Postal Advocate manages the USPS® permit spends for some of the largest organizations and it is amazing what most overlook regarding how they are managing this category. The lack of oversight can lead to overspending, funding issues and lost postage. This webinar focused on the top things you can do to create better controls and optimize the spend.
Items We Covered:
1.) Using the USPS Business Customer Gateway
2.) Using the USPS Electronic Payment System
3.) Using the USPS Enterprise PO Box Online System
4.) Consolidating locations to master permits
5.) How to analyze Business Reply Mail accounts
6.) Managing funding levels
7.) Knowing your USPS contact
8.) Scheduling regular reviews/audits
9.) Managing and confirming refunds
10.) Centralizing permit management
Top 10 Ways to Optimize your USPS®
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. Using the USPS® Business Customer Gateway
2. Using the USPS® Electronic Payment System
3. Using the USPS® Enterprise PO Box Online System
4. Consolidating locations to master permits
5. How to analyze permit accounts for maximum savings
6. Managing funding levels
7. Scheduling regular reviews/audits
8. Managing and confirming refunds
9. Centralizing permit management
10. Knowing your USPS® contact
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USPS® Business Customer Gateway
Manage your entire USPS relationship through this portal
– Create accounts and permits
– Manage activity and produce reports
– Create Business Reply Mail envelope templates
– See USPS incentives
– Access educational information
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Manage All Aspects of Your Account in One Place
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Use the USPS Enterprise Payment System (EPS)
Create payment linkage to fund all permits and pay annual/quarterly fees through a single
– Pay and manage services online using a single account
– Self-service customer experience
– Enhanced security features, centralized balance and account management
– Fund as ACH Debit or Trust Account
– Mobile Check Deposit- allows you to deposit funds into your trust account using the camera on your mobile device
– No manual application forms submitted to CAPS Service Center
– Intuitive and interactive mailing reports
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Supported through EPS Supported through CAPS
First-Class Mail®, Letters, Cards, and Flats Electronic Verification System (eVS®)
Priority Mail® Parcel Return Service (PRS)
First-Class Package Service® PC Postage®
USPS Marketing Mail™, Letters, Flats, and Parcels Scan Based Payment (SBP)
Parcel Select® Merchandise Return Service (MRS)
Media Mail® Official Mail Accounting System (OMAS)
Library Mail Premium Forwarding Service Commercial (PFSC™)
Bound Printed Matter Share Mail®
Periodicals Intelligent Mail barcode Accounting (IMbA)
Business Reply Mail® (BRM)
Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM®)
Postal Wizard or the Intelligent Mail® small business (IMsb) Tool
Caller & Reserve Services (EPOBOL)
Address Quality Products (AEC, AECII and ACS™)
Most common for business mailers
Use the USPS Enterprise PO Box Online System
• Many companies will have multiple PO and Caller Boxes that are difficult to renew
and manage especially having to interface with local Post Offices
• Mailers can now manage (open, close, view, pay fees and renew) all PO Boxes,
Caller, and Reserve Services for multiple locations from a single application and
receives electronic notifications for renewals
• With an ePOBOL and EPS accounts, commercial mailers can now pay for PO Box
services with an ACH Debit payment account
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Consolidate your Locations into Master Permits
Eliminate Annual Fees – The USPS has come a long way in allowing
mailers to pay one permit fee and mail from different locations. This
can save hundreds or thousands in annual fees.
Central Visibility – Being able to see your data with ease and export
reports to excel to simplify the oversight.
Simplified Funding – Having the funds pulled from one EPS account
done through an ACH connection is much easier and can make the
funds available faster. Everyone has a story about not being able to
get mail out until the check was cut. Now all permits can be funded
from one place in real time.
Example: Main Permit 1234-000
Los Angeles 1234-527
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USPS Mail Anywhere Program
The Postal Service offers the “Mail Anywhere” service that
allows a customer to use the same permit at every mailing
location across the country. The service offers:
– Greater flexibility managing production since mail can
be shifted from one location to another without having
to open another permit.
