Best Kept Drop Shipping Secret

Whether you are a drop shipping novice or have been drop shipping for years, there is an option that may be the best kept drop shipping secret: Priority Mail® Open and Distribute (PMOD). Many mailers overlook this option, which can be extremely valuable for many situations. For example, if you think you don’t have enough drop ship volume to fill a truck or even enough to send to a consolidator, PMOD may be an option to try. What about those last few residual sacks or trays from a larger mailing that you are drop shipping using your normal methods? Do you have pesky mail delivery complaints in certain areas of the country? How about wanting to improve the delivery time for your USPS Marketing Mail® (formerly Standard Mail®), but not being able to afford bumping it up to First-Class Mail®? If you have ever run into these situations, PMOD may be just the solution you have been looking for.

Read more: https://www.windowbook.com/Learning/Postal-Concierge-E-tips

Changes to Labeling Lists in 2017

You’ve most likely heard terminology such as Labeling Lists, Drop Ship Destination Data, City-State Files, Zone Chart Data, and so forth, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out what all these terms really mean, and why they are important to your mailing operations. The short answer – the USPS® provides mailers “Destination Data Files” which may be downloaded from the USPS web site. There are a number of different files included in this group, all of which are critical to insure that your mail is prepared properly and is labeled and routed to the correct postal facilities for processing and delivery. This data can – and does – change frequently, so it is critical that mailers pay attention to these changes and update their presort and post-presort software with the new data as soon as it becomes available.

Read more: http://www.windowbook.com/Learning/Postal-Concierge-E-tips

Creative Drop Shipping

Mailers have to be creative these days to stay competitive. Drop shipping mail to additional entry points is one way of staying competitive because you save money on postage and have better control over in-home delivery. But, there may be situations where drop shipping is beneficial, and you just have not thought of using it. For example, if you think you don’t have enough volume to fill a truck or even enough to send to a consolidator, there may be another option to try. What about those last few residual sacks or trays from a larger mailing that you are drop shipping using your normal methods? Do you have pesky mail delivery complaints in certain areas of the country? How about wanting to improve the delivery time for your Standard Mail®, but not being able to afford bumping it up to First-Class Mail®? If you have ever run into these situations, the answer just might be Priority Mail® Open and Distribute (PMOD).

What is PMOD?
Priority Mail Open and Distribute is a USPS® service offering that provides an alternate method of transporting drop-shipped mail. Rather than using traditional transport methods (truck, rail, airfreight, etc.) for drop shipping, this service allows mailers to use the expedited delivery service offered by Priority Express or Priority Mail to transport the smaller volume mail to additional postal entry points. Mailers can place their prepared mail sacks or trays into special PMOD sacks or tray boxes, and tag these handling units with special PMOD tags. These tags indicate to the USPS that the mail inside the sacks or tray boxes is drop ship mail, and that it needs to be opened and then distributed as it would normally be processed, hence the name “open and distribute.”

Why use PMOD?
Drop shipping mail can result in some nice postage discounts, or it can be an effective way to better control the in-home delivery date of mail. But some mailings just don’t lend themselves to the more traditional methods of transporting drop-shipped mail from the original entry point to the destination entry post offices. Drop shipping traditionally involves the use of over-the-road or rail transportation to get the mail closer to the destination point. It works very well for many types of mailings, but smaller mailings make it tougher to take advantage of drop shipping benefits without paying high minimum charges to logistics providers. Since Priority Express has next day delivery service and Priority Mail has 2- to 3-day delivery service, PMOD can be a very quick way to transport the mail to the additional entry points. This is ideal for time-sensitive mail or for delivery trouble spots.

Uses for PMOD
Some typical users of PMOD are small volume mailers, who just do not consistently have enough mail volume to meet the minimum shipment requirements of most logistics providers. Another common use is a mailer sending time-sensitive mailings that just doesn’t have the budget for First-Class Mail prices. This type of mail can be prepared and paid for at Standard Mail prices, but using PMOD drop shipping can closely approximate the delivery service of First-Class Mail at a much lower price. Mailers who experience repetitive delivery delays to more remote areas, such as Alaska or Hawaii, often use PMOD for this mail to help improve delivery times. The same is true for Periodicals mail that encounters subscriber delivery complaints to certain geographic areas. Using PMOD for these cities can help eliminate those subscriber complaints. Even large mailings that use traditional drop ship methods use PMOD to handle those remaining few sacks or trays that would normally get entered at the origin.

Taking Advantage of PMOD
Window Book offers our DAT-MAIL™ post-presort software solution, with its PMOD export option, along with our Postal Package Partner™ solution to generate the special PMOD labels and tags. These solutions can make using this USPS service very quick and easy. We can even analyze your mailing files to determine how PMOD can benefit your mailing operation.

