Perinton Publishing

Using BCC Software’s delivery-monitoring service, an upstate New York mailer helps secure a USPS postage refund for a client.

Perinton Publishing, a successful mailing and fulfillment facility in Rochester, NY, has an extensive customer base that depends on the timely delivery of periodicals as well as First-Class™ and Standard Mail® letters and flats. This emphasis on mailstream predictability is of particular interest to customers whose jobs are being sent via First-Class Mail®, according to owner Michael Libby.

“If a client is sending something First-Class, they’re obviously willing to pay more for postage,” Libby says. “What they really care about is that their mail gets to the destination on time.” A longtime BCC Software customer and an early adopter of the Intelligent Mail® barcode, Libby was drawn to BCC Software’s Track N Trace® service for its ability to provide detailed reports on the step-by-step delivery progress of a mailing job. Accessible from within BCC Software’s BCC Mail Manager™ solutions, Track N Trace® uses USPS® IMb Tracing™ processing and the IM® barcode to identify each piece within a mailing.

Unlike older Confirm® mail tracking, which was typically used to suggest delivery trends based on sample pieces in a mailing, the IM barcode allows for a unique serial number to be assigned to each mailpiece in a job. With that capability, Track N Trace can provide true insight into the sometimes imprecise mailstream.

The value of that new found visibility quickly became apparent to Libby and one of his clients. Barely a month after installing Track N Trace, one of PerintonPublishing’s customers arranged for a Standard Mail job of almost 100,000 pieces to be mailed across a single local Sectional Center Facility (SCF). Three business days after the job was turned over to the Post Office™, however, the client was unable to find a single piece that had arrived at its destination.The customer contacted Libby for an explanation,which Libby was able to provide in seconds by accessing his company’s PostalOne!® account and producing an e-mail with a PDF of the postal receipt. He e-mailed that document to the client, then logged into the BCC Software Track N Trace website to relay to the customer how many pieces had been delivered so far and from which ZIP™ codes. “He was speechless,” Libby said. A week later the customer contacted Libby again. Eleven business days after the job had dropped, many pieces were only now arriving. From the Track N Trace data, Libby learned that mail was still being delivered to two entire ZIP codes — each of which was less than 15 miles from the origin SCF. Although the USPS promises no specific delivery standards for presorted Standard Mail, Libby believed that his Track N Trace data for the job — which revealed not only the job’s disappointing delivery timeline, but also some illogical steps in the USPS handling process—made a persuasive case that the delays for this job went beyond the accepted norms associated with that mail class.

He contacted USPS customer support on behalf of his client. “The rep was a little shocked at the level of detail I was able to give him about the job,” Libby says. “He was very apologetic.”

Ultimately, everything worked out in the client’s favor: “My customer got a refund of over $2,000 for 100 percent of the postage to the affected ZIP codes.”

Track N Trace: A Winner for Clients

Although outright postal refunds may be uncommon, Libby believes that without the insight into the piece-specific delivery process provided by Track N Trace, the outcome would have been very different.  Customers complain about delivery times all the time, but I definitely would have been in the dark without Track N Trace — and in this case, my customer would have been $2,000 poorer.”

Perinton Publishing now uses Track N Trace with more jobs for more clients. “Any customer with a big mailing who spends a lot on postage really has to use this service,” he says. “Track N Trace is a winner as far as I am concerned.”