The Feds want your 3 cents – more – on everything your company mails.
As of Jan. 26, the price of a first class stamp has jumped to 49 cents. Not only that, but there were other increases to contend with:
- additional ounces for letters: 21 cents each ounce
- international letters: $1.15, and
- postcards: 34 cents.
Yes, those numbers can add up fast and end up being a major cash drain.
Or you can turn the changes into an opportunity to gain greater savings by pruning some paper from any of your financial and even non-financial processes.
Check out the multiple opportunities there for the taking:
Opportunity 1: Take that final step in Payroll
Yes, the new postage hike gives you a renewed incentive to push Direct Deposit with any remaining holdouts.
But there’s an even easier change you can make right away to see savings: Stop mailing paystub info.
Many companies who’ve made the switch to Direct Deposit still mail paystubs to employees. If you’re in this boat, that’s something you want to remedy ASAP. A password protected email gets the job done with no stamp needed.
Opportunity 2: Expand on what you have
Most likely you offer Direct Deposit for payroll and hopefully most employees are taking advantage.
Why stop there?
But make sure you’re expanding that same capacity to the other types of employee payments finance processes, like T&E, fringe benefit and flex spending plan reimbursements.
Finance already has the info setup for any employee that uses Direct Deposit, so it won’t be a major time drain to set up the other options. And you’ll slash the number of mailings.
Opportunity 3: Make a new push to send (and receive epayments)
Of course plenty of payments get mailed to folks outside your company as well: to vendors.
The extra three cents might not seem like much to some, but multiply it by those totals on your check runs and it adds up fast. That’s not including other things you mail to vendors, like statements.
Try jumping on this newest hike to revisit the idea of electronic payments to your vendors – at least the ones with the greatest volume.
And other correspondence like monthly or quarterly statements can be switched to email in a snap.
But don’t forget the other side of the equation – the Postal Service change also offers you an opportunity to make the case that more customers should pay you electronically.
Now’s a great time to remind them that you’re receptive to the idea and that it could save them more money than ever before. Naturally, you’ll send them their invoices electronically.
Tip: If you have customers that already send you electronic payments, see if you can put still-paper-bound customers in touch with them to find out how the process works with your company. (And do that for as many different e-payment types as you accept – EFT, wire, ACH, etc.)
Opportunity 4: Looks outside of Finance
Higher mailing costs will impact other departments in your organization as well.
One in particular: Marketing. Chances are this group has some of the highest mailing costs in your company.
But it doesn’t have to be. More and more companies are embracing an in-bound marketing strategy where they use social media, blogs and search engine optimization to drive customers to their businesses, instead of paying for advertising.
Some of the more successful companies with this approach say they’ve eliminated advertising spend altogether.
It’s worth raising the issue to see what, if anything, is currently being done with inbound marketing.
Uncle Sam may have gotten the ball rolling. But the changes could be beneficial for your company for years to come.