Trends in Print and Mail

The Berkshire Company Blog

2019 Postage Rate Increase: Spenders and Savers

Posted by Mark Fallon on Oct 16, 2018 5:01:00 AM

On Thursday, October 11, 2018, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) filed the rate case for Market Dominant products with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). Set to go into effect on January 27, 2019, the new rates represent about a 2.5% overall increase over the current prices for mailing, or “Market Dominant” products.

Despite the headlines appearing on news websites, this isn’t “the biggest rate increase”. For many mailers the increase is lower than expected. While retail customers may have “sticker shock” on the 10% increase on stamps, the nickel increase allows the USPS to achieve the “simplicity of structure” of pricing. Plus, second ounce rates go down, flats pricing stays flat, as do postcards.

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

Ready, Fire, Aim! – A Misstep by the US Postal Service

Posted by Mark Fallon on Sep 12, 2018 5:01:00 AM


At a time when the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is struggling with declining volumes, someone at that organization has decided that one answer is to create additional restrictions on what could be mailed at Marketing Mail rates.

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Technology / USPS / U.S. Postal Service

Fall Postal Customer Council Events – Education, Networking and More

Posted by Mark Fallon on Aug 27, 2018 5:01:00 AM

 

Each spring, mailers gather at the National Postal Forum, and every fall brings the spotlight to Postal Customer Councils (“PCCs”), culminating in National PCC week, which takes place September 24 – 28, 2018.

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

Battling Compliance – A Winning Strategy

Posted by Mark Fallon on Aug 7, 2018 5:01:00 AM


When a company decides to outsource 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 meeting the standards negotiated in the contract. Savvy customers take managing their vendors to the next step – by conducting periodic audits for quality control, best practices, and compliance with postal and industry regulations.

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Industry Vendors / Outsourcing / U.S. Postal Service / Quality Control

CAPS is Dead, Long Live EPS

Posted by Mark Fallon on Jul 24, 2018 7:33:49 AM

In February 2018, the United States Postal Service (USPS) announced the launch of their new Enterprise Payment System (EPS). As the USPS demonstrates in the below chart, EPS will bring together payments for all types of postal expenses.

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Strategy / USPS / U.S. Postal Service

No Surprise – The Trump Administration Wants to Privatize the USPS

Posted by Mark Fallon on Jun 25, 2018 1:36:36 PM


On June 21, 2018, as part of a plan to overhaul the federal government, the Trump Administration proposed to restructure and privatize the US Postal Service (USPS). The report, entitled “Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century,” was released by the Office of Management and Budget Director, Mick Mulvaney.

This announcement comes almost 2 months before the scheduled release of the report from the president’s Task Force on the USPS. The Task Force was appointed by the president in April, and is headed by Director Mulvaney, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, and Director of Office of Personnel Management, Jeff Pon.

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U.S. Postal Service

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

The Postal Reform Act of 2018 – Is “Hope” a 4-Letter Word?

Posted by Mark Fallon on Mar 26, 2018 11:39:27 AM



On Thursday, March 22, 2018, a bi-partisan group of Senators filed S. 2629, “The Postal Reform Act of 2018: Improving Postal Operations, Service, and Transparency”. The bill’s co-sponsors will be familiar to mailing industry veterans – Tom Carper (D-DE), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and Claire McCaskill (D-MO).

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United States Postal Service / U.S. Postal Service

Retail Counters at the U.S. Postal Service – A Modest Proposal

Posted by Mark Fallon on Mar 13, 2018 2:10:00 PM


I often visit my local post office on Saturdays. There are several reasons for this habit. First, I travel during the workweek, so it’s convenient to pick up my packages, drop off mail, and sign for any Certified Mail letters. Next, it reminds me of being a kid and stopping by the Woburn Post Office to say “Hi” to my father, who was usually working the window on Saturday mornings. And lastly, I enjoy watching my fellow postal patrons interact with the clerks.

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

Tough First Quarter for the US Postal Service: A Closer Look

Posted by Mark Fallon on Feb 12, 2018 9:00:00 PM



On February 9, 2018, The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) released the financial results for the first quarter of their fiscal year (October 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017). No one anticipated good news, but the numbers were worse than expected. The USPS posted a net loss for the first quarter of $540 million, compared to net income of $1.4 billion, for the same period last year. The first quarter is usually the strongest quarter with the added volumes of shipping and mailing for the holidays.

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USPS / U.S. Postal Service