Around the Hub

A Complicated Answer to a Simple Question

Excerpted from the May 27, 2019 issue of Mailers Hub News. Subscribers click here to access the full version.

When I spoke recently at an industry gathering, one of the questions I got (after reviewing the PQ II service scores) was what the USPS could do about its service performance. Why is service so poor in some places? What can be done to improve it, especially in the chronically low-performing districts? What actions can management take?

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House Bill Would Delete Prefunding Requirement

A very brief and narrowly-focused bill filed April 29 by Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR 4th) would do one thing: eliminate the statutory provision (in the 2006 postal reform law) that requires the Postal Service to fully prefund future retiree health care costs.

As filed, the operative section of HR 2382, the USPS Fairness Act, states:

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Focus on Printing Overlooks Impact on Logistics

Excerpted from the May 13 edition of Mailers Hub News. Subscribers can find the full edition and archived issues here
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In case there’s any member of the hard-copy messaging industry who’s not noticed, the traditional distinction between a “printer” and a “mailer” has been blurred – sometimes erased – in recent years as printing companies add mailing capability and mail producers buy digital printing equipment.
(Of course, both are also adding agency, marketing, fulfillment, and other services.)\

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Sizeable PQ 1 Loss Starts USPS Off on Wrong Foot

Excerpted from the February 18, 2019 edition of the Mailers Hub News.

As was observed late last year when the Postal Service reported its volume and revenue figures for October, the first month of fiscal 2019 and the month that benefitted from pre-election mailing activity, it needs more months like that. That assessment was reinforced earlier this month when the less impressive results for the other two months of the first quarter were added and reported on the agency’s PQ I/FY 2019 Form 10-Q.

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Up Close and Personal Can Benefit You

 

Growing your print and mail business by getting in front of your customers means putting them first and making the relationship you have with them an all-day every-day proposition. This probably makes sense to you. But just because it makes sense doesn’t mean it’s easy to actually do.

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Postal Gadfly Sues USPS over Stamp Price Increase

Excerpted from the February 4, 2019 edition of Mailers Hub News 

The price of a stamp went from $0.50 to $0.55 last month but a challenge to that increase continues.

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Why Use Direct Mail Informed Delivery

Courtesy of Mailers Hub subscriber and Eye/Comm President, Summer Gould

Direct mail is a very powerful marketing channel. Now you can enhance it more by adding informed delivery. What is informed delivery? The USPS offers a free service to subscribers, that sends an email to them with an image of that day’s mail. The default images are not in color, by participating in an informed delivery campaign, you can replace that image with a color image and even add a web link.

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Postal Pintos - The Inflammable LLV Problem

Excerpted from the February 4, 2019 Issue of Mailers Hub News

It’s common knowledge in the postal community that the Postal Service’s fleet of about 140,000 “long-life vehicles” has more than outlived its name. Originally meant to last 24 years (but later extended to 30 years), the ubiquitous LLV is used by city and rural carriers nationwide. Out of production since 1994, the oldest trucks in the fleet are now 31 years old, but the anticipated replacement vehicles, expected to cost about $6 billion in all, have yet to be chosen.

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Response to PRC Inquiry Reveals New Cost Coverage Proposal for Flats

As previously reported, the Postal Service submitted its Annual Compliance Review for fiscal 2018 to the Postal Regulatory Commission at the end of December. Given the span and scope of such a document, it’s normal for the PRC staff to pore over it carefully and ask about data or statements that they believe need further clarification. These questions, officially know as “Chairman’s Information Requests,” or CHIRs, generate a response by the USPS.

The occasional nugget

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Competitive Products - A Final Rule is Only Half the Story

Competitive Products: A Final Rule is Only Half the Story

Commentary excerpted from the Jan. 7, 2019 issue of Mailers Hub News


In an order issued January 3, the Postal Regulatory Commission published its final rule regarding the institutional cost requirement for Postal Service competitive products. The 197-page order concludes a rulemaking that had begun in November 2016.

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Client Misconceptions about Direct Mail

Client Misconceptions about Direct Mail

Your clients may have outdated ideas about the effectiveness and value of mailed communications. Mail may seem old fashioned to them, or too expensive. The future of the US Postal Service may concern clients because of reported financial problems or they may be unclear about how to track and monitor mailed communications.

At your next client meeting, block out some time to talk about the role of mail in modern marketing strategies. Showing clients how direct mail has changed to meet the needs of today’s marketers can spur conversations leading to profitable repetitive work.

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Service Is Great - But Who Pays For It?

Commentary from the November 12, 2018 edition of Mailers Hub News

If – as is far from likely – any legislative attention is given the Postal Service over the next two years, how that attention will be manifest will be shaped by the very different attitudes of the political parties who will be in control of Congress over that period. (That difference likely will mean that, given the parties’ inability to compromise, nothing will be achieved, but that discussion is for another day.)

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PRC Approves USPS Market Dominant and Competitive Product Price Changes

In separate orders issued November 13, the Postal Regulatory Commission approved without changes the Postal Service’s proposed prices for both market dominant and competitive products. Also approved as filed were the promotions the USPS proposed as part of its market dominant filing. As a result, both sets of rates will be implemented as planned at 12:01am ET on January 27, 2019.

Market dominant  products

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Tax changes: Will They Impact Your Nonprofit Clients?

Tax changes: Will They Impact Your Nonprofit Clients? – by Ron Rescigno

As a mailer who also does print and consults with nonprofits on strategies for raising more money, I’ve been asked my opinion on the effect President Trump’s tax bill is going to have on US charities.

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