Trends in Print and Mail

The Berkshire Company Blog

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

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

Trust: The Linchpin to Client-Service Provider Relationships

Posted by Mark Fallon on Jan 7, 2019 5:01:00 AM



As a mailer, you took the right steps to select a service provider for your documents. The Request for Proposals (RFP) process helped you select the vendor with the best services at the best prices. Careful contract negotiations locked in pricing and service levels.

As a service provider, you bring on customers that best match your capabilities. A contract is signed that provides value for the customer, while providing a reasonable profit for the company. The next step is to complete the onboarding process.

Client and provider work together to transition work. Following a project plan with ample testing, documents are reviewed and approved. On schedule, the mail is moved into production.

This is only the beginning of the relationship. Just like a relationship between two people, there must be trust between the two parties. Establishing trust isn’t a one-time event, but an ongoing activity with the customer and the service provider taking active roles.
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Industry Vendors / Operations Management / Outsourcing

Trends in Print and Mail - The Top 10 Posts from 2018

Posted by Mark Fallon on Dec 26, 2018 5:01:00 AM


Just in time to approve the 2019 postal rate increase, the Senate confirmed two members of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Board of Governors. One of the new governor’s term expired in December, other nominees didn’t even receive a hearing, so the administration will have to resubmit their names in 2019. Postal Legislation is still mired down in subcommittees of both houses.

After one White House report caused an uproar by recommending privatizing the USPS, the long-delayed Task Force report side-stepped that option while providing few other ideas. The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) has taken no action on their own proposed changes to the rate-making process.

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United States Postal Service / Industry Vendors / Operations Management / Outsourcing / U.S. Postal Service / Quality Control

A Failure to Communicate

Posted by Mark Fallon on Oct 3, 2018 5:01:00 AM


Thanks to technology, we have more ways to communicate than ever before. Then why do we still have a problem getting our message across?

The most common problem is choosing the right medium for your message. Instead of capitalizing on technology's ability to foster closer relationships, we use technology to distance ourselves from others: leaving voicemails instead of having a conversation; sending broadcast emails instead of holding a meeting; or posting a notice on a website instead of distributing the information to everyone concerned.

Are you using the wrong medium for your messages?

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Operations Management

Powerful Plans

Posted by Mark Fallon on Sep 18, 2018 5:01:00 AM

“Plans are useless after the first shot is fired.” – Military Adage (attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte)

I’m a strong proponent of planning – project plans, budget plans, travel plans. Even weekend plans. Schedules and plans help me accomplish my goals. However, most plans have to be changed as soon as the action begins.

So, if I can’t always follow the plans I develop, then why plan at all?

Good plans include key elements that remain in place even when the plan changes, due to unforeseen events. These key elements are:

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Operations Management / Strategy

Contingency Plans Required

Posted by Mark Fallon on Jun 18, 2018 7:30:00 PM



“First ask yourself: What is the worst that can happen? Then prepare to accept it. Then proceed to improve on the worst.” – Dale Carnegie

In the Summer of 1997, I was the Assistant Vice President of Mail Services at State Street Corporation in Boston. My team was responsible for inbound and outbound mail for the Greater Boston area. That included shipping out hundreds of overnight packages each day – the bulk of those were handed off to United Parcel Service (UPS).

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United States Postal Service / Operations Management

Recognizing Individuals

Posted by Mark Fallon on May 23, 2018 8:47:19 AM


Growing up, I never heard my mother say, "Why can't you be more like your brother?" And I'm not an only child. I'm the second youngest of 10 kids.

My mother recognized each of us as individuals with different talents and skills. For some, it was school. For some, music. For others, sewing and crafts. For some, sports – no stars, but we made the team.

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Operations Management

Updated eBook for 2018 - 110 Tips to Improve Your Mail Center

Posted by Mark Fallon on Apr 17, 2018 5:01:00 AM

The Berkshire Company is excited to announce the publication of the 2018 edition of our popular eBook - 110 Tips to Improve Your Mail Center.

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United States Postal Service / Operations Management / National Postal Forum / U.S. Postal Service

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

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