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TOP MAILING EQUIPMENT CHANGES IN THE LAST 5 YEARS…

and what’s in store for the future. Page 22

WHAT THE NEW USPS PROMOTIONS

tell us about mailing. Page 14

INTELLIGENT MAIL PACKAGE BARCODE THRESHOLD? What’s that? Page 15

OUR ANNUAL WAGE & OPERATIONS SURVEY Where does your organization stand compared to your peers’? Page 16


Volume 27 Issue 7

NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2014

Features 16

A Sneak Peek into the Industry.... A look at the wages & operations of today’s mail centers. By Amanda Armendariz

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Top Mailing Equipment Changes of the Last Five Years... and what’s in store for the future? By Adam Lewenberg

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The Mailing Industry Ecosystem The context for strategic decision-making By Kent B. Smith

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The New Reality Higher package volumes here to stay By Patrick Brand

Departments/Columns 5

Editor’s Note

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6

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Real-Life Management

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Software Byte Only You Can Win the War on UAA Mail By Bill Jamieson

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Intelligent Mail Package Barcode Threshold? What’s that? By Jeffery Peoples

Direct Marketing 101

Application Articles 21

Key Considerations for Selecting Your SAP Postalsoft DQ Replacement Solution

30

SAP Postalsoft DQ 8.0 End-of-Life…

5 Ways Your Print or Mail Business Can Make More Money By John Foley, Jr.

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IMpb Updates

Everything IMb Staying on the Track to Full-Service IMb Barcodes By Harry Stephens

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Postal Affairs What the New Promotions Tell Us about Mailing in 2015 By Kim Mauch

The Power of Engagement By Wes Friesen

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Ship It The Voice of DIM By Jim LeRose

Here’s to a Brand-New Year! By Amanda Armendariz

The Trenches Making Money on Every Job By Mike Porter

Why Change Anything?

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editor’s note

with Amanda Armendariz

Mailing systems technology PUBLISHER Marll Thiede

EDITOR

Here’s to a Brand-New Year! It’s hard to believe that this is the last issue of 2014! I feel like I say that every year, but as cliché as it seems, it’s true—the time flies by and before we know it, we’re staring a brand-new year in the face. It’s the perfect time to take a look at our annual wage & operations survey, in which we examine several facets of our subscribers’ mail centers. We take a look at the wages of various positions, the number of mail center managers and supervisors who hold various certifications, and more. One thing that struck me is that this year’s numbers in several categories aren’t good, compared to last year’s. Average wages for several hourly positions are down, and the number of mail center managers who hold various certifications is down drastically. But one bright spot is that the monthly outgoing mail volume is up drastically compared to last year! This is encouraging; after years of hearing about declining mail volumes, it’s nice to see that mail is on the upswing, especially since we know it works. We are looking forward to a mail-filled 2015, with a few changes here at Mailing Systems Technology. We have several of our great columns returning, with a few new additions. One column I’m quite excited about is one called Intro to International Mail. More and more mailers are mailing internationally these days, so we thought it was high time that we had a column covering the ins and outs of this venture. As always, if there is something you’d like to see in Mailing Systems Technology, be sure to drop me a line; I love hearing from our readers! Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you in 2015!

Amanda Armendariz amanda.c@rbpub.com

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Patrick Brand, John Foley, Jr., Wes Friesen, Bill Jamieson, Jim LeRose, Adam Lewenberg, Kim Mauch, Jeffery Peoples, Mike Porter, Kent Smith, Harry Stephens

Audience Development Manager Rachel Spahr rachel@rbpub.com

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

GRAPHIC DESIGN Kelli Cooke

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

Volume 27, Issue 6 Subscriptions are free to qualified recipients: $20 per year to all others in the United States. Subscription rate for Canada or Mexico is $40 per year, and for elsewhere outside of the United States is $45. Back issue rate is $5. Send subscriptions to: Mailing Systems Technology, PO Box 259098, Madison WI 53725-9098; or call 608-241-8777; fax 608-241-8666; e-mail rachel@rbpub.com or subscribe online at www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com. For high-quality reprints, please contact our exclusive reprint provider, ReprintPros, 949-702-5390, www.ReprintPros.com. All material in this magazine is copyrighted ©2014 by RB Publishing Inc. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Any correspondence sent to Mailing Systems Technology, RB Publishing Inc. or its staff becomes property of RB Publishing Inc. The articles in this magazine represent the views of the authors and not those of RB Publishing Inc. or Mailing Systems Technology. RB Publishing Inc. and/or Mailing Systems Technology expressly disclaim any liability for the products or services sold or otherwise endorsed by advertisers or authors included in this magazine. Mailing Systems Technology (ISSN 1088-2677) [Volume 27, Issue 6] is published six times per year, (January/February, March Buyers’ Resource, March/April, May/June, September/ October, November/December) by RB Publishing Inc., 2901 International Lane, Suite 100, Madison WI 53704-3128, 608241-8777. Periodical postage paid at Madison WI and additional offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to: Mailing Systems Technology PO Box 259098 Madison WI 53725-9098


Real Life Management The Power of Engagement “People come to work wanting to be productive for the most part, and managers either set them up for success or cause confusion.” Jim Harter, Chief Scientist and Engagement Expert at Gallup One of the hot topics in the Human Resources field in recent years is employee engagement. Engagement is the level of discretionary effort exhibited by employee. Wikipedia defines an “engaged employee” as “one who is fully absorbed and enthusiastic about their work and so takes positive action to further the organization’s reputation and interest.” I want engaged employees on my teams — what about you? Let’s talk about why engagement is important, then explore some ways to try and improve engagement.

Why Is Employee Engagement Important? A recent Gallup study showed only 30% of employees are actively engaged on the job. Why should we care about the level of engagement? Because there is a strong correlation between employee engagement and a number of important performance metrics. For example, Gallup research showed that work units in the top quartile in employee engagement outperformed the bottom quartile units by:

agement to understand our employee talents and strengths and to place people in roles in which they can excel.

4. Engaged employees receive recognition for good work in a way that’s important for them as an individual. Regular recognition is extremely important — and we also want to try and recognize individuals in ways that are most meaningful to them.

The Seven Key Needs of Employees One approach to increase engagement is to better understand the needs of each of your team members — then respond in ways that are meaningful to him/her. The American Management Association cites research that 99% of employees are motivated by one of the following seven needs:

10% in Customer Ratings 22% in Profitability 21% in Productivity 25% Lower Turnover 37% Less Absenteeism 48% Fewer Safety Incidents 41% Fewer Quality Defects

1. The Need for Achievement. There are some of us that

Foundational Principles for Improving Engagement

2. The Need for Power. Some people have a need for power/

are very motivated by the possibility of achievement. For us, identifying goals to strive for and then celebrating successes along the way is important for our desire to achieve and will motivate us to strive for even greater achievements. Here is a great litmus test to see if you have a very high need for achievement: if you use a “to-do” list and sometimes write down a recently completed task so that you have the pleasure of crossing it off — you are a high achiever!

1. Engaged employees need to know what’s expected of them at work — role clarity. Only about half of employ-

control. These are the team members that can excel and be motivated by leading special projects or developing policy/ procedure manuals or any other task where they have power, control or significant influence. Placing them in a role of power or control will be highly engaging for them and can benefit the entire team.

ees say they know what’s expected of them at work. This is considered the starting place for building greater engagement.

3. The Need for Affiliation. Some of our team members have a

In a recent article in Talent Management, Jim Harter from Gallup shared some key principles for increasing engagements based on Gallup’s research:

2. Engaged employees have what they need to do the work. This includes things like adequate procedures, tools, and support from others in the organization when needed (e.g. trainers, supervisors, staff support like IT and HR). 6

3. Engaged employees are in jobs where they can utilize their talents effectively. It’s incumbent on us in man-

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strong need for affiliation — to feel part of a larger team. These are great folks to help organize team building activities and to check in regularly to get a pulse on how the team is feeling.


With Wes Friesen

4. The Need for Autonomy. We have team members that really like to have flexibility in their jobs and to be left alone to do them. These are folks that don’t want public attention, but want the freedom to do their jobs with minimal outside influence. Finding jobs and tasks that allow for more autonomy is the obvious key to maximize the engagement of these team members.

5. The Need for Esteem. Some people have extra need to

5. Invest in them. Our employees are truly our most important assets so let’s invest our time and other resources in them.

6. Develop them. Give employees opportunities to develop in their current roles and help them be prepared for future roles.

7. Challenge them. Give employees new opportunities and help them grow to the next level.

receive esteem. I remember awhile back I had a supervisor that started working for me that I sensed was not as engaged and connecting with me as I thought was possible. I eventually figured out the best way to engage her was to provide extra “atta girls” via e-mail and face-to-face and help meet her need to feel esteemed.

8. Recognize them. Recognize both team and individual per-

6. The Need for Safety and Security. There are people that

10. Respect them. We all like to be respected, and to be respected

have an above average need to feel safe and secure. In today’s ever changing corporate environments that we live in this can be challenging to meet that need. But we can address concerns as they arise, and provide realistic hope and accentuate the positive when helping those that struggle with feeling safe and secure.

7. The Need for Equity. Some team members have a strong need to feel that equity and fairness exists within the team and organization. It’s good to have at least one person on the team that we can use as a barometer on how we are doing as managers to have equity and fairness in our work environment.

Proven Approaches for Engaging Employees I recently ran across an article by Donna Fluss in Connections Magazine where she shared a dozen approaches that can help engage employees. I liked her list and wanted to share with you:

1. Listen to Your Employees. Invite employees to share their ideas and really listen to what they have to say. Act upon the ideas that are doable and make business sense.

2. Involve Them. Goal is to create an environment that welcomes innovative ideas and actions.

3. Support them. Be there for your employees — and treat them

formance.

9. Celebrate them. Celebrate successes and strive to create a fun and positive work environment that makes it enjoyable to come to work.

by your boss is very motivating.

