Last week we attended the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) meetings at Postal Service headquarters in Washington D.C. These meetings provide an opportunity for the mailing industry and the Postal Service to share concerns and discuss future plans. While the conversation at the meetings can sometimes get a little wonkish, there were a few broad themes that would be of interest to all members of the mailing community.
- Mail Delivery Will Remain Uninterrupted. In reference to the current financial struggles facing the Postal Service, Postmaster General Pat Donahoe was emphatic in stating the Postal Service is “not going out of business.” He acknowledged that the failure of Congress to act on postal reform legislation was creating a “crisis of confidence,” but also declared that the Postal Service would continue to prioritize cash resources to ensure that mail delivery continues uninterrupted.
- Intelligent Mail Barcodes are Bringing Benefits. Increased product visibility provided by Intelligent Mail continues to drive improved service performance. Currently drop-shipped Standard Mail letters are meeting their performance standard more than 90% of the time, and in-plant inventories of Standard Mail have dropped 70% year-over-year. Work is underway to develop an IMb Operations Dashboard that will allow mailers to adjust mail entry to accommodate current plant performance and better control in-home targeting.
- Postal Facility Consolidations are Going Smoothly. Optimization of the mail processing network appears to be going well, with 42 planned summer facility consolidations now complete. Four additional consolidations will be completed by the end of August. After a break for the fall mailing season, the Postal Service will resume consolidation activities after the first of the year with an additional 94 facilities. The Postal Service reported that the consolidations have gone very smoothly with little disruption to mail flow, a sentiment that was echoed by the mailing industry.
- Direct Mail Promotions are Ramping Up. The Postal Service continues to focus on enhancing the value of mail. The USPS marketing team will file its full 2013 promotions calendar with the Postal Regulatory Commission in October. Offerings being considered include:
- Coupon/mobile commerce integration
- Click to call
- Reply mail earned value
- Emerging technologies (interactive print)
- Picture permit
- Buy it now
We left the MTAC meetings feeling very optimistic that despite the challenges facing the Postal Service, the mailing industry and USPS will be able to work together to overcome them. Stay tuned to SpeakingDirect, where we’ll provide more details on the specific promotions as they become available.
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