Archive for May, 2010

USPS FAST Origin Entry Guide

without comments

FASTOriginEntryGuide.pdf (application/pdf Object).

New USPS Reference Guide posted, covers USPS FAST scheduling for non-drop shipped mail, such as First-Class or origin-entry mail.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

May 25th, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Posted in USPS

USPS realignment means expanded roles for two star players

without comments

Written by Lisa.Bowes

May 25th, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Posted in USPS

MTAC May 2010

without comments

Links to all presentations from the May 2010 Mailer’s Technical Advisory Committee meetings can be accessed here.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

May 25th, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Posted in USPS

How will cutting Saturday mail affect direct mail operations?

without comments

Written by Lisa.Bowes

May 24th, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Posted in USPS

Confirm competition ahead?

without comments

From the MFSA Publication Postal Points, with permission:

Confirm competition ahead?

The Postal Service is moving toward capitalizing on the wealth of information it develops from processing mail bearing intelligent mail barcodes. Knowing mail movement virtually down to the mailpiece level is important to the Postal Service for its own management purposes. However, it’s perhaps more valuable to mail owners, mail producers, marketers, and others having to know when messages arrive in customers’ hands. As a result, various commercial service providers have used the Postal Service’s raw data to produce reports for mail owners, giving them visibility into the movement and delivery of their mailings. Understandably, rumors of the Postal Service offering a comparable service were not well received by these companies, so comments verifying the rumors promise further tension.

As reported by PostCom, USPS SVP Intelligent Mail and Address Quality Tom Day told attendees at the IDEAlliance conference in early May that the Postal Service is building an analytic system that will allow USPS operations to view and drill down into IMB Full Service data to monitor and improve service.

Of concern to commercial service providers, Day added that the agency also plans to offer customers access to a modified version of that system giving them visibility into their own Full-Service data. Day said the USPS still is deciding how to market that access, and whether it would be included as part of some services or offered as an add-on with an associated fee. Day also told conference attendees that the USPS soon will be announcing a new organizational structure with a dedicated vice-president whose responsibilities will include all product tracking/scanning. “Instead of just talking about the Postal Service becoming a world-class scanning organization, we will have an organizational structure to get that to happen,” he said

– – – – – – – – –

My comments?  As a Confirm and ACS service provider, of course the idea of directly competing with the Postal Service is certainly a concern.  However, there are several mitigating factors that keep me from getting too worried right away.  One is that Mail service providers and many users of Confirm service have been utilizing Confirm for years, and provide tested, tried, and true working solutions.  The USPS would have a lot of catching up to do.  Also, the USPS has a tendency to beta test on their customers.  Ask any Periodicals mailer using Full-Service ACS how the start up process went for them in recouping their Full-Service investments.  Enough said.

The only real worry I have is that the USPS respects the partner/service providers, the ones that have been selling their products for them for the past decade, enough to maintain a level playing field.  We will be monitoring activities and developments carefully, and working directly with the Postal Service to ensure that Confirm is not cannibalized or devalued in any way.

Confirm growth is inevitable, and will benefit everyone – including the Postal Service – in a big way.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

May 21st, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Posted in USPS

Postal Rates Headed Higher — Again

without comments

Come January, mailers will have to pony up more for postage. In the cards: A 2¢ hike in the price of first-class stamps — to 46¢ each — and up to a 5% boost in postage for magazines, catalogs and bulk mail.

Postal Rates Headed Higher — Again – Kiplinger.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

May 21st, 2010 at 10:08 am

Posted in USPS

USPS FAST Webinar Today

without comments

The Postal ServiceTM is offering a webinar about the Facility Access and Shipment Tracking (FAST®) system today, Friday, May 21, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST.

Learn about many benefits of FAST for both drop-shipped and origin-entered mailings, including a simplified process for scheduling and managing appointments, streamlined data maintenance and a reduction in overall appointment wait times. This overview will include a walk-through of the FAST application detailing appointment scheduling procedures and reporting features. The webinar also will outline FAST appointment requirements for Intelligent Mail® Full Service mailers.

A question-and-answer session through the “chat room” will follow the FAST presentation.

You don’t need to register for this webinar. To participate, simply follow the instructions below.

Audio only:

§  Dial 877-512-0764, meeting ID: 2778118

Web conference with audio:

§  Go to: http://meetingplace5.usps.gov/join.asp?2778118

§  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 FAST webinar.

If you have any questions, contact the FAST help desk at fast@usps.gov.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

May 21st, 2010 at 9:59 am

Posted in USPS

USPS announces realignment of shipping, tracking services

without comments

In a strategic organizational shift designed to achieve long-term business objectives, PMG Jack Potter today announced realignments within two groups representing key areas of revenue growth for USPS.

The Expedited Shipping and Ground Shipping groups have merged into a single Shipping Services group. Potter has named Gary Reblin, formerly vice president, Expedited Shipping, to lead the unified group as vice president, Shipping Services.

Also, USPS has formed the Product Visibility and Operational Performance group to develop a world-class customer information platform through scanning technologies and product tracking services. Potter named Jim Cochrane, formerly vice president, Ground Shipping, to lead the new group as vice president, Product Visibility and Operational Performance.

USPS announces realignment of shipping, tracking services – postalnews blog.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

May 19th, 2010 at 10:06 am

Posted in USPS

BOL/8125 Success!

with one comment

We expect to hear an announcement at the Mailer’s Technical Advisory Committee General Session today that will detail USPS plans to concede and begin signing Bills of Lading again. When the announcement is made I will update here with details. A DMM Advisory is also supposed to be published on the subject. This is great news for mail transportation services companies that have been scrambling since the USPS arbitrarily began refusing to sign the BOLs earlier this year. Kudos to Norine Butte from NASML (and other industry leaders too) for leading the charge, and for being diligent in keeping the pressure on the Postal Service to discuss with the industry, and come up with a good solution.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

May 19th, 2010 at 9:55 am

Posted in USPS

Bill of Lading/8125 update

with one comment

Progress was made today in a joint meeting of USPS and industry representatives, with NASML being represented by Rose Flanagan. The meeting was attended by USPS senior personnel, USPS council, USPS SOX requirement reps, USPS Six Sigma reps and USPS Network personnel, as well as mailing Industry participants. Groups were able to discuss issues raised by the implementation of the USPS not recognizing and signing Bills of Lading. This communication session helped facilitate a greater understanding of the impact of the new policy.

Official word will be forthcoming shortly, which will detail an amicable solution that will be acceptable to both industry and USPS, addressing all concerns. Watch for more info here to come, will post an update here.

Talking, and more importantly, listening, almost always results in success.  Both sides were able to do so today.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

May 13th, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Posted in USPS