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WHAT TO SEE AT PRINT ’17 – EXHIBITOR SPOTLIGHTS SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2017 MailingSystemsTechnology.com

INCREASE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF YOUR CUSTOMER COMMUNICATIONS

WITHOUT BREAKING THE BANK

IT’S TIME TO TALK

MILLENNIALS AND DIRECT MAIL. PAGE 10

THE STATE OF THE INDUSTRY:

A LOOK AT AVERAGE WAGES, STAFF SIZES, AND THE EFFECTS OF THE ECONOMY. PAGE 18

DO YOU KNOW

YOUR INSERTER’S TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP? PAGE 24


Staff TABLE OF CONTENTS This year, mail center staff seems to be a 60/40 split, with the majority of the staff being men. On average, they have been employed in the mail industry for 11 years. Twenty-one percent are represented by a union, and while this number seems a bit low at first, it’s definitely an increase compared to last year’s eight percent.

Staff and the Economy 70 61.70%

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SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2017 | VOLUME 30 ISSUE5 50

Average Wages of Mail Center Staff

FEATURES

40

20

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Editor's Note

Funding Your Customer Communications Without Breaking the Bank 17.02% By Amanda Armendariz

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12.77%

10

2015 - $15.38

2016 - $13.64

2017 - $14.66

2015 - $15.62

2016 - $14.72

2017 - $15.91

2015 - $15.34

2016 - $14.36

2017 - $15.38

2015 - $18.33

2016 - $19.60

2017 - $19.28

2015 - $12.60

2016 - $12.34

10 06 2017 - $13.38

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DEPARTMENTS/COLUMNS

0

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Real Life Management

6.38% The Power of Partnerships! 4.26% By Wes Friesen

2.13%

Software Byte

Theno Best-Kept Has had effect DropExisting staff work Shipping Secret additional hours Salary concession By Jeff Peoples Existing staff do Salary freeze additional tasks

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Entry-level

The State of the Industry

Addressing machine operators

Part one of our annual survey wages, staff sizes,Mail andhandlers the Inserter operators Highest hourlylooks wageat average effects of the economy on the mail center. How does your operation compare? By Amanda Armendariz

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22 Is Funding Your Customer Communications a Struggle?

24 Reset Your View of Inserters to Total Cost of Ownership

Here are some ways to increase customer engagement and save money in the process. By Paul Abdool

When looking to buy a new inserter, TCO can be the most critical benchmark. By Eddy Edel

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Direct Mail Evolution

Layoffs Other Informed Delivery — Snail Mail Meets Immediacy and Accessibility By Brad Kugler

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Connecting Point

It’s Time to Talk About Millennials and Direct Mail By Chris Lien

The Trenches

Are You Playing the Same Old Song? By Mike Porter

Product Spotlights:

What to See at Print 17!

APP ARTICLES 11

New Value Add for Mail Shops with Inserters

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26 Lucky Forks: Decisions of the USPS

The USPS is taking the right steps in today's digital world. By Harry Stephens

28 How to Save Money with Presort Services Is this the right option for your organization? By Adam Lewenberg

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SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2017 | MailingSystemsTechnology.com

5 Smart Ways to Increase | MailMailingSystemsTechnology.com House Revenue SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER

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31 View on Website

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Continuously Innovating the Direct Communications Industry

Optimize Your Sorting Operations


EDITOR'S NOTE

VOLUME 30, ISSUE 5 MAGAZINE STAFF President Chad Griepentrog Publisher Ken Waddell Editor Amanda Armendariz amanda.c@rbpub.com Editorial Director Allison Lloyd allison.l@rbpub.com Contributing Writers Paul Abdool, Eddy Edel, Wes Friesen, Brad Kugler, Adam Lewenberg, Chris Lien, Mike Porter, Jeff Peoples, Harry Stephens Audience Development Manager Rachel Chapman rachel@rbpub.com Advertising Ken Waddell (o) 608.442.5064 (m) 608.235.2212 ken.w@rbpub.com

FUNDING YOUR CUSTOMER COMMUNICATIONS WITHOUT BREAKING THE BANK WITH AMANDA ARMENDARIZ

Design Kelli Cooke RB Publishing Inc. PO Box 259098 Madison WI 53725-9098 Tel: 608.241.8777 Fax: 608.241.8666 Email: rbpub@rbpub.com SUBSCIRBE Subscribe online at MailingSystemsTechnology.com. Subscriptions are free to qualified recipients: $20 per year to all others in the United States. Subscription rate for Canada or Mexico is $40 per year, and for elsewhere outside of the United States is $45. Back issue rate is $5. Send subscriptions to: Mailing Systems Technology, PO Box 259098, Madison WI 53725-9098 Call 608.241.8777 Fax 608.241.8666 E-mail rachel@rbpub.com Online at MailingSystemsTechnology.com. REPRINT SALES ReprintPro 949.702.5390 www.ReprintPros.com All material in this magazine is copyrighted ©2017 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 30 Issue 5] is published six times per year, (January/February, Annual Industry Buyer’s Guide, March/April, May/June, September/October, November/December) by RB Publishing Inc.,PO Box 259098 Madison WI 53725-9098, 608-241-8777. Periodical postage paid at Madison WI and additional offices. POSTMASTER Send address changes to: Mailing Systems Technology PO Box 259098 Madison WI 53725-9098

As mailers, we know that mail is the ultimate avenue of engagement with our customers. Yes, digital channels are important, especially as they work in conjunction with physical communications. But hard copy mail itself is generally seen as the most trustworthy and legitimate method of communication, no matter which generation you ask. However, funding these customer communications can be a struggle for some organizations, leading them to cut down on the number of pieces they send out or skimp on the pieces themselves. Paul Abdool’s article on page 22 is a great read because it gives you some strategies to cut down your postage costs while upping customer engagement. Utilizing the promotions offered by the USPS to add digital elements to your physical mail pieces is a win-win for everyone involved. In today’s world, where mailers expect to see actions taken as a result of their physical mail pieces and customers want immediacy, these promotions combining digital and physical pieces are the tactics that are going to keep mail relevant in the 21st century and beyond. I hope to see a bunch of you at Print 17 in Chicago this month. Shows like this are a fantastic way to see what other innovators are doing with their customer communications and what steps they are taking to stay connected to their customers without breaking the bank. If you are at the show, please stop by our booth to say hi. I’d love to chat with you and discuss our annual survey results (which start on page 18), since I’m always curious how an individual’s experience lines up with the average! As always, thanks for reading Mailing Systems Technology.

MailingSystemsTechnology.com | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2017

5


REAL LIFE MANAGEMENT

By Wes Friesen

THE POWER OF PARTNERSHIPS!

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ant to be a more successful leader? Want your team to be even more successful? Then you and I need to tap into the power of business partnerships. Steve Jobs was right on the mark when he said, “Great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people.” Let’s take a look at maximizing our partnerships with two key sets of business partners: internal service providers and external vendors (aka suppliers). INTERNAL SERVICE PROVIDERS: OUR VALUABLE INTERNAL PARTNERS Internal service providers include all the staff functions that provide services that benefit us and our parent organizations. Examples of internal service providers include Purchasing, IT, Human Resources, Finance and Accounting, Legal, Facility Management, and Corporate Communications, among others. The level of support from these internal partners can make or break the success of our operations. How do we ensure we get the optimal support we need to have us and our teams excel? Following are five key tips: 1. Promote the “same team” mindset. Our operational teams and the internal service providers all work for the same parent organization. We can coalesce around the common vision, mission, and values of the organization and realize that our mutual success requires us to work together effectively. Sometimes we may need to explain to providers how helping operations excel will ultimately benefit them and the entire organization. For example, my teams have pursued a variety of cost initiatives such as maximizing postal discounts that, with the help of internal partners, have saved our parent company millions of dollars over the years. Saving money benefits our company’s customers, shareholders, and employees — a true win-win-win! 6

SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2017 | MailingSystemsTechnology.com

2. Build positive relationships. I have previously written about the 3 Rs approach to building great relationships. The 3 Rs include recognizing people for the value they add; respecting people for who they are; and rewarding people in tangible and intangible ways. One example of recognizing and rewarding internal partners is to provide pizza or other food to providers that have helped you (everybody loves the “f” word – food!). On an individual level, a thank you email to a person who has helped you with a copy to their boss is always greatly appreciated! 3. Ask for help. I have found that when I ask for help from an internal provider, I almost always have received a positive response and great assistance. When we humble ourselves and ask for help, almost everybody will feel honored and respected, and if we already have a positive relationship, the path has been paved. Asking for help leads into the next tip. 4. Acknowledge their expertise. Service provider professionals have often earned college degrees and/or professional certifications and have developed expertise within their chosen field. Acknowledging the hard work and knowledge they have gained shows proper respect. And when people are respected, they tend to rise to the occasion and live up to the positive expectations placed on them. 5. Help internal providers whenever we can. A healthy partnership is a two-way street, built on mutual respect, trust, and support. There are times when a service provider needs help from us to do their jobs well. For example, the finance and accounting team sometimes needs our support when developing budgets, forecasts, and understanding variances. As operational managers, we are busy with our own tasks, but we should always try to be very responsive to financial processes, timeframes, and questions. They appreciate the support, and when

