The recent postal rate increase has caused budget problems for many print and mail operations managers. It may not be possible to offset all extra expenses due to the rate hike, but you may be able to make small adjustments to other areas. Small adjustments that can add up to big savings over time.
Here are 20 tips to help save money this year:
1. Review current staff for performance levels, skill sets and flexibility, Replace poor/marginal employees with people who will deliver results.
2. Time staffing levels with expected volumes. 40 hours per week doesn’t mean 9:00 to 5:00 for all employees, or Monday through Friday.
3. Consider part-time and temporary help. Students (high school and college) are looking for opportunities to gain experience in the business world.
4. Make training a priority – procedures, postal and equipment. It’s always less expensive to have well-trained employees do something right the first time, than to have to correct the work a second time.
5. Cross-train whenever possible. Employees should be able to cover for each other during periods of high volumes or absences.
6. Provide education for your customers. Make sure your customers (internal and external) understand the different classes of mail and the impact content, shape and size have on postal rates.
7. Document your processes. With your staff, conduct a process-mapping session that accurately depicts how work is completed in your shop. Keep this map posted in plain sight.
8. Eliminate redundancies wherever possible. Review your processes to uncover and remove all unnecessary steps.
9. Review your space plan/footprint. Make sure that the location of people, equipment and supplies support an efficient workflow.
10. Post a daily/weekly/monthly schedule of events. Help your staff prepare for projects and mailings that you know will be occurring.
11. Hold daily huddles to review priorities. The daily huddle is the cornerstone of effectove team communication - whether it is a team of 2 or a team of 200.
12. Capitalize on core competencies and smart-sourcing. Select the right operation for the right job, internally and externally.
13. Implement a chargeback system. Department managers are more mindful of their requests when the costs – labor, print and postage – directly impact their budget.
14. Review/renegotiate contracts with vendors. Ensure that you are getting the best possible solution at the best service levels and the best possible price.
15. Implement an address management program – internal and external. Properly addressed mail pieces get delivered quicker and less expensively.
16. Start using the Full-Service Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMb). While not mandatory, using the Full Service IMb qualifies mailers for USPS incentive programs and an additional $0.003 per piece discount.
17. Utilize an automated inbound package/accountable mail tracking system. Speed up delivery times and eliminate phone calls with a web-based tracking system.
18. Promote the use of desktop shipping software for overnight and priority packages. Systems will help end-users select the right vendor for the right service at the lowest cost.
19. Implement a work order or job tracking system. Managers and employees are more efficient when they know what work needs to be completed and where jobs are in the process.
20. Review all equipment for replacement/upgrades. Newer technology usually means faster processing speeds and lower cost-per-piece processing.
Bonus tip: remember to keep track of all your savings, and be sure to include individual and combined savings in your monthly budget reports.
Do you have a tip to share? Please join the conversation and leave a tip in the comments section below.