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August/September 2013


NATIONAL PCC WEEKPCC Week

National PCC Week is Sept. 16-20.

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DIRECT MAIL PROMOTIONS IN SEPTEMBER

New USPS Mail Promotions Summer 2013

USPS is running three, simultaneous direct mail promotions through Sept. 30.

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PRIORITY MAIL SERVICE GETS A FACELIFT Priority Mail

USPS has made several important changes in its Priority Mail offerings.

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2014 NATIONAL POSTAL FORUM National Postal Forum Logo

The 2014 National Postal Forum will be March 16-19 in the metropolitan Washington, DC area.

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EVERY DOOR DIRECT MAIL ONLINE UPGRADE Every Door Direct Mail Logo

Changes to the Every Door Direct Mail Online Tool make the service easier to use.

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IMPROVEMENTS IN COD

Money exchanging from one hand to another

USPS has a new and improved COD service.

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BEST PCC PRACTICES — IMPROVING PARTICIPATION WMPCC members at a PCC Week 2012 event

The Washington Metropolitan PCC (WMPCC) has steadily increased meeting participation. (PHOTO: WMPCC members at a PCC Week 2012 event.)

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NATIONAL PCC WEEK

At this year’s National PCC Week, Sept. 16-20, Postal Service officials and members of the nation’s PCCs will exchange ideas and viewpoints, guided by a theme of “Innovating Together.”

During this annual industry event, mailers will hear a prerecorded message from Postmaster General Pat Donahoe that touches on the current state of the Postal Service. USPS officers and executives will be on-site at more than 100 National PCC Week events to deliver accompanying addresses.

Deputy Postmaster General Ron Stroman urged PCC members to attract more members to the more than 100 local and regional PCCs. “I want to challenge PCC co-chairs, industry and postal, to work together to grow your PCC membership by 10 percent or more in 2014 so that we continue to expand access to important educational training throughout the mailing industry,” said Stroman. “You have my commitment that my team at headquarters will help and support you in meeting your goal.”

A major feature of the weeklong events is recognition of PCC Leadership Awards and Premier PCC Program winners, who were announced Aug. 27 during an event in Washington, DC.

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DIRECT MAIL PROMOTIONS IN SEPTEMBER

USPS is offering mailers three promotions that last now through Sept. 30.

During the Picture Permit promotion, fees will be waived for mailers with an approved Picture Permit Indicia. The fees are 1 cent per piece for First-Class Mail automation letters and postcards and 2 cents per piece for Standard Mail.

The Product Samples promotion provides mailers with an upfront postage discount on qualifying Standard Mail and Nonprofit Marketing Parcels containing product samples. This promotion is aimed at mail service providers and consumer packaged goods companies that currently ship product samples to consumers or companies interested in testing the concept.

The Emerging Technology promotion pairs mail and the Internet, offering an upfront 2 percent postage discount to business mailers who utilize augmented reality, authentication or near field communication with their mailpieces. Eligible mail classes are First-Class Mail letters, flats and cards (presort and automation), Standard Mail letters and flats, and Nonprofit Standard Mail letters and flats.

To make sure that requirements are met, mailers should provide samples of their mailpieces to the USPS Program Office to review in advance of mailing them.

Registration information and program requirements can be found on RIBBS.

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PRIORITY MAIL SERVICE GETS FACELIFT

USPS has made several important changes in its Priority Mail service offerings.

Insurance now is included with most domestic Priority Mail shipments. Retail and Commercial Base customers receive $50 of insurance coverage against loss, damage or missing contents. Commercial Plus customers receive $100 coverage.

Customers also receive day-specific delivery information based on mailpiece origin and destination ZIP Codes. Shipping labels, retail receipts and the Track and Confirm site at usps.com let customers know whether packages will reach their destinations in one, two or three days.

In other major changes, Express Mail has a new name — Priority Mail Express. The service retains its money-back guarantee and insurance up to $100. In addition, Express Mail International now is called Priority Mail Express International, and the Express Mail Corporate Account is called USPS Corporate Account.

Customers using Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail continue to receive free USPS Tracking and Package Pickup as well as flat-rate and online postage payment options.

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2014 NATIONAL POSTAL FORUM

The 2014 National Postal Forum (NPF) will be March 16-19 at the Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center near Washington, DC.