11. Compensate them. Pay people for a job well done as best as you can.

12.Promote them. Whenever possible, promoting from within will be motivating and shows that there are opportunities and that good performance is appreciated and rewarded. The level of employee engagement on our teams can be positively influenced by those of us in management roles. It takes intentional effort to increase engagement levels — but the benefits are worth the effort. I wish you success in striving to better tap into the power of engagement! ¾ Wes Friesen, MBA, CMDSM, MDC, EMCM, MCOM, CBA, CBF, ICP, CCM,CMA, CM, CFM, APP, PHR is the Manager of Billing, Credit and Special Attention Operations for Portland General Electric, a utility in Portland, Oregon that serves over 830,000 customers. Wes leads his teams with the able assistance of Supervisors Allison Rowden, Jan DeMeire, Heidi Fouts and Matt McHill. Wes teaches university classes and is a featured speaker at national Conferences like MAILCOM, National Postal Forum, NACUMS, and other regional and local events. Check out his personal website for free information (www.wesfriesen.com). He can be contacted at pchefdebi@comcast.net.

like adults (not children) and valued family members.

4. Excite them. Communicate your department’s direction and plans to your employees. Be the upfront cheerleader and help them see the positive opportunities that the future holds. www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com a NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2014

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Software Byte

With Bill Jamieson

Only You Can Win the War on UAA Mail There are over 152 million delivery locations in the United States, requiring a combined effort from the USPS and the postal industry supply chain to ensure an efficient and cost effective delivery. The term Presort Reference Data defines the set of files used by software to communicate the various USPS Drop Ship locations and mailpiece groupings required for this work-sharing. The accuracy and timeliness of this data is critically important to the effectiveness of USPS mail delivery process. Undeliverable as Addressed (UAA) mail is any piece of mail that cannot be delivered and must either be forwarded, returned to the sender, or treated as waste. Three of the more common causes of UAA mail are unreported moves, bad address quality, and addresses where the intended recipient is deceased. The War on UAA Mail presentation at NPF in 2011 showed that the percentage of UAA pieces in the mail in 1988, 2004, and 2010 was 4.71%, 4.74%, and 4.11% respectively. More recently, the UAA mail study (posted on RIBBS) and the July 2014 audit report from the Office of Inspector General show that the percentage of UAA mail increased in 2013 to 4.28%. It is no wonder that with the volume of UAA mail staying at about four percent, the expense of UAA mail has not changed much in the past 15 years. UAA mail still represents about $1.5 billion of annual costs reported by the USPS. What is not reported is the overall cost to the postal industry for UAA mail is exponentially greater. The USPS and private industry have made tremendous efforts in combatting this war on UAA mail, and it would seem that these efforts have resulted in stabilizing the UAA front. The USPS has developed many weapons to combat UAA mail, including ZIP + 4, DPV, NCOALink, CASS, MASS, ACS, LACS, DSF, AEC II, AEC, Ancillary Service Endorsements, ANKLink, SuiteLink, and the Intelligent Mail barcode. Private industry has developed software that can activate and manage these weapons for swift and timely delivery. Private industry has also developed its own set of address quality weapons, including Proprietary Change of Address (PCOA), Proprietary Address Correction, and multiple types of suppression services. Currently, the war on UAA mail seems to be at a standstill, and no matter what is built, there seems to be very little improvement. The war on UAA mail is now squarely in the hands of mailers who have all of these powerful address quality weapons at their disposal but need to use them.

Unreported Movers Approximately 40% of all movers are not listed in the NCOALink database due to not filing a move with the USPS. Another large 8

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percentage of movers are in the NCOALink database, but software cannot make a match due to strict Postal guidelines that require an exact match before identifying a move. PCOA uses various private industry datasets to augment the NCOALink lookup and identify more movers. These datasets originate from publishers, catalog houses, insurance companies, credit bureaus, mail order firms, banks, and various other sources where the data is captured. Only by combining PCOA with NCOALink can we ever hope to find these movers and reduce this part of UAA mail.

Address Quality Proprietary Address Correction uses referential consumer data to correct addresses that have been identified as undeliverable during the Delivery Point Validation (DPV) process. The USPS will not allow pieces that failed DPV to qualify for automation rates due to the high probability that they will become UAA mail. Today some mailers continue to send pieces that failed DPV processing even though they cost more and are less likely to get delivered. A simple solution that has proven ROI is to aim Proprietary Address Correction service at these bad addresses to correct them. One such services, Address Resolution Service (ARS), has been shown to turn 30-50% of DPV failures into automation-rate, high-quality addresses. Using a service like ARS in conjunction with DPV will significantly lower UAA mail while directly putting money into the mail owner’s pocket.

Deceased Addressees Any good address quality process starts with address data housekeeping. Using a merge/purge process to suppress duplicate addresses and unnecessary mailpieces followed by a suppression service that removes unwanted mail will greatly reduce UAA mail. For example, sending mail to someone on the Direct Marketing Association’s “Do Not Mail” list will likely result in a “Return to Sender” notice (UAA mail). Sending mail to a deceased individual will also result in a wasted message and is one of the more common causes of UAA mail. The private industry’s suppression services uses social security information, DMA data, and other data sets to remove pieces that have little impact to the mail owner and would likely result in UAA mail. Over the years, there have been many good address quality weapons that have been built by both private industry and the USPS to battle UAA mail. It is now up to mailers and mail owners to make sure they are using all of the weapons at their disposal. ¾ Bill Jamieson is Senior Product Manager, BCC Software.


Everything IMb

With Harry Stephens

Staying on the Track to Full-Service IMb Barcodes When asked to write this column entitled “Everything IMb,” it was with the thought that there would be a lot to say after the mandated implementation took place in January of 2014. How did it work, what issues were people having, how much were they saving. However, due to the ongoing concerns about the readiness for broader adoption of IMb, the USPS decided to delay mandatory implementation and has not announced a new date.

Better tracing

Even though the actual date to implement Full Service IMb has been pushed off, your best bet (if you aren’t doing so already) is to push on, stay on track and get Full Service IMb in place. You can’t lose.

IMb tracing provides a company with near real-time tracking information about its First-Class Mail, Periodicals, and Standard Mail letters and flats. There are two types of IMb Tracing that let you know where your mail is, and when it will be delivered. Destination IMbTracing service (for outgoing mail) gives you advance information about when your mailpieces will reach their destinations. Origin IMb Tracing service (for incoming mail) lets you anticipate when customers’ checks, replies, or correspondence are on the way back to you.

Benefits include: } A greater overall data capacity than existing postal barcodes. } Providing mailers with more digits for their use, allowing for unique identification of up to one billion mailpieces per mailing. } More accurate and detailed information about mailings, which can enable better decision making. } Increases mailpiece “real estate” by eliminating the need for multiple barcodes. } Allows for participation in multiple USPS service programs with a single barcode.

Getting certified The Intelligent Mail barcode (formerly known as the 4-State Customer Barcode) is the next generation of USPS barcode technology used to sort and track letters and flats. Intelligent Mail barcode technology, among other things, combines the capabilities of the POSTNET barcode and the PLANET Code barcode into one unique barcode. There are two types of certifications for IMb. A Standard Certification is achieved by meeting or exceeding Full-Service Verification thresholds established by the USPS. Platinum Certification, in addition to meeting the Full-Service Verification thresholds, requires maintaining a Quality System that meets Total Quality Management standards. The organization must perform and pass three internal audits per year and pass an additional external quality audit completed by a Certified Quality Auditor (CQA) every three years. Along with a step up in improving mail quality, there are other advantages to achieving a Full-Service Platinum Certification in your mail preparation process. They include: } Certification into a program that is recognized for the highest quality mail preparation } Access to industry standards that promote more efficient handling of the mail } More consistent service in mail delivery and mail production } Review cycles and training that supports continuous improvement and standardized processes

The beauty of Intelligent Mail barcodes is that they are information-rich. For example, the POSTNET barcode only includes delivery point routing information. In contrast, the Intelligent Mail barcode holds significantly more data, feeding back information about the mailpiece, making it possible to use the mail in a much smarter, more efficient manner.

Before you can send IMb Tracing mail using Intelligent Mail barcodes, you must become an IMb Tracing subscriber. The IMb Tracing subscription process requires you to complete an application form and verify your firm’s and/or your service provider’s ability to generate accurate and scan-ready barcodes prior to mailing. Similar to applying for IMb certification, there are steps a company needs to take, but it can take as little as two weeks from receipt of your application to process and verify your firm for IMb Tracing mailings and activate your IMb Tracing subscription.

Get educated The latest information for developing an IMb mailing operation is available at the USPS National Customer Support Center (RIBBS) website at https://ribbs.usps.gov/. Numerous articles and booklets are offered free of charge for download in PDF format. With the continued rise in postage rates, paying attention to all the ways the USPS offers to save money just makes good sense. ¾ Harry Stephens is President/CEO and founder of DATAMATX, one of the nation’s largest, privately held full-service providers of printed and electronic billing solutions. As an advocate for business mailers across the country, Stephens is actively involved in several postal trade associations. You can contact Harry Stephens at hstephens@datamatx.com

This will be Harry’s last Everything IMb column. We’d like to thank him for his contributions over this past year!

www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com a NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2014

9


Direct Marketing 101

With John Foley, Jr.

5 Ways Your Print or Mail Business Can Make More Money Are you maximizing the profits in your print or mail business? There are a lot of opportunities for printers and mailers right now, so it’s the perfect time to make the most of your services. If you haven’t already, now is the time to take a good look at your business and see where you could save money and where you could make more — for better profit margins and a business that will gain and keep loyal customers. So, how can your print or mail business get started? Take a good look at these five key areas to start making the most of your business today.

