You may not have realized it, but if you are like most U.S. businesses sending invoices, letters, and packages to customers or vendors, your mailing and shipping costs account for a large percentage of your overall operational expenses. A mid-size company spending a few thousand dollars in postage every month is likely to spend two to three times that amount in express shipping charges. Add these charges together and you could easily be looking at more than $50,000 in mailing and shipping costs per year, without your CFO officially signing off on them.
The good news is that your organization can easily maximize savings—a feat other companies have already been able to achieve. By integrating mail accounting and shipping software solutions into your business practice, all cost-analysis and rate shopping is done for you, thus leaving more time and money at your disposal.
Consider the major changes that the USPS implemented last year: the current postage rates, as well as fuel surcharges commercial carriers are passing on to you. Under the USPS Shape-Based Pricing (SBP) rules, mail items that weigh and look the same now have to be priced depending on their length, height, thickness and weight. Organizations that have not yet adapted their mail operation to these specifications could experience postage cost increases of up to 50 percent compared to last year, simply by sending letters, flats and parcels the same way they used to.
To make things worse, commercial express carriers keep changing their rates and various fees, making it increasingly difficult to determine which carrier offers the best cost-to-service ratio for a specific shipment.
With mailing and shipping software solutions now readily available, it is easier than ever for companies to efficiently track and reduce postage and shipping costs. Informed businesses equipped with these solutions cannot only offset the new postal and carriers cost increases, but also work the system to their advantage with the touch of a button.
Before May 2007, mail accounting software solutions were only used to report how postage was spent and subsequently charged back to internal and external departments. Now, more and more companies rely on this type of software to not only report how postage is spent, but also to analyze expenses and maximize their savings by adjusting outbound mail. Postal expenditures by mail class usage, surcharges and department expenses are all monitored, and thus unnecessary costs are eliminated. In addition, software can be programmed to alert the user when the company's mailing budget for a specific department or account is about to be exceeded. Overall, software solutions are a vital tool for postage expense analysis, which in turn translates into budget optimization for your business.
Some of the most recent software solutions, like Neopost's Mail Accounting Software (neopost MAS), allow real-time access via your company's intranet to all mailing data generated from one or multiple mailing machines, at single or multiple locations across the country. Mailing and postage data can be easily exported in various standard formats, including CSV, XML, and PDF, and then emailed to finance, accounting, or any other recipient for either reporting or charge-back purposes. The end result is that clear and precise data can be subsequently analyzed to monitor potential savings areas, such as presort discounted postage rates.
As the name indicates, a multi-carrier shipping system gives users the ability to ship with various carriers, such as USPS, UPS, FedEx or DHL. Primarily, it facilitates instant comparison of various carrier rates and service options, which can help eliminate unnecessary air and overnight premium rates and typically save you up to 20 percent on your shipping expenses. With the major parcel carriers increasing their costs and fees every year, it is more important than ever to ensure that your organization is not overspending on overnight or other expensive air shipping services when an item can be delivered on time for a fraction of the price.