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AUGUST 2010

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NATIONAL PCC DAY SEPT. 15

EVENTS PLANNED AT LOCATIONS NATIONWIDE

Postal Customer Councils across the nation will offer workshops and an opportunity to earn a professional certificate as part of National PCC Day activities. About 200 PCCs are expected to host events at more than 150 sites, with mailer education an important component.

The national PCC team is providing two workshops in support of National PCC Day events. They are:

  • Best Kept Secrets of the NCSC — Learn how the National Customer Support Center (NCSC) enables customers to better manage the quality of their mail lists. NCSC provides customers information on quality addressing, Move Update, change of address, Intelligent Mail barcode and other postal products and services.
  • Business Customer Gateway — Hear how the Business Customer Gateway gives you a single, unified landing point to access the online business offerings from the Postal Service.

Mailers who attend local PCC events also can earn a Quality Addressing and Mailing Insight Professional Certificate. To qualify for the certificate, PCC attendees must be present for Postmaster General John Potter’s satellite broadcast and they must attend both workshops listed above as well as one other mail-related workshop presented by the local PCC that day.

The National PCC Day broadcast featuring Potter begins at noon ET and is hosted by the Greater Portland PCC, the winner of the 2009 PCC of the Year Award for a large market. During the broadcast, the Postal Service will announce its 2010 PCC Premier Award winners and the Communication and Excellence Award winners.

For more information about National PCC Day and your local PCC, go to usps.com/pcc.

EXPLORING INNOVATION

POSTAL SERVICE WILL SEEK INPUT FROM PCC MEMBERS

The Postal Service is tapping into the experience and knowledge of mailers and other stakeholders as it explores ways to adapt to changing mailing habits and preferences. PCC members will be part of this innovation exploration, with details to be announced during National PCC Day.

Expanding access and creating new opportunities to grow volume and revenue are major elements of the Postal Service’s action plan for the future. USPS is exploring opportunities that will enable USPS to quickly respond to customer mailing needs and compete more effectively in the marketplace.

At a Mailers’ Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) Innovation Symposium last week at postal headquarters in Washington, about 130 MTAC members explored ideas that ranged from increasing electronic services to offering hybrid mail options to enhancing the “mail moment” — when delivery of a mailpiece to a mailbox is anxiously awaited by household customers.

PCC members similarly will be asked for their ideas. “We’ll be asking PCC members to explore the ideas that already have been suggested and give us their feedback on what they think,” says Susan Plonkey, vice president of Sales. “PCCs regularly provide us with valuable feedback, and they’ll do the same as we explore potential innovations to respond to an evolving marketplace.”

EMBRACE THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY

BE PREPARED FOR BARCODE REQUIREMENTS NEXT YEAR

IMb logo

Mailers have deposited nearly 40 billion mailpieces with Intelligent Mail barcodes. If you’re not using this technology yet, here’s something to consider. Beginning May 2011, to be eligible for automation discounts on letter-size and flat-size mailpieces, mailers will need to start using the IMb, with either Full Service or Basic options, in place of the POSTNET barcode.

Additionally, the PLANET Code barcode, used with Confirm service for mail tracking, will be retired. To receive Confirm service after May 2011, mailers will have to use the IMb.

“The PLANET Code and POSTNET barcodes have served us well for decades,” says Tom Day, senior vice president, Intelligent Mail and Address Quality. “But now it’s time to embrace the latest technology to assure better service and increased value of the mail to your business needs.”

The Intelligent Mail barcode holds all routing, sorting and additional services information in one barcode. It enables unique identity of individual mailpieces and provides more real estate on the envelope for marketing messages. It offers OneCode ACS at less cost than traditional ACS. And, beginning May 2011, it allows customers to receive automation prices.

For more information about Intelligent Mail services, go to http://ribbs.usps.gov.

Starting next month, USPS will conduct weekly “Migrating to IMb” webinars. Look for the schedule on RIBBS later this month.

MAILING AND SHIPPING SERVICES PRESIDENT

PAUL VOGEL TO LEAD EFFORTS TO INCREASE REVENUE, CREATE NEW PRODUCTS

Paul Vogel
Paul Vogel, president, Mailing and Shipping Services.

Paul Vogel, who grew the Postal Service’s international shipping business to annual sales of
more than $2 billion, is now president of the department most responsible for revenue
generation.

Postmaster General John Potter earlier this month announced the appointment of Paul Vogel as president, Mailing and Shipping Services. He began his new duties today.

