It’s time for a major wake-up call. Intelligent Mail Full-Service is happening. No ands, ifs, buts or delays.
You may think it is going to be a major pain to implement Full-Service – and you may even be thinking the discounts aren’t that great… You couldn’t be more wrong. The USPS recently simplified the TEM certification process for mailers. And, there’s a lot more money to consider than just the current discounts being offered. If you don’t convert to Full-Service then you will lose all your automation discounts… so the writing is on the wall. The USPS is paying you to convert – stop procrastinating. If you need more reasons, then here you go:
You are missing early conversion discounts right now. Here today, gone tomorrow. That’s right; there is no guarantee that the USPS will maintain the current discounts for using Intelligent Mail Full-Service. After all, if it is going to be a requirement to be eligible for automation rates, why give a discount for it? No one knows the future of this discount for sure, but why put off getting a postage discount of any size, particularly for something you are going to need to do anyway? This reason alone could pay for your conversion to Full-Service. Remember – $3/1000 pieces for First-Class Mail and $1/1000 pieces for Periodical and Standard Mail.
There is a secret benefit – Better USPS “Service for YOU”. One of the reasons Intelligent Mail was created was to be able to provide a more accurate and timely means to measure USPS delivery performance. As the old saying goes, what gets measured gets improved. Full-Service Mail is no different. Since this mail is inherently more visible – with the unique barcodes on pieces, trays and pallets – it is easier for the Postal Service to see any processing or delivery trouble spots and fix them quickly. Full-Service mail gets better service delivery, a benefit many mailers are ignoring.
Intelligent Mail is not going away! It’s here to stay no matter how far you may shove your head into the sand. Intelligent Mail is already reaping tremendous benefits for the USPS and for mailers who are taking advantage of it. At the recent National Postal Forum the USPS made it crystal clear that they have no plans to back off of the quickly approaching deadline, so pinning your hopes on the possibility of another delay is simply not a smart business decision.
Knowledge is power. “There’s a lot of data in them there barcodes.” (Said with a twang in our voice and a twinkle in our eyes.) And a lot more data in those Mail.dat® files you use for electronic documentation. So, go above and beyond Full-Service qualification. Find out how you can capture and use all of that data to automate or otherwise improve functions in your mailing operation. Take a deeper look into all this data because you just don’t know what you don’t know. Window Book can help you understand… let’s have a simple discussion about it.
Free mailing data is good. Rreeaall good. Valuable data – such as IMb Tracing data, Start-The-Clock data, and Address Change Service (ACS) data, are currently provided FOR FREE as part of Intelligent Mail Full-Service. Granted, the data from the USPS is pretty raw in format, but there are plenty of service providers out there who can help you turn that raw data into usable information. You may even be able to monetize the provision of this information to your clients. Again, there is no guarantee that the USPS will continue to offer this data at no charge in the future, so why not take advantage of it now while it is still free?
There are 6 postage discounts available for early conversion to Full Service. You want a promotion! Well, the USPS can give you one; six of them as a matter of fact. That’s right; the USPS offers six different promotions in 2013 that offer additional postage discounts to mailers. Two of these promotions are running right now, with three more coming up this summer and an additional promotion this fall. The trick is you need to use at least some elements of Intelligent Mail Full-Service in order to be eligible for these promotions, such as Intelligent Mail barcodes on the mailpieces and submission of mailings using eDoc. If you can get these elements into place, you are already half-way to Full-Service, so keep on moving!
Practice makes perfect. The sooner you start implementing Full-Service, the sooner you can get it incorporated into your production environment in a smooth and efficient manner. Going through the TEM certification process (which is really just a series of practice sessions) can take some time, but it is time well spent to insure that everything will work smoothly once you hit the switch for production. AND – the Postal Service recently simplified the whole TEM certification process. So if it turned you off before, turn it back on and come get tested NOW. Don’t wait until the last minute to try to do this implementation; it will be like trying to run a marathon without doing any training.
You don’t have to do this on your own. In fact, it is recommended that you don’t even try. There are a lot of resources available to help mailers implement Intelligent Mail Full-Service (not just the USPS). Many software and mail service providers offer assistance and are happy to help. However, these resources are not unlimited, and you can be sure that as the deadline approaches, the busier these resources are going to be. Wait too long and you may find yourself at the end of a very long line, with little hope of getting the assistance you need before it is too late.
Your busy season is going to begin soon. We know you’re barely thinking about where to go on vacation this summer, but that time will fly by and the back-to-school and fall sales mailings will begin before you know it – and the holiday season sits right on top of those. There are thousands of dollars to be saved by converting to Full-Service before your busy season begins. It will be the busy season for the USPS too and this means they will have limited staffing and resources to get you certified for Full-Service. You’ll enjoy your busy season and this holiday season a lot more if you have already taken care of qualifying for Full-Service before that time.
The hits just keep on coming. What else happens in January each year, besides breaking your New Year’s resolutions? Postage increases! Mail.dat® and Mail.XML™ specification changes! Postage statement changes! That is a lot to handle all at once, especially if you let it sneak up on you. What’s more, these annual January changes won’t go away in January 2014 just because of the Intelligent Mail Full-Service deadline. It will all be happening at the very same time. Even with the best of planning and preparation, it’s going to be a bumpy road, so the earlier you implement, the smoother the ride will be.
MCC is here to help
MCC represents industry-leading Intelligent Mail Service that will make your transition much easier. We offer the best assistance – bar none. Additionally, our post presort solution, can help you manage your Full-Service mailings easier and more efficiently. We have plenty of other resources to help you get through this implementation too, but DON’T WAIT!
To schedule a free Intelligent Mail Full-Service Readiness Analysis, contact Shell Berry at 901-725-9271.