Postal Advocate manages the carrier management spends with organizations that could have hundreds to thousands of locations that need to be managed to control their carrier cost. Most of the spend never touches a shipping center, is not a core shipping function (including documents, samples, computers, labs, etc.), and will be processed by end users with little experience. This creates unique challenges and opportunities for savings that often get missed.
At a corporate level, many organizations will use a third-party company to audit their carrier bills, looking for late shipments or items that do not adhere to their contract. Some entities may also use a service to help negotiate their rates. Where we see the biggest gap is the way the spend is managed inside the organization that can have the largest impact on costs. This webinar focused on the top things you can do to create better controls and optimize the spend.
Items We Covered:
1.) Administrative Challenges
2.) Account Management
3.) User Management
4.) Rights Management
5.) Local Questions/Issues Resolution
7.) Technology Options
8.) Best Practices and Tips
How To Save Money on Carrier Management Services Across Your Enterprise
Adam Lewenberg - Background and Experience
• President of Postal Advocate Inc.
– The only mail audit and recovery firm in the US and Canada
– Manage a portfolio of over 160,000 pieces of mailing and shipping
equipment for the largest US companies.
– Speak and teach nationally on mail savings and industry trends.
• Former Industry Co Chair- Boston Postal Customer Council/Mail Systems
Management Association member. CMDSS and MDC Certifications.
• Featured Writer for Mailing Systems Technology Magazine.
• Worked for one of the largest mailing vendors for over 17 years
– Director of national sales for presort, tabletop inserters, addressing
hardware/software and green offerings.
– Was one of the top 5 account managers nationally working with some of
the nation’s largest accounts.
Not affiliated with any mailing vendor - Unbiased advice.
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What We’ll Cover:
1. Administrative Challenges
2. Account Management
3. User Management
4. Rights Management
5. Local Questions/Issues Resolution
7. Technology Options
8. Best Practices and Tips
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Enterprise Shipping Challenges
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Users are added
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creates a risk of
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make sure the
item is going
hubs – What
Save Cost -
which gear to
We can divide most organizations into three themes of oversight:
Centralized, Decentralized or Hybrid
• Centralized – A carrier provided (UPS CampusShip® or
Fedex.com) or multi-carrier acquired system is in place to manage
the users and shipping transactions. This will have an administrator
who controls the users and locations.
• Decentralized – Locations will sign up their own accounts on the
carrier websites and manage remotely
• Hybrid – A centralized system is in place at a headquarters or a
group of locations, but many are not included and will manage their
spends in a decentralized fashion.
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Carrier Savings Focus
• Contract Negotiations
• Freight Audit – Looking for late
shipments and items not billed
at the proper carrier rates
• Continue with Contract
Negotiations and Freight Audit
• Find additional savings in your
– Identify the key issues.
– Create change management
– Educate and reinforce
– Continue to monitor and
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Organizations manage their carriers by either:
1) Having one account and different cost centers by location
2) Having separate accounts by location rolling up to one main
carrier number. This can get out of hand quickly.
For example: We have a client, that prior to us working with them, had
over 5000 carrier accounts to manage 2000 locations.
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1) Central Controls - Adding and removing carrier accounts. Try to
consolidate them where possible and have one party control the
account number requests to the carriers
• Adding and removing users may seem trivial, but it is the hardest part of
managing the spend across the organization. New users need to be added
as they come onboard and removed when they leave. Many organizations
will seldom, if ever, purge non active employees who still have the ability
ship until they are deleted from the systems.
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1) Single Sign-On (SSO) – Connected in real-time to your
Corporate address book. Employees will be automatically
2) If you are using a carrier provided system, set up a process to
export your active users from your system weekly or monthly
and do a comparison
• With todays shipping tools you can control what the users see and
do on the systems. Many organizations will not optimize this
functionality and it can add to significant overspending
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1) Set up standards about what users can ship.
Most Common - Different profiles that can be set up by title or
need. Example: VP or above can do 8:30 next day shipments,
Manager or Director can ship 10:30 next day and everyone else
would default to 2:30 next day. There could also be defined default
carriers, service levels and cost centers set up to ensure
• With a diverse set of users, you will have varied issues that will need
resolution. These could be as simple as a password reset to a
technical question about the system functionality that needs to be
resolved instantly so they can get an urgent package out the door.
