MAILING AND SHIPPING SERVICES CHANGES
ACTING PRESIDENT NAMED, STRATEGIC REALIGNMENTS ANNOUNCED
Acting President, Mailing and Shipping Services
Acting Vice President, Sales
Vice President, Shipping Services
Vice President, Product Visibility and Operational Performance
PCC members are familiar with the new Acting President, Mailing and Shipping Services, Susan Plonkey. She’s a featured speaker at National PCC Day and other business mailer events. Plonkey succeeds Robert Bernstock, who left the Postal Service June 4 to pursue interests in the private sector.
As acting president, Plonkey is responsible for all product management, product development, retail and commercial products and services, as well as commercial sales. The division is responsible for more than $65 billion in annual revenue.
Plonkey formerly served as vice president of Sales, vice president of Business Customer Relations, district manager, plant manager and Postmaster. This broad marketing and field experience provides her with invaluable perspective on operations and customer support.
Steven Hernandez is now acting vice president of Sales. He most recently served as Postmaster in San Antonio, TX, and Austin, TX.
In addition, there are realignments within the Mailing and Shipping Services organization. The Expedited Shipping and Ground Shipping groups have merged into a single Shipping Services group, led by Vice President Gary Reblin. He’s responsible for all shipping products and services and customer service improvements, including product solutions, marketing, promotions and revenue in both market dominant and competitive product classifications.
Jim Cochrane is now vice president of Product Visibility and Operational Performance. In the newly formed group, reporting to the senior vice president Intelligent Mail and Address Quality, Cochrane will lead the development of innovations in scanning technologies and tracking systems, including the Intelligent Mail barcode, and the implementation of product scanning improvements. His team will focus on operational performance, product intelligence and technology development.
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PLANNING A FUTURE MAILING?
POSTAL EXPLORER IS THE MAILER’S TOOL KIT
Need to find mailing and shipping information quickly? Make sure Postal Explorer at pe.usps.com is a quick click away. You’ll find some great resources there.
The Domestic Mail Manual provides all the postal regulations regarding design, preparation and entry of your mailings. A few years back, the DMM was revised based on industry feedback. It’s easy to navigate the chapter numbering system:
- 100 — retail
- 200 — commercial letters and cards
- 300 — commercial flats
- 400 — commercial parcels
If you need several items at a glance, the Quick Service Guide downloads quickly and contains many graphics — it’s the show-and-tell of mailing preparation and highlights key areas in each of the mailing categories. Notice 123 – Price List is posted for quick access to all domestic and international pricing, along with Publication 28, which contains specific addressing standards.
There are easy-to-use tools posted for beginners too, such as DMM 100, A Customer’s Guide to Mailing, and Business Mail 101. Need to know international standards and individual country listing requirements? The International Mail Manual is there. And Postal Explorer helps customers stay current because changes are posted in one spot each month under the “DMM Summary of Changes.”
If you need further assistance on mailpiece design, contact your district mailpiece design analyst by using the locator found on RIBBS at http://ribbs.usps.gov. Your local manager of Business Mail Entry also can assist and provide mail classification rulings on mailability, design, mailing standards and preparations based on samples submitted for review. However, if you do obtain a classification ruling on a mailpiece, make sure nothing changes at the time of mailing, as final determinations are made when the mail is presented and accepted.
If you’re a high-volume mailer and present mail in multiple locations, the National Customer Rulings program might be a good choice for you. With this program, a qualified mailer can get a pre-production ruling on a mailpiece prior to mailing. For more information about this program, e-mail email@example.com.
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SQUARELY FOR CONVENIENCE
SIMPLIFYING NONMACHINABLE POSTAGE FOR CUSTOMERS
USPS has announced the first in a new series of postage stamps to simplify nonmachinable postage for customers. The new 64-cent Butterfly stamp is for use on cards that have an irregular shape and require additional postage.
“This stamp was designed in conjunction with the Greeting Card Association for the convenience of our customers,” says Stephen Kearney, senior vice president, Customer Relations. “It takes the guesswork out of how much postage to put on the square greeting card envelopes that are so popular with consumers.”