Ask yourself who your customers are and what they are worried about. What do they want for their business? You already know your customers will expect high quality printing and a fast, efficient mail service — that should come as standard. In addition, dig a little deeper to find out what they really want — expert advice, creative control over their finished product, or maybe more time to focus on their own business. Understand their needs and desires, and then tell them how your business can give them just what they are looking for.

1. Start in the Shop

You don’t have to do it all on your own. There are resources that can help you market your business and expand your reach. Sites such as MyMailConnection.com are available to help businesses find you and match your print or mail business with potential customers looking for work.

When it comes to maximizing your profits, start by looking at how your business runs on a day to day basis to make sure you’re not leaking money by way of wasted time or resources. Think about how your business approaches each job. Are you minimizing waste? Are you running your equipment in the most efficient way? Don’t forget that people are your resources, too. If some of your team has to waste time waiting around for another part of the process to finish, you’re wasting valuable human power. Checking how well you utilize your resources is an important task in order to give your business the best profit margins.

2. Be More than a Printer or Mailer Your customers aren’t just coming to you for printing or mailing. Think about that for a moment. Your customers are coming to you because they want to increase their own profits, get their message out, fulfill orders, and run their business effectively. The service you provide is a big part of that, so the more you can see and help with the bigger picture, the more loyalty and repeat business you will build. Whatever the job, don’t see it in isolation. See it as a part of your customer’s business and find out if there’s anything else you can help them with. If you have any design tips, can give advice on how to keep their branding consistent between different jobs, or show them ways they could integrate their printed materials with their online presence to reach a wider audience, you will go beyond offering them printing or mailing and instead provide a comprehensive and valuable service.

3. Pitch Your Message Perfectly If you want to give your profits a boost this year, you need to drum up interest from both your existing customers and potential customers who are on the hunt for a printer or mailer like your business. Your marketing materials are an important asset, so make the most of them. That means crafting a perfectly pitched message that speaks directly to your customers.

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If you want to give your profits a boost this year, you need to drum up interest from both your existing customers and potential customers who are on the hunt for a printer or mailer like your business. 4. Embrace Social Media and Content Marketing When it comes to marketing your business, social media and content marketing are tools you can’t afford to overlook. Your customers, both old and new, use the Internet to search for and connect with brands, so make sure your business has a strong online presence. Using social media offers you the chance to build up a personal connection and keep a consistent sense of your business identity in your customers’ minds, making your company memorable. Has your print or mail business embraced content marketing? Content marketing — providing blog posts, status updates, videos, ebooks, or any other type of resource with useful information — is a fantastic way to establish your business as being expert, reliable, and useful. Content marketing takes planning and execution, but offers good returns in terms of gaining your customers’ attention.

5. Get Ready to Diversify One way to increase your profits is to expand your number of potential income streams. Look at it this way — if you expand


the services you offer to your customers, you can offer them a more complete service. For example, if you add in mailing services to your print shop, your customers can come to you for the whole service, from printing right through to getting their materials delivered. If your mailing service can also offer stock control, that’s another thing your customers can lean on you for. Diversifying your services is an investment in the future of your business. Start with some research, and find out what else your customers would like from you or what problems they are struggling with that you could solve by adding extra services. There is a strong market out there for printing and mailing services right now. If you start with these steps, you’ll be on your way to a profitable 2015. ¾ John Foley, Jr. is the CEO of interlinkONE and Grow Socially. Recently, John was honored with a #15 ranking on Forbes’ “50 Influential CMOs On Social Media” list. Additionally, he is the published author of three books available at JohnFoleyJr.com/Bookstore, including “Business Transformation: A Path to Profitability for the Mailing and Fulfillment Industries.” John and his team consult with print and mail companies on sales and marketing techniques, write strategic online marketing plans to get them on a path to marketing success, and John speaks frequently to print, mail, and fulfillment providers about expanding and transforming their businesses to grow revenue. Learn more about John at www.JohnFoleyJr.com, and his companies at www.interlinkONE.com and www.GrowSocially.com.

www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com a NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2014

11


The Trenches

With Mike Porter

Making Money on Every Job Print/mail service providers may believe they are making more of a profit on some of the work performed in their document operations than they actually are. There is a chance they haven’t accurately accounted for all the expenses associated with every single job. Some parts of the workflow could be costing more than were planned when pricing was originally developed. These oversights can lead to lower profit margins or even a net loss on individual jobs.

There are lots of small incidents that can happen during a work day to increase costs or cause under billing. There may be a cushion built into the pricing to cover an occasional operational problem. But chronic issues on repetitive jobs can eat away at profitability. Unless the business has a workflow system that captures and reports all job activity and costs the company may never attribute profit erosion to particular jobs.

The problem stems from a disconnection between various functions in the business. Sales, accounting, purchasing, printing, and finishing areas may all be operating somewhat independently. Information passed from one department to another can be out of date or incomplete. Comprehensive job overviews don’t really exist. Pieces of information are spread among many systems and databases. This isn’t just a phenomenon of large corporate enterprises. Small organizations lack the resources to audit their operational workflow. Changes made “on the fly” can go undetected for a long time.

Inefficient Manual Workflows

Consider these scenarios that happen out on the production floor and increase the cost to produce the product. } Sub-standard material supplied by customers causes jams in printers or inserters. Perforations may separate, envelope flaps may not close, or inserts may stick together. These events lead to longer production times and manual operations to handle an excessive number of reprints. } A “run it when I get it” method of workflow management can sometimes allow jobs to slip through the cracks. They may sit unnoticed on a cart for hours at a time. At the end of the day it is necessary to meter the mail at full rate and make an extra trip to the post office to meet service level agreements. } When quoting a customer’s job, the mail qualified at 5-digit presort levels. Over time the customer’s mail volume dwindled. Due to lower density, most of the mail is now posted at 3-digit rates. Invoicing has never been updated. } Jobs that were quoted based on machine inserting evolved to consistently include high page-count items. Inserter operators just walk them over to the manual inserting crew. Accounting never makes a billing adjustment to cover the extra labor. } The estimating software is an Excel spreadsheet. Necessary job steps sometimes don’t get included so they don’t get billed — ever. } A warehouseman discovers a job jacket from six months ago is hidden behind a case of envelopes. The job got finished but never billed. It’s too embarrassing to try and collect now. 12

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Many shops spend lots of time keying information generated by one software system into another. This can be a source of errors. Estimates, order entry, job scheduling, postage deposits, inventory, and billing are all separate processes. Job cost data is randomly captured and rarely reviewed. The scattering of information across an assemblage of spreadsheets, accounting software, and word processing systems is error-prone and inefficient. It also makes analyzing profitability at the job level nearly impossible.

Fixing the Problems There are software solutions that help shops get a grasp on what is going on in document operations. It is possible to determine job costs and compare them to expectations. Installing one of these tools can streamline the workflow and collect all the relevant data in a single database. From there, managers can run reports, change the workflow, or adjust pricing. The software can track production activity and issue alerts when something isn’t going as planned. In an extremely competitive marketplace, small advantages can make a difference. Using available technology to make sure that every job is profitable may be just what a print/mail service provider needs to survive a rough patch or grow their business. ¾ Mike Porter is President of Print/Mail Consultants, a firm that helps companies lower costs, develop future strategies, and improve quality in their document operations. Connect with Mike directly at mporter@ printmailconsultants.com. Or visit www.printmailconsultants.com and sign up for Practical Stuff, a free newsletter for document print and mail professionals.

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Ship It

With Jim LeRose

The Voice of DIM The only thing missing from recent prognosticator warnings about the new dimensional policies being implemented by UPS and FedEx in December is Vincent Price narrating. Is the din justified or simply a scare tactic? In actuality, the final result will be mixed. While the effect may be minimal for some, for others this is undoubtedly a chilling situation. So what’s the issue? UPS and FedEx will be implementing an extension of existing dimensional rules to apply to all shipments tendered to them, thereby charging their customers based on weight and how much room each package is going to take up in their vessels. While this makes sense from the perspective of a package delivery company, it will significantly raise costs for some shippers, especially those with larger/lightweight cartons. How do you know if your company is at risk of abnormally high increases, and what actions can be taken to contain it? For realtors, it’s location, location, location. For shippers, it’s analyze, analyze, analyze. It’s imperative to measure the effect of the increase before it occurs, or as soon as possible thereafter. The easy solution is to compare a month's worth of invoice data in 2014 to what it will cost in 2015. The biggest problem with this of course is that many companies do not have the data needed to complete this analysis since today they are not submitting package dimensions for all shipments tendered to these carriers. If that’s the case with your company, the next best thing is to take the common sense approach. If you ship plastic water bottles, popcorn or balloons, you’re in for a real shock, and you should take immediate action. That’s because your rates can increase 30% or more. If, however, your company ships metal bolts, books or pet rocks, you’re going to fare better. In any case, you should take samples of shipments and evaluate the cost of them this year vs. next. It’s tedious but well worth the effort. Get the facts; policy change information online is abundant and will help you with your analysis.

If the result sends shivers, here are seven steps you can take. 1. Request a postponement of the increase from your carrier until you have several months’ worth of data. 2. Request your shipment dimensional data from the carrier. Since the dimensions of all packages are being captured along their conveyors, this information should be readily available. 3. Install a dimensional scale at one or more shipping stations. While these are costly devices, I advise you to not be penny wise and dollar foolish. Companies such as Cubiscan (www.cubiscan.com) and Express Cube (www.expresscube.com) have omnidirectional dim scales that integrate to most shipping execution software.

