Mailing/Fulfillment - Postal Trends

Mailing & Fulfillment Special Report — Factors When Entering Mailing
August 1, 2006

FOR MANY commercial printers, printing has become just one part of the revenue stream. Mailing and fulfillment services are making up an increasing portion of a printer’s offerings to clients. Because of this fact, many printers are in need of innovative solutions that will allow them to grow in this new area. The following article discusses the various factors printers should consider when entering mail fulfillment. For printers, the main attraction of offering mailing services in addition to standard services is undoubtedly the prospect of increasing profit margins and creating a new and potentially lucrative revenue stream. These services, in turn, provide your customers

Mailing & Fulfillment Special Report — Getting Started In Fulfillment
August 1, 2006

MOST OF the printers I have visited over the past several years are already in the fulfillment business with one or more applications. In fact, several applications reviewed were very sophisticated, consisting of both static and dynamic content and requiring considerable data manipulation plus mastery of several shipping methods. Printing companies are very entrepreneurial in finding ways to satisfy customers’ needs with their existing resources. In addition, printers have taken the leadership in the Web-to-print industry, which has provided them experience in establishing shopping carts for their clients. So, getting started in fulfillment may not be an entirely correct title for this

Mailing & Fulfillment Special Report — Direct Mail Advances
August 1, 2006

Commercial printers’ interest in “value-added” services that create new revenue streams has stimulated the consideration of mailing and fulfillment equipment. It’s no wonder: direct mail is growing at a time when uses of other forms of mail have been declining. In fact, since the first quarter of the U.S. Postal Service’s 2004 fiscal year, annual volume is up by 11 million pieces. It’s interesting to see how mailing equipment fits into the investment plans of Printing Impressions readers, based on a survey done in March in conjunction with About one in five printers responded that they are interested in this equipment. For plants doing

Donnelley Opens Mail Facility
June 1, 2006

CHICAGO—RR Donnelley has expanded its North American print logistics operations with the opening of a mail consolidation facility, including distribution management services, in Dallas. The new facility allows Donnelley to better serve direct response marketers, magazine publishers, catalogers and other mailers in the Southwest, according to Dan Scapin, president of RR Donnelley Logistics and Distribution. In other Donnelley news, the printer was awarded a new multi-year, multi-million dollar logistics contract to distribute Parade magazine to 340-plus newspapers nationwide. Among other recent contracts: Donnelley and Thomas Nelson Inc. came to terms on a multi-year extension that sees the printer produce 100 percent of Nelson’s one- and two-color soft cover

Considerable Postal Increase Proposed
June 1, 2006

WASHINGTON, DC—Commercial printers who thrive on mailing must hope that the Senate and House of Representatives can quickly find common ground in order to send meaningful postal reform to President Bush. Other-wise, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has proposed an 8.5 percent rate increase that would likely take effect next May. Still, it might be too late to head off this most recent postal rise, which comes on the heels of a 5.4 percent increase that took effect in January. The recent USPS request would cost mailers just over 11 percent more to mail a magazine, while package services and special services would see

May 1, 2006

MAILING HAS been rapidly evolving from being seen as an opportunity for diversification and differentiation to a standard offering of full-service print providers. This is particularly true for shops that have moved into digital printing and variable data marketing services. Variable data and mailing are a natural fit for obvious reasons. For one, the same database that drives the variable content of a direct marketing piece is also used for the mailing information. Controlling both stages of the process gives the printer advantages in terms of on-time delivery of mailed pieces. Being able to apply mailing expertise at the production stages also puts a

April 1, 2006

IT’S HARD not to think that elements of the DME strategy sound like clichés—customer focused, team approach, people are its biggest asset, and so on. There’s no doubting the results, though. The organization has grown from a small traditional print/direct mail shop (Direct Mail Express started in 1982 with seven employees) into a direct marketing powerhouse with more than $100 million in annual sales and 650 team members. Management definitely walks its talk. Focusing on customers’ needs, for example, led DME to install three Xerox iGen3 digital color production presses in 2004 and add a fourth in 2005. It also has taken the

Senate Finally OKs Postal Reform Bill
March 1, 2006

WASHINGTON, DC—Postal reform cleared another hurdle last month when the U.S. Senate passed its version of the bill by a voice vote. A conference committee will work to hammer out the differences between this bill and the House of Representatives version that passed last July. Michael Makin, president of the PIA/GATF, hailed lawmakers for taking a major step towards modernizing the U.S. postal system. “Senate passage of postal reform is a huge victory in the printing industry’s long quest for a major legislative overhaul of this country’s postal laws,” Makin said in a statement. “Large corporations and small, family firms, along with printing employees, customers and

'Do Not' Law Targets Direct Mail
February 1, 2006

SPRINGFIELD, IL—Direct mail could take a hit in the state of Illinois with a proposed law aimed at placing restrictions on so-called "junk mail." The state's general assembly has introduced house bill 4539, the Restricted Mailing Registry Act. Like the "Do Not Call" registry, the proposed legislation would create an opt-out list for those who do not wish to receive literature through the mail. Exceptions would be granted for current customers, nonprofits and real estate companies, among others. The registry, which would be established and operated by the state's commerce commission, would levy fines to those companies that break the law. However, the law would

Reform Legislation Obstacles
February 1, 2006

The prospects for passage of postal reform legislation in 2006 have been clouded by three issues. First is the pressure on the federal budget. Although the USPS is funded entirely by postage, it is still part of the unified federal budget. Thus, pension and retiree medical insurance obligations of the postal service are obligations of the federal treasury. Secondly, the USPS has serious misgivings about key provisions of the legislation. Third, the Senate is caught in a disagreement between large-volume mailers and small-volume (and single-piece) mailers over a proposed amendment. Failing to pass the legislation may mean that no bill would pass for years. If