2016 National Postal Forum Highlights What’s Next for the Postal Industry

I recently had the opportunity to attend the annual National Postal Forum event in Nashville, Tennessee. I look forward to this event each year as it’s a great way to connect with professionals in the mail industry, learn about industry trends, best practices and to keep current on postal policies and standards. This year’s event included more than 120 educational workshops, as well as a USPS Consultation Center that provided attendees the opportunity to receive mailing advice from postal representatives. For me, a few key takeaways from this year’s event was hearing from the Postmaster General, Megan Brennan. Megan explained how the USPS is focusing on better serving its customers and how they plan to achieve these goals:

  • Technology – The USPS is using technology to better serve customers. One way is through Informed Delivery. This service allows customers to preview a digital file of their incoming mail. USPS ultimately hopes businesses will start creating “digital add-ons” for these previews to further boost value to their consumers. Informed Delivery is on track to be available as a mobile app nationwide in 2017.
  • Share More Data – The USPS is working to share more data with its business customers to help them drive sales. The USPS platform called Informed Visibility,
  • shows retailers when mail will arrive for consumer’s time-sensitive offers. This feature helps retailer’s further improve their marketing efforts.
  • New Website – Plans are in the works to replace the current RIBBS website, the USPS site for business mailers, with a new online service called PostalPro Beta.
  • Renaming Standard Mail – There’s a chance that Standard Mail could be renamed and the USPS has asked for new name suggestions from mailers.
  • Rate Request for 2017 – USPS has plans in the works to file a request with the Postal Regulatory Commission to allow commercial customers to add two free ounces to mail starting in 2017. What this means is customers could mail a three ounce First-Class mail piece at the one ounce rate. This change means customers could save about $0.26 per piece of mail for automation prices—a huge savings for those with large mail volumes.

As the coming months unfold, more will be learned about the items the Postmaster General highlighted at this year’s National Postal Forum. As always, it was a great event and it will be exciting to see these initiatives come to light. Be sure to follow our blog to receive notifications of the latest news relating to the initiatives and others in the mail industry.

About the author

Postal Compliance Officer

Diane has 40 years of experience in the areas of print and mail including production, commingling and postal compliance. As postal compliance officer, Diane ensures postal compliance for Venture Solutions and works to achieve optimal postal benefits for Venture’s current and new clients. Prior to joining Venture Solutions in 2003, Diane was serving as the production manager with IC System, which was acquired by Venture in 2003.