Nuts & Bolts: Postal
4) Participate in “workshare” programs. Workshare programs can help to ensure that mailers qualify for additional discounts and cost savings. In addition to drop-shipping, techniques include co-binding or online co-mailings, offline co-mailing, commingling, and co-palletization. Even smaller mailers can benefit.
5) Ensure accurate reporting. Quite simply, a 3602 form is not enough. To save, large mailers need information that starts with the list providers and ends with in-home delivery. Reporting is key for accurate planning of mail-drop dates and fulfillment. Every step in the mailstream should be tracked, including the initial schedule, the distribution plan from the logistics carrier, confirmed delivery to postal facilities, and an accurate and detailed breakout of freight charges.
6) Tightly control in-home delivery. Effective postal logistics offers other advantages, including more predictable in-home delivery dates. Increased predictability allows mailers to schedule fulfillment operations and call center staffing more efficiently, as well as maximize sales and customer response. PLANET coding can be an effective tool for tracking and controlling in-home delivery. In this process, barcodes are lasered onto individual mail pieces. The barcodes are scanned at postal facilities, and the data is then passed into a USPS system called Confirm, which provides information as to when mail is processed at SCFs closest to customers’ homes. This enables the mailer to estimate in-home dates with reasonable accuracy.
Richard Opp is vice president of postal affairs for LogDog, a postal logistics consultant and service provider based in Louisville, Ky. He can be reached at (502) 271-4995. For more information, please visit www.log-dog.com.