Recently at both Mailcom and the National Postal Forum, we had conversations with many of you about maximizing postal discounts, efficiently tracking mail using Intelligent Mail® barcode (IMb), maintaining address quality, dealing with undeliverable mail, weaving mailing tasks into workflow and much more. Companies like you producing large scale mailings are looking for help in securing postal savings all while improving workflow and overall mail project efficiencies.
What is most important for companies with large scale mailings to address is something we like to call Postal Optimization.
A simple term, but not a simple process, and without it, you run the risk of submitting mail to the USPS that does not adhere to its strict standards and fails to qualify for the many discounts. So, what steps can you take to make it possible?
The first step any mailer company can take is to look to software and hardware solution providers that can offer the type of sophisticated technology that integrates properly with postal regulations and eases the pain points allowing you to maximize your productivity and cost savings, all while taking advantage of the full array of postal discounts available.
Achieving this level of best practice postal optimization takes planning and patience, but you can be assured that achieving good results are possible. The areas to pay attention to are:
- Mail Cleansing – The USPS requires mailers taking automation discounts on postage to adhere to a certification program known as CASS, for Coding Accuracy Support System. In plain English, CASS is the post offices way of trying to cut down on wrongly addressed mail. Finding a solution that integrates properly with CASS products, can save a high-volume mailer large sums of money in wasted postage and labor costs associated with wrongly addressed mail, all while allowing for the USPS discount.
- Intelligent Mail Bar Code (IMb) Printing – this tracking identifier enables the USPS to provide the feedback on automated mail pieces. A solution that can help a mailer capture the feedback data made available by this identifier can allow for less incorrect addresses, a smoother delivery process and additional postal discounts.
- Postal Accuracy Validation and Evaluation (PAVE) – like the CASS certification, the USPS provides discounts to companies using PAVE certified software that accurately sorts addresses into a zip-code ordered mailing. Once again, with the right software solution designed to work with PAVE certifications, mailers can get their mailings into the type of condition the post office demands and realize large discounts as a result.
These are just a few areas where the right software solution can save you a significant amount of time and money. Others include delivery and address tracking, electronic notifications from USPS about undeliverable mail, reply mail tracking and more. In many cases hundreds of thousands of dollars can be realized just taking these steps to ensure solutions are in place to address all the regulations and tracking issues associated with large scale mailings.
At Ricoh, we’ve developed a family of mail and workflow software solutions that help connect companies directly to the USPS systems taking the guess work out of discounts, regulations and getting the most information possible out of each and every mailing.