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1) Dedicated Resource - Trained in all aspects of the system and
has access to the administration functions of the tool to make
2) Case Management System - Document the activities, validate
resolution and provide notes so best practice tips can be
shared throughout the organization.
Postal Advocate – Case Management System
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• Dedicated client specific landing page
• Customized messages and links for common questions.
• Pull down menu for common carrier requests
• Once the case is submitted:
• Email is sent to Postal Advocate to start the process
• Email is sent to the requestor with a case number
• Activity is created and notes are entered into their location record.
• Resolutions are taken care of by Postal Advocate with communication to the
location and closure to the activity.
• All cases, activities, contacts and notes are stored for reporting and archiving.
• This is where most organizations drop the ball. They know holistically from
their invoice what they are spending and since they may be using an audit
service to look for overcharges, they feel they are covered. Reporting is
the #1 way to reduce costs. If done correctly, can implement change.
It can show where there is overspending, and the data can be shared with
the key stakeholders to drive different behaviors with their teams.
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These are the most effective reports that we have found for our clients that drive savings.
They may be manual to create but have the greatest savings impacts.
1) Next Day Savings – Shipment savings by converting next day 8:30 and 10:30 delivery to 2:30.
2) Same Delivery Time Savings – Savings by optimizing the carriers for the same delivery time
using a lower cost shipping service. Examples:
Next Day end of day to Ground for local zones.
Two and Three Day to Ground for zone 3 and 4.
Two, Three Day and Ground compared to USPS Priority.
3) Interoffice Mail – Shipping costs by location and method between facilities. Packages can be
consolidated, and different methods used to optimize the spends.
4) 8:30 Delivery – Which groups used this very expensive service the most.
5) Active Users – Report all active users on the system to compare to the corporate directory.
6) Potential Theft - Packages that were not shipped from or to a corporate location or sent to one of
the main e-tailers like Amazon.com.
7) Incident Report – Listing of all employee issues and requests with final resolution and response
Reporting Review and Disbursement
• The only way reports are effective is if the information is reviewed
and there is a process for getting the data to the right parties to who
can impact change. With our clients, we have found that creating
monthly review meetings with the data and then coming up with a
plan for the best ways to action the information is the most effective.
1) Educate – Corporate education or working directly with end users so they
understand the impact of their choices
2) Maintenance of the data on internal portals with links.
3) Users understand that this data is being watched and that everyone needs to
play their part in making the best choices.
4) Update best practices so it remains visible.
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• There are new multi-carrier acquired shipping systems
that can make this process easier and we are seeing a
lot of movement for the following reasons:
– Rate Shopping – These systems can compare your discounted rates and
service levels across multiple carriers at the time of shipment; making it easier
for your end users to make the best choices.
– USPS® Stamp Printing – Some of these systems can let your users generate
USPS postage stamps at $.50 per piece. This can reduce the need for postage
meters or trips to the Post Office. More importantly, it can keep users from
sending non-critical items through expensive overnight services.
– Single Sign On – They can eliminate the manual user management discussed
above because it is connected real time to your corporate address book.
– Easy to Implement – Since the newest systems are cloud based and remotely
hosted, there is little to from an IT perspective.
– Simplified Reporting – Many of the reports mentioned above can be automated
through the newest tools.
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Moving from Air to Ground Service
• Guaranteed next day delivery in Zone 2
• Guaranteed 2-day delivery in zone 3 and some of 4.
• Could replace the majority of 3D.
• Need to provide packaging – Would need items that could be ordered from
your office store supplies catalog.
• Would need to have educational programs that we would run on where this
service makes sense.
• Web links would need to be maintained where offices could reference best
• Reporting would need to be created to see the change in behavior over time.
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Convert 8:30 to 10:30 delivery
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• You are not receiving the same discounts on 8:30 delivery
as you do on 10:30.
• Are there any controls that you want to set up in your
system or the location level about who can use this
• Visibility to the largest users of 8:30 service.
• Would need to have educational programs that we would
run on where this makes sense.
• Web links would need to be maintained where offices
could reference best practices.
• Reporting would need to be created to see the change in
behavior over time.
Consider the USPS®
• Does everything have to go Air?