4. Optimize carton sizes. Eliminate waste/empty space and see costs decrease not just on freight but for materials as well. This is a great way to “Go Green” too. Google “Carton Optimization.” 5. Reduce the number of carton sizes utilized (if possible) and enter the dimensions of each along with a unique identifier into your shipping software. Shipping operators can select the carton size by a quick scan or from a drop down menu. 6. The shipping system operator enters carton sizes manually at the shipping station. While this of course is the least desirable, it may be the only way to acquire the data you need. 7. Add dimensions to the item databases in your ERP/WMS/OMS. There’s never been a more important time to do this, if you haven’t already. This will also help with shopping cart S & H policies. Speaking of shopping carts, the new dim rules make exposing accurate shipping rates more complicated than ever before. I recommend working with an expert to help ensure your policies and objectives are met. For those that offer free shipping this of course is less of an issue but nonetheless still important. We are in the midst of an important industry paradigm: lower capacity, higher prices, fewer alternatives. The more equipped you are, the better off you’ll be. Consider also TME (transportation management execution) software, which is designed to help you ship better and reduce transportation costs. Google “multicarrier shipping software;” companies that invest in this area tend to save double digits on transportation charges and gain a clear competitive advantage. If nothing else, having the right system in place will provide consistent and accurate information that you can use for analysis purposes now and in the future and that will help your company grow. Taking these steps can turn a fright fest into a happy ending and silence the Voice of Dim. ¾ Jim LeRose is Principal of Agile Network, North America’s leading provider of multi-carrier shipping software and transportation cost reduction strategies. Jim is also CEO/Founder of EcoReturn.com. Contact Jim at jim.lerose@agile-network.com or 888.214.1763. Visit www.agile-network.com for more information.

This will be Jim's last Ship It! column. We'd like to take this opportunity to thank him for all the insight he's provided over the past couple of years, and we're sure our readers will miss his column in the coming year! www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com a NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2014

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Postal Affairs

With Kim Mauch

What the New Promotions Tell Us about Mailing in 2015 Earlier this fall, USPS announced its intended list of promotions for the coming year. The yearly promotions and incentives are intended to help both USPS and mailers understand what types of mail are most effective, and to experiment with new technology and processes. Along with the information generated by these incentive programs, mailers usually receive a postage discount or credit for trying out the mail content or design. In previous years, USPS proposed up to eight promotions, while 2015 will only include four.

Earned Value Promotion Available for First-Class mail, this promotion offers a rebate to mailers who encourage mail recipients to use Business Reply Mail (BRM) and Courtesy Reply Mail (CRM). The intent with this promotion is to keep more First-Class Mail in the mix, including both outbound and incoming mailpieces. This promotion has run in 2014 and 2013 as well, and mailers who participated in previous years will likely get an additional rebate. This rebate can be used to pay for postage on additional mailings later in the year.

Emerging and Advance Technology Promotion First-Class and Standard mailings that contain some of the fancier mail features, such as augmented reality and Near Field Communication (NFC), could be eligible for a discount on their postage during this promotion. The ultimate goal with this promotion is to encourage the use of interactive technologies to keep mail relevant in this digital age. This promotion was run in 2014 as well, with mixed results. The price to embed NFC in mailpieces has been reduced significantly over the past year. Unfortunately the new iPhones have only limited NFC capabilities, so it’s unlikely that mailers will want to use that part of the promotion.

Color/Transpromo Promotion In another effort to stem the loss of First-Class mail, mailings of bills and statements that use color on the statement itself to educate or advertise services will be eligible for this discount. Bills and statements are one of the biggest segments of First-Class mail, and have been quick to migrate to digital notifications and payment. The hope is that these mailers will see that color information on the mailpiece can drive customer behavior, further illustrating that mail is relevant.

Mail Drives Mobile Engagement Promotion Repeating the “holiday sale” promotion for the last few years, Standard mailers can claim a discount for pieces that link to mobile shopping carts, with an additional discount when the order is fulfilled using Priority Mail. This will encourage more use of USPS

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parcel shipping services, one of the highest margin and fastest growing services USPS offers.

Reviewing the Timeline The proposed timeline shows the first promotions starting in April. This is in part due to the announcement that there will be no price increase in January. Another interesting takeaway is that each of the promotions will be active much longer in 2015. In previous years, most promotions were only active two months at a time (some were only active a few weeks). After some feedback from the industry, USPS is giving mailers additional time to get their accounts set up and design the mail pieces for these promotions. The shortest promotion for 2015, Earned Value, will be active a full three months.

The USPS hopes that these mailers will see that color information on the mailpiece can drive customer behavior, further illustrating that mail is relevant. Additional thoughts The choice to only offer four promotions this year is interesting. It creates an easier message and fewer moving parts for the industry to keep track of. However, USPS may be missing some opportunity here. There are no promotions that are targeted for Periodicals mailers, and all of the ideas are recycled from previous years. This shows that USPS does not see growth in Periodicals volume, and the well of ideas that are innovative enough for a promotion has run dry. At the time of this writing, the 2015 promotions had not been proposed to the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). However, since these promotions are well-known, it will be easier for the PRC to review and approve them without a price change to go along with it. Perhaps in 2016 we’ll start to see some additional variance in the promotions that are offered, but only time will tell. ¾ Kim Mauch is a subject matter expert in mailing preparation and submission at Satori Software. Contact her at kmauch@satorisoftware.com.


Guest Column

IMpb Updates

With Jeffery Peoples

Intelligent Mail Package Barcode Threshold? What’s That? What is IMpb? In January 2013, the USPS replaced the Confirmation Services barcode with the Intelligent Mail Package Barcode (IMpb) for tracking parcels and for the use of Extra Services. The barcode includes the customer account (Mailer ID or MID), ZIP Code routing, payment channel information, class of mail and service combination of the mailpiece.

The IMpb Isn’t Just About Tracking The IMpb’s purpose is similar to that of the Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMb) used for Letter and Flat-sized mail, but the resemblance ends there. It looks much different and is designed specifically for parcels. Similar to the Mail.dat or Mail.XML requirements for proper use of the IMb, the USPS requires mailers to submit an electronic Shipping Services File (SSF) for any piece with an IMpb barcode, which includes — but isn’t limited to — pieces requiring tracking and/or extra services. On January 26, 2014, the USPS made these requirements mandatory to qualify for commercial prices, unless you have an unexpired exception. Our understanding is that these exceptions expire in January of 2015. Important: You can’t avoid using the IMpb simply because you don’t need tracking.

If you have not completed this certification process for each class of mail that you ship and for the printers you use to generate shipping labels, you should be working with the USPS and your shipping services or software provider to complete this certification process. If you have already completed this certification process, you should also be checking your mailing and shipping software to ensure that all the correct settings and configurations are turned on and working to make sure your shipping labels and SSF files are being generated and transmitted correctly. If you’re one of the mailers who has already been certified for eDoc and Intelligent Mail options for letter and/or flat mail, you probably can remember it took weeks to get certified… maybe even a month or more. For the IMpb, it can take up to two weeks to get through all of the testing required by the certification process if everything goes smoothly, so don’t delay if you have not yet started this process. ¾ Jeffery Peoples is Founder & CEO, Window Book, Inc. Contact 1.800.524.0380 or email postalspecialist@windowbook.com. Resources For more information on IMpb, consult Publication 199: Intelligent Mail Package Barcode (IMpb) Implementation Guide available on the USPS RIBBS web site. Also, for Electronic Verification System (eVS) users, consult Publication 205. The USPS also recently issued an Industry Alert on this topic. Mailers who are not able to make these changes should

What Is an IMpb Compliance Threshold?

contact their Business Mail Entry Unit (BMEU) for guidance. Mailers can locate their District Business Mail Entry Unit

The USPS has been charging a non-compliance fee for IMpb mailings since February 2014. This fee is $.20 per piece for mailings that don’t meet IMpb requirements; this can add up in a real hurry if you mail any sort of volume at all. The compliance threshold to avoid those fees is increasing as well. So, if you haven’t already done so, you need to get certified to use the Intelligent Mail Package Barcode (IMpb), stay compliant, and keep track of your IMpb thresholds in order to avoid non-compliance surcharges.

Confirmation Service Files and Labels Certification help desk at 877-264-9693 option 3 with any questions.

Who Does This Impact? If you ship/mail First-Class Package Services, Priority Mail, Parcel Select, Bound Printed Matter parcels, Standard Mail parcels, Parcel Select Lightweight, Media Mail or Library Mail parcels, these changes impact you. Effective January 26, 2014, the IMpb barcode and the electronic SSF file became a requirement for all of these types of mail. If you have not converted over to the IMpb and the SSF file for commercially priced shipments, you may be subject to a $.20 per piece non-compliance fee.

Dealing with Change So, what do you need to do to prepare for this requirement? If you ship parcels via the USPS at single piece rates or presort rates, you should have already converted over to the IMpb or be well on your way there.

using the locator tool on RIBBS at https://ribbs.usps.gov/locators/find-bme.cfm. Mailers may also contact the NCSC

product spotlight IMb Alone Can’t Verify Delivery Mailstream Intelligence combines a Strategic National Seeding Network with the power of the Intelligent Mail Barcode. You can target in-home delivery with pin point accuracy while planning for future mailings with current and historical data. See how the unpredictability of the USPS is affecting your client’s direct mail investment. US Monitor Paul Ercolino, President paul@usmonitor.com www.usmonitor.com

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A Sneak Peek into the Industry.... A look at the wages & operations of today’s mail centers. by Amanda Armendariz

As has been the case for almost every year that I’ve been editing this magazine, news of mail is... not good, to say the least. Oh, of course we in the industry know the upsides of mail; that it works and is one of the most trusted communication channels. Mail certainly isn’t dead, and it’s not going anywhere soon. But there is a perception — among mailing industry professionals and laypeople alike — that mail is a dying communication method, and unfortunately we’ve seen this assumption bear out in some of the results of the survey. Take certification, for example. Our respondents reported that only 5% of managers hold the EMCMP certification, 6% hold the CMDSM, and a mere 3% hold CMM certification. This is a huge drop compared to previous years. Is all the negative talk about mail seeping into the mail centers’ organizational structure, making the powers-that-be hesitant to invest any additional money in those that deal with the mail? If this is indeed the case, it’s a mistake — while mail is drastically changing, it will be around for a good long while, so those mail center managers who are best certified will be the most equipped to succeed.

