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Postcom: Where in the World Is the USPS Headed with Flats?

From Postcom:

While the USPS is working with industry representatives through MTAC on flats preparation and entry issues, what seems to have been missing is an over-arching flats strategy that looks at how the products are priced, a detailed analysis of the costs associated with flats products and a plan to reduce them, and how the USPS and industry can work together to grow flats volumes and generate new revenue.

Recently, however, industry representatives have become more optimistic that the USPS is finally understanding the need to formulate and communicate an overall flats strategy and take aggressive steps to incent and reward more efficient flats mail preparation.

A joint USPS/industry group formed earlier this year has made significant strides in moving in the right direction.

Read more (.pdf file): Postcom: Into the Postal Weeds.

Video: A Crash Course on USPS 2013 FSM Guidelines

Trish Witkowski of Foldfactory.com gives a quick overview of the most important changes and general guidelines for automation and machinable rate USPS Folded Self-Mailers (FSM).

Twenty-three percent price hike for standard flats in the works?

According to PostCom Executive Vice President Jessica Lowrance, “There have been rumors within the industry that it should expect or budget for a 23 percent increase for Standard Mail flats during the next annual USPS price change early in 2012. This type of rumor can have disastrous consequences for mail volume as businesses begin media choices for 2012 across the nation. To a novice postal user or out-of-the-loop type of mailer, this type of news may force their hand in leaving mail altogether or test other media at a more accelerated pace.”

Full article (.pdf file) at PostCom: Postal News and Information from Around the World.