Key Notes Vol. 02 No. 11

USPS Rate Requests Fail a Second Time – Not satisfied with alterations made to a rate change request submitted earlier this month, the Postal Regulatory Commission has once again returned the request to the U.S. Postal Service for further accounting. Back on March 6, PRC sent back proposed adjustments to rates on Standard Mail, Periodicals, and Package Services to USPS, citing lack of compliance with Title 39 regulations on several fronts. Among items in question were unequal discounts between nonprofit and commercial mailers, Standard Mail work-sharing discounts exceeding 100% of avoided costs, and improperly calculated adjustments made in new Flats Sequencing System (FSS) price cells. Source: Direct Marketing News

Price Changes Range from -8% to +16% – The current CPI-based rate increase case (R2015-4) has unexpectedly turned into a roadside bomb for Periodicals, with the mail class experiencing the widest range of price changes in years.  Some of the largest increases will fall upon nonprofit publications, including such iconic titles as Consumer Reports, National Wildlife, Elks Magazine, Ranger Rick, Guideposts, On Health, Money Adviser, and others. These publications, which are relatively lightweight and have little or no advertising content, face postage cost increases of as much as 16 percent – almost eight times the increase of the CPI cap. Meanwhile, other publications will enjoy significant reductions in postage costs of as much as eight percent. Source: Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers

2015 USPS Promotions & Incentives – The U.S. Postal Service has updated their webpage with all of the information you need to participate in the 2015 Promotions.   Click here for view the site.

The Importance of Print – Printing Industries of Americas (PIA) affiliate organizations have come together to spread the word about print. The advocates behind two campaigns, Choose Print and Print Grows Trees, have supplied individuals with advertisements, postcards, facts, articles, and more, delving deep into the importance of print. Additional, industry organizations have made positive contributions toward dispelling the myths of print and providing the facts to the public. Click here to see what each of these campaigns have to offer. Source: PIA

USPS Testing larger mailboxes – The Postal Service has expanded its test of larger mailboxes to rural and suburban communities in California, Colorado and North Dakota. Customers in these areas recently received the test boxes, which are the same height as regular mailboxes but much wider to accommodate around 70 percent of boxes currently sent through the mail. The customers who volunteered to test the boxes are providing feedback to the Postal Service, throughout the test period. Source: USPS News Link

National Postal Forum Update – The 2015 NPF Workshop Schedule is now available online!  Take a look and begin planning your educational experience at the 2015 National Postal Forum! This year’s Forum in Anaheim, CA will deliver comprehensive educational tracks covering Marketing, Mail Operations, Management and Professional Development and in addition, Specialized Workshops dedicated to Colleges and Universities, Global Mailing/Shipping, Government, Nonprofits, Postal Partners and Publishers and Printers.  Source: NPF

The Power of Mail – Even in a time of constant digital communication – an age of Twitter, Facebook and FaceTime – there remains something special for deployed Soldiers about a tangible letter or package sent by loved ones halfway around the world. “Mail frequency is demanded at all levels of the military,” said Maj. Jon Hermesch, the deputy personnel officer with the 1st Infantry Division and CJFLCC-I in Iraq. “As we progress during the digital age of email and video communications, the simple act of receiving an actual letter is difficult to measure, but we know it is of great importance for communication purposes, and it also enables Service members to acquire many items that they do not have access to at their current location.” Source: U.S. Army

New Urgency for Data Quality – With 113,000 change-of-address requests made daily to the U.S. Postal Service, solving the address data problem is a matter of survival for many carriers. Business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce companies are subject to losing postal address data quality every day, but so are business-to-business (B2B) companies. While delivery to a consumer’s home is more expensive than deliveries to businesses, business addresses are also subject to change every day. There is no carrier or shipper that is totally immune to address data quality problems. If customer information (not just postal addresses, but phone numbers, email addresses and all parts of the customer record) is inaccurate, incomplete, inconsistent and fragmented across many different systems, customer satisfaction is at risk. One of the biggest challenges ahead for carriers and shippers is a recent prediction from market analyst firm Gartner: By 2016, companies in all industries will be competing on customer experience alone. Source: Supply Demand Chain Executive