– Mailers can maintain one locally held permit for
– The same permit number, city and state can be printed
on the piece and entered at any location.
– Permit imprint fees are waved at additional locations
– Annual presort fees are only required if the customer
falls below the 90% full-service volume requirement.
For more information and eligibility requirements:
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Analyze Outbound Permit Accounts
• Are you getting the lowest rates?
– Could a presort service be used?
• For all mail
• For the Mixed AADC and Presorted
• For Destination Entry Discounts
– Could mailings be timed for higher
• Are current paid permits being used?
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Ounces Letters Flats
Automation 5 Digit 1 $0.389 $0.430
Automation 3 Digit 1 $0.577
Automation AADC 1 $0.419 $0.620
Automation Mixed AADC 1 $0.439 $0.716
Presorted (Non Automation) 1 $0.460 $0.810
Ounces Letters Flats
Automation 5 Digit ≤3.5 $0.259 $0.418
Automation 3 Digit ≤4 $0.543
Automation AADC/ADC ≤3.5 $0.284 $0.608
Automation Mixed AADC/ADC-Origin ≤3.5 $0.299 $0.666
Ounces Letters Flats
Automation 5 Digit ≤3.5 $0.138 $0.240
Automation 3 Digit ≤4 $0.365
Automation AADC/ADC ≤3.5 $0.163 $0.430
Automation Mixed AADC/ADC-Origin ≤3.5 $0.178 $0.488
DNDC $0.020 $0.043 $0.172
DSCF $0.026 $0.054 $0.216
Destination Entry Discounts for Marketing Mail
Commercial First-Class Mail®
Marketing Mail® Nonprofit
Analyze your Business Reply Mail (BRM)
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Business Reply Mail Basics Basic
Annual Permit Fee $240 $240 $0 $0
Annual Account Maintenance Fee $0 $725 $725 $725
Quarterly Fee $0 $0 $0 $2,460
Total Annual Fees $240 $965 $725 $10,565
Fee per piece $0.850 $0.093 $0.072 $0.015
Postage for 1 ounce mail $0.550 $0.550 $0.534 $0.534
Total cost - Fee and Postage $1.400 $0.643 $0.606 $0.549
Annual Cost by pieces
100 $380 $1,029 $786 $10,620
250 $590 $1,126 $877 $10,702
500 $940 $1,287 $1,028 $10,840
611 $1,095 $1,358 $1,095 $10,900
750 $1,290 $1,447 $1,180 $10,977
958 $1,581 $1,581 $1,306 $11,091
1000 $1,640 $1,608 $1,331 $11,114
2500 $3,740 $2,573 $2,240 $11,938
5000 $7,240 $4,180 $3,755 $13,310
10000 $14,240 $7,395 $6,785 $16,055
25000 $35,240 $17,040 $15,875 $24,290
50000 $70,240 $33,115 $31,025 $38,015
100000 $140,240 $65,265 $61,325 $65,465
250000 $350,240 $161,715 $152,225 $147,815
500000 $700,240 $322,465 $303,725 $285,065
1000000 $1,400,240 $643,965 $606,725 $559,565
Location on Basic level with 50,000 returns
$70,240 vs. $33,115 - $37,125 Savings -
Location on High Volume with 250 returns
$1,126 vs. $590 - $536 Savings – 48%
Location on High Volume with 500,000
$322,465 – $285,065 - $37,400 – 12%
To find savings it requires visibility to all of
your BRM accounts!
Do Not Put Your Accounts on Autopilot
Set a schedule for review – Monthly or Quarterly
1. Are funding levels correct?
2. Are annual fees being paid?
3. Are all accounts being used (If not, should they be closed)?
4. Are the charges being allocated back to the departments or
groups that generated them?