we need their help, we will reap what we have sown. VENDORS: OUR VALUABLE EXTERNAL BUSINESS PARTNERS Bill Gates shared, “Our success has really been based on partnerships from the very beginning.” I have found that to be true and have been blessed to have had great relationships and support from many vendors over the years. Some people view vendors as necessary adversaries — I view vendors as necessary and valuable business partners. By developing valuable partnerships, we can benefit by gaining reasonably priced goods and services, keep up with the latest technology and best practices, and receive strong support to maximize our success. Following are seven valuable tips to help maximize our partnership with our vendors: 1. Develop a “win-win” mindset. In a healthy vendor relationship, both the vendor and the business being served come out ahead and gain value. I, and other operational managers, have found that a good vendor can add significant value above what we can accomplish alone. Vendors can provide a range of goods and services more efficiently and cost-effectively than we can ourselves. Vendors can provide helpful advice to help us excel, and can step up and provide the extra support we need when unexpected problems occur. 2. Build positive relationships. The 3 Rs approach mentioned previously applies. Vendor account managers often receive little positive recognition from their customers. Some of my fondest memories are times when my supervisors and I showed appreciation for an account manager. For example, an account manager named Brian came in on a weekend to help correct a problem on a server so that we could get our work done that Monday. The department supervisor and I were very appreciative,


and that following week we met with Brian. In addition to verbal thanks, we handed him a framed certificate of appreciation and a gift card. Brian was choked up — and said this was the first time in his long career that a customer had shown him this level of appreciation. Priceless. One tool to consider for your key vendors is to mutually build a vendor scorecard. The vendor scorecard could cover a few key metrics from your contract and/or service level agreement (SLA) where you can provide a rating (e.g. exceeds expectations, meets expectations, or does not meet expectations) and relevant feedback. This scorecard could cover a quarter, sixmonth period, or a year. Another suggestion is to have a regular periodic meeting with your key vendors (perhaps quarterly). At this meeting, you can review the vendor scorecard and have two-way sharing and feedback. The sharing time can include covering what you are hoping to accomplish in the days ahead and asking the vendor to share ideas and feedback for us. 3. Pay our bills on time. Vendors have a business to run like we do. Paying our bills on time and following all the terms and conditions in our contracts is fair and the right thing to do. Treating our vendors like we hope to be treated is a good standard that leads to mutual respect and trust. 4. Explain our vision and goals. Why explain our vision and goals to vendors? By doing so, we provide opportunity for them to offer ideas and assistance to help us accomplish our ambitions. Vendors often have other customers that may have similar goals as us — and vendors often have a range of goods and services that can help us be successful. 5. Find out what the vendor needs from us. Helping the vendor be successful is good for them and us. We can maximize the relationship with our vendors by asking them what they need from us, then providing it. Vendors appreciate the spirit of partnership and mutual support and will reciprocate when needed. 6. When mistakes happen, don’t point fingers. In a healthy vendor relationship, mistakes are viewed as learning opportunities and provide the basis for improving our future operations and performance. Promptly remedying the mistake is important, and then having a good dialogue to decipher lessons learned is also valuable. We can then move forward to improve processes and controls to avoid recurrence of this mistake and other potential related mistakes. 7. Refer a trusted vendor to others. Vendors obviously appreciate being referred to other potential customers, and that will enhance our relationship with the vendor and our peer operational managers. Word of mouth referrals are a real win-win for the vendor, us, and the peers that may end up using the vendor. ¾

Wes Friesen is a proven leader and developer of high-performing teams. He is also an accomplished university instructor and speaker and is the President of Solomon Training and Development, which provides leadership, management and team building training. His book, Your Team Can Soar! Powerful Lessons to Help You Lead and Develop High Performing Teams, has 42 valuable lessons that will inspire you. It can be ordered from Xulonpress.com/bookstore or an online retailer like Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Wes can be contacted at wesmfriesen@gmail.com or at 971.806.0812.

MailingSystemsTechnology.com | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2017

7


SOFTWARE BYTE

By Jeff Peoples

THE BEST-KEPT DROP SHIPPING SECRET

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hether you are a drop shipping novice or have been drop shipping for years, there is an option that may be the best-kept drop shipping secret: Priority Mail Open and Distribute (PMOD). Many mailers overlook this option, which can be extremely valuable for many situations. For example, if you think you don’t have enough drop ship volume to fill a truck — or even enough to send to a consolidator — PMOD may be an option to try. What about those last few residual sacks or trays from a larger mailing that you are drop shipping using your normal methods? Do you have pesky mail delivery complaints in certain areas of the country? How about wanting to improve the delivery time for your USPS Marketing Mail (formerly known as Standard Mail), but not being able to afford bumping it up to First-Class Mail? PMOD may be just the solution. What Is PMOD? Priority Mail Open and Distribute is a USPS service offering that provides an alternate method of transporting drop shipped mail. Rather than using traditional transport methods (truck, rail, air freight, etc.) for drop shipping, this service allows mailers to use the expedited delivery service offered by Priority Express or Priority Mail to transport the smaller volume mail to additional postal entry points. To take advantage of this service, mailers place their prepared mail sacks or trays into special PMOD sacks or tray boxes, tagging these handling units with special PMOD tags. These tags indicate to the USPS that the mail inside the sacks or tray boxes is drop ship mail, which means it needs to be opened and then distributed as

This diagram shows the normal mail flow of origin entered mail using the red arrows. Drop shipping using PMOD is shown by the green arrows in this diagram.

it would normally be processed, hence the name “open and distribute.” Why Use PMOD? Drop shipping mail can result in some nice postage discounts, or it can be an effective way to better control the in-home delivery date of mail. But some mailings just don’t lend themselves to the more traditional methods of transporting drop shipped mail from the original entry point to the destination entry post offices. Drop shipping traditionally involves the use of over-the-road or rail transportation to get the mail closer to the destination point. It works very well for many types of mailings, but smaller mailings make it tougher to take advantage of drop shipping benefits without paying high minimum charges to logistics providers. Since Priority Express has next-day delivery service and Priority Mail has two- to threeday delivery service, PMOD can be a very quick way to transport the mail to the additional entry points.

Some typical users of PMOD are small volume mailers who just do not consistently have enough mail volume to meet the minimum shipment requirements of most logistics providers. Another common use is a mailer sending time-sensitive mailings, even though this mailer doesn’t have the budget for First-Class Mail prices. This type of mail can be prepared and paid for at USPS Marketing Mail prices, but using PMOD drop shipping can closely approximate the delivery service of First-Class Mail at a much lower price. Mailers who experience repetitive delivery delays to more remote areas, such as Alaska or Hawaii, often use PMOD to help improve delivery times. The same is true for Periodicals mail that encounters subscriber delivery complaints to certain geographic areas. Using PMOD for these cities can help eliminate those subscriber complaints. Even large mailings that use traditional drop ship methods use PMOD to handle those remaining few sacks or trays that would normally get entered at the origin. ¾

Jeff Peoples is founder and CEO, Window Book. With over 20+ years of innovative postal solutions that make using the Postal Service easier and more profitable for mailers and shippers, he has done presentations at industry events, GraphExpo, MAILCOM, the National Postal Forum, Postal Customer Council meetings, Harvard Business Expert Forum, and other industry and direct marketing events.

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DIRECT MAIL EVOLUTION

By Brad Kugler

INFORMED DELIVERY — SNAIL MAIL MEETS IMMEDIACY AND ACCESSIBILITY

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he United States Postal Service revealed that between 2010 and 2014, it experienced a loss of 15.5 billion pieces in total mail volume. Does this make you wonder why nowadays people seem to choose online communications over traditional media like newspapers or direct mail? In short, we are a part of today’s "I want it now!" culture. We are accustomed to having access to information when and where we want it, always just a few clicks away. As a response to our demand for immediacy, the USPS rolled out its Informed Delivery feature earlier this year. Every morning, Informed Delivery notifies users via email with an image of the mail they’ll receive that day. Suddenly, traditional mail is easily accessible from any device with internet access, at any time of the day, from anywhere in the world. So, is this the right move for the USPS? You can bet it is. This has opened a new door to keep future generations excited and engaged with their physical mailbox — and the stats prove it. Approximately 2.5 million people have signed up for Informed Delivery, and this figure continues to grow every single day, as more than 10,000 people are signing up for Informed Delivery on a daily basis.

a full color ad, interactive content, and a live link that drives traffic to your website or landing page — it’s all displayed to users when your piece comes up in their daily Informed Delivery email. It’s direct and instant. They won’t have to open another app and Google your business or your services (and possibly find a competitor!). One click, and they’re exactly where you wanted them to be. The results of Informed Delivery can be taken even further when combined with online follow up, which can boost ad response up to 400% and increase conversion rates by 147%, according to DataXu and a CMO by Adobe Report (respectively). Printers and mailers should be rejoicing at the thought of using these two digital powerhouses (online follow up and Informed Delivery) in tandem to amplify direct mail.

