Undeliverable-as-Addressed (UAA) mail is an ongoing issue for those in the mailing industry. In FY2017 alone, the UAA mail volume reported by the United States Postal Service (USPS) was 6.1 billion pieces of mail, consistent with the trend of 4.2% of total mail volume mailed annually. Mail can be classified as UAA or return to sender (RTS) for a variety of reasons. The primary reasons are related to a move by the recipient, incorrect or illegible address, or an incomplete address. The challenge for mailers is how to manage the returned mail and understand the full impact it has on their business.
As mailers, we tend to think of the physical mail piece and the expense related to print, handling, and postage that is tied to the piece. As an organization, there is a need to look at all functional areas and how that physical UAA mail piece impacts each area. Identifying the true impact of UAA mail is similar to the metaphor of peeling back the layers of an onion. Analyzing the full impact can be a slow process — and one that many do not even realize they need to consider when dealing with UAA mail.
First, let’s think about the physical mail piece and what it takes to handle the UAA mail as it is returned to an organization. What is the volume of UAA mail you receive? Keep in mind that UAA mail is trending at about four percent of the mail volume processed by the USPS; if you are unsure of the volume of UAA mail you are receiving, the simple estimate is that you are probably trending between three and four percent of your outgoing mail volumes. Once the UAA mail is received, what is procedure for handling, sorting, and returning it to the internal department that sent the mail piece? The work hours involved in receiving and handling the physical mail piece add up rather quickly.
The next layer of the onion is how to manage the return mail data that is being received. As an organization, do you have the employee resources to effectively work and research why the mail piece was returned? Uncovering why a mail piece was returned is a very manual process, and most organizations do not have the dedicated employee resources to manage a manual UAA mail process. Are there internal policies and procedures that need to be followed regarding changing an address in your customer account records or system? Industry compliance regulations also have bearing on how an organization handles UAA mail.
As we continue to peel back the layers of the onion, the financial impact on UAA mail seems the most challenging and the toughest to quantify for most organizations. When looking at budgets, organizations will have a budget for mailing costs but not one for UAA costs. Yes, we can put financial numbers to employee work hours, and we can also calculate print and postage costs, but that doesn’t yet give us the true impact. Peeling back the layer of what the financial impact of the actual mail piece is (yes, I am referring to what is inside the envelope) becomes the bigger challenge for many organizations. Are you losing current revenue or future revenue as a result of UAA mail? What is the average invoice or statement amount you are not collecting? What is the future revenue that is lost by the mail piece not being delivered? This now turns into a tougher analysis for an organization.
As you start thinking of all of the ways UAA mail can impact an organization, remember that there are many functional areas of an organization that have not even been discussed that also add to the overall financial impact of UAA mail. Some of these functional areas include IT, operations, call center teams, and sales. The ability to peel back these additional layers of the onion in your analysis efforts can help make the picture clearer when it comes to how UAA is truly impacting your organization.
How to Fix the Problem?
Once you have done the work in analyzing how UAA mail is impacting your organization and what current processes you have in place, the next step is determining if what you are doing is the most cost-effective way to handle the issue for your organization. Is there an opportunity to decrease the financial impact that UAA mail has on your organization? Automating and digitizing the UAA mail process is what many organizations are looking to accomplish. Streamlining cumbersome, labor-intense manual processes have the greatest gain for the overall organization.
Evaluating the options on how to automate and digitize UAA mail, not to mention determining what options are the right fit for your business, can seem as difficult as understanding the true impact of UAA mail. Investing in equipment and resources to automate and digitize is not always the best financial investment. The USPS offers solutions that can help with the automation of UAA mail. Mail service providers (MSPs) also have solutions that help to automate, digitize, and streamline UAA processes. As proven by the trend of UAA mail reported by the USPS every year, it continues to be an issue that the mailing industry faces. The complexity in analyzing and resolving the impact of UAA mail will continue to rise as industry regulations continue to get more complex and numerous. As you peel back the onion to uncover the true impact of UAA on your business, remember that you do have options to help you address and resolve the issue.
