Monday, March 26, 2012

Helping Businesses with Migration to Digital Mail Opportunities

 Advanced Mailing Services is ramping up its Volly services as an authorized New Mexico Volly reseller, Albuquerque Volly reseller, Rio Rancho Volly reseller and Santa Fe Volly reseller. The AMS Volly reseller services is part of the Pitney Bowes Volly program, which is helping to evolve businesses to a digital mailbox for all their needs and offering multi-platform access that makes it easy to use through a computer, iPad, or smartphones like Android and the iPhone.

Understanding What Volly Does
Launched by Pitney Bowes in 2011, the Volly service offers a secure channel for approved businesses to contact customers digitally to avoid the costs of traditional direct mail while also ensuring that the online messaging is not viewed as spam. This is critical, considering the rapid evolution of mail service and the ongoing changes with traditional mail delivery and the associated costs.

For businesses like yours, you will be able to rely on one, efficient, and effective mailstream to serve your customers by offering them different channels for receiving information whether that is sales and marketing information, payment information, or product and service information. And, it certainly does not mean giving up the traditional channels through which you reached out to customers – if anything, you actually can integrate multiple channels for greater coverage and engagement without incrementally expending your entire budget.

The Volly platform handles print and mail production, serving as a conduit to help businesses and consumers take care of all their needs whether it involves bills and statements or it offers a way to connect through coupons, catalogues, direct mail and valuable content. It also enhances the experience by allowing businesses to understand their customers’ preferences in terms of what content and what channel they want to receive it while also being able to provide alerts to inform customers of new information that they need.

Benefits of Using the AMS Volly Service
The key benefits of the AMS Volly service include:
  • Eliminate paper mail and related paper processes, including invoices, statements, coupons and discounts, and promotional materials.
  • Lower overall monthly expenses.
  • Connect with customers in new ways that are more likely to reach and resonate with them. 
  • Offer a convenient digital platform that can be used and accessed when they need it. 
  • Ensure that critical business communication reaches client through a secure digital platform.
An Authorized New Mexico Volly Reseller
To spread the service, Pitney Bowes has been carefully selecting mail service firms across the United States to form authorized reseller relationships, one of which is Advanced Mailing Services in New Mexico. The Volly service will launch to consumers during the second half of 2012, helping to encourage the migration to electronic billing, statement, and payment services and away from paper-based services.  To learn more about this cutting-edge service, please contact Advanced Mailing Service at 505-899-3104 for more information.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The United States Postal Service’s New Business Plan Model

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is at a crossroads. It currently owes the United States Treasury $12.9 billion and projects to lose $18.2 billion annually by 2015 if legislative action and reform does not take place.

In light of this financial crisis, the USPS has developed an aggressive five-year plan to achieve financial solvency and continue operating. The measures proposed are ambitious, but if implemented, the USPS believes they can come out a leaner and meaner business which serves the American people in a cost-efficient manner.

What This Five-Year Business Model Means to You
The Postal Service’s five-year plan revolves around a number of steps to achieve their goals. They have proposed the following changes to achieve financial solvency:

Cost Reductions: A reduction of annual operating costs of $20 billion by 2015 is planned with an increase to over $22 billion by 2016. A plan has been introduced to eliminate one day of mail service (Saturday) and move to a five-day delivery schedule. This will realize an annual savings of $2.7 billion.

Projected Lost Revenue: Current projected loses of First-Class Mail volume have shown a 25 percent reduction since 2006. If this trend continues, consumers should expect to see the cost of first-class stamps rise. The notion of a first-class stamp costing $.50 is well within the limits of possibilities. The issue here is that legislative action is needed to implement these changes.

Health Care Costs: A plan has been developed which addresses the spiraling costs of health care. A retooling of the way the USPS manages their healthcare costs are being explored. One model has the Postal Service providing their employees with health care benefits separate from any federal programs. A cost saving of $7.1 billion annually is projected from this move.

Business and Consumer Impact: Having one less day for mail to arrive and facing increasing stamp costs means rethinking how you use the mail system. You will have to think more carefully about your direct mail campaign costs in terms of targeting and also utilizing more email-related and digital campaigns – all tools that Advanced Mailing Services can provide you.

Action is Needed Now by Congress
Without comprehensive action by Congress, the United States Postal Service will face an almost insurmountable debt load. If legislative action is taken quickly and the above mentioned issues are addressed, the Postal Service believes they can be solvent and become profitable into the future and will not need the assistance of taxpayer money.    

The Road from Here
As the United States Postal Service navigates and implements changes to improve their bottom-line, consumers will increasingly see significant changes to the Postal Service. The rising cost of stamps is inevitable. The use of the Internet and other electronic sources has cut sharply into the USPS revenue. As you embrace these changes and challenges at the Post Office, Advanced Mailing Services is here to help. We are Albuquerque’s most trusted mailing services provider.