The Impact on Your Business But what does this mean for you as an advertiser? It’s great news for direct mail marketing! Informed Delivery allows you to interact with your audience in the physical and digital worlds simultaneously. With Informed Delivery, you will be able to enhance your piece digitally when it’s scanned into the mail stream. You can add

Let’s Look at an Example A prospect clicks on the link provided via Informed Delivery and visits your website or landing page. They’re interested, but not enough to convert right there. So, they go back and check the rest of their mail via Informed Delivery. Here’s the kicker: the next time this prospect logs onto the internet via their phone

Informed Delivery allows you to interact with your audience in the physical and digital worlds simultaneously. (which is more often than their desktop, according to Google), those online follow-up ads will be everywhere — instantly and continuously reminding the prospect of their initial interest. And these ads will not only show all over the Google Display Network, but also on the recipient's Facebook newsfeed, acting as a constant reminder of the interest they had in your direct mail piece. Being constantly reminded of their interest will turn prospects into a warm lead who’s more likely to purchase, fill out a form, send an email to enquire, etc. According to WordStream, Facebook and the Google Display Network are the best places to show online follow-up ads, as they have the highest reach for this type of campaign. Let’s not forget that the key to effective marketing is repetition. The more a potential customer sees an advertising, the more likely they are to retain the information and actually take a desired action towards it. When your customer’s campaign is successful and they are able to view and access their results, it automatically translates in re-orders and positive word of mouth for your direct mail or commercial printing company. ¾

Brad Kugler is the CEO of DirectMail2.0, a fully integrated marketing solution for the clients of printers/mailers that combines the proven success of direct mail with in-demand features like online advertising and automated campaign tracking. You can schedule a free demo to see how a partnership with DirectMail2.0 can boost revenue and improve your clients’ response and ROI. Visit www. dm20.com or call 800.956.4129 today!

MailingSystemsTechnology.com | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2017

9


CONNECTING POINT

By Chris Lien

IT’S TIME TO TALK ABOUT MILLENNIALS AND DIRECT MAIL

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rofessionals often sneer at the word “millennial.” However, the reality is that this generation is powerful when it comes to business — millennials will make up the majority of the workforce and consumer groups by the year 2020. Millennials range from ages 20-36, which means they are buying houses and renting apartments, purchasing cars, getting married, growing families, and taking vacations. In the workforce, they are working professionals, many in managerial positions and in charge of budgets. The largest living generation, millennials were born and raised in the digital age. However, this does not mean they are “digital addicts.” Technology is often second nature to them, but they also respond to traditional marketing methods. So, What Does This Mean for Direct Mail? Direct mail has continued to solidify its place in the marketing landscape, with response rates of five percent, compared to less than one percent for digital marketing tactics, such as email, social media, and online ads. Millennials are experiencing digital fatigue — they are so used to always being digitally connected that they are beginning to grow tired and move away from this when possible. They are bombarded with emails every day, and they have become accustomed to ignoring them completely or quickly scanning to choose ones that matter to them. Because of this, millennials will respond to traditional marketing methods, but it can’t be the same as it’s always been. They crave authenticity and transparency from businesses they frequent. Millennials value indi-

viduality, meaning personalized marketing messages resonate with them. According to the USPS, 90% of millennials think that direct mail marketing messages are reliable, and 92% are influenced by direct mail to make purchase decisions. Taking this into consideration, it’s essential for our industry to educate millennials on the importance and influence of direct mail as part of a larger and effective marketing campaign. How to Leverage This Data Although millennials are experiencing digital fatigue, they still spend a lot of time online every day. Meaning that while they value print, they look for a digital component, so it’s important to direct consumers from your mail piece to a landing page or social media page. Compared to older generations, millennials are more open to giving out personal information if they are getting something in return. So, offer them something. This can be a percentage off an order, a free consultation, free samples, or access to a website. How to Get Your Business Ready for the Changes Ahead Bring this information into your company to ensure success as the professional landscape changes. It’s important to take both an internal and external focus on this. Internally, you need to have subject matter experts within your organization. They need to understand industry changes and challenges, as well as how to execute what the organization is selling and understand any and all technology that is currently being used and what is on the horizon. Externally, your team needs to focus on educating your salesforce on how to sell to

Direct mail has continued to solidify its place in the marketing landscape, with response rates of five percent, compared to less than one percent for digital marketing tactics, such as email, social media, and online ads. millennials. Frame the company’s offerings as an integral part of a multi-touch campaign. Millennials understand marketing trends and the newest tactics, but do they truly know the value of direct mail? Do they know how powerful it is as the foundation of effective marketing campaigns? The industry landscape may be changing, but direct mail remains as influential as ever, if not even more so. It’s important to prepare your business to remain successful and be ready to welcome a new generation of leaders. ¾

Chris Lien is the president of BCC Software and has been active in the mailing industry for over 20 years. During that time, he authored several software solutions utilizing Mail.dat for electronic auditing, distribution and logistics planning, palletization, and electronic postage payment. He has been heavily involved in industry associations such as the Association for Postal Commerce, EPICOMM, Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, and Idealliance.

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APPLICATION ARTICLE

New Value Add for Mail Shops with Inserters If you’re looking for uninterrupted production and fewer job fails, it’s important that you factor in the ink you’re using for inserter applications. New HP 2510 black ink is best suited for printing on uncoated substrates. Dave Loos, President of MCS, weighs in on the many benefits of HP 2510 black ink. Know your ink: Mail shops are always looking for ways to keep jobs running and costs down as much as possible. Margins are tight, job fails are costly, and there’s little room for error. It’s imperative that your equipment—including printing—is up and running optimally. And the ink you choose plays a bigger role in this process than you might think. According to Loos, “There are 50 billion pieces of advertising mail annually. Of those 50 billion, 25–30 billion are envelopes. And 80–85% of envelopes used are porous paper.” Because inserters are often printing on porous envelopes, that should be a key consideration in your choice. HP 2510 black ink is specifically designed for use on porous paper, but its value proposition extends much further. This ink enables greater uptime with a decap that lasts for hours. It also delivers the darkest black for better quality control, lower total costs, and faster speeds. Top four reasons to choose HP 2510 black ink #1. Excellent decap that lasts for hours: If you’re having to stop production just to wipe printheads, you’re not getting the most value from your ink. According to Loos, “HP 2510 delivers a long decap that extends for hours. The decap with the HP2510 is huge. In our business it’s about getting your numbers. Our customers want to be able to run the whole hour without having to wipe the heads. And this is much more likely with the HP 2510 black ink.” #2. The darkest black for better print quality, less degradation, and fewer job fails: Keeping your system running is one priority; quality control is another. Many job failures and reprints occur because the black quality isn’t where it should be. “HP’s biggest competition in porous paper market is refills who are trying to emulate the HP Black 45A,” admits Loos. “Vast majority of refillers stop there, and don’t try get to the level of HP 2510 in terms of its darkness. Poor quality, of course, creates a potential liability issue - which occur more frequently with refills that is problematic.” Customers are lured by the lower price, but they eventually end up returning to HP. “When companies use refills, printing gets harder. So they come back to HP, and it gets easier. We see this pattern consistently.”

#3. Lower total cost of production with increased quality control and reliable operation: HP 2510 also helps to improve printing efficiency on your inserters. Because of excellent optical density, it can be operated at lighter dpi settings, which uses less ink, which saves the end user money on ink costs. The darker black means better quality control and the likelihood that you can run jobs for longer periods of time without interruptions. “The greatest cost in the inserter market is not the ink,” says Loos. “It’s the potential liability if things go wrong. What we try to tell people is that you really need to understand the nature of the ink you’re using,” he adds. It’s a lot more than just buying the cheapest ink. “Suppose you expect to net 5000 an hour off your inserter. But because you’re using the wrong ink, you’re only getting 4000 an hour. That’s how someone gets beaten in this business.” #4. Faster print speeds Inserters will also print faster at 200 dpi—another factor that gets you closer to reaching your target numbers. The faster print speeds keep pace with inserter technology advancements, which have similarly increased in speed and efficiency over the years.

Contact info: David Ham David.ham@thinkink.com Phone: 301-556-5073 Visit us at Print 17 booth # 1855

Inkjet Technology


THE TRENCHES

By Mike Porter

ARE YOU PLAYING THE SAME OLD SONG?

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his is the season most business people start thinking about next year. Forecasts, plans, and budgets are activities essential for success. One thing that can get overlooked in the crush to predict capital investments, staffing, and postage is the document operation's own plan for promotion. Ironically, organizations generating millions of pieces of customer communications are frequently negligent in their own outreach efforts. I’ve worked with plenty of in-house and outsource print/mail service providers that had no promotional strategy. They weren’t staying top-of-mind with their audience, developing solid reputations for thought leadership, or executing a plan to turn prospects into paying customers. Here are a few of the conditions I encounter at document industry companies:  Websites that haven’t been updated in years  Abandoned blogs  Discontinued newsletters (if they ever existed at all)  No efforts to grow the contact list  Sporadic and un-strategic social media posting  Absence of email or direct mail lead nurturing activity  Weak or missing calls to action In many companies, building brand awareness and nurturing leads is an informal, hit-or-miss activity. Companies frequently assign responsibility for these business functions to individuals as a side job, so executing a brand awareness strategy lies perpetually at the bottom of a long to-do list.

