MARKING A MILESTONE FOR INTELLIGENT MAIL
The Postal Service has delivered 1 billion pieces of mail using Intelligent Mail Full Service. The milestone mailing entered the distribution network on Dec. 4.
Since the May implementation of Intelligent Mail Full Service, 109 commercial mailers have submitted more than 11,000 electronic postage statements.
“Intelligent Mail Full Service provides commercial mailers with visibility into the status of their mail so that they can provide better service to their customers,” said Tom Day, senior vice president, Intelligent Mail and Address Quality. “When their customers call, they will have the information to respond more quickly and accurately. Intelligent Mail tracking also will help finance departments monitor and predict payments more easily. And, in this economy, this is more crucial than ever.”
Commercial customers also are experiencing faster processing of their postage statements in the PostalOne! business mail management system. According to Day, the PostalOne! system is processing more than 90 percent of Full Service mailings in less than 10 minutes.
“We highly recommend that mailers take advantage of electronic processing of postage statements, even if they have not yet signed up for Intelligent Mail Full Service,” said Day. “It’s fast, and mailers can more easily monitor their accounts and keep track of their mailings more efficiently than with paper postage statements.”
Customers also are seeing the benefit of free Address Correction Service (ACS). More than 12 million Full Service ACS notices were provided to mailers since July.
Day credited the success of the Intelligent Mail program to the relationships the Postal Service has with its customers. He cited decisions to simplify a number of business mail acceptance processes as examples of the Postal Service responding to the needs of its customers.
For more information about Intelligent Mail services, visit the RIBBS website at ribbs.usps.gov.
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DELIVERING THE HOLIDAYS
SIXTEEN BILLION CARDS, LETTERS AND PACKAGES
Tomorrow will be the busiest delivery day of this holiday season for the Postal Service. The busiest mailing day was yesterday. Throughout the holidays, the Postal Service expects to deliver more than 16 billion cards, letter and packages.
“We’re the holiday mailing and shipping experts,” says Postmaster General John Potter. “We’ve been delivering the holidays for the past 234 years, and we’re proud to deliver excellent service to our customers, especially during this busy time of year.”
USPS also expects 97 million customers to visit the Post Office during the holidays, 30 million pounds of mail to be delivered to overseas military installations, including war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan, and 2.1 billion holiday stamps to be printed.
More than 41 million customers will skip the trip to the Post Office this holiday season and take advantage of the Postal Service’s convenient online shipping at usps.com. Customers can print shipping labels, pay for postage and request free package pickup. And USPS will deliver free shipping supplies, including the popular Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes.
For holiday mailing reminders and shipping tips, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/holidayshipping.
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A NEW FLAT-RATE OPTION
HOLIDAY-THEMED MAILER HOLDS GIFT CARDS
Arriving just in time for the holidays, the Postal Service has added a special Priority Mail Flat Rate Gift Envelope to its lineup of flat-rate mailing products. Each envelope is decorated with a holiday-themed bow, and includes a convenient slot inside for securing gift cards. Available for expedited delivery service to domestic addresses at $4.95, the flat-rate Gift Mailing Envelope also makes a great way to send oversized greeting cards to friends and family members during the busiest gift-giving time of year.
“The Gift Mailing Envelope is a great addition to our Priority Mail product lineup,” said Gary Reblin, vice president, Expedited Shipping. “It meets a demand for customers who want expedited delivery when mailing gift cards.”
Measuring 10" x 7", the Priority Mail Flat Rate Gift Mailing Envelope is available for a limited time at most Post Office retail counters nationwide. The new flat-rate envelope is a welcome addition to the popular Priority Mail Flat Rate product lineup, providing customers with another option for expedited shipping of mail and merchandise at a low flat-rate.
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BUSINESS CUSTOMER GATEWAY
IMPROVE YOUR BUSINESS MAIL ACCEPTANCE EXPERIENCE
As part of Postal Service efforts to streamline business mail acceptance, there will be changes next March in the processing of hard-copy postage statements. At acceptance sites equipped with PostalOne!, the Postal Service will no longer fill out the USPS section of the form or round-stamp the document. The verification and resolution process will not change.
Regardless of how you submit your postage statements — hard copy or electronically — be sure to explore the wealth of customer benefits available through the Business Customer Gateway at usps.com.
- Submit postage statements online.
- Submit postage statements and electronic presort documentation server-to-server.
- View and retrieve copies of postage statements.
- Download and e-mail postage statements to your mail-owner customers.
