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News and Updates

Washington State Department of Enterprise Services - Consolidated Mail Services


July 24, 2017

Consolidated Mail Services News and Updates

Navigating traffic congestion

CMS continually monitors traffic patterns to maintain efficient routes. As road construction projects increase in Western Washington, so does traffic congestion, impacting mail pickup and delivery, particularly in King and Pierce counties. A pilot project implementing a new route begins the end of August and will run through September. Customers north of Olympia may notice some delivery time changes. Some agency locations will experience significant changes in delivery times. Those customers will be contacted directly before the pilot begins. We appreciate your patience during the pilot project and welcome your feedback.

Stop the junk

When you receive unsolicited mail – A.K.A. junk mail – it becomes part of the volume cost CMS charges state agencies within Thurston County. All periodicals, flyers and other unwanted mail items include contact information for the sender. It is up to the receiver to contact the sender to cancel this type of mail. If you do subscribe to periodicals, please be sure your name, agency and P.O. Box are included and correct so our drivers can deliver them to the right place.

Reduce costs with Electronic Return Receipt

Electronic Return Receipt (ERR) is a service that provides the sender with proof of delivery by recording the recipient's signature and actual delivery address. It's the equivalent to the hardcopy Return Receipt green card, except it costs less – $1.30 per delivery less –  and it allows the customer to track and receive signature and delivery information online. Using ERR also meets state mailing requirements. In April of 2009, the Legislature passed House Bill 1426 allowing the use of ERR when a Return Receipt is authorized or required. If you're curious about how much Certified mail your agency sends through CMS and how using ERR could cut costs, CMS can tell you. Call (360) 664-9505 for more information.

Sending a package? Let us find the best rate for you

Now, when you are sending a package via UPS Ground or FedEx Ground, CMS staff can find the best price for you. Just choose "CMS Rate Shop (find best rate and ship)" under Package Services on your pink slip. Be sure to include your email address if you select "shipment notification." Ground services are usually delivered by 5 p.m. the next day if sent to locations in Washington, parts of Oregon and Idaho.

Departure times from CMS:

FedEx
Express: 4:35 p.m.
Ground: 5:20 p.m.

UPS
Express: 4:55 p.m.
Ground: 5:45 p.m.

If you use UPS Express or FedEx Express, CMS can give you access to create labels online using our account. Contact CMS at (360) 586-0457 if you need that option or would like more information.

Be careful not to include a barcode on the return address label

Barcode

If you use a label-maker for the return address on envelopes, turn off the barcode function. If a barcode is included, the USPS equipment may inadvertently read it, which will return the piece to you instead of getting it to the intended recipient.

Upcoming CMS customer trainings

  • Sept. 14
  • Oct. 12 (rescheduled from Oct. 19)

To register, call (360) 664-9505. Classes fill up fast.

Upcoming holidays

  • Labor Day Sept. 4 – CMS and USPS closed
  • Columbus Day Oct. 9 – CMS is open and operating but the USPS is closed, so mail volumes will be much lighter for customers in Thurston County.

April 28, 2017

Consolidated Mail Services News and Updates

UPS services now available

UPS is now on the state Small Package Delivery contract. Consolidated Mail Services (CMS) has revised the Mailing Instruction Form (pink slip) to include the UPS options, however, until you need a new supply, check the "Other" box, write in UPS and indicate Express or Ground service. Check the "Ship Notification" box to have the tracking number sent automatically to you.

UPS Express packaging is available to order from our supply page. UPS packaging is not needed for Ground shipments.

For additional information, please contact CMS.

Are you sending mail outside the U.S.? Here’s how

Did you know Certified Mail is not an extra service option with International Mail?  There are, however, ways to obtain tracking or delivery confirmation. Here are some tips:

  • Check out the options for protecting your shipment or keeping shipping records. 
  • When mailing and shipping internationally, you often need a customs form which must be filled out online. 
  • Also, be sure to review the destination country's requirements and restrictions. For example, Restricted Delivery is not currently available when sending to Mexico. 

