One of the top items discussed at the recent IDEAlliance Postal Operations & Technologies Committee meeting was the pending exigency increase and what the Affordable Mail Alliance is doing to have the Postal Rate Commission dismiss the increase. Several large printer/mailers in attendance shared the results of their preliminary analyses of the impact the exigency would have on their mailings, with many seeing increases higher than the predicted 5.6 percent average increase for First-Class and Standard Mail. One well known magazine noted they were seeing increases as high as 10 percent on some lists containing a relatively high number of firm bundles.
The next hot topic was industry concerns about PostalOne!, stemming from the USPS indications that it will begin removing Full Service IMb discounts on mailings that are determined to be non-compliant with all of the Full Service requirements with the November release of PostalOne!. Mailers that are doing Full Service IMb now really need to be looking at their mail quality reports on PostalOne! and making sure they are addressing any issues being reported.
ACS was the third hot topic discussed at the event. One of the key benefits the USPS has listed for Full Service IMb is the “Free ACS”. In reality, mailers are only seeing anywhere from 40 to 60 percent of their ACS information coming back as “free”—causing them to pay for Traditional or OneCode ACS—and negatively impacting their ability to gain their Full Service return on investment. Some mailers are seeing inconsistent practices at different CFS units, and are testing the impact of removing their ACS keylines from their publications. The results of these tests should help to standardize how the USPS CFS units work and keep workers from keying in the barcodes rather than scanning them, to increase the Free ACS results.