Being Memorable Brand awareness is vitally important. Unless they already know the company or are referred, potential customers will look online for vendors to satisfy their requirements. If a company fails to appear in the first few pages of search results, a service provider will have few opportunities to sign new customers via search. In the print and mail industry — where lots of companies share the same keywords — relying on search engine ranking as the primary lead generator is risky. Regularly publishing informational content will help with organic search ranking, but even more powerful is content’s ability to establish direct lines of communication with possible customers. Contact information captured on lead pages offering attractive items like contests, calculators, eBooks, guides, or checklists allows print/ mail service providers to nurture the leads with relevant content, expand on buyer profiles, and track activity. Results vs. Method I also see service providers in the print/ mail industry focusing too much on their equipment or the services they provide and not enough on how they help customers achieve their business goals. Web content listing shop equipment or services like printing, folding, inserting, or postal sorting are helpful, but that’s not what customers are seeking. They want things like more leads, better experiences for their customers, or greater market share. Prominently highlighting ways service providers can help their customers achieve these goals through the printed and electronic communications they produce are more

important to customers than the inserting equipment or the postal processes used to attain those results. Unless service providers expand the benefits conversation to include demonstrations of how they can add value and help their customers meet their business goals, they are doomed to compete on price. Work with a Plan My work with print/mail service providers usually includes assuming the tasks of planning and creating content to resonate with their audiences. Sometimes the main objective is thought leadership. Other times, brand awareness is the main goal. Content marketing rarely generates leads directly from the content, but it keeps prospects interested and engaged until they are ready to talk with a service provider about handling their customer communications needs. Service providers should be sure each piece of content has a clear purpose. Published content should be part of a plan to ensure adequate coverage for product areas, market segments, and sales funnel positions. We often see companies whose history includes publishing a haphazard collection of unconnected pieces. Predictably, results from these efforts are disappointing, leading organizations to lose enthusiasm and momentum. Delivering useful content regularly keeps customers and prospects reading the material. When a triggering event happens, my clients get the calls because they have built trust and confidence over time. When clients tell me a blog or newsletter produced exceptional results, I remind them the earlier efforts are part of the success. ¾

Mike Porter creates content for companies in the customer communications business. Visit www.printmailconsultants.com to learn more about his writing and consulting services or follow him on Twitter @PMCmike or LinkedIn.

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SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2017 | MailingSystemsTechnology.com


APPLICATION ARTICLE

Continuously Innovating the Direct Communications Industry For nearly 40 years, BCC Software has not only been the leader in the mailing and postal technology industry but has continuously shaped it. BCC Software offers data-driven solutions to enhance direct communications anywhere along the workflow spectrum, from mail preparation and tracking to data enhancement and targeting. Our suite of address quality, mailing preparation, and data quality services has been recognized across the industry for their robust capabilities. BCC Software’s flagship product, BCC Mail Manager™, is a USPS® certified address quality and mailing preparation software that is relied on by thousands of companies, including some of the country’s biggest mailers. These companies are realizing lower costs and higher productivity, and as a result, our solutions improve deliverability and reduce postage on a quarter of the U.S. mailstream every year. The family of BCC Mail Manager software products gives businesses the benefit of numerous features, allowing users to create a package that best suits their needs. From full-service mail houses to small print shops, BCC Software will work with you to find the solution that fits best. Plus, you’ll find peace of mind with unbeatable customer service and support from our team of USPS Certified Mail Piece Design professionals. Our customer support representatives are all U.S.-based, and are not only available to answer your questions and solve any problems but are dedicated to working closely with you to help plan your roadmap for success. All of BCC Software’s solutions are integration ready and include API toolkits for customization along with prebuilt connectors to many other software packages that already exist in your workflow. Launched in 2016, Integratec is the first and only available PAVE™ certified API, using the secure messaging layer, ZeroMQ™, with the CurveZMQ protocol, enabling Integratec to pass even the most stringent security requirements. We complete the direct communications lifecycle with our comprehensive suite of data marketing services. BCC Software offers full-service data management and campaign execution services, backed by data licensed from the USPS and a handful of carefully selected strategic partners. We also offer mailpiece tracking and reporting that leverages the USPS Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) to improve visibility into the mailstream and enable timed multi-channel communications.

BCC Software president Chris Lien speaks with Pritha Mehra, Vice President, Mail Entry & Payment Technology, USPS, and associate at a private event during the 2017 National Postal Forum.

BCC Software’s leadership in the postal technology industry gives its customer an edge. Company president Chris Lien, a former Mailer’s Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) Industry Chair, provides first-hand insights on mail-related products and services, making our customers experts among their peers and invaluable resources to their clients. BCC Software is continuously dedicated to bringing communications professionals the most innovative postal and data solution, with skilled customer support from a team of USPS Mail Piece Design professionals. To learn more about how BCC Software can make a real difference for your company, visit www.bccsoftware.com or call 800.337.0442.

www.bccsoftware.com 800.337.0442


Ink Solutions Provider!

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHTS

WHAT TO SEE AT PRINT 17! EngageOne® Output Manager

Think Ink is one of the largest OEM partners of both Hewlett-Packard and Collins Inkjet, as well as a supplier of FlexPrint brand inks. FlexPrint inks are specifically formulated for challenging applications. Think Ink is your ink solutions provider, and we have the industry’s best and largest inventory! THINK INK 877.857.2459 david.ham@thinkink.com www.thinkink.com

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Optimize your document workflow and free yourself from the limitations of proprietary vendors and data streams. Robust print management functionalities include everything from data stream transformation resource management and automated reprinting to enhanced production control and convenient viewing before during and after output. Pitney Bowes 800.327.8627 pbsoftware.sales@pb.com pitneybowes.com/us/ digital-transformation/print-17

Achieve Excellence in Full Color

Opte-mizing Mailing Analytics

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Optesort is a suite of software products by NPI designed to efficiently analyze and minimize mailers’ finalized cost for First Class and Standard mailings. The Suite offers the ability to quickly perform what-if analysis of various mail streams in order to increase Presort Discounts as well as optimize Drop ship discounts. NPI 888.821.SORT (7678) www.npisorters.com

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Amplify your direct mail and marketing efforts with the Neopost Mach 6 Digital Color Printer. With innovative Memjet® technology, attain the lowest cost per piece and the fastest ROI while producing exceptional full color text and images on a wide range of materials, including thick media.

Neopost 888.444.7362 w.longua@neopost.com www.neopost.com

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Buskro presents: The Quantum Printhead

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Buskro is pleased to showcase our latest innovation, the Quantum. The Quantum combines our self-encompassed Atom design with Kyocera print technology, available in water-based and UV-curable inks making it ideal for printing on virtually all substrates. Don’t forget to stop by South Hall #2260 to see The Quantum in action! Buskro Ltd. 905.839.6018 sales@buskro.com www.buskro.com


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Interactive and Personalized Video for Impactful Direct Mail

Improve the ROI of your direct mail by including choicebased navigable video experience with the awardwinning Pitney Bowes EngageOne® Video solution. You greatly enhance customer engagement while taking advantage of USPS® Video in Print (ViP) promotion.* Pitney Bowes 800.327.8627 pbsoftware.sales@pb.com www.pitneybowes.com/ us/video-in-print

Right Content, Right Recipient, Every Time

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Enhance the security of your outbound communications with Neopost’s “Process Integrity Solution”. The new DS-200i intelligent folder inserter combined with our OMS-500 output management software create a secure mail preparation platform that ensures the right documents are in the right envelope—every time. Neopost USA 800.NEOPOST 800.636.7678 neomkt@neopost.com www.neopostusa.com

*USPS 2017 Promotions and Incentives https://www.usps.com/business/ promotions-incentives.htm

The Ultimate Workflow Software

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Our customer-centered solutions simplify your productivity. You will immediately see money-saving results for address correction, postal presorting, mail tracking and print workflow automation in the United States and Canada. SmartSoft 888.227.7221 contact@smartsoftusa.com

Lowest Cost Color Envelope Printers

Verification, Read & Print…

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

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Neopost offers the most comprehensive line of envelope printing systems anywhere including the best full-color technology available. Come see our MACH 5 and award-winning Mach 6 inkjets and our HD-CX Series toner-based printers so our digital print experts can show you the best options for your application and needs. Neopost USA 610.650.9170 w.longua@neopost.com www.neopostusa.com

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for more

PRINT 17

SPOTLIGHTS


A Complete Customer Communications Solution

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GMC Software and Satori Software, provide technology that enables organizations to create better experiences for their customers through timely, optimized, contextual, highly individualized, and accurate communications for all channels. Stop by our booth to see live examples, including: omnichannel communications, postal solutions, and data quality solutions.

GMC Software Satori Software 866.883.4260 www.gmc.net

Equipment Built to Last

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Celebrating their 50th Anniversary, Kirk-Rudy will once again, fill their booth with equipment. The UltraJet v21, their newest inkjet system, will make its debut along with a unique card attaching, fold and glue system. Their two headed Phoenix will demonstrate variable data inkjet printing on static pre-printed offset shells. Old favorites will return like the NetJet and KR545D Tabber. Kirk-Rudy, Inc. 770.427.4203 info@kirkrudy.com www.kirkrudy.com

Output Management In The Cloud

The Neopost Mach 5DX allows you to maximize profitability with fast, one or two-sided full color technology by Memjet®. Whether you add on to an existing Mach 5 unit or purchase as a complete system, you can achieve the lowest cost per piece for your direct mail and marketing efforts. Neopost 888.444.7362 w.longua@neopost.com www.neopost.com

Need a game-changing solution?

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BCC Software offers comprehensive and flexible direct communications solutions that integrate anywhere along the workflow, from powerful presort software that will save you valuable time and money, to data services that ensure top-tier data quality and automation solutions that will transform your organization.

