Trends in Print and Mail

The Berkshire Company Blog

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

The Threat of Second Guessing

Posted by Mark Fallon on Mar 19, 2019 5:01:00 AM


“True understanding comes from reflecting on your own experience. You are your own best teacher.” - Warren Bennis

Buyer’s remorse. Monday morning quarterbacking. Second-guessing.

Whatever you call it, we’ve all been guilty of wondering “what should I have done differently?” Especially when our plans don’t turn out as we expected. And if we aren’t careful, dwelling on our missteps can prevent us from succeeding in the present. And the future.

Reflection after something goes wrong is a good idea. We should analyze our mistakes, and determine how to prevent them from recurring. A good process is to write down what occurred, and what we were thinking as we made key decisions. In light of the actual outcome, we can uncover flaws in our methods and ensure that we don’t repeat our mistakes.

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Operations Management / Strategy / Leadership

On Track and Driving Growth for the 2019 National Postal Forum

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


It begins 2 months from today, so now’s the time to get tuned up for the starting line of the 2019 National Postal Forum (NPF) – May 5 - 8, 2019 in exciting Indianapolis, IN.

Savvy businesses know that physical mail is a critical component to driving their success. Now more than ever, it’s not “either physical or digital”, it’s “physical AND digital” communication to connect to your customers. Whether statements, direct mail or catalogues, consumers want omnichannel routes, so they can choose the path that works best for them.

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National Postal Forum / USPS / U.S. Postal Service

Planning for the Future When Buying for Today

Posted by Mark Fallon on Feb 25, 2019 12:21:23 PM


The technology used in the print and mail industry is changing rapidly. Every year, equipment speed and capability is improving. It’s challenging to buy for the present and keep an eye towards the future. So how do we solve today’s issues and prepare for tomorrow’s needs?

There are 4 key principles to follow when buying and planning:

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Operations Management / Technology / Outsourcing / Strategy / Purchasing

Become a Positive Deviant

Posted by Mark Fallon on Feb 4, 2019 10:37:26 AM


As my clients know, I’m a fan of Dr. Atul Gawande, the surgeon and writer. At one point in almost every engagement, I hand the manager a copy of Dr. Gawande’s The Checklist Manifesto – a book that explains the importance and effectiveness of using checklists. If pilots and doctors can use checklists to prevent errors, so can we who work in the print-mail industry.

I recently read one of Dr. Gawande’s earlier books – Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance. He shares his lessons learned as a young intern, the struggles encountered as a volunteer dispensing vaccine in India, and his thoughts on accountability. The decisions we make every day impact ourselves and our professions.

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Operations Management / Technology / Strategy