In addition, we are New Mexico’s only USPS certified full-service IMB mailer. Put your trust in us and let us assist you in navigating these changes. Stop by our office at 2701 Girard Boulevard NE in Albuquerque or call us at 505.899.3104 and get the answers to all of your questions.       

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Right Solution at the Right Time

Our goal at Advanced Mailing Services is to provide the best set of services to assist our customers with their business goals and objectives. We search long and hard to equip our customers with the tools which will increase their revenue and slash their overall cost of doing business.

We are also focused on staying abreast of the industry’s changes to ensure our customers stay informed of relevant information. This is important because it helps our customers ensure that they are making the best decisions possible when it comes to their mailing needs.

Up and Coming Changes From the USPS
The United States Postal Service (USPS) has announced plans to implement a five-year plan to increase profitability. They will focus on strategic goals and structural improvements to reestablish their financial health and implement plans for long-term solvency.

The Post Office has partnered with Evercore Parnters, Inc. to analyze their plan model based on revenue projections from The Boston Consulting Group and prior analysis’s from McKinsey & Company. Their cost analysis and business plan has bolstered the Post Office’s confidence that they can steer into financial viability. At the heart of the Post Office’s plan is a $20 billion reduction in annual costs within three years and with this number rising to $22 billion by 2016.

The plan includes a change to a five-day mail delivery with additional terms that will require legislative reform in order for them to be enacted. Additional information on the United States Postal Service five-year business plan can be found on their website.

A Great Summer Discount Program
However, this is not the only changes under way at the USPS. Throughout the summer, the USPS will give a 2% discount on mail that supports the mobile barcode. This service sends the consumer to an e-commerce or personalized websites. This powerful tool and attractive discount can spur revenue and add growth throughout the summer months for customers who take advantage of this program.

To qualify, customers will have to use the Commercial First-Class Mail® and Standard Mail® that use an Intelligent Mail barcode®. The promotion runs throughout July and August, and we encourage our customers to use this service to their advantage. For additional information and eligibility on the Summer Mobile Barcode Promotion, click here.

And, last, but certainly not least, the Post Office has announced that POSTNET™ will no longer receive automation rates beginning January 2013. Under the new structure, automation rates will be for mail with Full Service, beginning January 2014. We are proud to say that we are the only USPS certified mailing service in New Mexico for Full Service.

So Many Changes   
With all the exciting changes and new programs, let Advanced Mailing Services guide you through. Give us a call at 505.899.3104 and we will be happy to answer any questions you have about the changes with mailing and shipping under the new USPS business plan and service framework.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Changing Face of Social Media: Understanding the Legal and Regulatory Risks

The evolution of social media has presented challenges that must be addressed to ensure businesses are fully protected against legal and regulatory issues. The value of social media mediums, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, cannot be dismissed. They can assist businesses in engaging and informing their target audience.

Social media can also increase your revenue and target specific clients to increase market share and influence consumers. Businesses engaged in direct mailers and other closely related areas should pay particular attention to the complex issues we are now confronting. Savvy businesses have a game plan to address these issues before they become a problem.

Consider the following legal and compliance risks you may face in the world of social media and how you can avoid being swept up into an unexpected legal issue or regulatory fine:

Review legal issues: New case law is being introduced daily which deals with e-discovery. These include email, files, and other electronically stored information (ESI) which can be used against a business in legal proceedings. As case law evolves there can be instances where social media communications and interactions can be used in court cases involving copyright laws, trade libel, and other corporate litigations. Mailers who engage in social media should be aware of the legal ramifications using social media and prepare a course of action to preserve social media communications in the event of litigation.

Be aware of regulatory rules and regulations: Mailers who engage within the financial world should be aware of the recent statements by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). They publicly stated that social media was becoming a relevant issue within their examinations and cautioned against ignoring social media’s increasing high profile. Regulators are moving toward developing social media compliance for the financial industry. Savvy business owners will address social media issues head-on and confront them before any problems arise. FINRA has the power to levy stiff fines against businesses who engage in practices they deem inappropriate as in the case of a California-based broker who was fined and suspended for tweeting what was deemed “misrepresentative and unbalanced” information.  

Develop a broad-based social media plan: The legal and regulatory risks of social media cannot be overlooked. Take the time to organize a comprehensive social media policy which addresses corporate liabilities and regulatory risks, employee conduct within social media as well as public conduct within your social media sites.   

Reflect on your long-term company objectives: Mailers should determine their social media policies and view their long-term goals and objectives to ensure compliance and long-term storage of communications. Focus should be placed on implementing social media policy and understanding the ever-evolving world of social media to ensure your company is well-protected in the event of corporate litigation or regulatory oversight.