Mail Center Managers Male vs. Female

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

68%

32%

2.9% These numbers are slightly different than last year, when 66% of mail center managers were male and 34% were female.

10.1% 0-5 FTE

13%

6-10 FTE 11-15 FTE

49.3%

16-20 FTE

Time in Industry

20+ FTE

On average, a mail center manager has been in the industry for 16.4 years.

24.6%

11% 1-5 years

32%

6-10 years 11-15 years

26%

16-20 years 20+ years

15%

16

16%

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In addition to their management duties, many mail center managers are assuming previous responsibilities, with 61% managing other departments or functions, such as printing and records management. Interestingly, we saw a big jump in managers who report they are responsible for duties related to shipping as well; guess that’s why it’s good we have a Ship It! column in Mailing Systems Technology!


How Has the Economy Affected Managers?

15%

52%

50

The 5 Most Popular Education Options

19%

40 30

16%

20

19%

10

Local PCC Conferences/Meetings

Has had no effect

Working additional hours

National Postal Forum

Took on additional responsibilities

Number of mail center managers decreased Other

Vendor’s User Conference

Salary concession

Online Continuing Education Classes

Salary freeze

On-Site Continuing Education Classes 40% of respondents said they expected managers to undergo some sort of training this year, up from last year’s 37%. It’s interesting to note that 52% of respondents reported sending managers to local PCC meetings, as compared to only 40% from last year. Perhaps in this era of budget consciousness, more and more higher ups are feeling that local education is the way to go.

A substantial number (more than half of our respondents) reported that the economy has had no effect on them, which is up from last year, when only a little over one third reported the same thing.

6%

CMDSM

5%

EMCMP

3% CMM

Certification

Average Salary

As noted in the introductory paragraph of this article, the amount of mail center managers who possess certification (or, more accurately, the number that don’t) is worrisome. Not even 10% of mail managers hold any one certification; this is the lowest number I have seen in all my years of editing this survey. We understand that mail center managers have to do more with less, and perhaps taking the time and money to get certified is not presented as a viable option, but it really is crucial that managers are as educated as possible. Hopefully when we do this survey at this time next year, the numbers will be drastically different.

The average salary of a mail center manager, according to respondents, is $55,602. Now, I realize we may just have different people responding this year than last year, but this is an encouraging jump from last year’s average of $50,458. Maybe the economy really is on the upswing, at least in this area? Additionally, we saw that the number of mail center managers making more than 75,000 more than doubled, from 9% last year to 20% this year.

04%

15%

19%

21%

21%

20%

<30,000

30,000-39,900

40,000-49,900

50,000-59,900

60,000-74,900

75,000+

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Supervisors Sixty percent of mail centers have supervisors, and of those that do, 62% are male and 38% are female. They supervise, on average, seven full-time employees.

Certification

As we can see from these numbers, supervisors are faring even worse than managers when it comes to being certified. I don’t believe I have ever seen a certification have a 0% before, but that is the case this issue with supervisors and the CMM. As I noted on the previous page, I hope these numbers are different next year!

1% EMCMP

18

2%

0%

CMDSM

CMM

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Salary

The average salary for a mail center supervisor is $43,143, a decent increase from last year’s $40,175. However, not all is rosy: while the numbers of mail center supervisors making more than $60,000 increased compared to last year, so did the number of supervisors making a salary in the 30,000-39,900 range. So while some supervisors may be better off, it can’t be considered an across the board improvement.

29%

42%

$40,00049,999 $30,00039,999

06% $50,00059,999

06%

17% <$30,000

$60,000+


Did You Know? } The average supervisor has spent 11.75 years in the industry. } Only 12% of supervisors are responsible for overseeing other departments and functions; this number continues to decrease (last year, 17% reported responsibilities for other departments.) } Just like with managers, local PCC conferences and meetings were the most popular way for supervisors to continue their education/ receive training, followed by vendorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; user conferences and online continuing education classes. Almost 23% of respondents said that their supervisors underwent no training this year because none was needed. Furthermore, only 21% thought that supervisors would be able to attend training in the next 12 months.

Has the Economy Affected the Supervisorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Position This Year? 50 40 30 20 10

Has had no effect Took on additional responsibilities Salary concession Salary freeze Working additional hours Number of supervisors decreased Other

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Staff

46%

54%

50 40

As noted earlier, we may just have different respondents this year, but these numbers are much more equitable than what we saw last year, when only 39% of mail center staff were female. The number of employees represented by unions continues to fluctuate; in 2012, the number was 11%, and went up to 15% last year. This year, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s down to a paltry 6%.

30 20 10

Has had no effect

Mail Centers with an Employee Incentive Program

Existing staff work additional hours Existing staff do additional tasks

Salary concession

25%

Salary freeze Layoffs

No

Yes

Has the Economy Affected the Non-managerial Positions This Year?

75%

Other

The Respondents

Training Over half (57%) of our respondents reported that the most popular way for staff to receive training was at on-site equipment training provided by vendors. A respectable 18% of staff attend local PCC meetings/conferences, but almost 38% say that non-managerial staff do not receive anything other than on-the-job training.

The average respondent mails 63% of their mailings First-Class, two percent as periodicals, 30% as Standard Mail, and five percent as parcels.

What is your average monthly OUTGOING mail volume? Less than 50,000 50,000-299,999

21.3% 31.9% 4.3%

500,000-999,999

8.5%

1 million or more

300,000-499,999

34%

A Look at Wages What is your average monthly INCOMING mail volume?

20 15

Average Entry Level High Inserter operators

2012 - $12.15

2013 - $12.57

2014 - $12.26

2012 - $13.28

2013 - $13.83

2014 - $12.48

2012 - $13.60

2013 - $13.74

2014 - $12.43

2012 - $17.01

2013 - $16.70

2014 - $15.97

2012 - $11.24

2013 - $11.74

05

2014 - $11.20

10

Addressing machine operators Mail handlers

While the average entry level hourly wage has stayed pretty consistent, it is rather alarming that the average wage has gone down in many categories, in some places by more than a dollar. 20

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< 5,000 5,000 - 19,999

17.8% 4.4%

35.6%

50,000 - 74,999

15.6%

75,000+

20,000 - 49,999

26.7%

How many employees are in your company? Fewer than 10 10-99

6.4% 19.1%

150-500 500+

42.6%

31.9%


APPLICATION ARTICLE

Key Considerations for Selecting Your SAP Postalsoft DQ Replacement Solution It’s been a busy mailing season, but by now, you should be starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately, you still face a looming deadline if you haven’t yet selected a replacement for your SAP Postalsoft DQ software. SAP will no longer develop or support ACE, DataRight IQ and Match/Consolidate as of March 31, 2015. This decision has the potential to impact your entire mailing system. Since you have to make changes, take the time to step back and look at the bigger picture. As you prepare and consider your options, make sure you’re ready to answer some questions. 1. Address critical path needs first. Whatever technology you choose, it’s going to require changes to your existing processes. Your immediate concern will be ensuring uninterrupted access to US address correction updates through USPS CASS Certified software. For this functionality, a solution that reads your existing ACE job file will allow you to continue to produce mailings. 2. Take the opportunity to “future proof.” Once you have secured your fundamental ability to process lists for mailing, rein in your impulse to focus just on minimizing changes to day-to-day operations. Don’t hold on to “the way it’s always been” and rob your operation of the opportunity to gain functionality that improves long-term efficiency. Open the hood. Look at the entire system to identify time-consuming steps and how they can be streamlined. Now is an opportune time to review the limitations and points of failure in your existing system. Identify the pain points to ensure the new solution will eliminate these vulnerabilities. 3. Create an implementation plan. In today’s mailing environment, many companies are strapped for resources. You need to have confidence that your solution provider has the knowledge, expertise and capability to assist in the project. This may go beyond helping with the “one time” work related to getting the new system setup and configured. Once the project is complete, the accessibility and quality of support can make a significant difference in your level of satisfaction with your new technology.

4. Find a vendor committed to the postal industry. As you research the options available, you’ll find vendors that focus on selling you their widget rather than taking the time to understand your business, your challenges and your goals and objectives. In other industries, this might be acceptable. In the postal industry, it is emphatically critical that your vendor has deep postal industry experience and influence. They’ll understand the importance of Full Service, Move Update, eInduction, Seamless Acceptance and other important initiatives that impact your bottom line. Active participation in industry associations, PostCom, IDEAlliance and MTAC, where significant changes are discussed and announced, allows your vendor to influence the discussions and represent your interests as a customer of the Postal Service. Satori Software has been delivering data quality and mailing solutions for over 30 years. We have dedicated development teams, customer support and professional services personnel that are experts in the postal industry. Many former Firstlogic and Postalsoft employees who previously worked on the discontinued products have joined our team. We encourage you to see for yourself the ongoing commitment to the industry that Satori Software brings to you. For more information, call 800-553-6477 or visit www.satorisoftware.com/smoothmailing.

Satori Software Inc. www.satorisoftware.com


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TOP MAILING EQUIPMENT CHANGES OF THE LAST FIVE YEARS... AND WHAT’S IN STORE FOR THE FUTURE? BY ADAM LEWENBERG

Since 2009, the industry has seen some huge changes that impact every organization, so let’s take a look at the mailing equipment available to manage these transitions. In some cases, there are savings available or technology that can improve processes. Regardless, it is important to stay on top of these shifts to know what will work best for your organization. I am writing this article with no vendor affiliation or biases. My firm is the leading authority in this area because we are the only mail audit and recovery firm (that we are aware of) and manage over 50,000 pieces of mailing equipment for some of the largest entities in the US. This gives us a unique perspective that we hope you will find helpful in the description below.

Mailing Systems Postage meter unit placements have had their largest period of decline in the history of the market. Between the years 2008-2013, 20% of all meters were returned, netting a loss of over 300,000 units. The biggest change was at the high end of this space in the commercial segment, where almost half of the units moved to smaller systems. This is being driven by lower mail volumes where the value proposition of the meter comes into question.

