With the acceptance of cloud based applications by corporate America, technologies that had previously cost well into six figures are now more affordable than ever. The following three areas are among the easiest to implement for immediate returns using cloud based technology.
If you’re submitting electronic files to PostalOne!® for just the Full-Service mailings you process, chances are you’re working a lot harder than you really need to be. Oh, you say, “but sending files to PostalOne! is a lot more work than submitting hard copies.” On the surface, that may appear to be the case, especially if you do not do electronic submissions very often. The fact is, though, if you have two different process flows, one for Full-Service mailings and one for everything else, you ARE working harder than necessary. And, who wants to work harder than they need to? Any workflow is easier if all the jobs are processed in the same manner, and submitting jobs to PostalOne! is no exception.
Mailers spend varying amounts of time presenting eDoc to PostalOne!®. Smaller mailers who process “just-in-time” presorts using actual piece weights and attributes rarely need to make changes to their Mail.dat® files. For them, most of the labor required to do eDoc is uploading the Mail.dat files to PostalOne! and retrieving the postage statements that are created on the PostalOne! dashboard. Both of these functions can be automated quite easily and inexpensively with commercially available software from Window Book.
How often do you monitor your Mailer Scorecard? Are you comfortably meeting all the thresholds set by the USPS® - or are you barely meeting, or even falling below them? It is absolutely critical for mailers to monitor their Scorecard regularly, track mailing performance and gain insights to problem areas which need to be improved so they do not end up paying penalties.
As important as it is to know the PostalOne! contingency plan, it is just as crucial for mailers to create their own contingency plans. With all the recent PostalOne!® outages and issues, a great resolution to add to your list is to make a contingency plan! No doubt the recent PostalOne! outages caught you off-guard.
Back in 2013 when the PRC ruled the proposed Full-Service mandate constituted a rate increase of about 4%, their figure was based on the extra work most mailers had to do to comply with the requirements. Knowing what we know now, this was not far off in terms of what costs smaller and mid-size mailers were facing.
This is the first of a series of articles which will provide mailers with insight into techniques to manipulate Mail.dat® files to better represent the mailings presented the U.S. Postal Service®. What is described can be performed with commercial post-presort editing products. Readers will need to have some familiarity with the basics of the Mail.dat file specification.
In the absence of major breakthroughs on the Postal Reform front - unlikely in an election year - 2016 is likely to see two price changes: one for competitive rates on January 17th, 2016 and another for market dominant rates in March or April. The latter rate change could likely include both a rollback of the exigent rate case increase of 2014 and a CPI-based rate increase. The question then becomes will rates actually go down since it looks like the CPI since the last increase may not be enough to offset the exigent rollback. If so, we may witness a first: postal rates going down instead of up!
Window Book has been working hard to make it easier for mailers to use post-presort software to provide accurate eDocs to PostalOne!®. The quest to make this process faster, easier and more automated will continue until most mailers can perform these functions as a "lights out" process without direct human interaction with our products. Our vision is to make this economical for even small mailers in the near future.
As the USPS® prepares to resume its rollout of Seamless Acceptance, mailers are starting to wonder what they are going to do about all those undocumented pieces they see on their Mailer Scorecard. It’s no secret that in the future the USPS wishes to assess penalties for these pieces - possibly without even being subject to a threshold limit. For many mailers the assessment for undocumented pieces could be the most expensive assessment they face.