Firstlogic, a data quality software vendor, yesterday announced the release of an analytical tool designed to help printers, publishers and mailing agents reduce their mailing expenditures through management of drop-shipping discounts and transportation costs.
The analytical tool, called Entry Planner, analyzes the Mail.dat file, an industry standard that electronically summarizes a mailing and selects optimal postal facilities for mail induction, according to Firstlogic, La Crosse, WI.
The tool is designed to help businesses take advantage of substantial discounts offered by the U.S. Postal Service for delivering mail directly to strategic postal facilities within its processing hierarchy. This technique, known as drop shipping, enables mailers to earn increasingly large postal discounts the closer they transport their sacks, trays and pallets of mail to the final delivery point.
Despite the recent increase in postage rates, mailers that leverage discount incentives through entry planning can reduce their mailing costs considerably.
“This tool is designed to completely eliminate the knowledge barriers that make the fine art of transportation logistics so complicated,” said Christopher Lien, Firstlogic senior postal product manager. “What used to take days, weeks, or even months to calculate by hand, Entry Planner can do in a matter of seconds.”
Mailers can use the tool to calculate postage discounts for all eligible classes of mail, factor transportation costs, and manage in-home delivery dates for time-sensitive mailings.
“Businesses do not need to manually calculate and recalculate the cost of freight with the savings of postal discounts. They can now feed all the pertinent data into Entry Planner, and have the computer crunch the numbers,” said Barbara Izzo, director of mailing services at American Color Graphics in Brentwood, TN. “Mailers simply need to know the origin mailing location, the transportation rates provided by the carrier, and how much money they want to save on the mailing. From that, the user can easily create an almost infinite number of rate tables for modeling different distribution scenarios.”
Entry Planner offers more than 30 unique analytical reports, comprehensive Mail.dat validation capabilities, USPS-approved electronic auditing for postal verification, and additional features to support creation of an optimal distribution plan.