BCC Software 800.624.5234 www.bccsoftware.com

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Eliminate costly infrastructure and IT resources required to manage your outbound customer communications with OMS-500 Cloud. Neopost’s unique, cloud-based, multichannel output management solution runs on Microsoft’s Azure platform, ensuring the highest levels of data privacy and security compliance, while providing you with cost-effective mailing preparation. Neopost USA 800.NEOPOST 800.636.7678 neomkt@neopost.com www.neopostusa.com

Double Your Productivity

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put the spotlight on your solutions in the next issue. Contact Ken at 608.235.2212 or ken.w@rbpub.com


APPLICATION ARTICLE

5 Smart Ways to Increase Mail House Revenue As a direct mail house owner/manager, you face business pressure to keep operational costs low, while delivering outstanding support to your customers. This is tough to do. But what if there was a way to “find” hidden dollars in the process, and provide customers with the services they need to maximize the impact of their campaigns? Melissa Global Intelligence offers 5 smart ways to find that sweet spot to increase mail house revenue, while also delighting your customers with services that help them achieve greater success. #1 Participate in a Mail House Partner Program Earn a 10% commission on every list your customers purchase with Melissa. Your customers get 24/7 online access to build and instantly download the perfect mailing list choosing from over 245 million consumer records, 15 million business records, and hundreds of specialty lists, like auto owners, bankruptcy, and pre-movers lists. You get paid for every referral — it’s a win-win! Our mailing lists are CASS™ and Delivery Point Validation (DPV®) processed for the highest accuracy, and feature a 95% deliverability guarantee. #2 Give Your Customers Access to the Most Accurate Lists – Right from Your Site This is a great way to deliver awesome support to your customers – private label list ordering. Now you can offer your customers access to Melissa’s mailing lists right from your site, using your own applications with our LeadGen List API. The solution integrates directly into your business process so your customers can easily build, order, and download a list any time, any day. And, you get wholesale pricing. This allows you to pass the savings on to your customer or pocket the gains yourself. It’s a great way to start a new revenue stream while expanding your services to customers. LeadGen APIs are available for Melissa’s Consumer; Business; Occupant; and Property Owners lists. #3 Help Your Customers Target the Right Prospects Before your customer embarks on a direct mail campaign, offer them our unique Customer Look-Alike Report. This detailed report provides a demographic portrait including 30+ strategically important demographic elements, plus a calculated Market Penetration Index (MPI) to help your customer define market potential and target exactly the right prospects. #4 Save Money and Improve Deliverability Have you or your customers experienced a high rate of undeliverable mail? Help your customers and your business get

your mail delivered to the right person, at the right time, and at the lowest applicable rates with Melissa’s List Hygiene Services. We offer the following services: USPS® CASS™/DPV® DSF2® Global Address Verify USPS® NCOALink® Canada Post NCOA® Duplicate Elimination Postal Presorting DMA Do Not Mail Suppression Deceased Suppression

For your convenience, Melissa offers batch data and automated FTP processing with low minimums and quick turnarounds, plus, in the Cloud applications like MAILERS Online and Listware® Online. These solutions help you clean your contact data with unique pay-as-you-go pricing. #5 Promote an Integrated Omnichannel Strategy In today’s rapidly interconnecting world, customers and businesses are turning to new digital technologies to communicate. That doesn’t mean that the use of printed mail is diminishing. But it does indicate the need for businesses to promote an integrated omnichannel strategy. The future of direct mail is to leverage a host of technologies to connect with customers the way they want to be contacted, while improving the impact of direct mail and ROI. As mailers look to improve segmentation strategies, personalization, and integrated marketing activities, Melissa provides services to enrich contacts with demographic and firmographic details (like age, household income, marital status, company name, and more), and add social media handles and profiles. By implementing these 5 strategies into your operations, you will maximize the effectiveness of your campaigns — and realize ROI. With our solutions and services, we position your business and your customers toward a path to greater success.

www.melissa.com


THE STATE OF THE INDUSTRY

Part one of our annual survey looks at average wages, staff sizes, and the effects of the economy on the mail center. How does your operation compare?

By Amanda Armendariz

A

s always, I want to start out by extending a huge “thank you” to those of our readers who took the time to answer our survey questions. I know that you are busy professionals, and the fact that you take the time out of your day to help us benchmark industry wages and standards is appreciated more than you know. So once again, thank you! This year’s survey results are quite promising in some respects. Wages are mostly up across the board, and not just by a few paltry cents, either. The average hourly wages for many non-managerial staff have increased by a dollar or more per hour compared to 2016’s results, and managerial staff are also seeing substantial increases. Also encouraging is the fact that the average time spent in the mail center is up for all three levels surveyed (managers, supervisors, and staff). I know there are two schools of thought on this (one side says that you need new, younger employees in order to get the newest ideas that lead to success; the other side says that experience equals knowledge, and it doesn’t matter how innovative some ideas are if the employees don’t understand the nuances of the industry). I fall

squarely in the middle: I think that experience is indeed an asset that cannot be overvalued (nor easily replicated), so I’m encouraged to see that the average number of years in the mail center is up. And I also recognize that innovation breeds success, so it’s heartening to see more and more mail professionals seeking out certification and continuing their industry education. To note, almost 54% of managers reported attending local PCC meetings, compared to 38% last year. This networking and sharing of ideas is what will lead to hard copy communications’ continued relevance in today’s increasingly digital age. Of course, there are some not-so-great results, as well. Last year, almost 20% of our respondents reported sending out more than one million mail pieces a month; this year, it’s barely 13%. And the number of respondents who send out fewer than 50,000 pieces a month (our lowest category) is up to almost 35%, compared to 29% last year. So it’s impossible to argue that mail volumes aren’t decreasing. However, mailers may be sending out fewer pieces, but those pieces that are sent out make an impact. And that, ultimately, is what matters. Until next time!

Mail Center Managers Male vs. Female

How many full-time employees (FTE) does each manager supervise? 6.35%

37%

63%

These numbers represent a pretty significant decline in the number of female mail center managers; last year’s survey showed 46% of mail center managers were women.

Show Me the Money

This year, the average salary of a mail center manager was $66,054. This is a fairly significant jump from last year’s $57,074.

$66,054 18

SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2017 | MailingSystemsTechnology.com

7.94%

0-5 6-10 11-15

11.11% 53.97%

16-20 20+

20.63%

Just like last year, most mail center managers are responsible for a relatively small number of employees. Furthermore, the percentage of managers who are responsible for 20-plus employees is basically half of last year (6.35% compared to 12.16%), which I’m sure eases the managers’ workload substantially! This is especially helpful considering a full 60% of mail center managers have assumed other duties, as well, such as shipping, receiving, and purchasing.


The Effort Pays Off

The Economy

This year, our respondents reported that their organizations’ mail center managers had been in the industry, on average, 20+ years (20.65, to be exact). This is significantly higher than last year’s 16.65 years. Perhaps this explains the higher salary compared to 2016 — as in almost any industry, the longer one spends in it, the more likely one is to have a higher salary.

The good news is, more managers this year reported that the economy has had no effect on their operations (almost 55% this year compared to 2016’s 50%). And the number of respondents reporting experiencing the especially negative aspects (such as salary concessions and freezes) are down, which is always a good sign.

60 50

Certification

6%

54.84%

40

CMDSM

17%

6%

EMCMP

33.87%

30 20

CMM

16.13%

10

12.90%

4.84% In our respondents’ mail centers, the percentage of mail center managers holding the EMCMP certification increased two percentage points compared to last year, while the number holding the CMDSM certification dropped substantially (10% last year). The number holding the CMM certification held steady at six percent.

0%

3.23%

Has had no effect

Salary freeze

Took on additional responsibilities

Working additional hours

Other

Number of mail managers decreased

Salary concession

Continuing Education

For those mail center managers who sought out continuing education opportunities, here are some of the most popular ways they chose to stay engaged. Like last year, local PCC conferences/meetings were the top choice for managers looking to continue their education, followed by attendance at the National Postal Forum. When asked if their managers would be attending any national training in the next 12 months, 56% of our respondents voted no.

53.97%

50 40 30

28.57%

20

19.05% 15.87%

10

11.11% 4.76%

3.17%

17.46%

14.29% 6.35%

0%

Local PCC conferences/meetings

MAILCOM

Vendor’s user conference

National mailing “schools”

Other non-mailing national conferences (i.e., management training courses)

NACUMS, Non-profit, DMA)

6.35% 0%

National Postal Forum (NPF)

National industry or association-specific mailing conference (MSFA,

12.70%

11.11%

Other non-mailing local conferences Online continuing education classes

On-site continuing education classes None, due to budget cut backs None, didn’t find the time to attend

None, training is not allowed for mail center managers None, no training needed this year Other

MailingSystemsTechnology.com | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2017

19


Supervisors It’s a pretty even split (49.21% yes, 50.79% no) as to whether our respondents’ mail centers have supervisors or not. This is quite a drop from last year, when 59% answered in the affirmative. Sixty-nine percent of supervisors are male, an increase from last year’s 65%. These supervisors are not as likely to hold certifications as mail center managers are, and for those who do, the EMCMP is the most common at 20%.

70

Supervisor stats:

30

65.22%

60 50 40

} On average, these supervisors oversee an average of eight employees (compared to nine in 2016).

20

} The average salary is $54,429 (up significantly from last year’s $49,480).

10

} They have been in the industry an average of 15.45 years, an increase from last year’s average of 13. Perhaps, like with the mail center managers, this explains the higher salary.

