The 2017 National Postal Forum (NPF) opened in the heart of the Inner Harbor in Baltimore on Sunday. I’ve been to NPF countless times in my career but wasn’t able to attend this year. Like the Inkjet Summit I wrote about a few weeks ago, NPF is a gathering of the best and the brightest in the industry, in this case, the mailing and shipping industry. The NPF is where we get to exchange ideas with peers and see what’s new. To those outside the industry, it may sound like a foreign language in the elevators of the conference hotels as postal experts speak in USPS acronyms and talk about their pin collections.
While I may personally miss some great meals and conversation with old friends, I know IWCO Direct won’t miss a beat when it comes to gathering new insight and intelligence about the mailing industry. That confidence comes from knowing our resident subject matter experts (SMEs) for mailing, shipping, and logistics—Kurt Ruppel and Bob Rosser—are in attendance.
NPF is like the Monterey Jazz Festival for the mailing industry. There are many great names and some qualify for star status. If you walk around NPF with our postal experts, Kurt and Bob, you feel like you’re walking around Monterey with Herbie Hancock. They seem to know everyone and everyone seems to know them. Their star status comes from hard work on behalf of IWCO Direct’s clients. When a client asks an arcane question about clear zones or how to get a refund when the truck transporting their mail crashes, everyone at IWCO Direct knows to direct the question to Kurt or Bob. In the rare instance when they don’t already know the answer, they know who to call to get the complete answer in the shortest amount of time.
Their star status as postal experts also comes from the work they do with industry associations including the Association for Postal Commerce (PostCom), the Mailers’ Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC), the Envelope Manufacturers’ Association (EMA), and Idealliance. Both Bob and Kurt lead MTAC Workgroups and serve as industry co-chairs for MTAC user groups. Other members of the IWCO Direct postal team are members of various user groups, workgroups, and task teams across a variety of postal disciplines.
Bob is a board member for PostCom, chairs their Postal Operations Committee, and serves as an MTAC representative. Kurt is a member of PostCom’s Member Engagement & Education Committee. Kurt serves on the board of EMA, is vice-chair of its Postal Policy Committee, and is an MTAC representative for EMA. As another example of their recognition as postal experts, Bob and Kurt participated in creating some of the modules used by the industry, including IWCO Direct’s Client Services team, for earning Idealliance Mail Professional Certification.
I’m looking forward to reading tomorrow’s SpeakingDIRECT post with Kurt’s recap of what the team saw and learned in Baltimore. I’m also looking forward to Bob’s trip report to see what I missed in this year’s sessions – and his expense report to see what great meals I missed in the Inner Harbor.
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