To learn more, go to the USPS website or contact CMS.

Share the envelopes

Summer is construction season, meaning slower traffic and possibly a delay in your mail delivery and pick up times, especially for areas outside of Thurston County.

With this in mind, we encourage you to plan ahead to reduce the need for overnight shipments. Last minute shipping can also mean higher postage or shipping costs. For more information contact CMS Customer Service at (360) 664-9507, or visit our website for cut-off and small package vendor departure times.

Upcoming dates to remember

  • Memorial Day, Monday, May 29
  • Independence Day, Tuesday, July 4

Upcoming CMS customer trainings and tours

  • July 20 – full
  • Sept. 14
  • Oct. 19

All trainings are from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Call (360) 664-9507 to register.


Washington State Department of Enterprise Services - Consolidated Mail Services February 3, 2017 Message - click link to open pdf file


February 3, 2017

Consolidated Mail Services News and Updates

DES welcomes new Print and Mail Program Manager Damien Bernard

Damien BernardFor years, state print and mail operations worked together but operated out of different agencies. Since the Department of Enterprise Services was formed in 2011, the Printing and Imaging, Production Services and Consolidated Mail Services programs have begun to consolidate, creating more streamlined processes in handling print and mail materials for state agencies. In January, Damien Bernard accepted the position of Print and Mail Program Manager to lead that effort.

Damien brings years of experience in both technology support and operations management for a variety of businesses. He came to DES from Epiq Systems, an integrated technology solutions provider for the legal profession based in Portland, Ore., where he worked for seven years. Before that, he worked for Immedia, a direct marketing company. Damien has served as Digital Print and Mail Solutions Architect with DES since July, 2016.

Consolidating print and mail services at DES will not be an easy task, but Damien says he’s looking forward to working with staff to meet some lofty goals that will lead to seamless print and mail services for the state.

“We have a lot of work to do but the DES print and mail professionals are experts in their trades. Their knowledge and commitment is a great asset when it comes to long-term planning for streamlining these services.” said Damien. “I am excited to work with such a dedicated group.”

Stay alert

Although rare, mail security threats are real. CMS takes extra precautions, including X-rays, to ensure mail is safe. Employees at state agencies who handle mail should also be aware of best practices in handling mail. Learn more.

New insert machine increases production

In order to keep up with growing demand, CMS replaced an aging insert machine with new technology that increases production and decreases the risk of mistakes. The new insert machine

  • Can process twice as many pieces of mail per hour compared to the older machine it replaced
  • Can process both cut sheet and continuous material without suspending operations to change out components
  • Uses cameras instead of scanners to read insert control barcodes, reducing the risk of incorrect mailings

By using CMS inserting services, agencies save valuable employee time allowing them to focus on their core business. There are no minimum volumes for jobs and the standard turnaround time is 48 hours with an option for same day turnaround. Learn more.

Have CMS prepare it for you

If you have regular mailings or need to send a large communication, consider coordinating with CMS to have your mail prepared, stuffed and mailed without using your agency’s staff time. CMS will work with you to ensure your mailings are fashioned for optimal savings.

Save the date

CMS offers a half-day customer training and tour that will answer your mailing questions and provide great cost savings opportunities for the various types of mail you send and receive. The next training is Feb.16, 2017, 9 a.m. to noon. Trainings fill up fast. Call (360) 586-0457 to reserve a spot.

Did you know?

