Archive for February, 2010

Concerns Regarding Postal Inspection for Move Update

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Written by Lisa.Bowes

February 28th, 2010 at 11:30 pm

Posted in USPS

Five myths about the U.S. Postal Service

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Written by Lisa.Bowes

February 27th, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Posted in USPS

USPS Communications – Updated

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The DMM Advisory has usually been a good source of information. Lately, however, there seems to be a minor communications breakdown that I hope will get resolved quickly. Some examples –

from the 2/19 DMM Advisory –
“Intelligent Mail Services Update
New Presentations: Three new educational presentations will be posted next week on RIBBS>Intelligent Mail Services>Education:
>IMbTM Basic Option
>How to Work with Your Mail Preparer
I>ntelligent Mail: Initial Steps for Mailers”

I realize that it is still technically “next week” as far as this one goes, however – I suggest that a notice doesn’t get posted until the materials are actually there. Going back up to check for them is annoying. Also, these educational Power Points were put together last year by MTAC WG #124. they have been “under review” by the USPS since then, and have been sitting, inaccessible, for an unacceptably lengthy period of time. We’d like to see them posted already.

from the 2/24 DMM Advisory –
“To fully utilize our existing BMC facilities and consolidate transportation, we are changing the flow of mail through the BMC network whereby other classes of mail, including First-Class Mail®, will be processed in these facilities. As part of this transition, we are converting BMCs to NDCs. We began implementation of the NDC concept in May 2009 and this transition continues to date.”
For more details, go to Postal Explorer at pe.usps.com, and click on Federal Registers Notices in the left frame.”

As of today, 2/25, the Federal Register notice referenced above is still not posted for viewing.
Another issue that has come up recently is very short notice to mailing software providers on Postage Statement changes. Edits are being done last minute, with little time for postage statement generation software providers to react to and get out to their customers. The most recent is a simple nomenclature change from BMC to NDC, however, there is a new statement date at the bottom of the forms as well, which means any statement generation tools will be forced to update. The USPS needs to find a happy medium where all quality control and communications are flowing together, at a manageable pace.

Last but not least is confusion stemming from distribution of an 8125 Checklist that was supposed to make things clearer for both USPS acceptance clerks and mailers. See my earlier post regarding FAST Scheduler IDs and FAST appointment numbers. The checklist makes it look like both pieces of information are required, when it is actually one or the other. It should be easier to correct and clarify that information quickly.

Updated 3/1 – I contacted the DMM Advisory folks about the missing items noted above – I’m happy to report that they were very responsive and diligent, and all of the missing items have been posted.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

February 25th, 2010 at 10:41 am

Posted in USPS

Potter To Lay Out New Business Model For USPS

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Potter To Lay Out New Business Model For USPS | The Big Fat Marketing Blog.

I’ll be attending the event mentioned that takes place on March 2 in Washington DC.  Look for a live blog from the event iteself, depending on connectivity…

Written by Lisa.Bowes

February 23rd, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Posted in USPS

Webinar Tips

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1. If using a Power Point presentation or other materials – MAKE THE PRESENTATION and any other materials READILY AVAILABLE to any attendees PRIOR TO THE EVENT – after is nice, but prior is preferred!

2. Presneter(s) – Log into the meeting at least 15 minutes prior to meeting time.  Test audio.

3. If more than 75-100 people are expected – set up the meeting as Lecture Only, mute participants, and take questions via chat.

4. If audio is available to all participants, remind them to mute, not put on hold, when not speaking.  You may need to remind them more than once.

5. Learn from mistakes – don’t repeat them.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

February 23rd, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Posted in USPS

Drop Shipping Checklist – Updated – Updated Again

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DropChecklist.pdf

New checklist just posted by the USPS, for bulk mail drop shippers on verification and 8125 procedures.