40

13.04% 4.35%

4.35%

Has had no effect

Salary freeze

Took on additional responsibilities

Working additional hours Number of supervisors decreased

Salary concession

Continuing Education As with the mail center managers, local PCC conferences and meetings were the most popular way to engage in continuing education, although not to the same extent. For supervisors, the spread is much more even, with online classes enjoying more popularity than they did with managers. Seventy-one percent do not anticipate their organization’s supervisors attending any national training in the next 12 months. 33.33%

30

20

30.43%

0%

} Seventy-one percent of supervisors oversee other departments or functions, such as shipping & receiving, inventory control, etc.

50

Supervisors and the Economy

29.17%

20.83%

20.83%

20.83%

16.67%

16.67% 12.50%

10

8.33%

8.33% 4.17%

National Postal Forum (NPF)

Local PCC conferences/meetings

MAILCOM

Vendor’s user conference

National mailing “schools”

Other non-mailing national conferences (i.e., management training courses)

National industry or associationspecific mailing conference (MSFA, NACUMS, Non-profit, DMA) 20

4.17%

0%

SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2017 | MailingSystemsTechnology.com

Other non-mailing local conferences

0%

Online continuing education classes

None, didn’t find the time to attend

On-site continuing education classes

None, training is not allowed for supervisors

None, due to budget cutbacks

None, no training needed this year


Staff This year, mail center staff seems to be a 60/40 split, with the majority of the staff being men. On average, they have been employed in the mail industry for 11 years. Twenty-one percent are represented by a union, and while this number seems a bit low at first, it’s definitely an increase compared to last year’s eight percent.

Staff and the Economy 70 61.70%

60 50

Average Wages of Mail Center Staff

40

20

30 20

17.02% 12.77%

10

2015 - $15.38

2016 - $13.64

2017 - $14.66

2015 - $15.62

2016 - $14.72

2017 - $15.91

2015 - $15.34

2016 - $14.36

2017 - $15.38

2015 - $18.33

2016 - $19.60

2017 - $19.28

2015 - $12.60

2016 - $12.34

2017 - $13.38

10

6.38%

Has had no effect Salary concession

0

4.26%

2.13%

Existing staff work additional hours

Entry-level

Addressing machine operators

Salary freeze

Existing staff do additional tasks

Highest hourly wage

Inserter operators

Layoffs

Other

Mail handlers

MailingSystemsTechnology.com | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2017

21


IS FUNDING YOUR CUSTOMER COMMUNICATIONS

A STRUGGLE? Here are some ways to increase customer engagement and save money in the process.

By Paul Abdool

E

very day you go to work, you are asked to come up with new ways to add incremental value — already a momentous task in this day and age. To make things even more challenging, the senior management team often wants you to add that value while reducing budgets and improving the overall customer experience. In addition, they want to replace the current communications that have been traditionally printed and mailed by turning them into digital messages that implement multi-channel and cross-channel communications. This trend driving communications towards digital avenues is not that new; it’s been coming for 20 years. However, we are on the cusp of another plateau breakthrough. We saw early adopters jump on the electronic presentment and payment bandwagon at the turn of the century, but numbers were modest — five to eight percent. Now, we are seeing 20-25% adop22

SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2017 | MailingSystemsTechnology.com

tion. With the prevalence of mobile devices and some new technology introduced by the USPS, we are poised to see another increase in digital communication adoption. Before we go further, let’s establish a few facts and definitions. The USPS has seen a steady decline in First-Class mail volume over the last few years. To combat this decline, it has introduced some promotions to incent mailers and marketers to send more mail by reducing postage costs. The 2017 promotions included: 1. Earned Value Earned credits, once approved and accepted, will be credited to the permit accounts and can then be applied to future mailings when business reply envelopes are used. 2. Personalized Color Transpromo When personalized color transpromotional messaging is used in bills and statements, an upfront postage discount is provided.

3. Emerging & Advanced Technology Mailers who create mail pieces that use at least one form of approved emerging or advanced technologies will receive a postage discount. 4. Tactile, Sensory, & Interactive Engagement Eligible mailers who incorporate a multi-sensory experience into their mail piece may receive a postage discount. 5. Direct Mail Starter This promotion is for first-time mailers to promote offers that incorporate the use of print-mobile technology (up to 10,000 mail pieces). 6. Mobile Shopping Eligible mail pieces that integrate mobile technology that direct customers to an online “Buy Button” may receive a discount on postage


with them. Therefore, the next level would be bi-directional communication via multiple media — also known as cross-channel communications. All of these things sound great, so why isn’t everyone taking advantage of this combination of multi-channel communications and promotions? There are three categories of challenges to overcome to actually execute one. 1. Time Never heard of it Poor planning, too late 2. Stakeholder collaboration IT, Lines of Business, Marketing, Project Management, USPS, print center and mail center staff 3. Processes Dealing with legacy applications Lack of IMb control Old mail software on mainframes; hard to adjust Hard to make changes to/re-engineer a document Don’t know how to get started

Each of the promotions above, except for the Direct Mail Starter, runs for six months. USPS’ strategy to drive more volume has slowed the pace of decline, but mail volumes are still going down. While the USPS was trying to revitalize printing and mailing, organizations were trying to establish a variety of customer communication methodologies beyond printing and mailing, such as email, SMS (short message service), web portals, and mobile applications. These other channels, in conjunction with print, established a multi-channel protocol. However, in many cases, these were produced within their own silos in organizations. In addition, many of these were not bi-directional communications. This left the customer saying, “You’re halfway there.” They could “hear” the company, but the company could not hear them, or they would have to work hard to get in touch with the organization to conduct business

You know where the organization wants to go — cross-channel. You know the USPS wants to keep mail volumes up, and it is incenting your organization to do so, which has created a competitive communication alternative, so now what do you do? Both! But how? Integration and collaboration with the stakeholders are critical to getting a multi-channel promotion off the ground. The good news is that USPS has established a program called Informed Visibility, which will be rolled out in full by the end of 2017. This program allows mail recipients to sign up to see what is going to be delivered to their mailboxes that day via notifications to their computer desktops or mobile phones. A picture of the outside of the envelope will be displayed in the notification area of the app. Even better, mailers can replace or augment images of the envelopes with other images that can be clicked on to drive them to another touchpoint. Let’s connect the dots now with a promotion combination of earned value, emerging & advanced technology, and personalized color transpromo example. For illustration purposes, this is a phone bill. It is assumed that the organization sends out 100,000 bills per day.

Mailing Operations: Educate the team about the USPS promotions – October IT/Finance: Create a color bill – November-December Marketing: Get IT to add a marketing message on the mail piece, not inserts – January-February Marketing/IT: Establish an online place for customers to land once clicking on a link – January-February Marketing/Mailing Operations/USPS: Approve the outbound mail piece – February Operations: Print and mail the bills; include a business reply envelope or two-way envelope with IMb – All year USPS: Scan each mail piece and provide images and links to mail recipients – March-August Now the magic happens… Set up to receive credits from the BRM usage – January-June Set up to receive a two percent discount on postage, since Informed Delivery is included in the emerging & advanced technology promotion – March-August Set up to receive a two percent discount on postage according to the parameters of the personalized transpromo promo – July-December Increase in business due to promotions Added or integrated multi-channel communications established Improved customer experience and engagement Please note that organizations can only take advantage of one promotion at a time per application/mailing. There is no accumulation of discounts even if your mail piece qualifies for more than one as illustrated above. Simply put, with a little work and collaboration, everybody wins! Win-win-win… for your organization, USPS, and your customers. ¾

PAUL ABDOOL is Vice President Sales - CFI, Doxim. He is the on the Board of Xplor International — an electronic document systems association — and is the Treasurer of Xplor Canada. He has also earned his M-EDP (Master Electronic Document Professional) Certification from Xplor, his CCMP (Certified Change Management Professional) certification from Prosci, & his ECMS (Enterprise Content Management Specialist) certification from AIIM. Contact him at pabdool@doxim.com. MailingSystemsTechnology.com | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2017

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RESET YOUR VIEW OF INSERTERS TO TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP

When looking to buy a new inserter, TCO can be the most critical benchmark. By Eddy Edel

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ot that long ago, when evaluating inserters, our customers looked mostly at the functional specs. They’d consider things like machine speed, the ability to handle inline envelope printing and varying mail piece requirements, and all the latest features available. They’d weigh all these things, along with monthly volume, support options, and costs to purchase or lease the equipment. But for many customers, there’s now been a big shift in the buying process. Both in-house mailers and service providers have become more financially savvy and data-driven. Instead of looking at just specs on paper, they’re evaluating return on investment (ROI). They want to determine what the payback will be not simply against equipment and service costs, but against the total cost of ownership (TCO).

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DETERMINING INSERTER TCO The TCO of an inserter is arrived at by calculating the full cost of producing mail pieces, which includes expenditures in three key areas: 1. Consumable costs. These are the expenses for paper, ink, envelopes, inserts, etc. Consumables represent, on average, 60% of the TCO. 2. Operational costs. These include the money you spend on labor to operate and service the inserter, as well as the financial impact of the downtime required for changeovers. These costs make up an average 25% of the TCO. 3. Equipment cost. This covers what you pay to purchase or lease the inserter equipment. It comes in at an average 15% of the TCO.