The USPS provides many resources for PMOD information, including both Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail options.

***

Window Book can help you implement PMOD in your mailing operation and automate your processes using our software and service solutions.
Window Book offers a free Mailing Optimization Analysis.

Call us at 1-800-524-0380 for more details or to sign up for your FREE Mailing Optimization Analysis!

eInduction: A New Way to Save Time and Money when Drop Shipping Mail

This new program is a cost-effective and automated validation system which provides an efficient an streamlined process for mail induction. If you drop ship, you owe it to yourself to take a good look at exactly how you can benefit from participating in eInduction and simplify the drop shipping process.  Download the Free White Paperhttps://www.windowbook.com/Lp/eInduction-Drop-Shipping-Mail

IMb Services and FAST Update

Today’s DMM Advisory issued the following update:

IMb™ Services Update

FAST® Release 15.0.0 will deploy on November 7, 2010. Updated FAST 15.0.0 Release Notes are available at http://ribbs.usps.gov/fast/documents/tech_guides/FASTRelease/. The key features of this release are:

  • Users now have the capability to choose to receive emails for stand-alone content association.
  • The FAST Web Services messaging will be updated to account for previous error messages.

The Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) is available on Postal Explorer (pe.usps.com). To subscribe to the DMM Advisory, send an e-mail to dmmadvisory@usps.com. Simply indicate “subscribe” in the subject line.

Getting FAST Help

If you need assistance with the USPS FAST system, you can submit your issue via email to FAST@usps.com.  Or, depending on the date, you can call one of the two numbers below:

  • Prior to August 30, 2010 – call 1-800-522-9085
  • After     August 30, 2010 – call 1-877-569-6614

** If you are having any problems with your Customer/Supplier Agreements (CSAs) – you must log these issues with the FAST Help Desk via one of the methods listed above. **

 

Wallace Vingelis

Director, Postal Industry Practice

Window Book, Inc.

Phone:  (617) 395-4569

email:    wvingelis@windowbook.com

 

New FAST User Group Kicks Off

This group was formed by the Mailers Technical Advisory Group (MTAC) to discuss and work through any FAST-related issues that were tabled and passed to it by MTAC 122 – as well as new issues that have come up since the announcement of this group forming.  The first meeting was held this past week on Wednesday afternoon.  If you are interested in joing this User Group, please contact the Industry Co-Chair Michelle Billman of ALG Worldwide Logistics at mbillman@algworldwide.com

Here are a few highlights from that initial meeting:

There is a “patch release” (14.3.0) coming out on August 15 (FAST is trying to follow the overall PostalOne! release schedule.)  Here is some helpful info from the latest DMM Advisory:

*** FAST Release 14.3.0 and Scheduled Outages (August 15-16, 2010): FAST® Release 14.3.0 will deploy to the production environment on Sunday, August 15, 2010. Updated release notes for FAST 14.3.0 are available on RIBBS>Site Index A-Z>FAST/Surface Visibility>Important Links>FAST Release Notes. The FAST production system will not be available from 4 a.m. through 8 a.m. (CDT) on Sunday, August 15, 2010.

FAST Release 14.3.0 will deploy to the Test Environment for Mailers (TEM) on Monday, August 16, 2010. The FAST TEM system will not be available from 8 a.m. through 12 Noon (CDT) on Monday, August 16, 2010. ***

The pre-release notes available on RIBBS were updated to include information about the new Help Desk set up for FAST.  The industry seems a bit hesitant (I’m being nice here) about how helpful this will be.  They are concerned that if they have a truck full of mail at the dock that is not being accepted, they will more than likely still have to go through their current escalation routine to get the mail accepted as opposed to just calling the Help Desk for resolution.  The USPS says those calls will route to a Manager on Duty at that facility.  The problem there is that the normal escalation process inside the facility already includes contacting that manager, so that Help Desk routing could end up with a mailer saying “Hello Manager John – I need to complain about Manager John I was just talking to.”  (Could be a touchy situation!)

Last discussion item was about the open issues handed off from MTAC 122 and how to open new issues moving forward.  It was decided to table that until next meeting when Ed Wanta (USPS) would be on the call.

Window Book Completes FAST Web Services Testing for Mail.XML 6.0

Window Book Completes FAST Web Services Testing for Mail.XML 6.0

August 25, 2009, Cambridge, MA

Window Book is pleased to announce it has completed FAST Web Services Testing and been certified for Mail.XML 6.0 including Connectivity Testing with PostalOne! and Verification Testing with FAST.  Mailers can now use Window Book’s DAT-MAIL and Post Master mailing software to submit appointments in the FAST Production environment using Mail.XML 6.0 Web Services.