- Manage permits.
- Track transactions and account balance.
- Receive notifications of fees paid/due.
- Manage mailing activities.
For more information about the Business Customer Gateway, visit the RIBBS website at ribbs.usps.gov.
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REGISTER FOR NPF
The upcoming National Postal Forum will feature mailing industry experts and progressive strategies to help businesses — large and small — get the most out of the mail. The mailing industry’s premier trade show and event is April 11-14 in Nashville, TN.
The forum offers more than 120 workshops on the hottest issues facing the mailing industry. And there’s a new track 2010 — “Direct Mail from Soup to Nuts.” If you’re a first-time NPF attendee or a first-time mailer, don’t miss out on these workshops on how direct mail can help market your business, how to design a mailpiece and what shapes and sizes of mail are acceptable on postal automation.
The NPF also will feature an Intelligent Mail technical workshop, sessions on key topics led by USPS management and 14 business tracks on topics from mail center management to shipping services. And you also can earn professional certificates. And, don't miss out on the successful Peer-to-Peer Roundtables Session, a networking event to exchange ideas on a wide range of topics.
For more information and to register, go to npf.org or call 703-218-5015. If a member of a PCC or a MTAC-sponsored association, you receive a discount of $100 off full registration, and $50 off three-day and two-day registrations. All additional employees from the same company receive an additional $25 discount.
The Postal Service has filed a proposed rule with revised price eligibility standards for commercial flats failing to meet new deflection standards, to be effective in June 2010. The Postal Service changed the deflection standards in 2007 by increasing the permitted deflection to up to 4 inches for flat pieces at least 10 inches long. However, the change was too great to allow successful processing and handling of flats with the maximum deflection. The extended time offers mailers additional opportunities to redesign their flats to meet the new standards, which would allow flats to “droop” 1 inch less than is currently allowed.
LOOKING TOWARD THE FUTURE
The Postal Service has submitted to the Government Accountability Office a comprehensive report, Assessment of U.S. Postal Service Future Business Model. Read it at http://www.usps.com/postallaw/futurebusinessmodel.htm. The Postal Service is facing the most urgent financial challenge in its history. This report provides an in-depth look at the current business model, which is not providing adequate revenues to cover costs, and a view of five alternatives.
Is your PCC looking for a dynamic speaker for a large event? Check out the National PCC speaker’s list at http://www.usps.com/nationalpcc/speakerlist.htm. Select a topic then contact the speaker to check availability.
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- National Postal Forum, April 11-14, Nashville, TN. For information, go to npf.org.
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YOUR LINKS TO MAILING RESOURCES
U.S. Postal Service: usps.com
National PCC Network: usps.com/pcc
Questions? Comments? Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sign up for PCC Insider at usps.com/pcc, select “PCC Insider Registration”
Back issues: PCC Insider online archive
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PCC NETWORK IMPORTANT VENUE FOR INDUSTRY ENGAGEMENT
|Mitzi Betman, vice president of USPS Corporate Communications, at Baltimore PCC meeting.
Promoting the value of mail and encouraging its continued use is essential for jobs, the economy and the future of both the Postal Service and the mailing industry, Mitzi Betman, vice president of USPS Corporate Communications, told the Baltimore PCC. And she said PCCs have an important voice in a national dialogue about the future of USPS.
Speaking at the council’s annual fall membership meeting, Betman said the Postal Service still faces a rocky financial road ahead and more tough choices will have to be made. But she assured the PCC members “there is a rock-solid commitment that our cost-cutting and resizing will not come at the expense of service levels or customers satisfaction.”
About 100 mailers attended the Baltimore session, which also featured vendor exhibitions and other activities. Baltimore Postmaster and postal co-chair William Ridenour told the group, “We want to make it easier for our customers to do business with us, and we’re doing everything possible to stimulate growth.”
Ridenour added, “Mail is still very much a vital part of the nation’s economy and will remain valuable for years to come.”
In her remarks, Betman stressed the importance of PCCs and said she was encouraged that even during a challenging economic period, “our Postal Customer Councils are growing stronger than they have ever been.” She encouraged members to provide feedback on local or national postal initiatives that impact their businesses. “We are looking for your good thoughts and engagements in these issues, and that’s why these PCC venues are so important,” she said.
“The Postal Service is committed to ensuring that this important partnership continues to grow even stronger,” Betman said. “In fact, strengthening our PCC partnership is not only important for weathering the current economic storm, it also helps to prepare our industry for economic recovery.”
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