It’s important to remember that the percentage of TCO for each of these expenses varies across the globe, as labor costs for operators and service professionals can range widely from country to country. LOWERING INSERTER TCO The percentage that each of these costs contributes to TCO tells you their relative importance and prioritizes your efforts at TCO reduction. Therefore, let’s start with consumables. It used to be that higher speed inserters required higher quality consumables. But now, innovative technology enables inserters to run less expensive consumables just as fast as higher quality ones. This allows you to maintain high net good yield on the belt while running lower cost substrate — and more substrate as well.


When considering TCO, net good yield per hour is the key performance measurable, not the raw speeds listed on a spec sheet. Because today’s technology can give you a wider range of materials to run, you can insert at high speed and still maintain productivity with lower quality, less expensive substrate. REDUCING RUNNING COSTS Now let’s consider operational costs. First, look at the cost of the labor needed to operate and service the inserter. Again, innovative technology is lowering the TCO. Inserters are now smarter, providing their own automated maintenance, resulting in fewer service calls. And because so much of the maintenance is done by the machine itself, less skilled — and less costly — support people can handle the rest.

The same goes for operators. You used to need highly skilled operators to run an inserter. But now, operational controls and decision-making have been automated into the systems. This innovative technology is making the most sophisticated inserters far easier to use, so they can be effectively run by personnel who do not need special skills or extensive training. If you look only at raw speeds without considering these operator costs, you can miss a TCO advantage. For example, an inserter putting out 20,000 mail pieces per hour with one operator will have a lower TCO than one putting out 26,000 pieces with two operators. Going from two operators to one will do a lot to reduce your TCO. Maximizing uptime also lowers TCO. Engineering advancements, including the automated maintenance mentioned above, will often double service intervals, cutting downtime in half. And since the service required is typically simpler, you need a lower headcount for support personnel. If you only need one person instead of two for every service interval, that cost is reduced by half. The latest inserter technology also reduces downtime by enabling faster changeovers. This allows service providers to take on smaller jobs profitably — as well as further build their business by taking on jobs with very challenging service level agreements (SLAs). In addition, the most sophisticated inserter solutions give you in-depth tracking and reporting. With this data in hand, you can redesign workflow to fit your financial realities, optimizing throughput with the most efficient use of labor and materials. Solutions that focus on productivity can even provide real-time feedback on job progress and operational efficiency, so you can easily implement continuous improvement initiatives to lower your cost per mail piece. Small improvements in workflow efficiency — 0.5% to two percent — can produce large reductions in TCO. All these capabilities also deliver greater accuracy. This is particularly important when it comes to regulatory compliance for mailings in the financial and healthcare industries. LET’S LOOK AT SOME EXAMPLES Companies who have looked at their inserter investments from a TCO perspective have seen some impressive results. L & D Mail Masters is a direct marketing company that offers a full range of services, including printing and mailing production, to companies in highly regulated industries. They were pro-

ducing approximately 21 million mail pieces each month, but they needed a new solution to meet growing demands. The capabilities of their legacy inserters limited the number and quality of the jobs they could bring in. For example, job changeovers — from #10 to 6X9 to 9x12 insertions — took up to half a day. The advanced technology of their new system cut that time to 20 minutes. They also moved from cut sheet processing to continuous form processing (rolls). The new inserter, running this continuous platform, delivered a 30- 40% jump in productivity. Best of all, the higher yield resulting from the reduced changeover time allowed the company to accept jobs it could not consider in the past. This boosted revenue and drove up client satisfaction. Their new system also supports file-based processing, tracking every page of every mail piece to ensure an extra level of integrity for clients concerned with regulatory compliance. For another example, Financial Statement Services Inc. (FSSI) produces, prints, and distributes documents for an array of clients in the banking, finance, and insurance industries. FSSI needed to improve inserting speed and efficiency to accommodate the demands of a growing client base. They were looking at SLAs that required documents to be printed, inserted, and entered into the mail stream the same day they received the print file. Their new inserting solution delivers automation capabilities that lets them quickly switch between flat and letter jobs in order to cut downtime and improve capacity planning. FSSI can now handle up to 270,000 pieces of mail and more than 70 changeovers per day. The fast changeovers allow the company to take on smaller jobs profitably. And all of this is done with lower operator payroll costs. There are many ways it pays to look for the inserter solution that will give you the lowest TCO. Innovative technology can deliver improved consistency, greater uptime, a wider choice of materials to run, lower operator and support costs, and the data you need to optimize workflows. This all points to not just lower TCO, but to higher revenues and happier customers as well. ¾

EDDY EDEL is Vice President, Inserting Product Management, Pitney Bowes. Eddy is a guru of technology in the mailing industry, with 20 years of experience. He regularly applies a strong expertise in data-driven, long term strategic planning. MailingSystemsTechnology.com | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2017

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LUCKY FORKS: DECISIONS OF THE USPS

As the USPS attempts to maintain its place in today’s digital world, it is taking several steps to choose the right path. | By Harry Stephens

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fork in the road is often defined as a metaphor for a deciding moment in life or history when it’s required to make a major choice — any of which will have distinct consequences. In business, as in life, there are always forks in the road. We make choices and decisions and hope we are lucky enough to make the right ones. “Lucky forks” is what I call them. Sometimes, we make a decision and find out we have to correct it. But that, too, is life. To

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be successful, we must have the capacity to adapt to a changing environment almost daily. There is no doubt that speed is the name of the game in business these days. The mailing industry is not exempt when it comes to the speed of change and the required decisions to accommodate them. With every change, there is a fork in the road. A decision made in one area usually causes something else to change. Were they lucky forks? I guess it depends on where you sit and how you choose to look at it.

The USPS’s Fork in the Road A good example of a current fork in the road is the ongoing conversation about the financial difficulties of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and what to do about it. The USPS has been losing billions of dollars a year and, while we are all aware there are several legitimate reasons for these losses, something needs to change. Two recent articles in the Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal reported that the latest entrant into this controversial conversation


can always open a PO Box or lock box if you don’t have one, and your mail will be put in the box on Saturday. Mail typically arrives to a PO Box faster than a residential or business location, and a business can establish permanent PO Boxes in multiple cities. But what about those in the direct mail business? Eliminating Saturday delivery may adversely affect their business because Saturday is the perfect in-home delivery date. People are usually off work, less rushed, and tend to pay attention to offers in the mail more than they might during the week. It seems to me that losing that day could be a huge problem for ad mail, yet, oddly enough, I haven’t noticed huge complaints from this group about the possibility of losing this delivery day. As a board member of the National Postal Policy Council and an active member of the Major Mailers Association, I know one thing: There are many forks in the road when it comes to keeping your business interests at the forefront of postal communications. In an attempt to choose the lucky one, the USPS continues to reach out to us for ideas and new solutions to alleviate its financial burden. If there are some possible future actions you hear about that would subsequently cause a burden to your business, the time to step forward and be heard is now. Keeping your business interests at the forefront of postal communications will not only help ensure your business is not adversely affected by any cost-cutting decisions, it will also help the USPS come up with solutions that make sense for us all in its effort to offset rising postal costs. is President Trump by way of his 2018 budget plan. The plan leaves the door open for reducing the current six-day day mail delivery “where there is a business case for doing so.” But here comes the fork. When then-Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe attempted to end Saturday mail delivery in 2013, the move was met with such strong resistance from members of Congress and the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association that it ultimately failed. What would ending Saturday delivery mean for business mailers? For those of us dealing primarily in First-Class transactional mailings, probably not much. With mail volume down as it is, there most likely won’t be a huge backlog over the weekend. Monday holidays may be a bit of a problem, but if the elimination of Saturday mail delivery does pose a difficulty for your business, you

Choosing our Forks — Lucky and Not So Lucky While we never like higher postal rates, many businesses have made the choice to adapt in a positive way for our customers and our companies. For example, the idea of mixing transactional and promotional documents in First-Class letter mail was a smart way to reduce postal expense and maximize our customers’ marketing dollars. Additionally, the USPS is now allowing mailers to send three ounces at the oneounce rate. What I like to call “3-4-1” provides additional stimulus for marketing via First Class. It’s a win-win for mailers and the USPS, providing the extra value needed to keep printed mail relevant. Informed Delivery is another good decision the USPS has made for people receiving mail. Introduced in February of

this year, it uses mail imaging processes to provide residences a digital preview of mail arriving soon. The feature is for households based on a delivery point address, so multiple residents can sign up. My household takes advantage of it, and by early morning, I know what mail will be delivered to us that day. Informed Delivery creates new opportunities for marketers to draw attention to their campaigns or coupons with a synchronized physical and digital touchpoint. The USPS reports that 70% of those who have signed up use Informed Delivery to be more aware of incoming mail. Those are the smart forks that have been put into place to continue to make mail valuable and keep a positive feeling about the efforts of the USPS. However, on the flip side, the USPS also chose a bad fork in the road of choices as well. The Washington Post published an article on July 19 reporting that the USPS broke the law by pressuring managers to allow letter carriers to participate in campaigning in the last election. The Postal Service’s Office of Special Counsel and inspector general found that the agency violated the Hatch Act, which restricts federal employees from working for or against a political candidate or party during election season. So, there have been lucky forks and notso-lucky forks — and certainly there will always be more forks in the road to come. To continue to prosper, we always need to find ways to turn them to our advantage and recognize that success in business is something we ultimately make ourselves. We can make any fork in the road a lucky one depending on how we choose to react, staying open to change and in constant pursuit of new opportunities. 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. He serves on the Executive Board of the Greater Atlanta Postal Customer Council, Board Member of the National Postal Policy Council (NPPC), Member of Major Mailers Association (MMA), and member of the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service. As an expert on high-volume print and mail, he has frequently been asked to speak to various USPS groups, including the Board of Governors, about postal reform and other issues affecting business mailers. Find DATAMATX at www.datamatx.com MailingSystemsTechnology.com | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2017

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By Adam Lewenberg

HOW TO SAVE MONEY WITH PRESORT SERVICES Presort services can be a budget-saver for many mailers. Here’s how to determine if this option works for your operation.