In calendar year 2016 CMS processed 804,537 pieces of campus mail. Overall, the program processed 58,165,248 pieces of mail for a monthly average of 129 customers. Every day, CMS drivers travel to

  • 57 cities in
  • 10 counties, driving
  • 1,801 miles for
  • 1,091 deliveries

Dates to remember

  • Presidents' Day, Monday, Feb. 20
  • CMS Customer Training, Thursday, Feb. 16, 9 a.m.-noon
  • CMS Customer Training, Thursday, April 20, 9 a.m.-noon

To register for training or for more information about CMS services, call (360) 586-0457


Washington State Department of Enterprise Services - Consolidated Mail Services October 5, 2016 Message - click link to open pdf file


October 5, 2016

Consolidated Mail Services News and Updates

Heavy traffic drives FedEx pickup time adjustments

If you drive in western Washington, it's likely you've noticed an increase in traffic congestion. Because of this, FedEx advanced pickup times for Express shipments from Consolidated Mail Services (CMS) to 4:35 p.m. As such, FedEx Express shipments picked up by your CMS driver after 3 p.m. may not be back to our facility in time to meet the FedEx deadline. If you have urgent packages that need to be shipped overnight, please submit them earlier in the day or, using the CMS FedEx account, submit your package directly to FedEx. This pickup change does not apply to FedEx Ground services.

Please also be aware of the potential for even earlier departures during the fall and winter months due to inclement weather. CMS will send separate communications in those cases.

If you have questions or need to make special arrangements, please contact CMS Customer Service at (360) 664-9507.

Plan ahead for a busy season

In the coming months, many agencies will have monthly, quarterly and annual mailings occurring simultaneously. CMS is currently ramping up for this busy production time. Last December and January, the program inserted documents into nearly 9 million envelopes.

With this in mind, we encourage you to plan ahead and schedule print, insert, and mail jobs early. Last minute jobs can mean higher postage costs. For more information or to schedule a job, contact CMS Customer Service at (360) 664-9507, or visit our website.

Reminder: Have personal mail delivered at home

With the holiday season approaching, it is tempting to have packages delivered to the workplace, but this can actually lead to higher costs for your agency. Now is an excellent time to remind employees to refrain from using state resources to receive personal mail.

Electronic Return Receipt saves tax dollars

CMS processes Certified Mail with Electronic Return Receipt (ERR) for customers. ERR is a service that provides the sender with proof of delivery by recording the recipient's signature and actual delivery address. In 2015, CMS customers saved more than $110,000 by using ERR. Learn more.

Save the date

Consolidated Mail Services offers a half-day customer training and tour that will answer your mailing questions and offer great cost savings opportunities for the varying types of mail you send and receive. The next training is scheduled for Oct. 20, 9 a.m. – noon. Call (360) 586-0457 to register if you would like to attend.

Share the envelopes

Are used campus mail envelopes stacking up in your office mailroom? CMS can help. If your office has more campus mail envelopes than it can use, we can redistribute them to state agencies that don't have enough. Please send excess envelopes to mailstop 41050 so CMS can supply other agencies and reduce the need for envelope purchases.

Dates to remember

October 10 Columbus Day – USPS closed
October 20 CMS customer training 9 a.m. – noon
November 11 Veterans Day
November 24 & 25 Thanksgiving holiday
December 26 Christmas Day observed
January 2 New Year's Day observed


Washington State Department of Enterprise Services - Consolidated Mail Services July 14, 2016 Message - click link to open pdf file


July 14, 2016

Consolidated Mail Services News and Updates

Featured service

Presort mail and flats

Consolidated Mail Services offers discounted postage on your First-Class letter and flat-size mail. Our presort option offers savings on qualifying material. Your mail might already qualify or be just one or two quick adjustments away from doing so. Visit the DES website to learn about sending and receiving mail and First-Class presort flats guidelines in more detail.

Did you know how you format an address can have an impact on cost and delivery time of your mail?

To address your envelopes and flats properly, follow these guidelines:

  • Format all lines of the address with a uniform left margin.
  • Uppercase letters are preferred on all lines of the address block.

MR JOHN DOE
123 MAGNOLIA ST APT
HEMPSTEAD NY 11550-1234

Benefits

Using this format allows your mail to be machine readable which makes you able to take advantage of discounted postage rates for presort letters and flats, and avoid the possiblity of delay or returns.

