Postal Rate Case, Mail Security, Top Issues at Mailcom

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ATLANTIC CITY -- Mail center security and finding the best ways to take the pain out of the upcoming postal rate case were two of the issues being discussed here at the Mailcom 2002 Global Conference & Exhibition.

On the trade show floor and in a morning "town hall" style breakfast workshop, attendees offered their concerns and what they wanted to learn about at the conference.

"I'm most concerned about mail center security," said Peter Ferdinandson, distribution services manager at Marsh & McClennan Companies, New York.

After the anthrax scares, Ferdinandson sent much of his company's incoming mail to a company that screened it. But he is still concerned about future attacks, and is building a "safe" room where the Marsh & McLennen will screen mail at a facility it plans to open in Hoboken, NJ.

Ferdinandson said none of the mail screened last fall was direct mail.

"That mail was just thrown out," he said "It would have been too expensive to have all that mail screened as well."

And Ferdinandson said "the same thing will happen in the new [facility]."

Ferdinandson said that security is still a big issue in the mailing community, and pointed out that Mailcom instituted the Mail Security Certificate program this year and that sessions on security here were very well-attended.

Attendees also had the upcoming postal rate increase, scheduled for June 30, on their minds. But instead of being concerned about it and perplexed about how best to deal with it, many already said they had action plans in place to soften the blow.

Ron Goglia, an assistant vice president for Cigna, Easton, PA, said that his company would be doing more electronic bill payment and presentment.

Andrew Patterson, supervisor at the mail center at Revlon in New York said that while he would still use the U.S. Postal Service, but he wouldn't use it as much, and would rely more on the domestic flat services offered by some international companies he uses such as DHL.

Kara Werner, a manager at Employment Group, a managed services company in battle Creek, MI that outsources mailrooms and mailing services, said that her clients are already making changes on their mail pieces so they won't get hit with the nonmachineable surcharges the USPS is instituting.

She also said that instead of just relying on her current presort house, she is now trying to get competitive bids with several of them.


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