The current landscape of the mailing industry is changing by the minute.  With the postal rate changes coming up on May 14, businesses are turning to third-party mail services providers more and more to help plan for the rate changes and save as much money as possible.  And, in response to this need, mail services providers are supplying businesses with the tools and information they need to prepare.


After all, most business owners and staff are not mail experts they are experts in their own fields, whether they are in financial services, retail, law, or other industry.


That said, not every company qualifies for mail outsourcing.  By taking a deeper look at your current mailroom operations, you can determine whether your business would benefit from working with a mail services provider.  What kind of mail is your company currently sending?  Is it Priority, First Class, Standard, Media Mail, or Bound-Printed Matter?  How much does your outbound mail typically weigh?  How often do you send mail?  How is your mail processed and how valuable or time-sensitive is your mail?


The answers to these questions, along with a consultation from a mail services provider, will begin to help you determine if outsourcing makes sense for you.


While some companies rule out the option of outsourcing some or all of their mail sorting, weighing, and postage application to an outside vendor because of cost considerations, the upcoming rate changes are making outsourcing a more attractive option.  By partnering with a mail expeditor one that can sort your mail and prepare it for final delivery by the U.S. Postal Service you can save a substantial amount of time and money internally.  Also, keep in mind that an outside mail services provider is up-to-date and must be fully compliant with the Postal Service regulations.


In addition, some mail will be re-classified by the upcoming changes.  For example, rigid flat pieces such as CDs that are sent First Class will be re-classified as parcels.  How can you tell if your flat pieces will qualify for the re-classification?  The key is the degree of rigidity of the piece, and the Postal Service has a specific test for mailers to determine whether their mail pieces qualify.  Consider having a representative from a mail services provider come to your mailroom and evaluate how the rate changes might affect the mail that youre sending. 


Also, by working with a mail services provider, your business could save significantly on postage costs for certain types of qualified First Class Mail.  For example, UPS Mail Innovations offers delivery times comparable to First Class plus one day at a 25 percent discount (on average) for flats and lightweight parcels.  This enables businesses to cut costs on labor and sorting, as their mail centers become less time-intensive.


And for those who have additional questions and need help with the postal rate changes, mail services providers can offer easily accessible tools and resources on the Web.  For example, UPS Mail Innovations offers a rate calculator to help businesses figure out the change in costs for all types of mail.


With the enhanced services, tools, and resources that mail service providers offer, more businesses are realizing the benefits of freeing up excess time and money spent on their mailroom operations that can be applied to other areas of their core business.  And who doesnt want to free up extra time and money?


John Walsh is vice president of business development for UPS Mail Innovations, and more information can be found at or by calling 1-800-500-2224.