We believe there is still a significant overcapacity of mailing systems in the US based on our research of the population we are managing. We find that in multi-location companies, 5-15% of a meter population will have little to no use and should be returned. Mailers can also net a 30-70% savings by rightsizing to the proper equipment levels. There has been minimal technological innovation around the mailing system with the exception of enhancements in color printing and graphics capabilities. New models appear to be sped up versions of previous systems. There is a move towards PC Postage in two main areas, and we are seeing growth in the number of placements. 1. Using PC Postage with a postage meter to be able to maintain discounts for Priority Mail Commercial rates, which is becoming a requirement in 2015. 2. To replace low end meters at sites with minimal usage levels.

Folding and Inserting Systems We do not have quantifiable numbers in units because the USPS does not publish these, but we are finding a reduction in the number of systems in use at customers’ locations because of the following reasons:

1. Clients are mailing less in their offices. 2. Email marketing is replacing many small batch mailings (newsletters, announcements, invitations, promotions, etc.) that used to require an inserter. 3. Entities are centralizing mailing activity to in-house production facilities or outsourcing to professional mail service providers. Here are the biggest changes we are seeing from the mailing equipment vendors, which we will break down into Table Top units (smaller flexible systems that can be in an office environment) and Production Systems, which are for professional mailers. } Tabletop Systems } Production features moving to tabletop levels. } Barcode scanning (vs. OMR) for variable page inserting. } Envelope matching for closed faced envelopes. } Exit verification systems to validate the content inside the envelope. } Tabletop models increase in volume capacity where some units can handle up to 200,000 envelopes per month. } Limited change at low end of the market. } Production Systems } Faster speeds up to 25,000 per hour lets mail service providers consolidate multiple older units into single faster work-streams. } Integrated envelope printing lets you scan a barcode on the document and print the entire face of the envelope in color for a completed matched set. } In-line envelope creators make the envelope on the fly and wrap the contents securely.

Addressing Systems We are finding that this area has seen the greatest drop in users. Having been in this space for over 20 years, you used to see many small end mailers using these systems to get automation discounts to get their mailings out the door. Over the last five years, the complexities of the USPS

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with IMB Barcodes, seamless acceptance combined with fewer trained mail center staff have forced this volume to move to professionals.

finally becoming cloud based, accessed through the Internet and making it more convenient and flexible for operators.

Incoming Tracking Systems There have been some notable changes in the technology that will improve capabilities for those still using these systems. } Move to laser and full color printing — It used to be that these systems primarily printed the destination address and occasionally a custom message or logo. Now that print quality has improved, we are seeing full color printers that can print the entire envelope or postcard (Destination Address, Return Address, Permit Imprint, Custom Message and Graphics) in one pass. } Move to cloud-based address corrections — Previously, addressing systems were installed on a PC and required you to get a DVD every couple of months with address updates. New systems are

These systems track packages as they enter your building and give proof that the item reached its final recipient. We would suspect that there is a change in the mix of the type of entity acquiring new tracking systems. We are seeing fewer overnight letters going business to business as people become more comfortable with email. On the other side, more entities order packages online for delivery. Colleges and universities will see large upticks in volume where a law firm might be seeing decreases.

} More hardware options help reduce costs — One of the biggest costs in these systems is the portable handheld scanners, and we are seeing cost reductions based on more options being available. Many systems can work with multiple hardware providers. } Core functionality remains relatively unchanged but entities are finding different tracking uses for systems.

Multi-Carrier Shipping Systems As for what is available in the marketplace, this is what we are finding: } More providers — There are smaller players getting into this space, trying to undercut the established companies.

Publisher’s Note: The U.S. Postal Service requires the following statement be published for Mailing Systems Technology (Periodicals Class) mailings only. Mailing Systems Technology has had a (Periodicals Class) permit since January 1989. U.S. Postal Service STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT AND CIRCULATION Required by 39 U.S.C. 3685 1. Publication Title ................................................................Mailing Systems Technology 2. Publication No. .................................................................1088-2677 3. Filing Date ........................................................................September 15, 2014 4. Issue Frequency .................................................................Jan-Feb, March Buyers Resource, MarApr, May-June, Sept-Oct, Nov-Dec 5. No. Of Issues Published Annually .....................................6 6. Annual Subscription Price (if any) .....................................Free 7. Complete Mailing Address of Known Office of Publication (Street, City, County, State and ZIP + 4)(Not Printer) 2901 International Lane, Suite 100, Madison, Dane County, WI 53704-3128 Contact Person ............................................................ Rachel Chapman, (608)442-5082 8. Complete Mailing Address of the Headquarters of General Business Offices of the Publisher (Not Printer) ....... 2901 International Lane, Suite 100, Madison, WI 53704-3128 9. Full Names and Complete Mailing Address of Publisher, Editor and Managing Editor (Do not leave blank) Publisher (Name and Complete Mailing Address) .............Marll Thiede, RB Publishing Inc., 2901 International Lane, Suite 100, Madison, WI 53704-3128 Editor (Name and Complete Mailing Address) ..................Amanda Armendariz, RB Publishing Inc., 2901 International Lane, Suite 100, Madison, WI 53704-3128 Managing Editor (Name and Complete Mailing Address).......... Amanda Armendariz, RB Publishing Inc., 2901 International Lane, Suite 100, Madison, WI 53704-3128 10. Owner (If the publication is owned by a corporation, give the name and address of the corporation immediately followed by the names and addresses of all stockholders owning or holding 1 percent or more of the total amount of stock. If not owned by a corporation, give the names and addresses of the individual owners. If owned by a partnership, or other unincorporated firm, give its name and address as well as those of each individual owner. If the publication is published by a nonprofit organization, give its name and address). (Do Not Leave Blank). Full Name .............................................................. Complete Mailing Address Ronald Brent .......................................................... RB Publishing Inc., 2901 International Lane, Ste. 100, Madison WI 53704-3128 Marll Thiede ........................................................... RB Publishing Inc., 2901 International Lane, Ste. 100, Madison WI 53704-3128 Gregory Rice .......................................................... Executive Management, Inc. 2901 International Lane, 2nd Floor Madison WI 53704-3128 11. Known Bondholders, Mortgages and other Security Holders Owning or Holding one Percent or more of Total Amount of Bonds, Mortgages or Other Securities............... None 12. (Must be completed if the publication title shown in item 1 is a publication published and owned by a non-profit organization). For completion by nonprofit organizations authorized to mail at special rates. The purpose, function and nonprofit status of this organization and the exempt

24

} Cloud-based systems are taking over — Instead of needing to install at the PC or server, systems are becoming more flexible in how they are deployed and data is accessed.

NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2014 a www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com

I left this for last because this appears to be the biggest growth spot for the industry. As the private package carriers move to dimensional rating of every item and the USPS mandates using the Intelligent Mail Package Barcode to maintain dis-

status for federal income tax purposes has not changed during preceding 12 months. 13. Publication........................................................................................Mailing Systems Technology 14. Issue Date for Circulation Data ............................................ May-June 2014 15. Extent and Nature of Circulation ......................................... B2B - Controlled a. Total No. Copies (Net Press Run).........................28,695 .......................... 29,622 b. Legitimate Paid and/or Requested Distribution (By Mail and Outside the Mail)

1. Paid Requested Outside-County Mail Subscriptions Stated on Form 3541.

(Include advertiser’s proof and exchange copies) .....27,327 ........................... 28,565 2. Paid Requested In-County Mail Subscriptions Stated on Form 3541. ..................... 0 .....................................0 3. Sales Through Dealers and Carriers, Street Vendors, Counter Sales and Other Non-USPS Paid Distribution .............. 0 .....................................0 4. Other Classes Mailed Through the USPS ............. 0 .....................................0 c. Total Paid and/or Requested Circulation [Sum of 15b (1,2,3 and 4)] ..................................27,327 ........................... 28,565 d. Nonrequested Distribution (By Mail and Outside the Mail) 1. Outside-County as Stated on Form 3541 ........... 440 .................................398 2. In-County as Stated on Form 3541 ...................... 0 .....................................0 3. Other Classes Mailed Through the USPS ............ 17 ...................................17 4. Nonrequested Copies Distributed Outside the Mail ............................. 542 ...................................0 e. Total Nonrequested Distribution ........................... 999 .................................415 f. Total Distribution (Sum of 15c and 15e) .............28,326 ........................... 28,980 g. Copies not Distributed (See instructions to Publishers #4 (page #3) ........................................................................... 369 .................................642 h. Total (Sum of 15f and g) ......................................28,695 ........................... 29,622 i. Percent Paid and/or Requested Circulation (15c/fx100) .......................................................... 96.5%............................ 98.6% 16. Electronic Copy Circulation ..............................................................................Yes a. Requested and Paid Electronic Copies .................... 10,719 ........................ 10,742 b.Total Requested and paid Print Copies (Line 15c) + Requested/Paid Electronic Copies (Line 16a) .... .................... 38,046 ................................ 39,307 c.Total Requested Copy Distribution (Line 15f) + Requested/Paid Electronic Copies (Line 16a) ................................ 39,045 ................................ 39,722 d.Percent paid and/or Requested Circulation (Both Print & Electronic Copies) (16b divided by 16c x 100) ..........................................97.4% ........................ 98.9% 17. Publication of Statement of Ownership for a Requester Publication is required and will be printed in the November-December 2014 issue of this publication. 18. Signature and Title of Editor, Publisher, Business Manager or Owner: Rachel Chapman, Audience Development Manager, / September 15, 2014 I certify that all information furnished on this form is true and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or misleading information on this form or who omits material or information requested on the form may be subject to criminal sanctions (including fines and imprisonment) and/or civil sanctions (including civil penalties). PS Form 3526-R, September 2007

to undercut the e players getting in } More providers —

place, this is what w As for what is ava

firm might be seein see large upticks in delivery. Colleges more entities order fortable with email business as people fewer overnight lette new tracking syste the mix of the typ would suspect that the item reached it enter your building These systems trac

Incoming Tracking

convenient and fle through the intern finally becoming c


counts, entities are looking for ways to reduce costs. The most successful strategy is to shop between carriers on a package by package basis through third party systems. Here is what we are finding as the biggest changes in this space: } More providers at all levels of the marketplace — There is a lot of focus at all levels of this space from the desktop shipper to the production floor. Also, systems can start at a fraction of what they once cost for basic configurations or move to more feature rich systems that work across the enterprise. } Cloud based solutions are taking over — This is the biggest growth driver in this space because it lets different vendors compete more rigorously, adding more value to the customer. } EDI rates vs. downloaded tables — You used to need to get a DVD with rates each year and try to match discount

levels to what you were actually getting billed. Now you only need to hit the carriers’ servers to calculate the correct price. } Same question over free — There is still the question of if it makes sense to pay for a system over what the carriers offer at no charge. The carrier-provided systems have improved and can do many items you used to need a third party system to accomplish.

