Topic Thread

Perfect Bind magazines - FLATS - issues at Post Office

  • 1.  Perfect Bind magazines - FLATS - issues at Post Office

    Posted 14 days ago
    Hi, Everyone! I have a question for anyone that prints and mails flat-sized perfect bind magazines.

    Back Story:
    We opened a new print shop in Dallas TX in January, but our home office is in Wilmington, NC. In our Dallas facility, we only produce perfect bind, flat-sized magazines. We do not have a stand-alone mail machine, as we print the magazine, we use variable data software to print the mailing addresses and barcodes at the same time as printing.

    The Problem:
    Because we are perfect binding our publications, every once in a while, the glue changes and the weight is slightly off book to book. The glue machine might accidently add a bit or not put enough, it is a machine afterall. Very slightly, like to the thousandths of a decimal point! And since we process our mail before it's printed, we've already entered the weight into BCC and it's already uploaded to Postal One. We can't just change our paperwork in BCC, because we've already printed the addresses because we use variable data, not a mail machine, and cannot have the presort change. The problem is when we take our jobs to the Post Office, they weigh a few here and there, and it's slightly off from our paperwork, and they raise ruckus at us for it!! It's caused a ton of issues with them accepting our mail, delays it, and sometimes costs us more money. Not to mention, ruining any type of building relationships with the BMEU.

    The Question:
    Does anyone else have these same issues? If so, how are you overcoming it? We thought about just over-estimating all of our weights, but we worry they'd reject those too. Does anyone have any suggestions? We are open to any suggestions, because it's becoming a huge problem at the Post Office!

    Thank you!

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    Angela Johnson
    N2 Publishing
    Wilmington NC

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  • 2.  RE: Perfect Bind magazines - FLATS - issues at Post Office

    Posted 13 days ago
    There is some variation in paper and ink weights over and thruout a press run. What kinda variation are we talking about? I would do some pre measuring and weighing. But slight variations are normal. Significant no..

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    Danial Hahn
    Print Service Tech Sheet Fed
    Six Sigma Black Belt CI Facilitator N.A.
    Hubergroup USA, Inc.
    Jacksonville FL
    (850) 736-2033
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  • 3.  RE: Perfect Bind magazines - FLATS - issues at Post Office

    Posted 13 days ago
    Danial ... An example of a variation would be ... we use 10.6 ounces as the weight for an 80 page flat-sized book ... but when it gets to the post office and they weigh it, it's weighing 10.668 ... and they are upset about that tiny difference. We think it's best to over estimate, say using 10.7, but that's extra costs for us, and there's a possibility they would still reject it!

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    Angela Johnson
    N2 Publishing
    Wilmington NC
    (910) 599-1715
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  • 4.  RE: Perfect Bind magazines - FLATS - issues at Post Office

    Posted 13 days ago
    Hi Angela:

    Getting a consistent weight is almost impossible given the variables you describe, plus environmental issues such as humidity.
    Something that might help is adding post-presort software to your workflow. This would allow you to import the Mail.dat files from BCC presort and then edit the weights once you have the pieces produced. Once production is started, you can weigh a sample of 10 to 20 pieces and then divide the total weight by the number of sampled pieces to get your average weight per copy. This is the weight that should be edited in the Mail.dat file. You would change your workflow slightly to either not upload to PostalOne! until after this editing process, or submit the file from the BCC presort as an original release and then submit an updated Ready To Pay release from your post-presort software.
    Being from Window Book, I would recommend our product, DAT-MAIL, but there are other post-presort software solutions available as well.
    Hope this helps!

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    Monica Lundquist

    Window Book, Inc.
    Cambridge MA
    (617) 395-4570
    Marketing and Training Specialist
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  • 5.  RE: Perfect Bind magazines - FLATS - issues at Post Office

    Posted 13 days ago
    Monica, I'm checking into the BCC Post-Presort option. Perhaps that is the answer for us, but we can't have anything change with the presort since we print the addresses on the mail pieces at the same time. Thanks!

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    Angela Johnson
    N2 Publishing
    Wilmington NC
    (910) 599-1715
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  • 6.  RE: Perfect Bind magazines - FLATS - issues at Post Office

    Posted 13 days ago
    Hi Angela:
    In reading through the Streamlined Mail Acceptance for Letters and Flats publication, there is a reference to a weight "tolerance" in the Seamless Acceptance section.
    Regardless of whether or not you participate in Seamless Acceptance, it makes sense that there should be a standard weight tolerance used when verifying the weight. You may want to consult with your District Business Mail Entry office to verify what that tolerance is and ask them to communicate that information with your local BMEU.

    Good luck,
    Monica

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    Monica Lundquist

    Window Book, Inc.
    Cambridge MA
    (617) 395-4570
    Marketing and Training Specialist
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  • 7.  RE: Perfect Bind magazines - FLATS - issues at Post Office

    Posted 13 days ago
    Angela

    This is how we handle it. Presort your job with your estimated weight and generate your variable print files, pallet tags, etc and do not process or upload your Mail.dat file. Once you have an actual magazine open up your presort, modify your estimated weight and upload the Mail.dat to the Dashboard.

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    David Weaver
    Sales / MIS
    Journal Graphics
    Portland OR
    (503) 790-9100
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  • 8.  RE: Perfect Bind magazines - FLATS - issues at Post Office

    Posted 12 days ago
    David, when you open up your presort to modify, does it re-presort? What program are you using?

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    Angela Johnson
    N2 Publishing
    Wilmington NC
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  • 9.  RE: Perfect Bind magazines - FLATS - issues at Post Office

    Posted 12 days ago
    Edited by Chris Demetreon 12 days ago
    Post-presort mail.dat editors do not alter your presort and this is the prime example of why people use them. We change our piece weights to a much larger degree than what you are outlining and have never had a problem. BCC sells the MailDB product and you also have Windowbook to look at. Those are the two programs I'm aware of that everybody uses. Depending on what modules you get these softwares can make drop ship appointments for your drop ship volume, create/modify mother pallets, preview old/new postage rates from a single presort, analyze drop shipping scenarios based on rate files etc. All without changing your presort.

    This shouldn't be causing you frustration. These piece weight changes shouldn't even feel like a speedbump in your day.

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    Chris Demetreon
    Kingery Printing Company
    Effingham IL
    (217) 347-5151
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