Trends in Print and Mail

The Berkshire Company Blog

Mark Fallon

Mark M. Fallon is President & CEO of The Berkshire Company, a consulting firm specializing in mail and document processing strategies. The company develops customized solutions integrating proven management concepts with emerging technologies to achieve total process management.

Recent Posts

Looking Ahead – 2018 National Postal Forum

Posted by Mark Fallon on Feb 20, 2018 2:00:00 PM


There’s still snow on the ground in my backyard, but I’m thinking about the warm weather down in Texas. That’s because I just received my catalog for the 2018 National Postal Forum (NPF) – May 6 – 9, 2018 in beautiful San Antonio.

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United States Postal Service / National Postal Forum

Tough First Quarter for the US Postal Service: A Closer Look

Posted by Mark Fallon on Feb 12, 2018 9:00:00 PM



On February 9, 2018, The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) released the financial results for the first quarter of their fiscal year (October 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017). No one anticipated good news, but the numbers were worse than expected. The USPS posted a net loss for the first quarter of $540 million, compared to net income of $1.4 billion, for the same period last year. The first quarter is usually the strongest quarter with the added volumes of shipping and mailing for the holidays.

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USPS / U.S. Postal Service

Designing a Mail Center – Key Principles and Concepts

Posted by Mark Fallon on Feb 7, 2018 5:00:00 AM



There are diverse types of mail centers ranging from small inbound operations staffed by 3 employees to large production operations that print and mail a million pieces a day. No matter what type of work you process, the layout and design of your mail center has a direct impact on your effectiveness and efficiency.

The 5 key principles and concepts when designing a mail center are:

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Mail Security / Operations Management / Strategy

Implementing the US Postal Service 2018 Rate Changes

Posted by Mark Fallon on Jan 8, 2018 2:05:00 PM



On Sunday, January 21, 2018, the new US Postal Service (USPS) postage rates and rules go into effect, so mailers need to take action to be properly prepared. For most mailers, the first day of mailing under the new rates will be Monday, January 22, 2018. The new rates represent about a 1.9% increase over the current prices for mailing, or “Market Dominant” products and 3.9% increases for shipping, or “competitive” products.

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United States Postal Service

Trends in Print and Mail - The Top 10 Posts from 2017

Posted by Mark Fallon on Jan 3, 2018 5:20:00 AM


A new administration and a new congress took office in 2017. Along with those changes, there was a brief hope for legislative reform when a joint bill was passed by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. As the President and the Senate majority are from the same party, perhaps nominees to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Board of Governors would be approved.

However, the legislation has since stalled and the Senate hasn’t scheduled any hearings on the nominees. Letter mail volumes – for both First Class Mail and USPS Marketing Mail – have declined. The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) announced their findings and proposed rulemaking after completing the mandatory 10-year review of the system for regulating postage rates for Market Dominant products – and the responses from industry and USPS leadership have been negative. Mergers and acquisitions of service providers continue at a brisk pace.

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United States Postal Service / Industry Vendors / Operations Management / National Postal Forum / Outsourcing

The Unstoppable Move to Less Paper, and the Upcoming Upheaval of the Mailing Industry

Posted by Mark Fallon on Dec 12, 2017 6:30:12 PM



Roaming through a used book store, I came across "Writing with a Word Processor" by William Zinsser. Written in 1983, the book chronicles Zinsser teaching himself how to use an IBM Displaywriter – one of the first office word processors. More than just a look back to the adoption of modern technology, the book provides some insight to what we can expect in the future – less paper.

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Industry Vendors / Operations Management / Technology / Outsourcing / Strategy

Postal Regulatory Commission Issues Findings and Proposed Rulemaking – What it Means for Mailers

Posted by Mark Fallon on Dec 4, 2017 12:25:51 PM



On Friday, December 1, 2017, The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) announced their findings and proposed rulemaking after completing the mandatory 10-year review of the system for regulating postage rates for Market Dominant products. The review and the proposed rulemaking documents can be downloaded on the PRC’s website.

Background

When Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) in 2006, the annual increase in postage rates for market dominant prices was tied to the Consumer Price Index for Urban Customers (CPI-U). The CPI-U excludes rural populations and represents approximately 80% of the population.

There were 9 stated objectives of the new system:

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USPS / U.S. Postal Service

7 Simple Truths About the U.S. Postal Service Finances

Posted by Mark Fallon on Nov 19, 2017 3:26:09 PM


Last week, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) released their financial results for FY2017. Revenues and expenses both declined, and their reported losses were $2.7 billion. On cue – critics of the USPS, along with reporters who didn’t read beyond the first paragraph of the financial report, declared that the USPS is on an inevitable path to bankruptcy and irrelevance.

Here’s what they missed: + Read More

United States Postal Service

USPS Permit Imprint Rules: Time for an Update

Posted by Mark Fallon on Nov 6, 2017 9:00:00 PM

 


Most commercial mail today doesn’t have a stamp or postage meter indicia, but bear a permit imprint. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) rules for permit imprints are covered in the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM), Section 604.5 – “Permit Imprint (Indicia)”. In the era of the Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMb), the rules are out of date, and need an overhaul.

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USPS / U.S. Postal Service

2017 Presidential Nominees to the USPS Board of Governors: Progress or Politics?

Posted by Mark Fallon on Oct 30, 2017 8:51:01 AM

Last week, President Trump nominated 3 people for the 9 open seats on the United States Postal Service (USPS) Board of Governors (Board). Because the Senate hasn’t confirmed any nominees since 2009, there are no presidentially-appointed members of the Board. The terms were designed to be staggered,  so there are several open seats with terms expiring in the near future.

The new nominees represent a mix of political and management qualifications. 

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United States Postal Service / USPS

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The Berkshire Company improves business processes in your print & mail operations, helping you solve real problems.

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