I find that our annual surveys are always an interesting peek into the
state of the mailing industry, and this year's was no exception. As I
tallied the data, it was refreshing to see the differences - as well
as the similarities - between last year's results and 2011's. Some
numbers were almost identical, such as the number of respondents
who support ending Saturday delivery since it will have no effect on
businesses. Other numbers were quite different; far more people
advocated privatizing the USPS in this year's survey, compared to
last year's. Perhaps the constant headlines about the financial pickle
the USPS is in has caused some to rethink their stance?

It's not surprising that mail center managers listed their number
one challenge in running their mail operation as budget and
financial issues. It is no secret that this economy, while recovering
slightly, is still a long way away from the financial stability of years
past. Perhaps this is why almost half of our respondents reported
not planning on purchasing new equipment until 2013; over a full
year away! Even more concerning is the fact that when we asked
respondents what the mailing industry would look like in five to 10
years, a decent portion of the responses were some form of, "Will
we even be around then?"

But take heart - I'm not here to be the voice of doom and
gloom, and these survey results are not all bad. In fact, many of
them are downright heartening. Seventy-one percent of people say
management recognizes the value of mail and respects what they
do; that's a definite plus. More and more people taking control of
e-communications? That's also a positive, since if mail is to survive,
it must work with electronic communications, not in competition
with them. All in all, after reading these survey results, I'm confident
that while the mailing industry may change drastically in five-
10 years, it will still be here, and it will still be a viable, thriving,
healthy form of communication for businesses.

Download the PDF to see the results!