• USPS Letter for $.50 and flats start at $1
• First Class Parcel with tracking for items under 16 ounces from
$2.74 - $5.70
• No Residential Charges - $4.10 or Delivery Area Surcharge fees -
• No Saturday Delivery charges at $16
• No Address Correction fees at $17
• Free boxes (Priority and Express)
• Online tracking and day specific expected (Not guaranteed) delivery
• PC Postage options start at as little as $15 per month per location
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Convert 1lb Package to 1lb Letter
• Letter rates are less than the 1lb package rate.
• Locations may be using the wrong packaging or logging the items incorrectly
in their carrier provided systems with significant cost differences.
• Educational programs should be run.
• Web links need to be maintained on intranet where offices can reference best
• Reporting needs to be created to see the change in behavior over time.
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Weight 1DA Pri 1DA Sav 2DA AM 2D
Letter 183617 67564 696 18357
1 13555 6425 457 6548
6 Month Client Sample
Zones 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 lb. $30.31 $44.88 $58.69 $65.75 $69.22 $77.80 $79.95
Letter $25.35 $30.48 $38.90 $41.60 $42.44 $46.70 $48.84
Difference $4.96 $14.40 $19.79 $24.15 $26.78 $31.10 $31.11
% Difference 16% 32% 34% 37% 39% 40% 39%
List price carrier rates 10:30 delivery
Rate Shopping Savings Opportunities
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Savings Strategy # of Packages Shipping
New Cost Savings % Savings Annual Savings
Next Day Zone 2 Converted to Ground 11123 $74,255 $47,173 $27,082 36% $324,984
2 Day Zone 2 and 3 Converted to Ground 1232 $6,726 $4,364 $2,362 35% $28,344
3 Day Zone 2, 3, 4 and 5 Converted to Ground 94 $735 $461 $274 37% $3,288
Total Savings 12449 $81,716 $51,998 $29,718 36% $356,616
8:30 AM Delivery - Convert to 10:30 AM Delivery 202 $13,382 $2,698 $10,684 80% $128,208
Convert 1lb Package to 1lb Letter 2702 21415 17561 $3,854 18% $46,248
Priority Mail Savings over UPS 2D, 3D and Ground -
Savings over $.50 per package 1988 $18,810 $14,214 $4,596 24% $55,152
Audit Shipments not getting the corporate discounts TBD
Future Education Strategies TBD
Rate Shopping Savings – Internal vs. External
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• 80% of packages sent internally are overnight vs. 41% that are sent
• Large rate shopping savings by choosing the most optimal service as
• Much greater savings by converting Next Day to slower services – Does
every internal package have to be there by tomorrow?
FeeType #ofTransactions Spend % #SentOvernight OvernightSpend %SentOvernight
TotalPackages 118430 $1,517,776 100% 56550 $769,912 48%
Packagesgeneratedby a ThirdParty 45136 $539,864 38% 3380 $44,980 7%
Packagesgeneratedclient 73294 $977,912 62% 53170 $724,932 73%
Packagesgeneratedby cleint-Sentinternally 58786 $736,710 80% 47190 $624,390 80%
Packagesgeneratedby client-Sentexternally 14508 $241,202 20% 5980 $100,542 41%
Savings Opportunities – Inbound Freight
• Most clients have aggressive shipping rates yet most of the inbound freight is sent
using the vendors rates. In many cases, you may be charged non discounted rates
plus a handling charge.
• Savings come from converting vendors to your account for inbound items.
• How Postal Advocate can help:
– Analyze the top 500 vendors to see how shipping charges are being handled and quantify
the savings impact.
– Create a simplified and standardized process to convert vendors to clients shipping
– Work with client and vendors to convert contracts and discounts.
– Track the spend from these vendors inside the carrier files to track savings.
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Inbound Freight Estimated % Amount
Total Vendor Spend $1,500,000,000
Spend for Items Shipped to client 50% $750,000,000
Incoming shipments coming in small parcel vs. LTL or client delivery 50% $375,000,000
Spend on shipping and handling 10% $37,500,000
Shipping costs using Client rates 36% $13,500,000
Current inbound shipping spend using client rates (From Audit) $728,000
Potential Inbound Savings $24,728,000
Savings Opportunity #2
– Optimize Box Sizes
• Client example - 72% of the shipments are being charged higher rates
than the shipper entered due to the size of the box (Dimensional Rating).
