NAPM's 2019 Accomplishments

 To our valued NAPM members,

As our 2020 dues renewals process has begun, we wanted to take a few minutes of your time to remind you of all the reasons your business belongs to NAPM and the value your membership brings.  Our members are the lifeblood of this organization – it is through your support, participation, and feedback that NAPM continues to be the premier industry association representing the presort and commingling ecosystem.

We hope that the below information serves as a reminder of how hard NAPM works for its members, and supports your decision to continue being part of our NAPM family. Below is a re-cap of the many activities the association has accomplished in 2019! In addition to all NAPM’s accomplishments in 2019, we wanted to give you a brief forecast of what our industry and your business may be facing in 2020, making it more important than ever that NAPM continues to be strong through the support of its members.

On the Horizon for 2020…

Next Steps on the PRC’s 10-Year Rate Review.  The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) has not yet taken the next steps in its 10-year review of the USPS’ CPI Rate structure, but we expect it to do so in late 2019 or 2020.  Next steps are likely to include a new set of proposed rules from the PRC that would reshape the rate system, followed by a comment period during which NAPM and others will weigh in on the proposed changes. There is the potential, based on the PRC’s previous proposed rules, that there could be changes to the rate cap proposed that would allow price increases up to 5% above the CPI cap.  NAPM understands how much pricing impacts volume and will continue to advocate vigorously against these kinds of changes. Regardless of the final outcome, it is likely that litigation in the courts will follow, so NAPM needs to be prepared to take appropriate actions on behalf of its members.

USPS Strategic DirectionThere have been many recent changes that are likely to impact the USPS’ strategic direction in 2020.  Three new Governors were appointed to the USPS’ Board, bringing the total to 5 and representing the first time in years the USPS has had a fully functioning Board complement.  In addition, the USPS is reorganizing its strategic planning group and has created a new Exec. Vice President of Finance & Strategy position and group within its headquarters organization.  As co-authors of the Mailing Industry Strategic Plan in 2018, NAPM along with our Industry partners will remain engaged with the new USPS Strategic group to continue to develop innovative solutions to reduce cost and improve the mail supply chain to keep mail a valuable communications and commerce medium.

The USPS in 2019 was also instructed by Congress to develop a 10-year financial sustainability plan, which it currently is working on. NAPM will continue advocating for more workshare solutions to enable the USPS to reduce its costs in the First and Middle mile.  All these changes make it likely that the USPS will move forward on a strategic plan that may include many changes that could impact NAPM members and their businesses.

Value of Intelligent Mail Data.  As the USPS continues to build out programs, tools and initiatives that are dependent on the Intelligent Mail data our members provide through Full-Service and Seamless, NAPM will continue to emphasize to the USPS, PRC, and others the value of that data and the need to enhance workshare discounts/price incentives that compensate our members for the cost to support these data-rich programs.  Nearly every initiative the USPS is pursuing to retain mail volume (e.g., Informed Delivery, Election Mail/Ballot tracking, etc.), reduce costs (Seamless, IMb Full-Service, Enterprise Payment System, Address Quality initiatives, etc.), improve service (USPS’ Service Performance Measurement System, Informed Visibility and internal analytics/tools, etc.) could not function without the Intelligent Mail data we provide.

Seamless Acceptance.  The USPS soon will be publishing proposed rules that would mandate Seamless Acceptance by 2021 for all mailers with DMUs or more than 90% IMb Full-Service entered at a BMEU.  The USPS also is reviewing the PAF process within Seamless and may make changes there that would impact NAPM members. In addition, NAPM is advocating for creation of a price incentive for Seamless as well as protecting the existing IMb Full-Service incentive which the USPS reportedly is considering reducing.  Regardless of which direction the USPS chooses to take with Seamless Acceptance implementation and the Full-Service price incentive, it will have an impact on NAPM members and NAPM will continue working closely with the USPS Mail Entry & Payment Technologies group to ensure the best possible outcome for our members.

USPS Operational and Program Changes.  And of course in 2020 there are likely to be a myriad of USPS operational and program changes.  As the USPS’ financial condition continues to challenge the organization, we may see changes such as further network realignment, pressure on mail entry times, continued service performance issues, and more.  Program changes from USPS will continue, including implementation of a new Package Platform, further implementation of the Enterprise Payment System (EPS), increased use of Intelligent Mail data by the USPS, potential implementation of Informed Addressing and other Informed Delivery changes, and more.  NAPM will need to continue to work closely with the USPS on these changes to ensure that our members’ interests are represented.