The NPF’s continuing goal is to develop an educational program that showcases innovative uses of mail and inspires participants to explore new opportunities for growing their businesses.

The 2014 forum will include new training sessions and networking opportunities for mailing industry professionals.

If you have a workshop idea you would like the NPF to consider, go to npf.org and complete the Workshop Presentation Form. The deadline to submit forms is Monday, Sept. 23, 2013.

NPF and USPS representatives will evaluate all submissions and let you know by mid-October if you have been selected to present.

If you have suggestions for this forum, send an email to Laurie Woodhams lwoodhams@npf.org, or call NPF (703-293-2329). All suggestions will be reviewed and considered.

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EVERY DOOR DIRECT MAIL ONLINE TOOL UPGRADED

Changes to the Every Door Direct Mail Online Tool have made it easier to use. A few of the improvements include:

  • Upgrades to the map, allowing customers to select and view route information directly on the map, with a display showing the search radius and scale bar.
  • A “Mailing Options” feature to allow easy refinement of routes and the ability to determine if the mailpiece size is acceptable before an order is placed.
  • Updates to inform customers with multiple drop-off locations.

Additionally, Every Door Direct Business Mail Entry Unit customers will have:

  • The option to pay online or at a retail location if they create a mailing with 5,000 or fewer pieces and induct them at a retail location (using approved retail payment and mail preparation methods).
  • Enhanced Postal-One! functionality when creating an order.

Feedback from customers and recommendations from employees led to these improvements. More changes are planned later this year.

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IMPROVEMENTS IN COD

The Postal Service has changed its COD service to reduce claims and improve visibility for shippers and USPS.

The retention period for payment and pickup will change, and some customers will be able to receive email and SMS text notifications of delivery.

Currently, COD mailpieces are sent with carriers on their daily routes for delivery and payment collection. When customers don’t have the required funds at the time of delivery, the carrier returns the mailpiece to the retail office.

The changes are a first step to reducing redeliveries and simplifying the COD experience from acceptance to delivery.

Other changes include:

  • A reduction in the in-office retention period for COD shipments from 30 days to 10 days.
  • Commercial customers may receive email or SMS text notification of shipment status for COD Hold for Pickup shipments.
USPS retail employees will be able to enter the customer’s phone number for COD transactions, which will be used in the future to provide automated customer notifications on COD shipment status.

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BEST PRACTICES — IMPROVING PARTICIPATIONAIL CENTER SECURITY

As changes in the mailing business continue, and as mailers adjust, it was getting increasingly difficult to get Washington, DC, Metropolitan PCC (WMPCC) members out of their offices to attend events.

Webinars provide a platform for instruction that is both convenient and accessible to the membership. But the WMPCC Board believes nothing can replace personal, face-to-face interaction that comes with attending PCC events. Demonstrating a clear return on the time it takes to send an employee to any PCC event should be a top priority.

The WMPCC Board knew it must review the quality of its events. So members decided to hold a mandatory post-event meeting to review the quality of each program.

The Board reviews factors under its control to see if there were any shortcomings. Comments and feedback are solicited and encouraged at every level of the organization. The Board discusses a wide range of subjects, including climate control, refreshments, lighting, audio-visual systems, the topic and the presenter. Lessons learned are put in place for the next program.

The board examines issues from previous reviews that have not been corrected at subsequent events. If the problems occur at guest sites that cannot be remedied, those sites are not used again.

The Board evaluates other factors such as presentation content, style, length and audience appeal. Some of the specific evaluation questions include:

  • Was the presentation in accordance with the syllabus?
  • Was the content relevant and current?
  • Did the presenter speak to the whole audience?
  • Were they engaging?
  • Was the ending applause genuine?

Results

As a result of the Board’s consistent reviews of events, attendee response has steadily improved. Rarely are negative elements repeated, and the satisfaction index continues to grow. Most importantly, customers indicate they find value in attending a WMPCC event, adding it’s worth the time invested and often recommend that other industry members attend.

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KEEPING POSTED

PCC Week 2013 — Sept. 16-20, 2013
NPF @mdash; March 16-19, 2014

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 email to pccinsider@usps.gov
Sign up for PCC Insider at usps.com/pcc, select “PCC Insider Registration”
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