Participating card manufacturers will begin printing a silhouette image of a butterfly on their envelopes. The silhouette — scheduled to begin appearing in retail stores this summer — will make it easier for customers to understand they need the new butterfly stamp or equivalent postage to mail their cards.
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NEW GPS TRACKING FOR PALLETS
The Postal Service spends $40 million a year to replace missing pallets. In an effort to minimize losses of this costly mail transport equipment, USPS has developed a program to track and locate missing pallets using GPS technology. USPS tested this technology in 2008 and it’s now ready for implementation. The Postal Service will be able to track GPS-equipped pallets whether they’re outdoors, inside buildings or in vehicles. The Postal Service will use the information to determine how long it takes for pallets to be returned to USPS and develop strategies to better manage the equipment.
CALL FOR PAPERS
Interested in being considered as a presenter at the 2011 National Postal Forum in San Diego? The annual NPF is the premier mailing industry event featuring more than 100 educational workshops and seminars. Speakers are selected for their expertise and ability to produce quality presentations that provide mailers the knowledge necessary to keep pace with the rapidly changing business world.
The call for papers opens June 18. If you would like to be considered as a workshop presenter for the 2011 NPF, May 1-4 in San Diego, CA, go to the NPF website at npf.org and click the “NPF Call for Papers” link to submit your proposal online.
The deadline for submitting proposals is Aug. 20. You’ll be notified in November on the status of your submission.
USPS has entered into an international agreement with eBay Greater China & Southeast Asia (eBay GC) and China Post Express & Logistics Corp. The agreement creates a new, simplified shipping platform for international tracking and delivery of lightweight goods ordered by consumers in the U.S. from eBay sellers in China.
The collaborative service and marketing agreement for these lightweight shipments provides U.S. consumers with greater convenience and delivery confirmation information online at usps.com. Sellers using eBay GC can track their shipments with electronic notifications such as in-process and proof-of-delivery scans at ebay.cn.
PVDS – NONPOSTAL DOCUMENTATION
According to a Postal Service final rule, if mailers’ transportation providers present a bill of lading (separate from any other documentation) for signature, postal dock personnel may sign it, upon request. A bill of lading does not supplant, nor act as a substitute, for PS Form 8125, Plant-Verified Drop Shipment (PVDS) Verification and Clearance. You can read the entire Federal Register final rule on Postal Explorer at pe.usps.com.
Just a reminder, POSTNET and PLANET code barcodes will be retired in May 2011. This final rule was published in the Federal Register Aug. 21, 2008. Confirm subscribers who continue to use the POSTNET and PLANET Code barcode combination will no longer be eligible for the automation prices. However, they can participate in Confirm for non-automation mailings of letters and flats.
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- National PCC Day, Sept.15
- National Postal Forum, May 1-4, San Diego, CA
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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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EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DIRECT MAIL
If participation at recent webinars is any indication, PCC members are bullish on the prospects for direct mail. More than 200 mailers attended PCC-sponsored webinars June 8 and June 9 on “The Power of Direct Mail,” learning how to launch effective campaigns.
Feedback has been positive, says PCC Advisory Committee Co-Chair Theresa Peterlein. “PCC members are enthusiastic about direct mail and its marketing strengths,” she says. “It’s a powerful way to get your business or product noticed.”
Some of the advantages of direct mail are:
- It offers countless formats — letters, invitations, postcards, self-mailers, brochures, newsletters and more.
- It’s targeted, personal, flexible, tangible and measurable.
- You can track the success of your campaign.
- It’s easy and cost-effective. Dollar for dollar, direct mail results in more sales.
And webinars make it easy for PCC members to participate in educational opportunities. “It’s our goal to expand the reach of the PCC network through webinars like this, especially for customers who are unable to attend face-to-face meetings because of time and distance constraints,” says Peterlein.
Two more webinar sessions will be held June 17, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. ET. There’s still time to sign up to attend. Reserve a spot by sending an e-mail to email@example.com with preferred time, and include name, company and PCC affiliation. A confirmation e-mail will be sent.
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