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f you are looking for the easiest way to save money on postage, look no further. Presort services will pick up your mail daily, weekly, or as needed and then commingle it with other clients’ mail on their sorting systems to get you lower postage rates. These services will make sure your mail meets all postal regulations, and there should be no work involved on your end except scheduling the pickups. These services will save you between two and 58% based on your volumes, densities, weights, and types of mail submitted. Presort service providers can have one or several sorters that are similar to what the USPS uses in its facilities. These sort28

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ers read the address on the mail piece and spray the barcode on the bottom right. They then sort the mail into bins according to where it is going throughout the country. Presort providers work on a revenue split arrangement with the customer and the USPS. Here is the most common arrangement for First-Class Mail letters (Figure 1):

The presort service sorts the mail as deep as possible. Hopefully, most will be to the highest sort levels the USPS offers (see Figure 3). The USPS pays the presorter the difference in a value-added rebate (VAR). This payment by the USPS covers their transportation, operations, and profit. If you are a low-volume mailer, the presort

First-Class Mail single piece postage rate (metered) Rate at which the customer meters the mail Rate the presort service pays Presort service revenue (refund by the USPS)

Figure 1 $.46 $.423 ($.037 savings) $.37-.423 Up to $.053 (Difference of $.423 and $.37)


service may charge you a fee on top of the metered rate, or a high-volume customer may get a refund. The USPS requires that the mail is metered at one of the rates above, and fees or rebates will vary by customer. Items that determine your rate are volumes, frequency, ZIP Code densities, machine read rates for your mail, and how competitive your local market is with other presort providers. What Mail Qualifies? First-Class Mail Letters — Most presort services are looking for non-handwritten letter mail, up to the maximum weight of 3.5 ounces. There are services that will pick up as little as 400 pieces per day or single pickups of 1000 pieces or more.

This year, the USPS came out with a program called “Third Ounce Rides Free” to get people adding more content to their mail. This savings only applies at the discounted rates listed on the chart above and creates extra incentive to use a presort service, with discounts up to 58%. First-Class Mail Flats — Many presort services will have flat sorting machines and can process non-handwritten pieces as large as seven to 12 ounces. The client savings and presort service profit is

much greater for flats, and typically, they can have lower thresholds for pickup. It is best to combine your letter and flat volumes when negotiating rates and determining eligibility. It is important to note that the USPS does not offer a VAR for flats like they do for letters. This means you will need to meter your mail at the lower rates (three- and five-digit), and the presort service will send you an invoice for the difference of your negotiated rate minus the metered price.

Figure 2

USPS Entry Discount Savings

Automation Letters

Automation Flats

DNDC DSCF

$0.026 $0.034

$0.40 $0.52 Figure 3

Mail Piece Examples 1 Ounce #10 Envelope 3 Ounce Envelope (6x9) 1 Ounce Flat (9x12) 8 Ounce Flat (9x12) Post Card

First-Class Mail Metered Single Piece $0.46 $0.88 $0.98 $2.45 $0.34

First-Class Mail -Presorted

First-Class Mail -Mixed AADC

First-Class Mail -AADC

$0.453 $0.453 $0.798 $2.268 $0.284

$0.423 $0.423 $0.750 $2.220 $0.274

$0.403 $0.403 $0.670 $2.140 $0.266

First-Class Mail -3 Digit

$0.630 $2.100

First-Class Mail -5 Digit

Additional IMB Discounts

$0.373 $0.373 $0.446 $1.916 $0.253

$0.003 $0.003 $0.003 $0.003 $0.003

MailingSystemsTechnology.com | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2017

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Marketing Mail (Formerly Called Standard Mail) — This is the fastest growing area in this space because Marketing Mail volumes are remaining constant, whereas First-Class Mail is declining. The model is different because the rate is not based on the sort levels, but rather on destination entry discounts earned by moving mail closer to its final destination. Most Marketing Mail given to presort services will already be barcoded and trayed by the client. All the presort service is doing is getting it to the right Destination Network Distribution Center (DNDC) or Destination Sectional Center Facility (DSCF) where the mail is going. In exchange, the USPS offers additional discounts (shown in Figure 2) that the presort service will share in for doing the work. Negotiating the Best Rates The biggest issue with negotiating agreements is you may not have that many choices of providers. I do not have the exact numbers, but I am going to guess that there are about 100-200 independent presort services throughout the US. Most of these will have five or fewer locations located in a specific geographic area. Pitney Bowes created the largest presort network in the US with its acquisition of PSI Group, Inc. It has more than 30 facilities and processes over 15 billion pieces each year. Because of this footprint, mail moves easily between facilities, speeding delivery. This also provides the ability to pick up mail in areas where it does not have a location, furthering its reach. In many markets, you may not have a choice of vendors because there is only one presort provider covering your area. Regardless, there are still ways to get better rates if you follow a detailed procedure to create leverage. 1. Analyze your current agreements — How are you being charged today? What are the terms and fees associated? We often find that many of our clients’ presort agreements have expired and all that is being updated is an annual rate card. Does the original agreement still reflect the current state, and is there anything that can help give you power in future negotiations? 30

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2. Validate past invoices — I recommend that you look at your invoices over the past six to 12 months to make sure that you are getting the correct rates, to understand the fees that are being charged, and to calculate a total cost per piece for the service being provided. 3. Know your mail — This sounds obvious, but there is more to it than you would think. You want to understand how your mail impacts the presort service to give you the most leverage in contract negotiations. Here are some items to consider: Mail Quality – How clean is the mail that is being provided, based on the sorters’ ability to read the addresses and assign barcodes? If the rates are low, the presort service needs to upgrade the mail to the full rate, which adds extra costs on both sides. It is important to know your current scores and ask for ideas for improvement. Pick-Up Times – Presort services are typically looking for the earliest pick-up times so they have more opportunity to commingle your mail with others for higher discounts. Can you be flexible with your times, which can lead to better rates? Same-Day/Next-Day Dating – Presort services are typically willing to give better rates for next-day dated mail because it gives them more flexibility in their workflows. IMB Discounts – Is the presort service adding the IMB barcode to your mail pieces? If so, they are getting an additional $.003 per piece discount on FirstClass Mail and $.001 on Marketing Mail. Mail Volume Impact – If you are a large-volume mailer, you have more leverage than you think because if your volume was to go away, it impacts the commingling of all the other mail. In-House Presorting – Could the mail be automated inside your operation with software, reducing or eliminating the need to use a presort service? 4. Expand the Scope — Are you seeing your entire mail spend when negotiating presort agreements? The more services that can be considered, the greater the opportunity for rate concessions. Am I contracted for all mail classes? Presort services will want to take any letters, flats, marketing mail, and international. Do I have other locations that can use presort? If there are multiple locations

that could be added to the scope, it can create larger quantities that can help get better discounts. There may also be an opportunity to move mail volumes to a central facility for better rates. Can I count mail outsourced to mail houses? We work with many clients that outsource mail production but still use their own presort agreement (instead of the mail house). These can be large mail streams and can help you get better discounts on all of your mail. 5. USPS Rate Change Impacts — Each year, the USPS changes rates, which may be altering the profitability of your mail. Small percentage shifts between the rate categories listed previously can lead to huge profits for presort service providers. When rates are not in the Postal Service’s favor, they are typically passed onto the client through the annual rate addendums. Understanding these changes can add to your leverage in negotiating new rates. 6. Outside Expertise — Third-party consultants may be able to help you get better rates because they can bring their industry expertise in to help negotiate your new agreements. Not only can they help you analyze the items above, but they can develop a strategy to give you greater leverage with new contracts. They can then organize a bid with a defined scope that makes the spends and fees more visible and puts you in more control to make the best future financial agreement. Conclusion The right understanding of your mail and agreements puts you in control to get better rates for the future. Many organizations calculate their savings compared to the single piece non-discounted rates. You need to change this thinking to what revenue and profit the presort service is making on your mail… and what control you have to change it. ¾

ADAM LEWENBERG, CMDSS, MDC, President of Postal Advocate Inc., runs the largest provider of mail audit and recovery services in the United States and Canada. Since 2013, they have helped their clients save an average of 60% and over $32 million on equipment, avoidable fees, and lost postage. Adam can be reached at 617.372.6853 or adam.lewenberg@postaladvocate.com.


APPLICATION ARTICLE

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maximize postage savings before a mail piece even hits the sorter. This allows customers in the Printing Industry and Large Standard mailers to realize real savings through commingling and co-palletization. The same technology also allows Service Bureaus to analyze different mail streams to determine the most profitable mail streams to commingle. In today’s mailing world, you can’t afford to be second. If you want your operation to be as efficient, profitable and successful as it can be, you need to contact NPI. We will analyze your operation and offer real solutions to help you be first.

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Mailing Systems Technology September/October 2017  

Mailing Systems Technology September/October 2017

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