Trends in Print and Mail

The Berkshire Company Blog

Mailers, Large and Small, Should Attend Postal Customer Council Events

Posted by Mark Fallon on Sep 9, 2019 10:05:04 AM


For most people in the mailing industry, involvement with their local Postal Customer Council (PCC) has been a key component to their success. Industry members have the opportunity to learn from the US Postal Service (USPS) and their peers from other companies.

However, PCCs are an underutilized resource by larger mailers. There’s a misconception that PCCs are only for small to mid-sized mailers. After all, large companies have representatives on the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) and have USPS sales representatives assigned to their accounts. With these resources, the advantage of local PCCs are often overlooked.

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United States Postal Service / Postal Customer Council / U.S. Postal Service

Rethinking Postage Meters

Posted by Mark Fallon on Aug 26, 2019 1:56:36 PM


When I started as a mail clerk in the early 1980s, postage meters were clumsy mechanical devices. We’d use a fan scale to determine postage, and then turn dials by hand to set the amount. For postage refills, I’d pack the meter into a plastic case, and lug it to the post office .With a check in hand, wait in line for a window clerk, who would break the lead inspection seal, reset the meter, attach a new seal, and hand it back.

I was a mail center supervisor when “postage by phone” refills were announced, and scales were integrated with the meters. Several years later, electronic information-based indicia (IBI) meters became mandatory. Meters were then connected to the internet, allowing for remote monitoring and management. Instead of static slugs, users could add digital messages using their meters.

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Mail Security / Technology / USPS / U.S. Postal Service / mail / envelopes

The USPS has a Board of Governors – Now What?

Posted by Mark Fallon on Aug 6, 2019 7:37:23 AM


On Thursday, August 1, 2019, the Senate approved three more nominees to the US Postal Service (USPS) Board of Governors (Board). John Barger, Ron Bloom and Roman Martinez IV bring the total number of appointed governors to 5, meaning that the Board now has a quorum for the first time in almost 5 years.

Yay.

Maybe.

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United States Postal Service / USPS / U.S. Postal Service / Leadership

USPS MTAC June 2019 Open Session

Posted by Mark Fallon on Jun 25, 2019 10:46:23 AM



Last week, I attended the US Postal Service (USPS) Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) open session in Washington DC. There was no “groundbreaking news” from the USPS leadership, but there were some positive updates on several initiatives.

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United States Postal Service / National Postal Forum / USPS / U.S. Postal Service / Postal Reform

Postal Vison 2020 – 9.0 Recap

Posted by Mark Fallon on Jun 10, 2019 4:13:17 PM


Since 2001, John Callan has worked diligently to bring attention to the long-term future of the US Postal Service (USPS) and the role it plays in the world, our country, our economy and our lives. That work continued with the recent “Postal Vison 2020 / 9.0: Embracing the ‘USO’ – Universal Service Opportunities for the Global Post-Parcel Ecosystem”.

Taking place in Arlington, Virginia, June 5-7, 2019, the conference brought together a wide-range of presenters including postal executives, union leaders, government officials, private-sector principals and consultants. The discussions covered the world postal system to the obligations and opportunities facing the USPS, to the “first”. “middle” and “final” mile of deliveries, to the growing issue of e-commerce returns. There was no shortage of promising ideas, and the questions from the audience revealed that many of those attendees could be presenters as well.

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United States Postal Service / USPS / U.S. Postal Service / Postal Reform

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

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

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

Implementing the US Postal Service 2019 Rate Changes

Posted by Mark Fallon on Jan 14, 2019 5:01:00 AM


On Sunday, January 27, 2019, the new US Postal Service (USPS) postage rates and rules go into effect, so mailers need to take action to be properly prepared. For most mailers, the first day of mailing under the new rates will be Monday, January 28, 2019.

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United States Postal Service / USPS / U.S. Postal Service / Postage Rates