you are already doing everything required in the DMM to claim Full Service rates, your Mailer Scorecard should be pretty clean. However, you can’t assume that everything is fine. We highly recommend you validate the data on your scorecard, as it clearly demonstrates you are producing quality and compliant mailings. If you find errors, diagnose whether these are one time manual data entry errors or a systemic workflow issue. You’ll have much greater peace of mind knowing that your mail quality processes are in good shape before automated assessments begin. ¾
BOB ROSSER, Director of Postal Affairs, and KURT RUPPEL, Marketing Services Manager, at IWCO Direct are presenting on ways to use data to improve the timeliness of mailings at the 2016 National Postal Forum. Contact Bob at bob.rosser @iwco.com or Kurt at email@example.com.
LOGISTICS TOOLS FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY MAIL CENTER
ewer than 10 years ago, most mail centers were processing mail and packages by hand. However, an era of e-commerce and data driven technology emerged, creating an exponential increase in purchase orders and package volumes, resulting in more misrouted items and an inability to close the accountability loop. In addition, more sophisticated requirements became a necessity as mail center managers were left to find solutions to address incoming supply and shipment requests, higher call volumes, and more stringent delivery expectations. Logically, these managers looked to package tracking companies to satisfy their needs and as a result, many compa-
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nies studied these demands and created tools to work in tandem with the average package tracking system, elevating the offering into an all-encompassing campus logistics solution. Service request forms, virtual mailboxes, locker/mailbox management, purchase order (P.O.) line item receiving, outbound desktop shipping, and client-facing portals are but some of the tools designed to alleviate the pain many mail centers feel today.
Service Request Forms Service request forms are a substantial time saver for mail centers and even entire supply chains and function exactly how the name suggests. These forms allow employees to submit any request-related task, job,
asset, or service in an electronic format. The requestor simply selects the desired form, fills out the required information, and submits it. An automatic notification is sent to the mail center to be fulfilled. All submitted forms are tracked by status, like the package tracking software they are built on, until they are completed. Service request forms aid in avoiding last minute mishaps, allowing regulation of materials for better operations oversight, as well as ensuring tasks are being completed on time in order to meet service level agreements (SLAs).
Virtual Mailboxes While package volumes may be increasing, white mail volumes have decreased drastically. Most mail centers have rows and rows
By Bruce E. Little
of mailboxes that are hardly used. Why not repurpose some of that space and implement a more streamlined solution like virtual mailboxes? A virtual mailbox is essentially a bank of file folders. The barcoded folders represent each individual’s mailbox and essentially use the same functionality as your package tracking system. When a particular person receives mail, it is placed in their folder and the barcode is scanned to notify them, via email or text message, that they have mail to pick up. The individual can then go to the mail center’s pick-up window to retrieve and sign for their mail. Virtual mailboxes not only free up space, but they decrease the amount of lost mail, provide complete accountability, and ensure mail is picked up in a timely fashion. For larger organizations, utilizing an automated mail sorting machine that distributes a wide variety of mail into a convenient mode of delivery bins in a single pass may revolutionize the time it takes to sort all that junk mail from the important pieces of accountable mail using a wide range of sorting options including name, department, building, floor, and more.
required to keep their physical mailboxes. If this is the case, the mailbox management functionality within your package tracking software can aid in assigning, reassigning, and de-assigning mailboxes. Mailboxes can be assigned individually or in bulk and are assigned randomly or based on certain criteria, such as location.
P.O. Line Item Receiving Increasing package volumes tend to correlate to an increase in purchase orders. Utilizing the P.O. line item receiving function in your tracking system not only saves time, but also closes the accountability gap completely. This functionality provides a single user interface for receiving, logging and closing purchase orders when integrated with the company purchasing system.
to analyze post-shipment costs, which in turn helps them meet delivery requirements without overspending.
Client Facing Portal The last tool is not only helpful for the mail center, but also for the employees of the organization. A centralized client-facing portal is the essential hub where all these tools come together. A customer portal is also a powerful, yet user-friendly search and metrics tool for all to use. It manipulates data pulled in from all package and service-related transactions. The portal is a centralized location for employees to search for packages, request services, ship a package, or set up office alerts. The advanced search functionality within many customer portals allows users to search based on any variable tied to a particular package or service. For example, a user could search by status, sender, recipient, type, condition, carrier, and any other variable defined in the package tracking system. This function alone eliminates the, “where’s my package?” call. In addition, mail center managers can access an analytics dashboard detailing operations throughout the day as well as built-in reports based on key performance indicators. Based on the real-time data, managers can track deliveries, quickly and easily assign tasks to employees to optimize performance, view the statuses of incoming service requests, and ensure the mail center is meeting all service level agreements (SLAs). ¾
Most mail centers have rows and rows of mailboxes that are hardly used. Why not repurpose some of that space and implement a more streamlined solution like virtual mailboxes?
