Digital tools are rising in popularity across the postal supply chain. Many of these tools have their roots in earlier electronic systems, but recent advances in both technology and carrier incentives have made it easier than ever for mailers to decrease postal costs using software.
Some of the ways mailers can decrease postal costs:
- Streamline and automate their internal mail preparation and logistics workflows through data and software integration
- Take the full-service IMb® and parcel IMpb® technologies developed by the USPS into back office processes, ERP, marketing, logistics, and financial systems to save costs through visibility into all processes
- Spend time and money on upfront optimization of mail entry through volume, postage, and drop ship analysis
- Automate interfaces with USPS such as exporting of Mail.dat data and seeing those reports in their post-presort software, tracking postage finalization and acceptance in your own software, and avoiding logging in to USPS FAST for making appointments and PostalOne! systems for acceptance when not necessary, saving time.
- Utilize share mail, small business, and other incentives planned for 2017
- Remove paper from remaining business process areas, such as 8125 and 8017 and utilize the USPS eInduction platform
- Proactively manage full-service eDoc verification and seamless scorecard thresholds by automating the reporting and avoiding manual labor hours checking on errors and on undocumented piece reconciliation
Digitizing and automating mailing processes creates savings multiple ways and understanding them is essential to maximizing their potential.
View the Video: Decrease Your Postal Costs
Presenter: Shariq Mirza, CEO and Founder of Assurety Consulting
Eliminate Inessential Materials
Using paper for business processes incurs huge direct and indirect costs as well as service quality impacts that are immediately avoided by the switch to digital systems. The majority of mailers came onboard with the PostalOne!® system when it was first developed in the late Nineties (previously called the USPS DirectLink system) through the usage of the Mail.dat data specification that mailers edited and exported to the PostalOne! system to improve the acceptance and verification processes, but many did not fully eliminate antiquated internal or external paper-based processes. Now, as mail carriers and software providers more seamlessly integrate every step of the postal supply chain to digital tools, redundant paper use (and time-consuming manual processes) can be eliminated for good.
The utilization of the USPS full-service IMb program within back offices can replace extensive manual processes with smart exception-seeking systems. Mailers no longer need to manage the physical mail printing, preparation, and containerization process the way they did before implementing IMb. The development of eInduction and Seamless acceptance programs on top of the existing full-service platform removes further paper processes and results in improved service quality and cost avoidance.
Reap the Rewards of Process Incentives
The USPS offers multiple incentives for utilizing Full Service Mail. Full Service mail saves the Postal Service substantial costs through automation and end to end visibility into supply chain process improvement areas. The program also improves visibility into the consumers of the products and services and allows the USPS to develop new workshare and incentive programs while developing hybrid digital, consumer-focused solutions. Many of these savings are passed on to mailers if they are compliant with the requirements.
Compliant mailers help throughout the process by ensuring that they are using all available electronic tools to pay for their mail, get the mail verified, make appointments electronically, and help the Postal Service anticipate future shipments in real-time.
The Postal Service can now proactively track what a mailer is planning to do through electronic systems—which is not possible when mailers are doing business using paper. This has created incentives for mailers and triggered a chain reaction of savings along the postal supply chain.
Digitize for Simple Savings
Mailers can use the platforms and interfaces developed for them by the Postal Service to simplify mailing and on-boarding to new electronic tools. Mailers, just like the USPS, can utilize the IMb and IMpb platforms to calculate direct and indirect costs tied to every piece and parcel at every plant and improve efficiencies within their own operations. The USPS saves costs by removing the manual processes associated with sorting and tracking, and mailers save money by removing manual processes on their end as they create digital workflows to automate and streamline their processes.
How Assurety Can Help Improve Processes and Decrease Costs
Assurety Consulting and Solutions has helped the USPS and large and mid-sized mailers integrate emerging postal technologies, improve their workflows, cut costs, and improve the customer experience in all facets of their Postal logistics strategy. Assurety can help you, including small size mailers, assess opportunities and workflow improvements that can help you save costs in the long run while improving management of mailer operations.
Assurety’s mailing software solutions for commercial mailers also enable extensive automation of workflows and identify process improvements that perfectly accompany the move towards automation. Costs decrease as processes improve, and these savings are compounded when processes result in compliance with the wide array of USPS incentives for mailers. With years of experience in the postal logistics and consulting realm, Assurety can identify the incentives and improvements that best fit your business processes to create lasting savings, better customer service, and more efficient daily operations.