Mailing Industry Task Force Consolidates Committees

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The Mailing Industry Task Force is restructuring its working groups to better support its main objectives of bolstering mail industry growth and effectiveness.

MITF is a cross-industry group formed in spring 2001 at the request of postmaster general John E. Potter.

The three new committees are Intelligent Mail/Address Quality, Pricing/Payment and New Products/Services. They replace groups that had focused on improving address quality, promoting "intelligent" mail, optimizing the postal network, standardizing mail preparation, developing "consumer gateway" services, creating enhanced payment systems and creating a competitive pricing strategy.

"We decided we really needed to drive into the area of revenue a lot more aggressively, and we felt [the new structure] would be the way to go," said John Nolan, deputy postmaster general and MITF co-chair. "Jack Potter has declared that [the U.S. Postal Service is] going to be focusing very heavily on revenue this year, and the Mailing Industry Task Force basically took a step back and decided it needed to do that focus, too."

Committee leaders are:

· Intelligent Mail/Address Quality: Michael J. Critelli, Pitney Bowes chairman/CEO and MITF co-chair; Charles Morgan, Acxiom company leader; and Charles Bravo, USPS senior vice president, intelligent mail and address quality.

· Pricing/Payment: Gary Mulloy, ADVO chairman/CEO; Judy Marks, president of Lockheed Martin Distribution Technologies; Bob Pedersen, USPS treasurer; and Steve Kearney, USPS vice president of pricing.

· New Products/Services: Michael Sherman, vice chairman of Crosstown Traders Inc.; David Sable, vice chairman and president of worldwide operations at Wunderman; and Nick Barranca, USPS vice president, product development.

· MITF also will start an incubation process to develop and implement ideas to expand use of the mail by business and individual consumers. Nolan and Sable will lead that initiative.

"We are planning to bring together some of the best people that we know who aren't in the 'quote-unquote' mailing industry: people like NetFlix, eBay and Amazon who have a huge stake in the mail but probably don't think about it as much as they might because they've never been considered traditional mailers," Sable said. "We'll bring them together and spend the day brainstorming some of the best ideas out there."

Attracting people who aren't heavily involved in postal issues is important, Sable said, because they won't say things like "we can't do something because of the Postal Rate Commission, or because of processing issues. As a result, we are going to get fabulous ideas."

Nolan also said that the National Association of Letter Carriers and the National Rural Letter Carrier Association would participate in MITF's various efforts.


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