NAPM 2019 Accomplishments

Protecting our Members’ Interests on the Regulatory/Legislative Front.   NAPM continues to monitor and respond to regulatory and legislative activities in support of our members’ interests and to keep our members informed of developments that require attention.  Here are just some of our efforts so far during 2019 on the regulatory/legislative front:

  • Following on our 2018 meeting with members of the President’s Task Force established to review the U.S. postal system and joined with others to communicate industry needs, NAPM in 2019 met with USPS Governor Robert “Mike” Duncan and held informal discussions with USPS Governor Dave Williams concerning the recommendations in the Task Force report.
  • NAPM in 2019 has continued to outreach to senior USPS leadership, its Board of Governors, and its strategic planning groups to advance ideas on public-private partnership, middle mile opportunities, the value of workshare and the data provided by our members, and other key strategic issues of importance to our members.
  • NAPM was one of the few associations invited to participate in MTAC Task Team 27, which was formed to advise the USPS on next steps relative to its proposed restrictions to Marketing Mail content.  Through this effort, NAPM helped communicate to the USPS the significant negative impacts of going forward with the proposed changes and the USPS ultimately decided not to do so.
  • NAPM keeps its members informed on potential postal reform legislative activity and communicates the needs of NAPM members to legislators when needed. In 2019, NAPM assisted members with local outreach to Congressional committee members with oversight on postal as well as continuing to participate in collaborative industry efforts to advance meaningful postal reform legislation. NAPM provided members on information from Congressional oversight hearings related to the USPS as well as sending letters to all the oversight Committee representatives. 
  • NAPM in 2019 submitted comments to the PRC on the Postal Service’s Annual Compliance Report (ACR), and the ongoing PRC proceeding around when mailing standards changes should impact the CPI cap calculations.
  • NAPM in 2019 has worked with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to provide input on studies it is completing on a variety of postal-related topics.

NAPM constantly works to ensure that the USPS, USPS Office of Inspector General, Postal Regulatory Commission and others tasked with oversight of the USPS are educated on issues important to NAPM members and aware of our position.

Protecting and Advocating for Workshare Incentives.  NAPM continues to lead the industry in activities focused on protecting and advocating for workshare incentives. Workshare incentives benefit ALL NAPM members— supporting growth and stability for our MSP members whose lifeblood is tied to workshare discounts, and our vendor members whose customers include MSPs.

In 2019, NAPM met with the USPS pricing group to discuss the value of workshare, importance of workshare price differentials and how they drive efficient industry behaviors, the profitability of workshare mail to the USPS, and the advantages of the Intelligent Mail data the USPS gains from IMb Full-Service and Seamless mailings.  NAPM in 2019 also met with USPS operations and others when the USPS was considering capital investment of next generation letter sorting equipment (ALPS) and urged the USPS to explore alternatives, working with presorters/comminglers to achieve its goals.

NAPM promotes workshare every time it conducts presentations, and advocates with the USPS, PRC and others around expanding workshare programs.  The USPS’ 2020 pricing change not only retains many of the existing workshare discounts, it also retains the IMb Full-Service incentive for Marketing Mail at its 2018 increased level as a result of the work NAPM has done around the value of workshare and Full-Service.  NAPM in 2020 will continue to promote the value of Intelligent Mail data to the USPS and the continuation of price incentives in support of Intelligent Mail programs such as IMb Full-Service and Seamless Acceptance.

As many members are aware, workshare discount passthroughs were being reduced by the USPS since 2011 until around 2015.  At that point, First-Class Mail presort passthroughs were in the 60% range and Marketing Mail was around 65%.  As a result of NAPM’s continued efforts over the past few years to stress the importance of setting passthroughs near 100%, the passthroughs are now in the 90% range.

We have and will continue to advocate for mail service providers to be provided with 100% pass through of USPS avoided costs on the workshare our members do for the Postal Service. Many of the passthroughs are now closing in on 100%, and when the USPS reverses that direction, we respond aggressively to change that. We will continue to advocate for full reimbursement for the value add work our MSP members do, which also benefits our vendor members offering products/services related to workshare programs.

