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Postal Changes Happening in January and How They Can Affect Your Company

December 15, 2017
This article was featured in Mailing Systems Technology in February 2018. 

2018 is bringing with it many changes in the postal industry. As always, BCC Software is on top of these changes and is dedicated to ensuring that our customers are not only ready for the year ahead, but compliant and pointed toward success.

So, what are these changes, and what do they mean for your company?

New Rates and Rule Changes While Uncertainty Continues

In October of 2017, the USPS® announced new rates and rule changes that will be in effect beginning January 21, 2018. These prices have been approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), who published their 10-year review in 2017 as well.

As has been discussed in the previous monthsthe USPS Board of Governors still has nine vacancies, and currently there are three presidential nominees. The Senate only needs to approve one nominee for decisions, such as promotions, to be put into effect.

Uncertainty in business is not favorable, so how can your company ensure continued success? It’s important that companies, especially ones that have relied on USPS promotions in the past for cost savings, plan on not being able to take advantage of this by reviewing your current workflow and adjusting or reallocating spending.

The Growing Cost of Bad Data

The industry is not oblivious to the cost of bad data. It can hinder campaigns, wastes resources, and overall negatively effects the industry, which is why address quality is of the upmost importance as we embrace postal changes and head into 2018.

While the issue of Undeliverable as Addressed (UAA) mail has improved over the years, it still poses financial ramifications on the industry. In fact, the industry overall is still paying over $1 billion in excess postage related to the 6 billion pieces of UAA mail the USPS deals with annually. All members of the industry need to re-evaluate address quality issues to further reduce UAA mail.

So, what changes are on the horizon to further combat this issue? This coming year will be spent preparing for a new CASS cycle, that will be implemented in 2019. These changes are a long-time coming, and the industry should be ready for shifts that will work to improve data overall.

Continuing to Make Mail Irresistible

It’s official that Informed Visibility is replacing IMB Tracing. This change will improve visibility into the mailstream and provide mailers more data, which has been a major factor to the growing effectiveness of direct mail. BCC Software has already implemented Informed Visibility into our mail tracking platform, Track N Trace™ — customers will not notice any changes or interruptions to their workflow.

Multichannel marketing has infiltrated the industry, and this has been extremely positive for direct mail’s steady influence. With the realization that a multi-faceted campaign will drive the best results, marketers have been working towards incorporating more than one medium – and direct mail is the foundation. So, how is your business capitalizing on this?

The USPS offers easy ways and special promotions for utilizing multi-channel communications through Informed Delivery. BCC Software currently provides Informed Delivery execution through Mail.dat, so you can easily get your campaigns up and running.

What’s on the horizon

Automation is not slowing down. In fact, it’s estimated that by 2019, 79 percent of mailrooms will be automated. This statistic may be daunting to some, but it shouldn’t be. Automation opens the door to improving your efficiency and gives you the ability to take on more jobs.

To begin the steps to implement automation into your business, or to enhance your current system, all Mail Service Providers (MSPs) need to take a hard look at operations by mapping out your current workflow. It’s essential to keep up with automation so that you don’t fall behind.

Ask yourself, where could your operations improve? What are your pitfalls? BCC Software’s expert Professional Services team is here to help guide you through this process.

For more information on what to expect from the industry in 2018, watch the latest edition of BCC Software’s Lien In webcast, “2018 Predictions.”

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