FAST currently uses Mail.XML 6.0 facilitate scheduling Drop Ship Destination entry and Origin mail appointments online with the USPS®.  FAST enables mailers to create/update/cancel appointments easily via PostalOne! System.  It is designed to help mailers save time and benefit from improved induction process and receive automatic tracking of appointments.

“Using DAT-MAIL with Mail.XML 6.0 for making FAST appointments for your drop shipping is a smart way for many mailers to use Intelligent Mail Full Service,” said Jeffery Peoples, Window Book’s CEO. 

About Window Book:

Window Book has helped clients manage their operations more profitably since 1989.  A leader in mailing and shipping software for Lettershops, Corporate Mailers, Service Bureaus, and Mail Owners.  Window Book’s best-in-class postal solutions include: Intelligent Mail Full Service, PostalOne!, eDocs, Mail.dat®, Mail.XML, FAST, Bound Printed Matter, post-presort data management, entry planning, drop shipping, postage accounting, postal documentation & statements, meter and stamp management, Express Mail and Priority Mail Open and Distribute, New Commercial Plus rates, eVS, delivery confirmation, and manifesting shipping system.

 

Contact information:

Sooyoung Han

617-395-4573

Window Book, Inc.

Priority Mail Open and Distribute Made Easy by Monica Lundquist, Postal Affairs Mgr., WindowBook Inc

Priority Mail Open and Distribute Made Easy

Back when I was in the printing business, I used to cringe whenever a client brought up the possibility of using Priority Mail Drop Shipping for distribution of their mail. As printing companies, we did not often recommend this delivery option to clients because it was, quite frankly, a real pain to implement. Luckily, that is no longer the case, due to true innovations in mailing and shipping software. For some mailers, Priority Mail Drop Shipping is a well-kept secret that they are not aware of, and as a result they are missing out on some great opportunities to improve delivery and reduce costs.

For those of you not familiar with this service, it is technically termed Priority Mail Open and Distribute (PMOD) by the United States Postal Service® (USPS). It is a method of drop shipping mail to additional postal entry points using Priority Mail as the shipping method rather than more traditional methods such as truckload, less-than-load (LTL) or air freight. The same service is available using Express Mail Open and Distribute (EMOD), although it is more expensive due to the quicker delivery time (next day service).

Regardless of which level of service is used, Open and Distribute is a pretty nifty way to drop ship to entry points with smaller volumes of mail which make the more traditional shipping methods cost prohibitive. It works by entering the mailpieces at their normal postage prices (e.g. Periodicals, Standard, etc.) and then placing those trays or sacks of mail into Priority Mail sacks for delivery to the postal entry point. By use of special sack tags, these Priority Mail sacks are identified to the USPS as containing drop shipped mail, which the USPS then opens and distributes the sacks inside as they would normally be routed. The Priority Mail postage is paid on the weight of the mail inside the PM sack (and tare weight of the sacks/trays inside the PM sack), and essentially replaces the shipping charges that would have been charged by freight carriers if the more traditional shipping methods had been used.

In years past, this process was a real pain because this mail had to be manually separated, manually tagged with the PMOD tags, and postage statements were manually generated. Now, however, there are software solutions that allow these functions to be automated to the point that it is much more time and cost effective to use PMOD.

How can mailers take advantage of PMOD? There are three major benefits to using PMOD:

1) If you are experiencing delivery delays to remote or distant locations (e.g. Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico), or any location for that matter, PMOD can be a great way to shorten the delivery time. Priority Mail has delivery standards of 2-3 days, so the mail gets entered into the postal entry points much more quickly than if the mail was locally entered at the printing plant or letter shop.

  • 2) You can take advantage of drop ship discounts even for entry points with low mailing densities, such as Butte, MT or Fargo, ND.
  • 3) You can mail at the less expensive Standard rates, but get very close to First-Class delivery standards if you use PMOD to drop ship to additional entry points.

Your mailings can be easily analyzed to determine whether PMOD will be beneficial for you to use. Using a mail.dat file, you can process this file through post-presort mail.dat management software in a “quick plan” mode. This will allow you to see all the possible drop ship entry points for which your mailing would qualify. You can then go a step further by applying freight charges to the entry points with significant mail volumes. Any entry points with small volumes can then be exported into PMOD software to determine the estimated cost of PMOD shipping.

If you do not have post-presort mail.dat management software, you can ask your printer/mailer to perform these analyses for you, or you can contact a provider of this type of software to request a demo or trial of the software. If you have been hesitant to use PMOD in the past due to implementation concerns, or if you are completely new to PMOD, you owe it to yourself and your company to check out the possibilities of this great USPS program.