Today, I received an email from a client wanting to know when she would receive the postage estimate for her magazine. Usually, postal estimates are one of the last things clients want to receive. Checks have to be requested, approved, written, signed and Fed Exed to the USPS Postmaster by a certain date. Often, after the magazines are mailed, excess postage accumulates in the account. The post office will not refund this money, but only hold it for future mailings with no interest paid.
But a year or so ago, Hammock helped this client switch to the USPS CAPS (Central Automated Payment Services) system for submitting postage to the postmaster for her association’s magazines. Using CAPS, a client sets up a trust or debit account for payment of postage.
One or two days before the postage is due in the account, the client is given an actual expense for postage, and her money can be deposited in the account the next day. There is no overage for accounting errors added to the amount as there is with an estimate.
For the above client, it has worked really well. She is included in a co-mailing pool with other magazines that utilize CAPS. Not only are her postal costs reduced because of shared freight charges, the magazines get to local post offices quicker and into the hands of her members. Plus the balance in her account at the end of the mailing is $0.
It can be cumbersome and time-consuming to navigate the postal system, but we have helped many clients achieve similar efficiencies. We serve as a bit of a translator for the intricacies of the postal system for our clients.