Great News for Champ and EZ-Flats Users
Engineering Innovation, Inc is transitioning from our paper based Mail Manifesting System (MMS) to a full electronic solution, PC Postage, for all of the commercial Package Services classes that we support. Our first step in this endeavor is in partnership with Endicia to provide a solution for Priority Mail and single piece First Class Package Services.
There are two parts to the question of why.
First, as part of the U.S. Postal Service’s efforts to improve network efficiencies and service levels for its competitive products (i.e., parcels), significant changes/requirements will continue for 2016. All USPS commercial parcels, for example, require IMpb compliance, which, effective January, includes uploading DPV or full address data to PostalOne!
One of the challenges that the USPS faces with the pace of this change is keeping the IT systems in sync. As an example, with paper manifesting, there is a 2- 3 hour timing issue between the USPS’ PTR and PostalOne!. This results in PostalOne! intermittently not being updated as mailers induct their parcels. This leads PostalOne! to believe that the data has not been uploaded and then it adds a $0.20 surcharge.
Second, as a member of the EII parcel network you get access to Priority Mail Commercial Plus and Cubic pricing through the NSA that EII has with the USPS. In order to continue to enjoy this benefit, the USPS is requiring that we implement an electronic payment method.
What Does this Mean?
This is the great part. This means:
- No more printing out paperwork as the truck is trying to leave the dock.
- Longer operational windows as you can process pieces right up to the moment your truck leaves for the Post Office.
- NO MORE ACCEPTANCE PROCEDURES. Yes, that is right. With the PC Postage solution you can just drop off the mail and leave. No waiting for clerks, trying to get PostalOne! to cooperate, etc.
- And as part of the EII network, you continue to have access to CPP and Cubic rates available from the USPS.
So What’s the Catch?
Just drop off the mail and go. That’s too easy. There must be a catch. Yes, there is. You will have to do some work. You will need to set up an account with Endicia, update your software (we will help), and of course figure out what to do with all that time you have been spending at the BMEU.
Payment for your mailings requires that you have a direct Endicia account. PC Postage is essentially an electronic or “virtual” meter and requires advance deposit of funds. In the coming days, we will be follow up with specific instructions for setting up an Endicia account. The process is quick and straightforward.
Endicia charges a monthly fee of $34.95 for the account but if you run more than $5,000 Postage on your account in a month the following monthly fee is waived – yes, free. That means that nearly all our parcel customers will not have to pay an ongoing fee.
Mail processing on either EZ-Flats or the Champ will remain the same with the exception that either a larger 3” label or two 1.5” labels will need to be produced for each mail piece. If the two label format is utilized, the payment label will need to be affixed in the top right corner; the second label, featuring the IMpb, can be placed directly below or elsewhere on the mail piece if necessary. For EZ-Flats Premium customers running Priority Mail, note that the Automated Label Applicator will not support the PC Postage labeling requirement; a Zebra printer can be added and mounted under the monitor for the PC Postage.
Many EZ-Flats customers currently only process Priority Mail up to 24 ounces, a solution we’ve had in place for years to handle overweight flats. We are pleased to note that we are extending this capability to all weight-based Priority Mail. Moreover, we are excited to announce that all EZ Flats customers will now have direct access to Commercial Plus Priority Mail rates.
The PC Postage solution will be implemented on all Champ customers and any EZ-Flats customers who ship via Priority Mail and First Class Package Services during the month of December prior to Christmas, and must be installed and operational by December 31. We recognize the importance of production, especially during the busy mailing season. Hence, we will ensure that the transition to PC Postage is very efficient and reliable. We are confident, given the proven reliability of PC Postage, that our customers will see the value of this transition from the very first mailing under PC Postage.
Early in 2016 (after we all get through the rate case), we will be rolling out electronic solutions for the other Package Services products we support, so stay tuned.
We are excited to bring this new solution to you. This makes submitting mailings a lot easier for you while maintaining the postage savings that you have enjoyed.
If you have any questions, contact your EII Sales or Support rep and stay tuned for more details to come.