Expansion of Member Services.  NAPM is always evaluating new services it can provide its members to build the value of NAPM membership and help their businesses.  In 2019, NAPM created and implemented new member benefits to make NAPM membership even more valuable:

  • New NAPM Mailer Scorecard/Seamless service, offered free to NAPM members (and for a fee to non-members)
  • New NAPM Member Discount Program from Vendor Members
  • New topics and focus in NAPM’s monthly member webinars, including both USPS and NAPM member presenters.
  • New NAPM YouTube channel offers free tutorial videos on Scorecard management, Business Customer Gateway navigation, Seamless and more!
  • Creation of NAPM award and recognition programs, including our 30-year member recognition awarded for the first time at our 2019 event, and a new award coming at the 2020 Annual Conference.
  • Enhancements to the NAPM web site with new features and information
  • NAPM continues to provide members with education and information through our Mail Matters newsletter, MTAC Report, email alerts, Recent News web page, and more!
  • Stay tuned for more information about new member services NAPM will explore in 2020!

Strengthening our Partnerships.  NAPM continues to work collaboratively with the USPS as well as other industry associations, optimizing the strength of a united collective.  We work closely with the USPS on formation of new programs and business process initiatives, and we have formed strong alliances with like-minded industry associations to maximize our shared resources and bring value through partnering to resolve issues.

NAPM now has an unprecedented relationship and standing with the USPS at all levels.  NAPM is one of 17 Industry associations that meet bimonthly with the Postmaster General and the Executive Leadership team.  NAPM has four official MTAC representatives (as well as 3 other members of our Board) regularly attending MTAC to raise issues of concern to our members and work on solutions.  NAPM staff meet regularly with USPS Business Mail Entry and Payment Technologies managers on an ongoing basis to work through issues of concern for our members.

NAPM in 2018 collectively worked with Idealliance and PostCom to develop and publish the first ever Mail Industry Strategic Plan, and in 2019 we continued to pursue the goals of the initiative through meetings with USPS functional vice presidents to integrate our goals and objectives with the USPS’.  We will continue our efforts in using it to strengthen the public/private partnership with USPS.  NAPM continues to seek and support collaborative work efforts for our common goals that help keep NAPM member costs down.

In addition, NAPM continues to expand its strategic partnerships within the larger supply chain.  In 2019, NAPM met with leadership of the National Star Route Mail Contractor’s Association (NSRMCA) to discuss potential synergies and opportunities for collaboration, and these discussions will continue in 2020. 

Member Education and Information.  One of NAPM’s key member services is to provide ongoing education, information and support on a variety of topics ranging from implementation of new postal programs and processes, to news and developments in the industry and supply chain.  NAPM holds member webinars at least once a month and 2019 topics have included international mail developments, news from the meetings of the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC), Seamless Acceptance, Two Sides North America/Keep Me Posted initiative, USPS parcels and returns solutions, NAPM strategic initiatives and new member services, and more!   2020 will bring even more educational webinars designed for NAPM members!

As NAPM members continue to diversify services and enter new programs such as parcels, NAPM has expanded its strategic direction and sought out collaborative working relationships with other groups to help support the new directions its members are taking.  NAPM is building out areas on its web site with information and resources around growth opportunities such as parcels, reverse logistics, alternate delivery networks and services, and more! 

NAPM continues to look ahead to identify growth opportunities for its members and support education and outreach in those areas.  In 2019, NAPM began looking at offering members education and information sessions focused on print-related topics to assist our members currently not offering print services on entering that market and to help our members who are offering print services to grow in those areas.  NAPM’s 2020 Annual Conference for the first time will include print-related sessions and discussions.

Through our regular email alerts, Recent News webpage, special Postal Policy update emails, our Mail Matters and MTAC Report newsletters, and our member webinars, NAPM ensures that your business has the information it needs to prepare for and respond to changes.

Helping Your Business at the Operational Level.  One of NAPM’s key strengths that sets it apart from other industry associations is the work we do to help members at the operational level of their business.  We continue to assist dozens of members each year as they work through business mailing related issues covering everything from overcoming business or technical obstacles they are experiencing at their local acceptance to disputing revenue assessments, moving into programs such as eInduction or Seamless Acceptance and more.  Where appropriate to the issue, we engage our vendor members to help MSP members resolve their issues.

