March 19, 2014

The Hidden Postal Increase That You May Not Be Aware Of

Written By: David Day, Product Marketing Manager

By now we are all aware of the United States Postal Service (USPS) postal increase that affected us in January. Whether you budgeted for it or the exigent increase caught you by surprise—you are paying it. That begs the question: What about the hidden postal increases and do you know it exists?

No, the post office did not inflict a hidden cost on you, but your operation probably has. If your company is aggressively (or even casually) requesting your customers stop paper statements and opt to receive them via alternative delivery – everything from email notifications, digital mailboxes or directed to your website to view and/or print their statements – there is an impact on your operation and your postage costs.

Not to be confusing, as this author realizes you encounter savings by not printing and mailing each one of those, but consider these questions:

What has that done to impact your postal discounting?
Are you saving some money by print suppression, but in turn has your average cost to mail a document has increased?

When documents are removed from the mailing stream, your mailing densities will change. Where you might have qualified for greater discounts due to the density of your mail in the past, those will change as you suppress mailings. Last week, this author “turned off” paper notifications of the duplicate courtesy copy of his father’s monthly brokerage statement since they invoked a $5 per month charge. I opted to receive my courtesy copy via web site presentment. With all the ancillary and required pages, this resulted in the brokerage company saving approximately 120 printed pages and over $15 in postage annually. But, could there have been more savings? What did the impact of my suppression and hundreds more do to the density of the mailing? What was the hidden cost of print suppression?

Switching the equation around, I want to ask the $64,000 question: how can you save more? The answer is this; simply by combining the now smaller jobs into larger jobs you can accomplish a greater mailing density and save money. However, there is a catch; this task is sometimes easy to say and difficult to implement. For example, these factors might come to mind:

What are the print streams (or workflows)?
How are they created?
When is the postal mailing program applied?
How can you combine the various jobs that might not be the same type of job without a major re-work of legacy programs?

All good questions, and in most cases when you start to examine the hidden costs and the complexity for combining jobs you might find the task is not worth the savings. But, wait! There is another answer. This is where CrawfordTech can help; we have worked with hundreds of our clients to save them money by combining smaller jobs into a larger job. Through our set of powerful workflow management tools, we can provide the capability for your organization to realized increased operational efficiencies and savings.

What is your hidden postage cost?

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