Edited 2/23/10 7:50 am
It was brought to my attention by my NASML colleague, Rose Flanagan, that there are already some contradictions on this sheet that came up during MTAC last week.  Right now it says that you need both a FAST Scheduler ID and the appointment number on the 8125 form.  If you have the appointment number, the FAST Scheduler ID is NOT required.  Another item that is not clear on the checklist is that you should not need either piece of information at mail acceptance.  This information is routinely added at a later time by a transportation service provider.  We are waiting on clarification on those items, and I’ll report back.

Edited 2/23/2010 6:00 pm – Per USPS HQ – the FAST Scheduler ID is NOT required if the correct appointment number is present on the 8125 form.  Postal documentation is being updated to clarify.   Thanks again to Rose for getting this resolved quickly.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

February 22nd, 2010 at 11:17 pm

Posted in USPS

Sarbanes-Oxley’s Latest Unintended Consequence: Even Worse Postal Service

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Written by Lisa.Bowes

February 22nd, 2010 at 1:42 pm

Posted in USPS

Full-Service Intelligent Mail? Forget About It, Postal Expert Says

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Written by Lisa.Bowes

February 19th, 2010 at 10:54 pm

Posted in USPS

Common Sense Prevails for Flats Deflection – For Awhile

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From the DMM Advisory:

Deflection UPDATE
The Federal Register final rule on deflection standards will be effective June 7, 2010 (see our DMM Advisory on February 17, 2010). However, the implementation of postage consequences will be deferred until October 3, 2010.

A revised Federal Register final rule notice will be available on Postal Explorer on Monday, February 22, 2010.

————-
Thank MTAC for helping get the attention needed on this issue.  At this past week’s Mailer’s Technical Advisory Committee meetings at USPS HQ in Washington DC, we got to see the test that the USPS planned to use for checking to see if a piece met the deflection standards.  The test was to take a flat ruler and a 5-lb weight, lay it across the magazine at a certain point on a table edge, and then measure the droop – how far the piece hung over the table.  The key is, there are no provisions for a pre-test, or any pre-certification.  Mailers could incur a huge unplanned expenditure if their piece failed, but they couldn’t get their piece tested for pass/fail until after it was already manufactured.

In addition, some flats mailers in the audience raised real challenges they would face in order to purchase equipment (another unplanned expense and cost-shift from he USPS to the mailers) in order to quarter-fold the pieces.  This has been raised as an issue since the new standards were proposed.

So, this is a good thing.  But I also have to wonder why it takes so long for the USPS to listen to the voice of their customers – and the voice of reason sometimes.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

February 19th, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Posted in USPS

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USPS Plant-Verified Drop Shipment Webinar

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From the DMM Advisory

PVDS WEBINAR –
LEARN ABOUT BULK MAIL AND DROP-SHIP ACCEPTANCE FOR 2010

The Postal ServiceTM continues to look at all areas of its business with an eye to becoming more efficient and cost effective. At the same time, our commitment to customer service remains a top priority.

With this in mind, over the past few weeks the Postal Service has invited customers to attend Plant Verified Drop Shipment (PVDS) webinars that touch on key steps in accepting drop-ship mailings.

If you have not yet attended a PVDS webinar, we are offering the chance to take part in one this Friday, February 19, beginning at 12:30 p.m. (EST). Join Steve Kearney, senior vice president, Customer Relations; Vincent DeVito, vice president, Controller; and Pritha Mehra, vice president, Business Mail Entry and Payment Technologies, for a discussion on drop-ship mailing processes followed by a question and answer session.

Here’s how to attend the 90-minute webinar:

Audio only:

Dial 1-877-512-0764, meeting ID: 2979650 .

Web conference with audio:
• Go to http://meetingplace5.usps.gov/join.asp?2979650.
• After the MeetingPlace window opens, click the phone icon (under the participant list or in the upper right-hand corner).
• Click connect me and validate your phone number, or update your phone number and click connect me again.
• When the MeetingPlace system calls you on your phone, press #1 to join the webinar.

Contact Pete Allen, manager, Business Customer Relations, at 202-268-2165 or e-mail william.a.allenjr@usps.gov if you have any questions.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

February 17th, 2010 at 11:19 am

Posted in USPS