Partnering with TC Delivers has been one of the best choices we made. We have worked with them for a number of years and it has always been a great experience. I know I can rely on them to give us the best service possible. The team at TC is top notch and I know the future will only bring better things. Our salesperson makes sure to keep us up to date with any mailing solutions we need.
We have used TC Delivers as our presort service for the past five years. Although our output volumes have significantly increased during this time, their knowledgeable staff has maintained the same high levels of quality, efficiency, and care with our mail. I look forward to our continued business together and highly recommend TC Delivers for anyone looking for a professional, reliable, and friendly presort service.
Great communication & collaboration while working with this vendor.
Very professional, great company to work with.
TC Delivers has been a great partner to work with. They helped create an outstanding team environment that helps us achieve our mailing/processing goals and demands whenever a new challenge arises.
TC Delivers has done a great job growing along with our company, keeping up with the increased business and higher monthly mailing volumes associated with that growth. Our salesperson is always on top of quotes for projects, helps keep us on point for our escrow balances, and her expertise has helped to find cost savings for our company. The Senior Data Processing Technician does an incredible job with all the day to day processing, as it runs seamless. His attention to detail helps to account for the accuracy he displays on all the Special Mailing projects, as well as the new projects that he has to implement that are thrown his way. TC Delivers is a top notch vendor to utilize when looking for savings and accuracy on all your mail solutions.
Our company has been working with TC Delivers for the last 7 years and have always been completely satisfied with their performance. They are customer service oriented and always meeting the time frames we have for sensitive jobs.
When our company first opened an office in Florida in 2012, we used TC to ship all of our mail for us. In 2014 our corporate office decided that we should be unified with all of our offices throughout the country so they moved us to another presort facility. We had many problems with that other facility (mailings not reaching their destination in a timely fashion, etc).
At the beginning of the year we switched back to TC and we could not be happier. We have not had customer complaints about mail not getting somewhere on time. Our salesperson is very helpful and is always willing to answer any questions we may have. We are very glad we are back with TC and will recommend them to anyone!
I’ve been extremely satisfied with TC Delivers customer support, professionalism, and quality of work. I have thrown many different projects at TC Delivers and they always comes through for us. My favorite part of dealing with them is they never reply to a request with “NO we can’t do that”, they always start out with “Let’s see what we need to do to take care of that for you” and that is “CUSTOMER SERVICE”. Our everyday mailings, proof of mail, fulfillment and presort is always taken care of very professionally, their pick-up drivers are on time and courteous.
We have solely used TC Delivers mailing services for 2 years. Our account managers work diligently to not only meet, but exceed our expectations. Any questions and new efforts are quickly answered and assisted in planning. It’s so refreshing to do business with an affordable and professional family-owned and operated company.
Our company goes to TC Delivers for all of our printing needs. They always respond quickly to our requests for quotes and get the product out to us in a very timely manner. We use them for mailers, informational cards and specialized projects as well. Their prompt service and outstanding customer service is what keeps us coming back!
We have been with TC Delivers for many years and we have been very pleased with their service for us. TC has friendly staff and drivers, willing to be of help even when we need extra services like trays & sleeves. Their pricing is very competitive and they are willing to work with us on large projects as well as small. We will be using them in the future and would highly recommend their services.
Working with TC Delivers has truly been a great all around experience. They accommodate our schedule changes, and the drivers always provide quality customer service. We appreciate our relationship with TC Delivers, and look forward to a continued partnership.
TC was easy to do business with and delivered the campaign that we needed several times.
I have had the pleasure of working with TC Delivers for the past 12 years. We have produced a number of projects together- both large and small, and a number of ongoing ones. During this time, the service has been outstanding and it is their attention to detail that really shines. Once I turn it over to TC Delivers, I no longer have to worry about it. And that more than anything says more about working with them- it’s nice to have a partner who walks the walk. I would whole-heartedly recommend TC Delivers for pretty much any direct mail and fulfillment project that you would have. It’s worry free!
TC Delivers has delivered consistent quality service to us for over five years. Their prompt, professional and reliable customer service is what sets them apart, saving us time and money without any headaches.
The staff over at TC Delivers helps our daily mailings fulfill with ease. They are always eager to help, and wonderful to work with.