Océ Business Services Provides Cost-Effective29 Oct, 2008
Océ Business Services Provides Cost-Effective
New York, NY (October 29, 2008) – The global economic downturn is creating significant business challenges that are expected to extend well into next year. Companies can implement strategies to meet these challenges and even gain a competitive edge in the eventual recovery. Outsourcing is one such strategy, according to experts, which is likely to increase in 2009. Océ Business Services is highlighting specific document management processes – whether outsourced or managed internally – that can help organizations lower costs and streamline operations during a downturn.
Earlier this year Océ Business Services issued a comprehensive survey report, “A Premier Standard, How Organizations can Elevate Business Performance through Advanced Document Process Management” (Océ Survey can be found here: http://www.obs-innovation.com/62.aspx). The survey report links six document management practices with high value business benefits according to senior executives experienced in document management. In one of the findings, survey respondents report that mail and shipping practices have a high impact on improving operational efficiency, driving faster time to market, and reducing costs.
The following mail management practices can help organizations increase the efficiency of their operations while containing costs.
Contain Certified Mail Costs
Organizations can realize significant savings by using a Certificate of Mailing instead of Certified Mail. Businesses often use Certified Mail to verify that a mail piece has been sent. Using a Certificate of Mailing can accomplish this much more cost effectively, especially if verification of delivery or a return receipt are not required. For example, a company can save $3.82 for every one-ounce letter using a Certificate of Mailing. For a small fee, Proof of Delivery can be requested from the USPS at a later date.
Address for Success
Undeliverable addresses cost the USPS an estimated $2 billion per year; to businesses that can mean unpaid invoices, lost sales, and poor customer service. Accurate addresses are critical to the post office delivering mail to intended recipients and ensuring that postage costs will not be wasted on bad addresses. Also, the USPS launched a new intelligent barcode system last year. Creating automation-compatible mail pieces with proper address components will enable companies to maximize their postal discounts and reduce surcharges for non-compliant address content.
Automate and Save
Companies can save postage costs by making their mail “automation compatible,” which means preparing it according to USPS regulations that allow the mail to be sorted down to the finest possible detail for processing by automated equipment. Addressing requirements include using all capitals in the address, omitting all punctuation except the hyphen in the ZIP+4 code, and using the proper abbreviations for states. Other requirements include barcode clear zone, placement of the block address, and the required placement of the return address.
Pay Attention to Shape
Review designs of all current and planned mailings to ensure that they are cost-effective using shape-based pricing requirements. For example, a one-ounce 6”x 6” envelope’s aspect ratio (length divided by height) is 1.0. Since this does not fall within the required range of 1:3 to 2:5, the envelope is subject to a non-automation-compatible surcharge.
Determine IMB Discounts
If you’re considering a software upgrade to include Intelligent Mail® barcode (IMB) capability, contact a local USPS Mail Design Specialist to determine when IMB discounts will be available to your organization. This change is currently targeted for fall of 2009.
Consider a Tracking System
To help ensure regulatory compliance, contain costs, and enhance efficiency, consider implementing an automated tracking software system to trace the status of your incoming and outgoing mail. As an example, Océ MAX is a business performance management system that integrates Océ ATS (Automated Tracking Software), enabling users to annually track millions of pieces of inbound, outbound, and accountable interoffice mail as well as overnight and courier deliveries.
Minimize Costly Flats
Fold pages and insert them into smaller envelopes. For example, inserting nine pages into a 10”x13” flat envelope will cost $1.17 in postage. Folding the same nine pages and inserting them into a 6”x9.5” envelope will cost $.59 in postage, a 50 percent savings. (A 6”x 9.5” is .5 ounces lighter than a large envelope.) In addition to folding, duplex-printing documents (copying on both sides of the page rather than one side) before mailing can reduce postage costs by minimizing both the weight and thickness of the mail piece.
Compare Heavy Package Costs
Before mailing heavier packages (two pounds and up) via the USPS, double check rates with carriers such as UPS, Federal Express, and DHL to ensure that you’re obtaining the lowest rate. The price ultimately will depend on the zone to which you are shipping.
Check Your Software
If your organization is using address list software, you can visit http://www.ribbs.usps.gov to verify that all move updates (address correction and forwarding) and Federal Register notices are current in your application. This ensures that your company is in compliance and can benefit from disc