Now that we have survived the busy mid-term elections, the holiday peak mailing season, and 2019 has officially arrived, it is time to focus on some resolutions for success.
First, complete your migration to the new Enterprise Payment System (EPS). The Postal Service is actively migrating customers from the legacy CAPS (Centralized Account Processing System) system to EPS. If you have any CAPS accounts, it is likely that someone at your company has been contacted by your local district to discuss getting migrated. The deadline to complete (April 1, 2019) is quickly approaching (no fooling!).
The new EPS will require every business mailer to establish an Enterprise Payment Account (EPA). The first step is to request enrollment, which includes receiving an invitation code. Since this migration deals with real money, it is important that the correct person at your business is creating and configuring your EPA account, which is the purpose of the invitation code. You can request your invitation code from your local BMEU (Business Mail Entry Unit) or from Postalone@usps.com. It could take a couple days to receive your invitation code and get access to the new system.
If you have multiple accounts to migrate, start with doing just one first. There are many advantages and benefits of the new system. These include mobile check deposit, online account management, enhanced reporting, and streamlined accounting processes. However, like any new system, it will take a little time to get comfortable with it and determine if there are any internal processes that will need to be adjusted for postage tracking, reporting, and reconciliation. If you are a mail service provider, make sure you align the timing of the migration with your mail owners to prevent any issues with electronic documentation and postage payment.
The only exception for this deadline is for letter and flat mailers that are also parcel mailers who are using Electronic Verification System (eVS). The Postal Service is currently rebuilding eVS and did not want to migrate the current legacy system onto EPS. To prevent forcing some mailers to use two different systems, these parcel mailers will be allowed to stay on the legacy CAPS system until the new eVS platform is ready. For additional information on the details involved in the migration, go toand search on Enterprise Payment Account Creation for a fact sheet on the process.
Ok, What’s Next?
Second, do an Informed Delivery Mailing; actually, do several of them! Having a full calendar of Postal Service promotions for 2019 is a welcome change. Many of the promotions are similar to the ones that were offered in 2017, with one notable change. The Postal Service is offering Informed Delivery as its own standalone promotion. Doing an Informed Delivery campaign with First-Class or Marketing Mail letter and flat mailings will provide a two percent discount on postage at the time of mailing. If you have not done anything with Informed Delivery, invest the time now to learn how this program works, the requirements of doing a campaign, and understand the impact it can have on your mailing. Registration opens on July 15, 2019, the official start of the promotion is September 1, and it will be available to mailers until the end of November.
Third, prepare for the implementation of dimensional (DIM) weight pricing. The Postal Service is implementing new DIM pricing for Retail and Commercial Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, and Commercial Parcel Select products. The Postal Service initially proposed that this change be included in the January 27, 2019 price increase, but the proposal received strong pushback from the mailing industry. Many companies lock down systems as they head into the busy holiday mailing season, so a change of this size and magnitude could not be accommodated. After discussions with the industry, the Postal Service agreed to delay the implementation until June 23, 2019 to allow the necessary system changes to be made and new equipment to be purchased (if needed).
Got It! Anything Else?
Finally, register and attend the National Postal Forum (NPF). The rate of change only continues to increase, and 2019 will be no different. The NPF is a great resource to learn about all the changes that are taking place, the benefits they can provide, and how your business can take advantage of them. The information in the general sessions (not to mention over 100 educational workshops) make the NPF a great industry venue to learn about all the changes taking place.
Complete these important items and you (and your company!) will be well on your way to having a successful 2019.
Bob Schimek is Senior Director of Postal Affairs at Quadient and Industry Vice-Chair of the Mailers’ Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC). He can be reached at email@example.com.
This article originally appeared in the January/February, 2019 issue of Mailing Systems Technology.