Through the efforts of NAPM’s Streamlined Acceptance Committee (SAC), NAPM took a key leadership role with the USPS’ development of the existing Seamless PAF Sampling process in Seamless Acceptance, and will be closely involved in the exploration of any changes to the PAF process in 2020.  NAPM also continues to work closely with the USPS on our Roadmap to Seamless initiative, striving to increase and expand member benefits from Seamless such as later entry times. The SAC also continues to perform ongoing work to identify best practices for accounting for undocumented mail in Seamless.

Our assistance with helping members appeal postage assessments has realized hundreds of thousands of dollars being returned to them and our efforts to work and get members later mail induction times will continue until Seamless is accomplishing what USPS promised… to level the playing field.

Promoting and connecting our Vendor Members.  Everything that NAPM does to strengthen its MSP member community also benefits our vendor member community, since the MSP base represents its customer base.  Many products/services offered by our vendor members relate to workshare discounts, address updating, mail sortation, IMb Full-Service qualification, Mailer Scorecard management for Full-Service or Seamless Acceptance customers, and many more of the initiatives that NAPM works on.

NAPM encourages its MSP members to buy products/services/tracking from NAPM vendor members.  We offer vendor members a growing list of opportunities to promote their products/services/tracking or connect with other NAPM members, including:

  • NAPM offers its vendor members visibility to customers as well as the USPS through face-to-face meeting opportunities at the Annual Conference as well during member webinars, providing opportunities to develop relationships with existing customers and prospects.
  • NAPM helps its vendor members stay up-to-date on postal changes
  • NAPM vendor members can promote new postal equipment, parts, service and other offerings through their NAPM membership.
  • NAPM vendor members that offer discounts to NAPM members are listed on the NAPM website and promoted to members
  • NAPM’s online Member Locator directory allows both members and non-members to search for NAPM members by the products/services they provide, or where they are located, providing vendor members with a way to promote their products/services.
  • NAPM routinely allows vendor members the opportunity to present information on their solutions during NAPM member webinars
  • NAPM offers vendor members the opportunity to exhibit at the Annual Conference, as well as opportunities to present during the event and a variety of networking events where vendor members can connect with prospective customers
  • NAPM offers member-only communication tools for sending information to the membership on topics such as used equipment (buying or selling).
  • More Opportunities to Come!  NAPM is considering development of a technical training conference for operations level NAPM member employees, which will also include interaction opportunities with interested vendor members.  Stay tuned for more information!  Also in 2020, NAPM is offering vendor members who sponsor our Annual Conference event at most levels the opportunity to place an ad on the NAPM website to drive traffic to their own site!

NAPM Outreach.  NAPM in 2019 continued expanding its outreach to communicate its strategic and operational messages to a growing audience.  Through increased use of social media platforms, exhibit booths at industry conferences and events, and NAPM keynote presentations and sessions, we continue to educate a diverse audience on the issues of importance to NAPM members. 

In 2019, NAPM exhibited at the National Postal Forum, Greater Illinois Postal Customer Council PCC Week event, and the Northern Virginia PCC Week event (where NAPM also presented a keynote earlier in 2019).  NAPM also provided keynote presentation and educational sessions at the Spring and Fall MailCom events, PostalVision 2020, and panel events held by the USPS Office of Inspector General (OIG).  NAPM also published multiple articles in Mailing System Technology as well as its Mail Matters newsletter.

We’ve Come A Long Way… If you think about where NAPM was in 2010 and where we are now, and how the value of the membership benefits received for your dues have increased without significant dues increases, we hope you will agree that the association has come a long way and is providing more benefit to your organization than ever before.  As letter mail volumes continue to decline, however, and mergers/acquisitions within our industry continue, it may become difficult in the future for NAPM to continue to maintain and grow the services it provides to its members and the advocacy work it does on your behalf.  While we have plans in place to help grow the association membership, we need your help to keep the NAPM strong!  Whether it is through increasing your dues level, participation from your organization representatives on NAPM committees, helping us bring in new members, or other contributions to the organization, we need the support of all our members to continue the work we do and further grow our services.

We hope the above information helps your business make the right decision about renewing your NAPM membership for 2020!  If you have questions or need more information, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Bob Galaher                                                               Kathleen Siviter

Executive Director                                                      Asst. Executive Director

NAPM                                                                         NAPM

[email protected]                                  [email protected]