Mailing Systems Technology - May/June 2009 - (Page 6)

editor’s note with Dan O’Rourke Mailing systems technology PUBLISHER Ron Brent EDITOR The Rest of the Story In my March/April Editor’s Note, I commented on what Congress and postal labor unions needed to do to assist the USPS with its dilemma of dwindling volumes and huge deficits. Now, for the rest of the story (I’m hoping Paul won’t mind my plagiarism) If Congress and the postal labor unions cooperate — and that’s a mighty big “if” — the USPS must show some significant innovative thought in new service offerings. Three areas come to mind: transactional mail, marketing mail and parcels. Transactional mail (invoices, statements, etc.) must be kept viable as long as possible. Rules and rates must be updated to encourage more marketing pieces to be included along with transactional mail. For starters, the “1st ounce” postage rate should be expanded to two- or three-ounce pieces — no more 2nd and 3rd ounce additional postage. This would encourage adding marketing pieces and extend the life of transactional hardcopy mail. Anything done to extend the life of First Class Mail will help. It probably won’t save it forever, but since it pays the major part of the USPS costs, we should do everything possible to prolong its viability. Preparation and presentation of marketing mail must be greatly simplified. This is especially true of “locally” dropped mail. No address, no fuss; inexpensive advertisements should be easily introduced into the postal mail stream at the local level. For example, allow local merchants to give any number of flyers to the local post office, with very basic paperwork and a very low postage rate (paid in bulk), for delivery to all area residential households. Right now, marketers are paying someone to drive through those very same neighborhoods to tuck flyers in doors. Not only could that payment for delivery service go to the Postal Service (with miniscule related expenses), it is environmentally responsible to do so. Due to dwindling First Class volumes, the future of the USPS will depend on the viability of hardcopy direct marketing mail. Everything possible must be done to make Standard Mail simple and inexpensive — it’s a volume, not a premier product. Parcels are the key to the long-range future of the Postal Service. The USPS “should” be the first-mile carrier of small parcels (under 10 pounds), but it “must” be the lastmile residential carrier. Without a significant position — and maybe an exclusive position — in last-mile residential parcel delivery, the long-range future of the USPS is very bleak. And cutting to five-day delivery is not a good idea for the future of the parcel business; in fact, they should consider seven-day delivery of parcels! On the bright side, I have seen some exciting developments from the USPS recently. The USPS Package Services division has introduced several innovative new products for the small parcel market (the flat rate priority boxes, etc.) and has entered into some innovative partnerships with commercial carriers. As an example, UPS recently announced a pilot program called “UPS Flexible Returns Access. Part of this new program allows returns ” via the USPS. This is an excellent example of how the Postal Service needs to work in cooperation with private carriers to succeed. Jim Cochrane, VP of USPS Ground Shipping, calls it “coopetition. Coopetition is a great idea. ” As always, thanks for reading Mailing Systems Technology. Dan O’Rourke, CMM MANAGING EDITOR Amanda Cook Armendariz CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Mary Ann Bennett, Kemal Carr Kevin Conti, Wes Friesen, Jim Gray Steve Kearney, Christopher Lien Shariq Mirza, Kate Muth David Robinson, Wanda Senne Mark Taylor, Scott Watson, Adam Weiss Rachel Spahr CIRCULATION ADVERTISING 608-241-8777 Ken Waddell GRAPHIC DESIGN Amy Pierquet Greg Middleton, Kelli Cooke 2901 International Lane Madison WI 53704-3128 608-241-8777 • Fax 608-241-8666 Volume 22, Issue 3 Subscriptions are free to qualified recipients: $20 per year to all others in the United States. Subscription rate for Canada or Mexico is $40 per year, and for elsewhere outside of the United States is $45. Back issue rate is $5. Send subscriptions to: Mailing Systems Technology, PO Box 259098, Madison WI 53725-9098; or call 608-241-8777; fax 608-2418666; e-mail or subscribe online at www. For quality, customized reprints, please contact our exclusive reprint provider. 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Mailing Systems Technology (ISSN 1088-2677) [Volume 22, Issue 3] is published seven times per year (January [including the Annual Resource Guide], February, March-April, May-June, July-August, September-October, NovemberDecember) by RB Publishing Inc., 2901 International Lane, Suite 200, Madison WI 53704-3128, 608-241-8777 Periodi. cals postage paid at Madison WI and additional offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to: Mailing Systems Technology PO Box 259098 Madison WI 53725-9098 06 MAY - JUNE 2009 a

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Mailing Systems Technology - May/June 2009

Mailing Systems Technology - May/June 2009
Editor’s Note
Real Life Management
Software Byte
Employing Technology
Everything IMB
Ship It
Best Practices
What You Think
From the Source
The Key to Approval
Practical Insights
Mail.XML and Services Oriented Architecture (SOA)
Implementing the Intelligent Mail Barcode
Internet-Powered Postal Mail
Using Personalization Technology
Reality Check
Pushing the Envelope

Mailing Systems Technology - May/June 2009