Anita Wood provides product marketing management and strategic direction for Quadient products, leveraging over two decades of global experience in technology industries, including IT and software development, and in various sectors such as manufacturing, government, advertising, retail petroleum systems and higher education. Throughout her career, she has led in roles such as development analyst, project manager (PMP certified), test engineer, and product manager (Pragmatic Marketing certified). She has also served as Professor and program administrator at Viterbo University, specializing in technology and global strategy.
As you are aware from previous posts, Quadient Ignite is a new way for you to fuel your organization’s growth. It is the answer to the need in the industry to change the way that business is done in order to stay in business, work faster, work smarter and grow. We have enabled our customers to realize over 90% reduction in data processing time. This process acceleration fuels your business and enables on-boarding more customers, increases the number of jobs processed and allows you to take on larger, more complex, higher-margin jobs while reducing the amount of processing burden and rework required. But what are some of the capabilities within the Ignite offering? Today we will focus on one of the areas: advanced presorting.
Ignite is designed to align with your adoption and change management needs. As you grow and expand value-added services for your customers, Ignite can easily and quickly accommodate any new preparation and processing needs. As a leader in the mailing industry, Quadient delivers on providing advanced capabilities outside of the typical regulatory requirements. For example, when you are ready to expand your presorting offerings, Ignite provides the ability to prepare Air Freight Boxes (AFBs), create Shipping Services File type 1 (USPS® eVS® certified), prepare mixed class co-mail jobs, Priority Mail® parcels, as well as Every Door Direct Mail® (EDDM®) jobs.
Are your customers looking for expedited delivery of time-sensitive materials? AFBs allow you to ship Periodical flats by air and then submit by surface entry at USPS induction plants that are closer to the mail destination. Using AFBs allows for faster delivery time and lower postage paid. However, it costs more overall due to the cost of shipping by air. Here’s how it works at a high level:
- Delivery time is faster because it is shipped by air part of the way; delivery time would be longer if the mail were shipped entirely by ground from an entry point closer to you
- Postage is based on the distance from the entry point to the destination. The postage for mail submitted at an entry point closer to the destination is lower than it would be if the mail were submitted at an entry point closer to you (also known as zone skipping)
- The cost for shipping the mail by air freight to an entry point closer to the destination can be high and will likely cause the overall cost of shipping the mail by air and ground to be higher than shipping the mail entirely by ground from an entry point closer to you. This is a business decision to prioritize improved service
In January 2015, the USPS started enforcing new requirements for preparing AFBs that presented a challenge to mailers. Quadient was actively involved in helping the USPS define the AFB rules, based on our conversations with customers. We are truly the customer’s voice to the USPS in delivering the best solution for your business problems. Why AFBs?
- Quadient is the industry leader – we helped write the rules for AFBs!
- Effective November 30, 2014, the USPS no longer accepted AFBs prepared in any way other than how Quadient has implemented the rules
- If AFBs do not meet those new requirements, mailers risk those mailings being rejected
- Quadient creates the required eDoc (Mail.dat) for submitting to PostalOne!, which is required if mailers are doing Full-Service
- Preparing AFBs using Quadient enables you to realize process efficiencies and increased automation; rather than manually putting your mailpieces in AFBs after the presort process, you can put them directly into the AFBs via your Presort job. This saves steps in your process and enables complete automation in Ignite
Are your customers looking for a way to increase parcels volumes while benefiting from discounts? The Electronic Verification System (eVS) allows parcel shippers to prepare parcel mailings with IMpb compliant shipping labels, submit a single Shipping Services File (SSF .manifest) for Tracking and Postage Payment, and manage quality across all mailings with a monthly reconciliation process. eVS streamlines parcels preparation and submission and saves you money on permits.
USPS has signaled a requirement to move all parcels mailers to eVS in alignment with the USPS roadmap of increased electronic documentation and tracking, as well as the increasing parcels volumes. USPS is committed to tracking and electronic documentation, so any new product, service, or offering from USPS will require use of SSF.
Benefits of eVS, according to the USPS:
- The best commercial prices with the largest discount available
- Piece-level tracking information at no additional charge for most products
- Access to future enhancements
- You can use a single national permit account for all mailing sites
- There is no permit imprint application fee
- You can bypass the traditional Mail Acceptance/Verification process at Business Mail Entry Unit; enter mail directly at Origin or Destination facilities
- Mail entry times are flexible with FAST appointments
- You do not need to submit PS Form 8125 for Drop-Shipments
- Electronic postage statements generated from the SSF are visible in PostalOne! along with additional account monitoring and mailing data reports
As an example of the value of eVS, one of our customers runs about 5 million parcels annually via eVS. Total estimated value of eVS, considering only the drivers below, is over $1 million:
- Tracking is free with eVS. Our customer saves $1 million annually ($.20 X 5 million pieces)
- Eliminates need for postage clerk. Salary.com shows median for their location at about $31,000 (not including benefits). For senior mail clerk the median is $37,000. A rough estimate here is $50,000 (including benefits)
Mixed class co-mail
Another way you can optimize your mail stream is by co-mailing. Mixed-class co-mail allows you to put Periodicals and Standard mail flats in the same bundles - and therefore on the same pallets - when making packages on pallets. The increased density of co-mailing Periodicals and Standard mail can benefit you through increased discounts, fewer packages and sacks (less labor), more efficient pallet makeup, and improved drop-ship penetration.
To further support the increasing volumes of parcels and enable you to offer value-added services for your customers, you can ship your parcels Priority Mail. This is a USPS mail class that offers expedited service (1-3 business day domestic delivery, not guaranteed) at a flat rate to any state – no weighing or calculating required up to 70 lbs. If you use your own packaging, commercial base or commercial plus pricing will be used. The USPS has encouraged the use of Priority Mail by providing attractive pricing. Another benefit of Priority Mail is that USPS Tracking® is included, a savings of $.20 per piece.
Every Door Direct Mail has received a significant amount of industry adoption since its original introduction as a Postal Service pilot program. See our post on Understanding Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) for information.