5. Are the lowest postage costs being utilized?
6. What trends are happening in mailing volumes and spends?
7. Are their USPS promotional incentives that can reduce costs?
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Manage your Funding Levels
1. Do you know the balance in all USPS permits?
2. Does this balance tie to your typical usage levels?
3. How often are these balances reviewed?
4. Does your organization view these balances as an asset or were the
funds expensed when they were sent to the USPS?
5. Are all of your accounts connected to an ACH or do you require
checks being sent in?
6. Are all of your annual fees being paid through the account or are
they billed separately?
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Do Not Assume you are Getting Refunds for Closed Accounts
• Tried to figure out what happened to lost funds.
• Found 53,000 lost Pitney Bowes transactions turned over to 15 states
as unclaimed property – Nothing from USPS or other vendors.
• Did multiple Freedom of Information Act requests to the USPS to get
• Had multiple meetings with different USPS account managers and
management with no good answers on how to get access to the
• Wrote the Jan 14 cover article for Mailing Systems Technology exposing
the issue “Has the Post Service been holding millions of mailer’s
• The article prompted the USPS Inspector General to do a research
project on Dormant Advance Deposit Permit Accounts. They
acknowledged that funds are transferred as income to the USPS.
USPS management did not want to make changes.
• Wrote the Jan 15 Cover article for Mailing Systems Technology with the
findings of the report.
• Have had subsequent meetings with the Inspector General’s office
where they are researching specific accounts to validate the issues.
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Do Not Assume you are Getting Refunds for Closed
Accounts - Continued
The USPS Permit Refund Process is as follows:
– After 2 years of inactivity they will send a letter.
– If you do not retrieve your funds in 60 days of the notice, they transfer to a
different GL account and consider it income.
– No future notifications will be sent
– Money can be redeemed with customer proof of account.
– We estimate there has been over $200,000,000 in lost permit funds since 2000.
How do you search for you recover lost permit funds?
– Build a listing of current and past permit numbers. This can be done by:
• Searching accounts payable records for where there was past expenses.
• Working with your USPS Account Manager requesting lists of permits.
– Enter any permit accounts into the USPS Business Gateway to see what details
can be found.
– Reach out to the local Post Masters of the closed permits to see what details
they have and if they can validate balances.
– Fill out PS Form 3533 – Application for Refund of Fees, Products and Withdrawal
of Customer Accounts form.
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Do Not Have Permits Managed Throughout
your Field Locations
• Lack centralized oversight, visibility and expertise.
• Large value of funds – Can be the largest postal spends in an organization.
• Change in business personnel, and closed offices lead to loss.
• Acquisitions and divestitures create confusion.
• Many permits are for mailings done by third parties outside of the
• Postal rules are confusing.
• The new tools can make eliminate the issues above and provide an
opportunity for savings.
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Have a Core Contact at the USPS
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You need someone who can guide you through questions without needing to call
the main 800 customer service number. You want them to be familiar with your
account. Here are the best recommendations for support:
• Talk to your local PostMaster
• Reach out to the mailing requirements group at the closest bulk mail center.
• Ask who supports the closest major metropolitan area for business accounts.
• Reach out to your local Postal Customer Council (Post Office and Industry
Association) - https://about.usps.com/what/business-services/postal-
• The USPS has come out with new tools to make managing permits easier
with incredible visibility.
• Funding can be done centrally and electronically for all permits and PO
• Permits can be consolidated to master accounts for ease of payment and in
some cases single permits can be used nationally.
• There are significant savings around outbound mail permits and Business
Reply accounts by making sure each is set up at the right levels.
• Proactive vs. reactive permit management to ensure savings.
• Manage your funding levels to optimize your cash flow.
• Request refunds from dormant accounts
• Centralized vs. decentralized permit management to simplicity and control.
• Find a dedicated USPS contract that can help you manage your account
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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.
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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
How To Save Money on Carrier Management Services
Across Your Enterprise
June 17, 2020 – 11:00AM EST
Register through www.postaladvocate.com
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Contact: Adam Lewenberg - President
888-977-MAIL X 501