Trends in Print and Mail

The Berkshire Company Blog

The Impact of New Tariffs on Mailing Equipment

Posted by Mark Fallon on Aug 14, 2018 8:56:52 AM



On July 6, 2018, when the Trump Administration announced tariffs on certain goods from China, the media focused on steel and aluminum – essential components of manufacturing. The tariffs actually were applied an entire group of products – detailed on a 28-page list available on the United States Trade Representative (USTR) website. The impact goes beyond automobiles and motorcycles, including equipment used in the mailing industry.

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Technology / Industry Vendors

Battling Compliance – A Winning Strategy

Posted by Mark Fallon on Aug 7, 2018 5:01:00 AM


When a company decides to outsource customer communications to a service provider, that doesn’t mean the work is done. The vendor must be monitored and managed to ensure that they’re meeting the standards negotiated in the contract. Savvy customers take managing their vendors to the next step – by conducting periodic audits for quality control, best practices, and compliance with postal and industry regulations.

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U.S. Postal Service / Outsourcing / Quality Control / Industry Vendors

Print-Mail Service Providers: The Top Pitfalls to Avoid in Your Contract

Posted by Mark Fallon on Mar 20, 2018 5:01:00 AM




When you sort the pieces that arrived in your mailbox today, take a good look at the return addresses. Most of the mail you received wasn’t printed by the company whose name appears in the upper left-hand corner. Instead, it was manufactured – and probably mailed – by a print-mail service provider (PSP).

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Outsourcing / Industry Vendors / Strategy

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 / National Postal Forum / Industry Vendors / Operations Management / 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 / Outsourcing / Technology / Strategy

Selecting an Outsourcing Vendor

Posted by Mark Fallon on Jul 12, 2017 10:23:00 AM

After reviewing several options, a client decided to outsource the production and mailing of certain documents. We helped them identify vendors who had experience with their industry, and with their purchasing department, published a Request for Proposals (RFP). Using the weighted scoring approach, the team further narrowed the list of vendors to 3 finalists. References were called, site visits were completed, and the vendors made their final presentations.

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Industry Vendors / Operations Management / Outsourcing

Selecting the Right Software

Posted by Mark Fallon on Apr 4, 2017 5:00:00 AM

Back in the 1990s, I developed a presentation entitled “Information Technology for Mail Center Managers.” The section on purchasing software was pretty basic. Were your applications on a mainframe, a server or desktop? If a server, what version of Microsoft? If desktop, were you Microsoft or Apple? In the main categories – document composition, address management and package tracking – there were just a few vendors to consider.

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Operations Management / Technology / Industry Vendors

Who's On First?

Posted by Mark Fallon on Feb 28, 2017 9:15:59 PM

Last week saw the announcement of another merger in the print/mail industry. Two national document outsourcing companies will form a new entity, with an interesting new name.

Using LinkedIn and Twitter, plus Google alerts and subscriptions to various industry newsletters, I try to stay up to date with the latest news. Lately it seems that even this isn’t enough. Product offerings, corporate structures and company brands change more frequently than the roster of the Boston Red Sox. I look out at the field, see a lot of unfamiliar names and wonder, “Who’s on first?”

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Industry Vendors / Technology / Outsourcing

A Culture of Service – Still Indispensable After All These Years

Posted by Mark Fallon on Jan 31, 2017 5:01:00 AM


This weekend, I had to search through some records from the 1990s. Among the papers was the first speech I ever gave for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). The District Manager for Boston asked me to present to a gathering of his postmasters and station managers. In particular, he wanted to hear about how my company was impacted by the service we received from the USPS.

While I wrote this speech over 2 decades ago, the message holds true today. The industry and the USPS must work together to provide the best possible service to our mutual customers.

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United States Postal Service / Operations Management / Industry Vendors

Trends in Print and Mail - The Top 10 Posts from 2016

Posted by Mark Fallon on Jan 3, 2017 5:00:00 AM


Exigent postage rate increases were repealed. The upcoming rates changes will have some positive impact for First Class Mailers. Selecting vendor-partners, for technology or outsourcing services, remains a challenge. And legislative reform was seriously considered by Congress – before ultimately deciding to do nothing. These were just a few of the major stories impacting our industry over the last year.

We here at The Berkshire Company can't predict what changes 2017 will bring, but we do know more changes are on the horizon – from the implementation of “USPS Marketing Mail” to new technologies to reinforcing good management practices. We plan on covering those, and other issues, in the coming year. If there’s a particular topic you’d like to see covered, leave a note in the comments, or send me an email at mmf@berkshire-company.com.

In case you missed them, here are the 10 most read posts from 2016:

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

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

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