Trends in Print and Mail

The Berkshire Company Blog

The High Costs of Low Quality Control

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


In January 2018, Aetna settled a lawsuit for $17 million over a data breach. In March 2018, a class-action lawsuit was filed against CVS, Fiserv and other parties for a similar data breach. The cases are related – the privacy compromises occurred because personal health information (PHI) could be seen through the window of the envelopes used for mailing notices to people with HIV.

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Outsourcing / Quality Control

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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Industry Vendors / Outsourcing / 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 / 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

Not Every Proposal Wins

Posted by Mark Fallon on Aug 1, 2017 5:01:00 AM


For most of my career, I’ve been involved with requests for proposals (RFP). First, as a customer looking to purchase equipment and services. Next as a consultant, guiding my clients through the RFP process. Also as a vendor, responding to companies looking for a consultant.

Two things I’ve learned – first, there’s usually only one vendor who wins the business. Second, not every proposal submitted will be successful.

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Operations Management / Outsourcing

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

Auditing Your Service Provider

Posted by Mark Fallon on May 9, 2017 5:00:00 AM

When a company decides to outsource their 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 complying with negotiated service level agreements. Savvy customers take managing their vendors to the next level – by conducting periodic audits for quality controls and best practices.

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Operations Management / Outsourcing

Why Use the RFP Process? Because it works!

Posted by Mark Fallon on Apr 18, 2017 9:48:56 AM

Recently, I participated in an online discussion about the Request for Proposal (RFP) process. It was similar to the conversations I have with clients when we recommend using an RFP to select a new vendor for equipment, software or services. In both cases, the argument revolves around whether the results justify the hard work and time required.

To be clear, a well-executed RFP requires substantial effort. At a high-level, the process includes the following steps:

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Operations Management / Technology / Outsourcing

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

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