Each spring, mailers gather at the National Postal Forum, and every fall brings the spotlight to Postal Customer Councils (“PCCs”), culminating in National PCC week, which takes place September 24 – 28, 2018.
PCCs across the country will have a variety of events – from luncheons, to half-day seminars to full-day conferences. At almost every event, a senior representative from the United States Postal Service (“USPS”) will be present to discuss upcoming postal initiatives and field questions from the audience. Their presentation will be supplemented with training on subjects like networking, quality control and professional management.
Mailers are faced with a lot of uncertainty at the moment. With no presidentially appointed members of the Board of Governors, the USPS can’t raise rates or offer incentive programs. Postal reform legislation doesn’t seem to be gaining traction in either the House or the Senate. The USPS recently filed a notice in the Federal Register to revise content standards for USPS Marketing Mail.
In addition to postal matters, the print-mail industry is facing other challenges. The unstoppable move to less paper (not paperless), means tighter margins for in-plant operations and service providers. Technology is changing how we create and produce documents. Operations must become more innovative to face the challenges of tomorrow.
PCCs are an underutilized resource – by both the USPS and mailers. I know of no other industry where the customers volunteer to organize, and then pay for, educational events on how to use a vendor’s service better. USPS management needs to better use the PCCs as a two-way communication platform. The PCCs are a wonderful way to distribute information to business customers, and educational seminars are needed. They’re also a fantastic vehicle for listening to customers’ concerns and issues.
Industry members have the opportunity to learn from the USPS and their peers. Many of the sessions are given by managers or industry experts with real-world experience about their topics. Vendors will be offering products and services to improve operations. Most importantly is the opportunity to network – to share ideas and solutions with fellow mailing professionals. Networking is the key that opens the door to your future success.
To find more about your local PCC and their fall event, check out the PCC Locator on the USPS website. Or, call your local USPS District Business Service Network representative for more information. Most of the events are more than reasonably priced, so bring some of your co-workers with you. The benefits far outweigh the expense.
I’ll be supporting 6 different PCC events over the next 8 weeks:
- Greater Portland Postal Customer Council (Vancouver, WA) - August 29, 2018
- Carolina Postal Forum (Charlotte, NC) - September 21, 2018
- Greater Atlanta Postal Customer Council (Atlanta, GA) - September 25, 2018
- Des Moines Postal Customer Council (Des Moines, IA) - September 27, 2018
- Sioux Falls Area Postal Customer Council (Sioux Falls) - SD October 11, 2018
- Central Missouri Postal Customer Council (Lake Ozark, MO) - October 17-19, 2018
As always, I’m waiving my speaking fees for these PCCs – one way of giving back to the mailing community.
Hope to see you at a PCC event soon!