Trends in Print and Mail

The Berkshire Company Blog

The First Postal Rate Change for 2020

Posted by Mark Fallon on Nov 4, 2019 9:27:47 AM

On October 9, 2019, the United States Postal Service (USPS) filed R2020-1: Notice of Market-Dominant Price Change. The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) will now review the rates to ensure they’re in compliance with the relevant statutes. The expected implementation of the new rates is on January 26, 2020.

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United States Postal Service / USPS / U.S. Postal Service / Postal Reform / Postage Rates / Leadership / mail / Postal Regulatory Commission

New Leadership for the United States Postal Service

Posted by Mark Fallon on Oct 21, 2019 5:15:00 AM


The United States Postal Service (USPS) needs a new Postmaster General.

After 33 years of service with the USPS, Postmaster General (PMG) Megan Brennan is retiring. The 74th, and first female PMG, Ms. Brennan has led the USPS through a rocky few years. Most notably, she had no Board of Governors for over 18 months.

With her retirement comes an opportunity to bring new leadership to the USPS. That leader has to be willing to lead a government agency with over 600,000 employees, have a firm grasp of logistics, deal with unforeseen challenges and competitors, and react to a consistently changing landscape. Add to that congressional oversight that is often driven by politics instead of sound management, plus an executive branch that wants to privatize the organization.

Where do you find a leader willing to take on these challenges? Where do you find leaders who’ve led institutions of a comparable size? Where would you find someone whose organization has gone through such significant changes during tumultuous times?

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

USPS Board of Governors – Silence Isn’t Golden

Posted by Mark Fallon on Oct 7, 2019 3:34:07 PM

In August, the Senate approved three nominees to the US Postal Service (USPS) Board of Governors (Board), bringing the total number of appointed governors to 5, meaning that the Board now has a quorum for the first time since 2014. There was considerable anticipation towards their first meeting, scheduled for October 3, 2019.

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United States Postal Service / USPS / U.S. Postal Service / Postal Reform / Postage Rates / Postal Regulatory Commission

Workflow Change is Hard and Necessary

Posted by Mark Fallon on Sep 23, 2019 8:54:34 AM



Production inkjet presses. File-managed processing with job and piece level tracking. Seamless acceptance for full-service Intelligent Mail barcode mailings. Artificial intelligence extracting information from inbound paper documents.

Implementing just one of those solutions is a challenge. Taking advantage of the capabilities of those technologies requires transforming digital and production workflows. In most cases, print and mail professionals will need to venture far outside their comfort zones.

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Operations Management / Technology / Strategy / USPS / Digital / U.S. Postal Service / Quality Control / mail

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