• Size of the box is determining the weight of the item vs. the actual weight.
• Savings come from optimizing the sizes of the boxes used to best fit the
• How Postal Advocate can help
– Work with client supply chain to find out what boxes are being used
throughout the facilities.
– Analyze what is being shipped to see if smaller box sizes can be
– Develop a box plan that will make sure the right facilities have the
correct box sizes to meet their requirements.
– Create an education plan that can be used to educate staff on making
the correct box choices.
– Work to make sure that the correct dimensions are put into the
shipping platform so the correct rates are calculated at the point of
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Weight Difference Group # of Packages Total Spend
Correct Weight 7372 $205,820
1-5 LB Increase 8144 $79,212
6-10 LB Increase 2700 $31,948
11-25 LB Increase 7950 $70,380
>25 LB Increase 506 $29,123
Total 26672 $416,483
% with Incorrect Weights 72%
L x W x H / 139 =
Total Cubic Sq Inches
Optimize Accessorial Fees
• Compare USPS Priority for items that need to be delivered on Saturday.
• Update addresses in your system so you are not paying for continual address
• Consider third party insurance vs. carrier declared value.
• Optimize your box sizes to reduce dimensional rates.
• Pay attention to pickup fees. Do you need daily pickups at every location for up to
$29 per location? 100 locations x $29 per week x 52 weeks = $150,800!
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Fee Type # of Fees Sum of Fees # of Fees Sum of Fees % of Total Cost
Saturday 6 $83.20 156 $2,163.20 0.14%
Adr Correct 75 $1,191.73 1950 $30,984.98 1.98%
Bill Weight 122 $568.89 3172 $14,791.14 0.95%
Dec Value 27 $151.12 702 $3,929.12 0.25%
Del Area Surch 238 $581.21 6188 $15,111.46 0.97%
Dim 629 $2,037.55 16354 $52,976.30 3.39%
Fuel Sur 5328 $3,677.30 138528 $95,609.80 6.12%
Misc 80 $136.38 2080 $3,545.88 0.23%
Pickup 46 $43.70 1196 $1,136.20 0.07%
Residential 149 $616.10 3874 $16,018.60 1.03%
Service Charge 904 $1,600.20 23504 $41,605.20 2.66%
Third Party Bill Svc 2356 $987.72 61256 $25,680.72 1.64%
Weight Adj 5 $22.06 130 $573.56 0.04%
Total Fees 9973 $11,697.16 259298 $304,126.16 19%
Shipping Only $48,357.50 $1,257,295.00
Total $60,054.66 $1,561,421.16
2 Week Sample Annual Estimates
• Organizations are spending millions of dollars in carrier expenses
and not looking at the items above that can drive the greatest cost
• Often the employee responsible has limited tools and resources to
optimize the process
• With the right oversight, reporting and systems it can provide the
greatest opportunity for savings and the ability to change behavior to
focus on making the best choices.
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their mailing costs
Over 160,000 pieces of
by Postal Advocate
in lost postage, vendor
overcharges and fees
OVER $61,000,000 IN CLIENT SAVINGS
HOW WE DO IT
• 175+ years of industry experience
• Comprehensive web-based tool
providing visibility of all mail
and equipment spend
• Time Savings - Assistance
in fleet management
visit www.postaladvocate.com or call (888)977-MAIL(6245)
Sign Limited Agency
Provide copies of vendor
invoices, AP export,
equipment inventory list.
Present savings opportunities
and get client approval.
Postal Advocate provides
manages renewals, billing
and vendor compliance.
Provide enterprise visibility of
all spend, costs and
Provide client log-in.
4 5 6
Work with current vendor to build population
report, contract terms/start/end dates,
postage volumes, costs.
Analyze spend, check for contract
compliance, billing errors, vendor
fees/overcharges, lost postage.
Identify savings opportunities.
Submit vendor credit requests,
lost postage forms and
eliminate avoidable fees.
Negotiate pricing. Create catalog.
Work with locations -
asset validation, rightsize, termination…
Full implementation of savings.
visit www.postaladvocate.com or call (888)977-MAIL(6245)
NO COST – AUDIT PHASE CONTRACTED CLIENT
The Future of Mailing – Virtual On Demand Mailing
September 23, 2020 – 11:00AM EST
Register through www.postaladvocate.com
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