Mailing Systems Technology - May/June 2009 - (Page 32)

trends Implementing the Intelligent Mail Barcode of marketing campaigns or to provide proof of delivery can have substantial financial benefits for a large corporation. Companies that are anticipating a substantial return on investment from benefits other than lowered postage costs probably already have their IMB implementation projects well underway. Delivery confirmation can be a big benefit for some organizations. If a company is producing documents that warrant delivery confirmations, then switching to OneCode Confirm could save them money and time. Again, it’s a question of volume. Someone that is currently paying for millions of delivery confirmations per year would definitely be interested in switching to IMB to satisfy their business needs. One application where incoming IMB could really pay off is when knowing for sure that “the check is in the mail” can prevent a company from performing needless and costly processes, such as collection or cancellation proceedings. The enhanced ability that incoming IMB provides will be a very strong argument for implementing that capability. An investment in software to suppress the generation of dunning letters or to stop cancellation procedures based on the incoming IMB data would be worthwhile. In light of recent changes, it may be wise to hold off on implementation he long-awaited information about postage discounts for using the Full Service variety of IMB was released on February 10. The news was undoubtedly disappointing for those companies that wanted to move forward with IMB projects but needed to establish a worthy return on investment in order to get approval to do so. For many, the postage discount was to be the hard-number justification that they needed. A discount of either $0.003 per piece for First Class or $0.001 for Standard Mail was published in the new rate card. Also disclosed on the rate card was a substantial increase in the fees collected by the USPS for granting access to the mailpiece tracking information that is the key to realizing the benefits of IMB technology. For service bureaus or tracking companies, the annual fee increased by a factor of 10. This increase will obviously have to be passed along to the mailers who use these services. T By Mike Porter ROI Is a Challenge for Smaller Mailers For other mailers, it’s a lot tougher to make the business case. Small- to medium-sized service bureaus, for instance, typically produce mail for a wide variety of businesses and organizations. Many of their customers are also small or medium-sized companies. The service bureau’s ability to recoup their investments in IMB technology relies on the value that the features provide to each of their customers. For some of those customers, that value just doesn’t exist. Most small billers don’t have a need to precisely schedule their customer service staff or accounts receivable processes. They know from experience how long it takes from the time the bills go out until they can expect call volume to increase or payments to arrive. They may not need to track those incoming payments individually to be able to effectively manage their cash flow. For many billers, the benefits of being able to track individual payments coming to them don’t justify the investments required in order to put that feature into place. Remember that in addition to building or buying a solution to generate unique mailpiece IDs and A Change of Strategy Although we’ve been prompting our clients to take steps towards implementing Intelligent Mail Barcodes in their document workflows for quite some time, the recent USPS announcements have changed our recommendation. Print/Mail Consultants now advises clients to continue to evaluate their individual business needs, become educated and take the preliminary step of getting their Mailer ID numbers from the USPS. Beyond that, we’re recommending that companies hold off on making large investments for the time being. We’ve promised to keep them informed about any new developments, and we’ve offered to help them establish an ROI that is not so dependent on postage savings. An Easier Decision for Big Mailers For some transactional document mailers, particularly those with very high volumes, the meager postage discount for IMB and the increased costs to access tracking information are inconsequential. Certainly, putting IMB codes on return mail in billing applications or using outbound tracking data to evaluate the effectiveness 32 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