As president, Vogel will be responsible for all product management, product development, retail and commercial products and services, as well as commercial sales. The department is responsible for more than $65 billion in annual revenue.

Vogel’s business background and accomplishments have resulted in savings of tens of millions of dollars for the Postal Service, simplified product offerings for customer convenience and increased revenue, and creating some of the most durable business partnerships. Highlights include:

  • First Postal Service agreements with FedEx and UPS, leveraging their air networks to increase postal efficiency and improving service.
  • Helping to de-regulate international air contracts, creating a more competitive contract environment that saved the Postal Service millions of dollars annually.
  • Consolidating all international operations into a distinct business unit, creating a profit center system for Global Business that was the model for other Postal Service departments.
  • Simplifying international product offerings to eliminate customer confusion and create a more seamless delivery system.
Vogel replaces Susan Plonkey, who was named acting president in June. She returns to her position as vice president of Sales.

WHAT’S UP

EXPANDING OPTIONS

Customers at almost 1,100 Office Depot stores across the country now have another option for shipping services — USPS shipping and mailing products. These include Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes and envelopes, Priority Mail service, Express Mail service, Parcel Post, stamps, Delivery Confirmation and Signature Confirmation.

The partnership with Office Depot is one more example of how the Postal Service is adjusting products and services to better fit the changing needs of its customers, while finding creative solutions to generate much needed revenue.

CONTENT REQUIREMENTS

The Postal Service has updated mailing standards governing contents of a periodical publication eligible for Periodicals pricing. Changes include removing the current advertising limitation on loose supplements, except for unwrapped copies of loose addressed supplements included in a mailing with an authorized Periodicals publication. In addition, regulations on multi-layer pages have been revised, giving publishers more latitude in page design. The provisions concerning the mailing of products and product samples have been updated and simplified. Finally, the standards governing protective covers and attachments have been updated for consistency with past rulings.

The final rule was developed in collaboration with numerous publishers and Periodicals industry associations. It’s posted on Postal Explorer at pe.usps.com.

PREPARED FOR DELIVERY

USPS has developed optional standards for flat-size Standard Mail, Periodicals and Bound Printed Matter mailpieces prepared for delivery to ZIP Codes served by Flats Sequencing System (FSS) processing. The new optional standards are effective Jan. 2, 2011. FSS, currently being deployed, will enable USPS to improve delivery efficiency and control costs. To read an advance copy of the Federal Register rule, go to Postal Explorer at pe.usps.com.

FYI

Reminder: If you want to be a workshop presenter at the 2011 National Postal Forum in San Diego, the call for papers ends Aug. 20. Submit your proposals now online at npf.org through the "NPF Call for Paper" link.

INSIDE SCOOP graphic: Morgan P&DC's 109,000-square-foot green roof is largest in New York City.

KEEPING POSTED

2010

  • National PCC Day, Sept. 15

2011

  • National Postal Forum, May 1-4, San Diego, CA

INFO@USPS

YOUR LINKS TO MAILING RESOURCES

U.S. Postal Service: usps.com
National PCC Network: usps.com/pcc
RIBBS: ribbs.usps.gov
Questions? Comments? Send an e-mail to pccinsider@usps.gov
Sign up for PCC Insider at usps.com/pcc, select “PCC Insider Registration”
Back issues: PCC Insider online archive
Back issues: PCC Management Insights articles online archive

SPOTLIGHT ON SUCCESS

SHOWING E-TAILERS HOW TO GO BEYOND THE WEB TO INCREASE SALES

The Postal Service is reaching out to online retailers with a campaign showcasing the power of catalogs.

Catalogs engage customers. For e-tailers, catalogs can deliver transactions and enhance customer loyalty.

A market study by comScore shows that among visitors to retail websites, twice as many catalog recipients made a purchase as those who did not receive a catalog — more than doubling the online conversion rate. A revenue increase of 163 percent resulted from a comparison of purchases and money spent by catalog recipients versus those who did not receive a catalog in the comScore study, and 28 percent more items were ordered by catalog recipients.

As part of the “Getting Started in Catalogs” campaign, customers can request an instructional DVD. It features testimonials from widely recognized companies such as Dell and Zappo’s, which built their businesses into market leaders within their respective industries by adding catalogs to the marketing mix.

There will be a webinar Aug. 24 that will provide information about how to integrate catalogs and direct mail into the overall Internet marketing mix as well as how to get started and how to measure results.

For more information, go to usps.com/catalogs.
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