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March 9 2011 08:37 AM

You are in your office and your boss comes in and closes the door. She says the CEO has just cut your budget and you still need to get the mail out. You thought things were improving because mail volume has returned to pre-recession levels. What are you going to do? You donâ¬t want to lay anyone off and ask the remaining employees to work harder.

Help lies with your vendors. They have new technology designed to do the work -- better, faster and cheaper. They can help you by re-evaluating your processes, eliminating unnecessary steps and automating mail processing.

Start by asking your current vendors and their competitors as well as the Postal Service and their competitors if they have answers to these questions:
1. Do you have any equipment or software that will allow you to be more efficient, take out unnecessary steps or eliminate manual processes?
2. Can you give us a better deal on postage supplies, perhaps using compatible supplies for your meter?
3. Can you get us a better sort discount from the USPS by presorting to a higher sort density, perhaps mailing in fewer batches to get the batch quantity up?
4. How can you reduce your flat and express parcel shipment costs and eliminate the extra fees?

Given that your postage & parcel charges represent 50-60 percent of your budget, your potential for cost reduction is limited to 10 to 15%.

If a 10-15% reduction can satisfy your boss enough and meets your budget reduction target, then more power to you. No need to read further!

However, if this target does not meet your boss's demand, or if you want to impress her and the CEO, you can propose switching some of your company's mail from paper to secure electronic delivery to reduce mailing expenses by 60-90%.
Businesses like yours are plagued by high volumes of expensive paper communications and despite major efforts to suppress paper and go electronic, paper suppression averages less than 10%. However, new methods to electronically deliver mail have recently been introduced which have resulted in higher paper suppression rates of over 50% for B2C mailings and 90% for B2B mailing.

The results can be spectacular. For example a 10% reduction in hard copy mail costs coupled with a 20% switch to electronic can reduce your mailing expenses by 20%. Over time, a 50% conversion to electronic can lower your overall mailing expenses by a whopping 35%.

So, what would your boss think if you showed her a plan to reduce mailing expenses by 20% with the potential to reduce cost by 35% within three to four years? Now that's thinking out of the box!

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