Trends in Print and Mail

The Berkshire Company Blog

Looking Ahead – 2018 National Postal Forum

Posted by Mark Fallon on Feb 20, 2018 2:00:00 PM

There’s still snow on the ground in my backyard, but I’m thinking about the warm weather down in Texas. That’s because I just received my catalog for the 2018 National Postal Forum (NPF) – May 6 – 9, 2018 in beautiful San Antonio.

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United States Postal Service / National Postal Forum

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

National Postal Forum 2017 Recap: Briefing from Baltimore

Posted by Mark Fallon on May 30, 2017 5:03:50 PM

Last week was one of the largest National Postal Forums (NPF) in a decade, with more than 4,400 people attending the show over 4 days. With the theme of “Make Informed Connections”, the NPF was filled with opportunities for vendors to connect with customers, mailers to connect with postal executives, and industry professionals to connect with each other.

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National Postal Forum

NPF 2017: Meeting up in Maryland

Posted by Mark Fallon on May 15, 2017 10:35:52 AM

What are your plans for upcoming National Postal Forum (NPF), May 21 – 24, 2017 in Baltimore, MD?

The theme for this year’s NPF is “Making Informed Connections”. That includes networking with fellow mail professionals, vendors, and officials from the U.S. Postal Service. We’re especially looking forward to Postmaster General Megan Brennan’s keynote on Monday morning and hearing her take on the ratemaking review and the most recent attempt at postal reform legislation.

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National Postal Forum

Giving Time, Giving a Home

Posted by Mark Fallon on Mar 22, 2017 5:02:00 AM

Are you attending the National Postal Forum (NPF) in Baltimore this May? If yes, we’d like to extend this invitation to join The Berkshire Company as we lend a hand to the Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake on Saturday, May 20, 2017.

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National Postal Forum

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

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

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

Looking for Input on New NPF Sessions

Posted by Mark Fallon on Sep 14, 2016 5:00:00 AM

The next National Postal Forum (NPF) is scheduled for May 21-24, 2017 at the Baltimore Convention Center. The NPF has announced their call for proposals for sessions and workshops for the conference. The deadline to complete the Workshop Presentation Form online is Friday, October 7th, 2016.

The Berkshire Company has been a proud supporter of the NPF since we started the company in 2001. Our president, Mark Fallon, has been an NPF presenter for over 20 years. We also deliver those same presentations – at no charge – to Postal Customer Councils and other professional mailing associations around the country.

We’d like your input on what classes we should propose for the 2017 NPF. We’ve set up a very brief poll – only 2 questions – on SurveyMonkey. The first question asks what past sessions we should present again, and the second asks for your ideas on what new classes we should develop. We request that you consider what presentations you’d like to attend, as well as what training will be helpful to new attendees.

With a deadline of October 7th for us to submit proposals to the NPF, we’re asking that you complete the survey by Friday, September 23, 2016. Responses can be submitted anonymously, or you can add your name and email to be eligible for a $50 gift card. We’ll draw 2 names from all responses received by 5:00PM PDT on September 23rd.

We remain dedicated to providing the most relevant training for industry professionals. Thanks in advance for your input in developing the next workshops and sessions.

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National Postal Forum

NPF 2016: Planning for a Productive Week

Posted by Mark Fallon on Mar 14, 2016 10:00:00 AM

The postage rate rollback. Rumors of restarting the network consolidation plan. Invoices based on the Mailer Scorecard. These are just a few of the issues attendees will be discussing at the upcoming National Postal Forum (NPF), March 20 – 23, 2016 in Nashville, TN.

The most anticipated moment of the NPF is when Postmaster General (PMG) Megan Brennan delivers the keynote address to the attendees on Monday morning. It will be interesting to hear her take on the continual financial and operational issues facing the USPS, and the lack of congressional action to fix the problem. PMG Brennan has been straightforward with mailers in the past, and we expect the same next week. We also look forward to the opportunity to ask direct questions to her and her leadership team. And receive direct answers.

For us, the NPF will start on Saturday, as we’ll be part of the crew working on the Habitat for Humanity project. Volunteers will be putting up trim, installing doors and painting. It will be a great way to give back to the Nashville community.  (Note: If you didn’t pre-register, but still want to participate, contact Mark directly.)

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National Postal Forum

Networking at the National Postal Forum

Posted by Mark Fallon on Feb 9, 2016 5:00:00 AM

Next month, thousands of mailing professionals will gather in Nashville, TN for the 2016 National Postal Forum (“NPF”). From Sunday, March 20th through Wednesday, March 23, attendees will be able to attend educational classes, interact with vendors in the exhibit hall and meet with senior US Postal Service officials. And just as importantly, network with fellow industry managers.

Whenever I attend the NPF, I always follow the advice of my good friend, Paul Balbastro, for getting the most out of a conference: the "30-30-30-10 Rule". Paul says you should spend:

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National Postal Forum

Delivering Help to Habitat for Humanity

Posted by Mark Fallon on Dec 9, 2015 5:30:00 AM

What are you doing on Saturday, March 19, 2016?

If you’re attending the National Postal Forum (NPF) in Nashville, you’re invited to join The Berkshire Company as we lend a hand to Habitat for Humanity.

The NPF is the premier postal industry conference with numerous educational workshops and more than 100 vendors participating in the exhibit hall. It’s also the venue for Postmaster General Megan Brennan and her leadership team to directly address the mailing industry and share the USPS’ plans for the coming year. Mark Fallon, The Berkshire Company’s president, has been an instructor at NPF for the last 20 years, delivering over 100 classes – from “Boot Camp for Mail Center Managers” to “The Ten Secrets of Leadership”.

The NPF is also a great opportunity to network with fellow professionals.

One of the networking events planned for NPF 2016 is working with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville on one of their projects. You can help construct a home in the Nashville area for a local, hardworking family in need. You don’t need to have any previous experience in construction or home repair. All you need is the willingness to help build a place that someone can call “home”.

As individuals, the members of The Berkshire Company team have participated in several Habitat for Humanity projects, including last year at the NPF in Anaheim. It’s rewarding to work alongside Habitat family members and other volunteers, transforming dreams into realities. Now we plan to do even more.

For 2016, The Berkshire Company will be sponsoring the Habitat for Humanity event at the NPF. We’re working with the staff at NPF, Habitat for Humanity, and members of the Nashville Postal Customer Council to coordinate all the activities for the project. With your support, we can make this year’s event a success for everyone, especially the family who will live in the completed home.

You can pre-register to volunteer on the NPF website. After registering for the conference, please remember to select “Networking Events”. If you’ve already registered, you can edit your existing registration and add the event. Round-trip transportation and lunch will be provided by the NPF. There’s a $25 non-refundable fee to participate, and all fees collected will be donated to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville.

Please sign up today to make a difference. Thanks.

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United States Postal Service / National Postal Forum