Implementing a locker system is a great way to repurpose some of the space the mailboxes used to occupy. Locker management is the pairing of an intelligent locker solution with a package tracking software system. Instead of storing packages on a shelf until someone comes to pick them up, they are instead assigned and placed into a locker. Once the package is placed in the locker, an email or text notification is sent to the recipient with a unique access pin code. The recipient is then able to swipe their ID or enter their pin code to retrieve their packages from that locker. A locker system not only frees up package storage space, but it also reduces lines and staff required to process and hand out packages.
Mailbox Management Even though white mail volumes have decreased, some mail centers are still
Desktop Shipping While it is important to have tools to manage incoming packages, it is also crucial to have a game plan for outgoing packages as well. Desktop shipping is a game changing tool for mail center managers because it allows employees the ability to set up shipping for their outgoing packages. This function is available in most package tracking systems and only requires the shipper to fill out the necessary ship-to information. The shipper is able to compare carrier services in order to select the most cost-effective shipping method. With the help of a built-in address book, mail centers can complete accurate shipments in less time. In addition, mail center managers are able
BRUCE E. LITTLE is SCLogic Vice President of Emerging Markets. Founded in 1996, SCLogic is a leading provider of innovative campus logistics software systems that leverage the latest barcode scanning, printing, mobile computing and wireless technologies. The company has thousands of enterprise, government and university users around the world. For more information about SCLogic, please visit www.SCLogic.com. Bruce can be reached at 1.888.700.7027 and firstname.lastname@example.org. www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com | MARCH-APRIL 2016
Driving Profits with Improved Mailing Campaigns Innovation is opening up new ways for print providers to approach mail. Advances in printhead technology, combined with new software solutions, have created a new breed of inkjet presses that let printers offer full color, high-resolution products at a lower cost of ownership than offset or toner. As a result, anyone who produces mail — the corporate mailroom, a dedicated print shop, a marketing services provider, or mailing house — can deliver more impactful, short run campaigns at a lower cost.
Taking Control of the Mailing Process While Increasing Profits For years, Cedar House Media had outsourced the production of direct mail campaigns because they could not provide personalization and the level of quality needed. To change that practice, Cedar House chose the RENA Mach 5 digital color printer, a Neopost product that is powered by Memjet. This press gave Cedar House the ability produce short-run, full color direct mail campaigns at a lower capital cost than laser alternatives. The press requires no plate or other set up, so print jobs can be turned in virtually hours instead of days — at a lower cost per piece than outsourcing.
Jobs could now be produced in half the time with an unparalleled 1600 dpi quality. This speed and quality enabled Kwik Kopy to achieve a greater level of profitability. All of these benefits have come at an affordable cost for Kwik Kopy. “If we have at least four orders of 1,000 four-color envelopes per month, the iJetColor Press will pay for itself,” says Chuck McCollough, Manager, Kwik Kopy.
Improving Customer Relationships These expanded services, combined with the low operating cost of the Mach 5, meant that Cedar House was able to increase their average profit per job and achieve a return on their investment in less than six months. Cory Burden, owner, Cedar House Media says, “You should change the name of this printer to ‘The ATM’ because it prints money.”
Speeding Up Envelope Production Kwik Kopy of Mission Viejo, California was known for their quick delivery — except when it came to envelopes. For Kwik Kopy, the process of producing four-color envelopes was very slow and cumbersome because the envelopes were prone to wrinkling. To improve this, Kwik Kopy purchased the iJetColor Envelope Press. The speed of the press transformed Kwik Kopy’s business.
Curry Print had been using a two-color press to produce envelopes for their customers. This was a costly solution, requiring a customer to order at least 500 envelopes. To improve their operations and the customer experience, Curry Print purchased the Formax ColorMax7 Digital Color Printer. Using this new printer, Curry Print was able to produce smaller quantities on demand, in full color, at less cost per piece. “We have shifted 90% of our printing to digital print, and 45% of that business is printing envelopes on the ColorMax7,“ says Mike Hays, owner at Curry Print.
Learn More To learn more about how your business can achieve results like these, visit memjet.com/mail
Mailing Systems Technology March/April 2016