Package volumes will continue to grow as will the choices that you will have to optimize your operation. This will mean lower system pricing in the end. We will see more services move to the cloud, which will give us the best opportunities for integration and visibility. Change is inevitable in any industry and it is always uncomfortable. If we look at the big picture, we now are able to communicate faster, at lower costs and with more options.

Future Outlook I don’t see any major changes in this space happening quickly. It will be slow declines of mail volume that will make all of these forces described above evolve over time. I expect that we will see 3-7% reductions in mail volumes and postage meter placements, with the other types of ancillary equipment reducing at similar rates. We will see reductions in expertise around mail, forcing volumes to production facilities inside or outside of our entities.

Adam Lewenberg, CMDSS, MDC is President of Postal Advocate Inc. and runs the largest Mail Audit and Recover firm in the United States. Their mission is to help entities with large numbers of locations reduce mail related expenses, recover lost postage funds, and simplify visibility and oversight. Over the last year, they have helped their clients save an average of 63% and over $4 million on equipment, fees and lost postage. He can be reached at 617.372.6853 or adam.lewenberg@postaladvocate.com.

established companinto this space, trying — There are smaller

we are finding: ailable in the market-

ng decreases. n volume where a law and universities will r packages online for l. On the other side, e become more comers going business to ems. We are seeing pe of entity acquiring t there is a change in ts final recipient. We g and give proof that ck packages as they

g Systems

exible for operators. net and making it more cloud based, accessed

www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com a NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2014

25


BY KENT B. SMITH

THE MAILING INDUSTRY ECOSYSTEM: THE CONTEXT FOR STRATEGIC DECISION-MAKING Our industry is large and fragmented, and we are often overwhelmed with the flood of information. We know that issues and trends in the broader business environment may affect us, but we are called upon to take action before we fully understand the complexities. We may retreat to the familiar themes and metrics within our own segments. What do we really need to know?

The Health of the Ecosystem The industry generates about a trillion dollars annually in sales and employs about eight million people, according to studies by the Envelope Manufacturerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Association. This makes the paper, print and mail industry an important part of the American economy, but there are no convenient metrics to determine how the industry as a whole is doing. There are, within the different segments, a range of relevant measures â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the state of American forests, recycling and sustainability, shipments of printing paper, printing industry sales, mail volume and others, in26

cluding tracking some of the larger publicly traded firms in the industry. Most of these measures currently indicate that the industry is more robust and resilient than many have assumed. Even the decline of mail volume has slowed as the economy recovers.

Focusing on Providing Relevant Solutions to Customers Our industry is in a competitive race to provide relevant solutions to our customers. There is a danger as we read our specialized journals and attend the conferences in our industry segment that we may lose the focus

NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2014 a www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com

and cohesion necessary to drive success. Is there a vision that unites the industry?

The Purpose of the Mailing Industry: Building a Better Business and Household Tool } Helps people connect and build relationships } Helps businesses grow In the postal segment, we talk about mail categories, prices, service performance and the state of postal finances. These are important, and so are the metrics relevant to other industry segments. But how well do we really know how mail is working as a tool for businesses and households to do things important to them? Do we know what we need to do to make mail work better? Are we focused on the right performance metrics for the industry?


Leveraging Mail, the Postal Infrastructure, and Related Services around Market Needs Billing and Payments Customer and Personal Relationship Informing and Entertaining Attracting customers to online or physical site } Planning shopping } Shipping merchandise } } } }

All these markets remain important and are growing. But it will be harder than it has been for paper, print and mail to succeed — simply because now we have intense competition. This will require more knowledge of customers’ current and emerging needs in each segment, more effective analysis and better product development, and much improved sales efforts. There are sufficient studies that mail remains effective in these markets. The industry needs to do much more to improve the effectiveness of the content delivered by the channel. The Postal Service and industry entrepreneurs can collaborate more effectively to create related products and services that support and extend the value of mail and create new capabilities and applications for customers in each of these markets. Forget mail for a moment and consider the potential value of a trusted and connected personal representative visiting every address in America every working day — one with a personal relationship with many customers on the route and detailed knowledge of the neighborhood.

Adapting to the New Realities } Digitalization } Print Production } Information (Big Data) and the Internet of Things } Social Connections } Multi-Channel Communications } Globalization } Trust

The “digital front end” of mail will relentlessly transform the industry. The current value chain is too complex, and it is too hard to develop a mailing. Technology is driving simplicity, especially at the customer interface. This is likely to enable mailers to easily and conveniently do things that previously required specialized intermediaries. Mailings can be designed and digitally sent to distributed networks of printers close to the point of delivery. The industry was once in the forefront of leveraging new technology. Scanning, inserting, sorting and processing were automated, and postal address information helped lead the way towards effective customer targeting. This story can be repeated, as new technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence and other advances remake the design, printing and processing of mail. The industry has been lagging behind in the effective implementation of these basic technologies (the “guts” of the industry). The Postal Service is becoming an “information powerhouse” and is creating a flow of data that will also remake the industry. The initial impact will be improvements in managing internal postal operations, reducing cost and improving service. Mailers will be able to apply this information to their own operations. More importantly, the wave of information surrounding the mailings will have its own value that will provide significant benefits to those who can take advantage of it — especially as they combine it with non-postal data streams, and the new streams of data that will be created by “things talking to things” (variations on machine to machine communications), enhanced personalization, and increased customer control. The industry has also been hesitant about the impact of social media and multichannel communications. No one should be. Mail complements other channels and can be connected even more effectively with other channels. Mail can also be enhanced with various digital applications that will become more commonplace. There are sufficient case studies that

demonstrate how well mail and social media work together, but that is only the first step in industry use of social media to connect partners in the value chain, collaborate more effectively, and involve customers in critical feedback loops that will generate better responses, especially for e-Commerce. The industry, once intensely domestically oriented — often with a local bias — will continue to become global. Issues such as terminal dues, customs clearance, global addressing standards, payments and returns processes, tracking and customer service will be addressed and resolved. Finally, issues such as customer service and consumer protection, security and privacy, familiarity, brand identity and other elements of trust cannot be ignored. The industry must take action to invest in and extend these fundamental values.

Looking Forward Many elements of strategic change in our industry have not received the attention they need for the industry to thrive. These are the key issues for creating a common future vision for the industry, across industry segments. While postal policy issues — governance and business model change — remain important, they already have considerable industry attention. Many of the other elements of strategic change in the industry — creating new capabilities and applications — have not received the same level of attention.

Kent Smith has 38 years of experience in the mailing industry, and has served as Manager, Market Research and Manager, Strategic Business Planning for the United States Postal Service. He is currently Research Director for Ursa Major Associates, a global consulting firm sponsoring the annual PostalVision 2020 Conference, being held this year in Washington, D.C. on March 10-11, 2015.

www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com a NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2014

27


BY PATRICK BRAND

THE NEW REALITY – HIGHER PACKAGE VOLUMES HERE TO STAY Chances are you’ve noticed a significant increase in the number of parcels processed in your mail center on any given day. It’s not just a passing or seasonal trend; it’s the new reality of doing business in the borderless and connected world of commerce.

Also, 33% of respondents said they plan to pay more attention to shipping this year compared to last year. This means that a brand’s ability to provide a variety of shipping options can make a difference in attracting and retaining customers.

Over the past two years, parcel shipping volumes have grown by double digits in most major markets. The growth of ecommerce is the key driver behind this explosive growth. As more consumers look to purchase goods online and more retailers expand their reach to markets around the world, parcel shipping will continue to grow by leaps and bounds.

It also means that to succeed, shippers need the flexibility to offer and pick the best options for each parcel, balancing service levels and costs based on individual customer requirements.

In fact, parcel shipping is now having a significant impact on both corporate operating costs and customer satisfaction. A recent survey by Pitney Bowes found that 70% of Americans consider shipping options an important part of the shopping experience, compared to 66% in 2013. 28

Most people demand the visibility to track where their order is at any time. According to our research, 81% of customers track their orders when expecting a delivery versus 68% in 2013, and say automated alerts give them added confidence in a business’ operations. Tracking the shipping process and results on a parcelby-parcel basis also helps a business respond to customer issues and questions in real time. In addition, tracking gener-

NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2014 a www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com

ates roll-up reports across vendors that can help identify performance trends and opportunities for improvement. Cost, of course, remains a critical factor. Thirty-five percent of American consumers have abandoned a purchase due to higher than expected shipping costs. This is why shippers are continually looking to add more affordable options to offer their customers. What all this means is that every organization should take another look at the U.S. Postal Service as part of their carrier mix.

