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August 21, 2009

SPECIAL EDITION

FINE-TUNING FSS DEPLOYMENT

REVISED IMPLEMENTATION SCHEDULE DELIVERS MAXIMUM BENEFITS

Flats Sequencing System machine at Dulles, VA, P&DC.
Flats Sequencing System machine at Dulles, VA, P&DC.

The Postal Service today announced a revised plan for deploying its Flats Sequencing System, redirecting 19 of the machines to new locations where the technology will better contribute to improved service and reduced costs.

“We analyzed our needs, taking into account recent declines in flat mail volume, and revised our original FSS deployment site plan,” says FSS Executive Director Rosa Fulton. “We wanted to make sure the deployment reflects current processing needs and delivers the maximum benefits to both the Postal Service and mailers.”

The FSS automatically sorts flat mail in the order that letter carriers deliver their routes. This reduces the amount of time carriers spend manually sorting mail and increases time available to deliver mail, and this will help USPS contain costs associated with the addition of nearly 1.8 million new delivery addresses each year.

Flat volume declined by 7.2 billion pieces from FY 2007 to the end of FY 2008, and that trend continues, according to Fulton. Flat volume is expected to decline another 6.5 billion pieces by the end of FY 2009.

Originally, 100 FSS machines were to be deployed in 32 locations. The new plan has 42 locations. The revised list of locations is available on RIBBS at http://ribbs.usps.gov/index.cfm?page=flat.

“This new technology will deliver high-impact efficiency and improve mail processing,” says Fulton, “and make sure our customers get even more value from the mail.”

Editor’s note: The following article appeared in The Media Audit FYI July 2009 newsletter. The Texas-based firm develops syndicated research studies for the marketing, communications and media industries.

DIRECT MAIL USE INCREASING DESPITE COMPETITION, STUDY SAYS

DELIVERING VALUE TO BUDGET-CONSCIOUS CONSUMERS

A new study conducted by The Media Audit reveals that the percent of adults who are considered heavy direct mail users has been slowly growing over the past three years, despite dramatic increases in online advertising expenditures such as e-mail marketing, website banners and search.

According to the report, 18 percent of adults are considered heavy direct mail users, compared to 17.8 percent in 2007 and 17 percent in 2006. The Media Audit defines heavy users as having read three-fourths or more of direct mail received in the typical week. Among all U.S. adults, only 27.3 percent do not read any direct mail received in a typical week.

The results may be an indication that today’s budget conscious consumer still finds value in the medium. More than $50 billion was spent on direct mail advertising in 2008.

Among heavy direct mail users, 63 percent are female, while 37 percent are male, with an average household income of $59,232. Fifty-five percent are between the ages of 25 and 54. Also, heavy direct mail users are more likely than the average adult to be spending money on home remodeling, consumer electronics and new furniture.

According to the study, one in five heavy direct mail users plan to remodel their home in the next 12 months, a figure that is 18 percent higher than the national average. Further, heavy direct mail users are 20 percent more likely to be buying new furniture and 21 percent more likely to be buying a major household appliance in the next 12 months.

Reprinted with permission from The Media Audit at themediaaudit.com.

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