Trends in Print and Mail

The Berkshire Company Blog

The USPS has a Board of Governors – Now What?

Posted by Mark Fallon on Aug 6, 2019 7:37:23 AM


On Thursday, August 1, 2019, the Senate approved three more nominees to the US Postal Service (USPS) Board of Governors (Board). John Barger, Ron Bloom and Roman Martinez IV bring the total number of appointed governors to 5, meaning that the Board now has a quorum for the first time in almost 5 years.

Yay.

Maybe.

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United States Postal Service / USPS / U.S. Postal Service / Leadership

Is Your Data Safe? - Data Security Policy Audits

Posted by Mark Fallon on Jul 22, 2019 12:28:54 PM

It seems that every day, there’s a news story about hackers stealing customer information from a computer system. Most publicized cases involve large companies being hacked for credit card information and passwords for millions of people. Small companies are hacked too, but those stories don’t seem to grab as much attention.

Physical mail is fairly secure and is protected by federal laws enforced by the US Postal Service Inspection Service (USPIS). With a heritage that traces back to Benjamin Franklin, the USPIS aggressively pursues criminals who use the mail to attach or defraud victims. Companies and individuals put great trust in a sealed envelope marked “First-Class Mail”.

In the past, creating transactional mail documents was performed by companies using internal systems. Printers were directly attached to the mainframe computer system. The mail services department was in the same building, if not in the same room. There were tight controls from data to print to insert to delivery to the post office.

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Mail Security / Industry Vendors / Technology / Outsourcing / Strategy / Quality Control

USPS MTAC June 2019 Open Session

Posted by Mark Fallon on Jun 25, 2019 10:46:23 AM



Last week, I attended the US Postal Service (USPS) Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) open session in Washington DC. There was no “groundbreaking news” from the USPS leadership, but there were some positive updates on several initiatives.

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United States Postal Service / National Postal Forum / USPS / U.S. Postal Service / Postal Reform

Postal Vison 2020 – 9.0 Recap

Posted by Mark Fallon on Jun 10, 2019 4:13:17 PM


Since 2001, John Callan has worked diligently to bring attention to the long-term future of the US Postal Service (USPS) and the role it plays in the world, our country, our economy and our lives. That work continued with the recent “Postal Vison 2020 / 9.0: Embracing the ‘USO’ – Universal Service Opportunities for the Global Post-Parcel Ecosystem”.

Taking place in Arlington, Virginia, June 5-7, 2019, the conference brought together a wide-range of presenters including postal executives, union leaders, government officials, private-sector principals and consultants. The discussions covered the world postal system to the obligations and opportunities facing the USPS, to the “first”. “middle” and “final” mile of deliveries, to the growing issue of e-commerce returns. There was no shortage of promising ideas, and the questions from the audience revealed that many of those attendees could be presenters as well.

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United States Postal Service / USPS / U.S. Postal Service / Postal Reform

How to be Bright about DIM Weights

Posted by Mark Fallon on Jun 3, 2019 8:01:00 AM

After a 6-month delay, the US Postal Service (USPS) is implementing changes to how Dimensional (DIM) Weight is calculated. The change will impact all low-weight packages that are larger than one cubic foot. Like any rate change, savvy mailers will take steps to be prepared for the June 23, 2019 implementation. Unlike other rate changes, shippers need to conduct additional analysis to be ready.

Steps to take that will minimize the impact of the new rate structure:

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USPS / U.S. Postal Service / shipping

National Postal Forum 2019 Recap: An Informed Drive

Posted by Mark Fallon on May 13, 2019 5:01:00 AM


We’ve crossed the finish line and the 2019 National Postal Forum (NPF) is complete.

The theme for this year’s show was “Growth Driven: Fueling Your Mailing and Shipping Success”. In today’s economy, “information” is more than currency, it’s also the fuel. That was evident in the speeches, the classes, and on the exhibit hall floor.

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United States Postal Service / National Postal Forum / NPF 2019

Radical Postal Rate Reform is Needed Now

Posted by Mark Fallon on May 5, 2019 1:01:00 PM


Last month, the Senate hearings on the Presidential Task Force on the United States Postal Service (USPS) dimmed any hopes for legislative postal reform. The more recent House Oversight Committee hearing on the finances of the USPS were confirmation that true bipartisan commitment to pass legislation doesn’t exist. Absent any changes, Postmaster General (PMG) Brennan predicts that the USPS will run out of cash in 2024.

The USPS – and the mailing industry – can’t wait for Congress. Action is needed now.

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United States Postal Service / USPS / U.S. Postal Service / Postal Reform

Periodicals – 18th Century Postal Standards for the 21st Century

Posted by Mark Fallon on Apr 22, 2019 1:10:00 PM


“Information is the currency of democracy” – attributed to Thomas Jefferson

According to the United States Postal Service (USPS), periodicals are: “newspapers, magazines, and other periodical publications whose primary purpose is transmitting information to an established list of subscribers or requesters. Periodicals must be published at regular intervals, at least four times a year from a known office of publication, and be formed of printed sheets.” (Business Mail 101)

The bureaucratic sound of the term “periodicals” belies their rich history and importance. Newspapers and journals were critical to spreading the ideas and ideals that led to the founding of our country. Freedom of press is enshrined in the Constitution and the Postal Act of 1792 included a subsidy for newspapers for over a century.

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United States Postal Service / USPS / U.S. Postal Service / Postal Reform

Postal Reform: Nothing Will Come of Nothing

Posted by Mark Fallon on Apr 8, 2019 7:40:38 AM



Any hopes of meaningful legislative reform in this Congress disappeared while watching the Senate hearing on the Presidential Task Force on the United States Postal System. Then the outlook got dimmer during the confirmation hearings for the President’s latest nominees to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Board of Governors.

Throughout the hearings, the senators’ lack of knowledge about the USPS was on full display. Members confused ratepayers with taxpayers, claimed losses on systems that were making money, and repeatedly admitted they wish they had more information. They do have staffs that could do research, but that would take real commitment to solving the problems. A cynic might think that our senators are intentionally doing nothing to manufacture a crisis.

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United States Postal Service / USPS / Postal Reform / Leadership

Tune-Up Your Engines – Getting the Most out of the 2019 National Postal Forum

Posted by Mark Fallon on Mar 25, 2019 5:00:00 PM



You don’t have to be a racing fan to get excited about the upcoming National Postal Forum (NPF) in Indianapolis. This year’s NPF includes many exciting and innovative changes to the industry’s largest conference and trade show – multiple venues, guest speakers and TED talks! With general sessions at the JW Marriott, classes and exhibits at the convention center, and evening events at different venues, attendees will have to pay attention to logistics.

To help attendees get ready for the conference, the National Postal Forum, along with The Berkshire Company’s team of speakers, is presenting an exclusive webinar on getting the most out of the 2019 NPF in Indianapolis, on Tuesday, April 9, at 12:00 ET, 11:00 CT, 10:00 MT, and 9:00 PT.

In the webinar we will:

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National Postal Forum / NPF