A More Viable Option In the past, the USPS lagged behind the private carriers in terms of parcel shipping technology and service. For years, the well-known, highly successful private carriers set the industry standard for client service and visibility, from parcel pick-up to delivery, and every step along the way. The well-earned reputation of these car-


riers for outstanding client service and tracking capabilities has led many shippers to dismiss the USPS for parcel shipping because it did not offer comparable service levels and options.

is the gateway to an entire unique shipping story: including who sent the parcel, what happened during transit, who took delivery, and ultimately when it was delivered.

Well, that is changing. The USPS has made a significant investment and commitment over the past several years to enhance its parcel shipping service offerings and implement new technologies to provide more competitive options for businesses. More specifically, the USPS has enhanced its Priority Mail service, invested in its network scanning capabilities to enable more visibility and tracking, and introduced innovative offerings like Flat Rate shipping.

Since all mail centers in the US already use the USPS for mailings, this newly competitive package capability makes it easy to centralize and consolidate mailing and shipping with one carrier, at one location.

At the center of the USPS technology resurgence is the Intelligent Mail package barcode (IMpb). The IMpb is the next generation USPS tracking barcode for parcels that offers mailers similar visibility into the shipping process as their private carrier competitors, with very competitive rates. It utilizes the same barcode symbology as the current Confirmation Services barcode, but adds some key enhancements. Additionally, the IMpb can add automatic parcel insurance for packages shipped by Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express. And most importantly, an IMpb-compliant label enables end-to-end package tracking — affording visibility throughout the delivery process, from shipping to customer delivery. With the IMpb, the USPS can now provide up to 11 scan events for every parcel it ships and notify recipients of any attempted delivery. The ability to track a package in transit supplies the level of responsive service customers have come to expect. IMpb will also enable new service enhancements, which could include email or SMS text delivery alerts with postdelivery actions and a delivery information summary for all packages. In addition, the Intelligent Mail package barcode gives shippers a wealth of information that can be especially useful for companies to better manage their mail and shipping operations. In this way, each IMpb

There is a range of IMpb-compliant software solutions available to meet your needs, whether you send an occasional package or you’re sending high volumes.

Consolidating Carriers for Sending

Next Steps

For many small and midsized businesses in the US and around the world, the line between shipping and mailing is blurring. These organizations look at shipping and mailing as sending. They simply send stuff, which can include statements, parcels, letters, flats, etc. They want a simple and efficient process for sending.

We live in a borderless and connected world of commerce. Embracing new technologies — like the USPS Intelligent Mail package barcode — can help you better manage your operations. Enhanced tracking, day specific delivery, free insurance, free pickup and optional hold for pickup makes the USPS a viable option for your sending needs. On par with major private carriers, 98% of USPS mail carriers now have package scanners, and the average number of USPS scans rivals FedEx and UPS. USPS also offers very competitive rates for packages under three pounds, free daily pickup, and Saturday delivery at no extra charge.

And since all mail centers in the US already use the USPS for mailings, this newly competitive package capability makes it easy to centralize and consolidate mailing and shipping with one carrier, at one location. Add in the value and convenience of having your shipper on premises every day delivering the mail, and the USPS becomes a very attractive option for many businesses. To access these IMpb-enabled services, mailers need to apply an IMpb-barcoded label or USPS Tracking Label 400 with a tracking number to all packages. Using a commercially available PC or web-based shipping solution will allow you to take advantage of all the value-added services IMpb has to offer. The software will produce IMpb labels with the proper barcode and send all necessary shipping information to the USPS.

I encourage you to talk with a certified mailing consultant to learn about how you can take advantage of these new services and tools to enhance and simplify your operations. New tracking technology, coupled with rate shopping and carrier management tools, can help you better serve your customers to grow your business. Patrick Brand is Vice President and President, Pitney Bowes Mailing, North America.

Bundling a PC or web-based software solution with your meter gives you even more flexibility to leverage these value added services, including commercially competitive tracking capabilities, free insurance, and Extra Services. www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com a NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2014

29


APPLICATION ARTICLE

SAP Postalsoft DQ 8.0 End-of-Life… Why Change Anything? It’s been about a year since SAP announced end-of-life on the legendary Postalsoft Data Quality (DQ) 8.0 applications. The ACE, DataRight IQ and Match/Consolidate solutions have been cleansing addresses, standardizing data, and matching and consolidating customer data for over 30 years. The original Firstlogic company established the industry standard for address and data quality. And these rock-solid data quality solutions will continue to live on thanks to the co-innovation agreement between SAP and Firstlogic Solutions. This new roadmap has provided additional options for customers who have grown to love the Postalsoft DQ platform but are now faced with making a change. So now what? Well, Postalsoft customers have a lot of excellent options. First, there are about a half dozen address cleansing software vendors who would love to lure Postalsoft customers to their camp. These are viable solutions with some vendors continuing to offer on-premise solutions while other vendors moving their offerings to the cloud. But who has the time or desire to migrate all of their Jobs by March 31, 2015? And what about the learning curve to bring on a completely new technology? Not to mention the address assignment or matching results… will they be different using a different engine? Why change anything? Over the course of the past year, Firstlogic Solutions has been successfully upgrading SAP Postalsoft DQ 8.0 customers to the next release of the platform called Firstlogic DQ 9.0. As customers have upgraded to the next release, they have provided valuable feedback and the resounding theme has been of gratitude for providing such a simple upgrade with no change to their business. Below is the list of the top 20 benefits customers have experienced by upgrading to Firstlogic DQ 9.0: 1. Postalsoft DQ 8.0 End-of-Life – Extend the Life of your SAP Postalsoft DQ 8.0 ACE, DataRight IQ & Match/Consolidate platform beyond March 31, 2015. 2. Eliminate Business Disruption – Simply upgrade your existing SAP Postalsoft DQ 8.0 platform to the Firstlogic DQ 9.0 platform without affecting your existing business processing. 3. Leverage Your Investment – Continue to use your existing business processes, applications, scripts and Job-Files without the need for conversion or redevelopment. 4. Simple Version Upgrade – Upgrade Postalsoft DQ 8.0 to Firstlogic DQ 9.0 using a familiar and simple installation process.

5. Same Postalsoft Platform – Firstlogic DQ 9.0 is built from the same SAP Postalsoft DQ 8.0 applications powered by the integrated CASS & NCOALink Certified SAP DQM platform. 6. Same Fault & Status Codes – Continue to use your existing applications dependent on the Postalsoft ACE Fault & Status Codes for application feedback. 7. Same Operating Systems – Continue to run on Windows, Linux, Solaris and the AIX operating systems. 8. Same ACE Job-Files – Continue to use your existing ACE Jobs-Files by simply updating them with the Edjob utility similar to your ACE version 7.9 to 8.0 upgrade. 9. Same DataRight IQ Jobs-Files – Continue to use your existing DataRight IQ Jobs-Files with no changes. 10. Same Match/Consolidate Jobs-Files – Continue to use your existing Match/Consolidate Jobs-Files with no changes. 11. Same Address Directories – Continue to use the same US National and CASS address directories now available via monthly distribution directly from Firstlogic Solutions. 12. Same CASS & NCOALink Certified Address Cleansing – Continue to leverage the same CASS & NCOALink Certified address cleansing engine as embedded in Postalsoft DQ 8.0 and leveraging your existing NCOALink certification. 13. Same Presort Software Options – Continue to leverage any third party Presort application or service as an independent process of the Firstlogic DQ platform. 14. Same On-Premise Solution – Continue to run your on-premise software to retain control, performance and security of your data and applications with no data limitations or per-record charges. 15. Same Reporting & Statistics Files – Continue to produce the same 3553 CASS and SAP Mover ID NCOALink summary reports and statistics files providing reporting flexibility as experienced in Postalsoft ACE. 16. Zero Learning Curve – Continue to use the same Job-Files and Views interface familiar to your staff.


17. New Software Subscription – Firstlogic DQ 9.0 is based on a new annual software subscription expense model replacing large upfront software license asset investment costs. 18. Subscribe Now & Upgrade Later – Subscribe to Firstlogic DQ 9.0 any time prior to the expiration of your current support agreement, then upgrade from version 8.0 to 9.0 on your schedule. 19. Enhanced Future Roadmap – Firstlogic Solutions is actively building new product features and enhancements to the Firstlogic DQ platform powered by the CASS and NCOALink Certified SAP DQM platform. 20. Trust in Firstlogic Solutions – As the leading SAP Gold Partner specializing in the SAP Postalsoft DQ and SAP DQM platforms, SAP has entrusted Firstlogic Solutions to provide Postalsoft ACE, DataRight & Match/Consolidate customers with upgrade options to ensure business continuity.

1. Should customers reengineer their address and data quality applications and business processes by implementing a new software tool? Or 2. Do they stay the course and continue to leverage their Postalsoft DQ 8.0 investment by performing a simple upgrade to Firstlogic DQ 9.0? The answer to these questions ultimately depend on a customer’s available time, funding, risk and resources. About the Author: Ken Kucera is the Managing Principal of Firstlogic Solutions, LLC. Ken has over 30 years’ experience in delivering enterprise software and consulting solutions to customers. Prior to Firstlogic Solutions, Ken led a delivery team at SAP BusinessObjects specializing in data quality solutions including Postalsoft DQ 8.0 and SAP Data Quality Management (DQM). Copyright © 2014 Firstlogic Solutions, LLC - All Rights Reserved. USPS, CASS and NCOALink are trademarks or registered trademarks of the United States Postal Service.

The Firstlogic DQ 9.0 Postalsoft platform is the result of a co-innovation agreement between SAP and Firstlogic Solutions. This initiative extends the development and support of the SAP Postalsoft DQ 8.0 software, ensuring the future roadmap for the platform. As the March 31, 2015 end-of-life date looms, Postalsoft customers should explore all of their options. There are two key questions:

www.firstlogicsolutions.com postalsoft@firstlogicsolutions.com

www.firstlogicsolutions.com


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Mailing System Technology Nov/Dec 2014  

Mailing System Technology Nov/Dec 2014

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