State Standard Envelopes can save taxpayer dollars

CMS has partnered with the DES Printing & Imaging program to increase the stock of State Standard Envelops, allowing agencies to simplify envelope purchasing and reduce mailing costs throughout state government. These envelopes are chosen specifically for their capacity to easily accommodate a wide range of state mailings and still qualify for postage discounts. To learn more or to order State Standard Envelopes, call CMS customer service at (360) 586-0457.

Save the date

Consolidated Mail Services offers a half-day customer training and tour that will answer your mailing questions and provide great cost savings opportunities for the varying types of mail you send and receive. Upcoming dates are July 21 and Oct. 20. The trainings fill up fast. Call (360) 586-0457 to register if you would like to attend.

Share the envelopes

Are used campus envelopes stacking up in your office mailroom? CMS can help. If your office has more campus envelopes than it can use, we can redistribute them to state agencies that don’t have enough. Please send excess envelopes to mailstop 41050 so CMS can supply other agencies and reduce the need for envelope purchases.

Dates to remember

July 21 -- Training
To register, call (360) 586-0457

September 5 -- Labor Day

October 20 -- Training
To register, call (360) 586-0457


Washington State Department of Enterprise Services - Consolidated Mail Services April 5, 2016 Message - click link to open pdf file


April 5, 2016

Consolidated Mail Services News and Updates

USPS rates to go down April 10

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is implementing a price adjustment that will reduce costs for domestic and international mail effective April 10, 2016. The changes include: 

Mailing Services

  • First-class full rate letters (1oz.) – 2 cent decrease to 47 cents
  • Postcards – 1 cent decrease to 34 cents
  • Letters to all international destinations (1 oz.) -- $1.15
  • Other mailing services, including Standard Mail, Package Services and Extra Services will also change in price

Savings on presorted letters

Consolidated Mail Services (CMS) presorts letters weighing up to three ounces. Customers can save more than 30 cents on each qualifying letter. To take advantage of these savings, be sure to correctly format and address your letters.

First Class Pre Sort Information Graphic 

Other ways to save

Presorting flat mailings can save 9 cents per piece.

Welcome Pete Henderson

The CMS Inserting team has hired Pete Henderson as their new swing shift supervisor. Pete comes to CMS from the private sector where he worked his way up from forklift operator to a production/distribution warehouse manager over the course of 24 years. Pete’s wife, Tami, works for the Department of Corrections and they have two sons in their 20s. Currently residents of Puyallup, Pete and Tami hope to relocate to Thurston County -- preferably near a lake -- in the near future.

Serving King County

CMS is happy to welcome new customers from DSHS who are located in the greater Seattle region. Adding DSHS' 36 delivery points to CMS' four King County routes allows for quicker and more direct delivery, as well as the ability for DSHS staff in King County to track campus mail. It also allows CMS to streamline existing routes and improve service to customers. For more information on services CMS offers, visit our website or call (360) 586-0457.

Save the date

Consolidated Mail Services offers a half-day customer training  and tour that will answer your mailing questions and provide great cost savings opportunities for the  varying types of mail you send and receive. Upcoming dates are July 21 and Oct. 20. The trainings fill up fast. Call (360) 586-0457 to register if you would like to attend.


Washington State Department of Enterprise Services - Consolidated Mail Services January 14, 2016 Message - click link to open pdf file


January 14, 2016

Consolidated Mail Services News and Updates

DES offers new, improved process to review mail equipment needs

Under RCW 43.19.720, DES is responsible for reviewing current and prospective needs of state agencies for any equipment to process state government mail. Reviews are helpful to determining your needs, and to ensure you’re making the most cost-effective and performance-rewarding choice for the activities your agency values.

DES recently streamlined the review process with active participation from customers, subject matter experts, and contracts specialists to be as open, fair and expedient as possible. New tools are now available for use with the two mail equipment contracts. The Mail Equipment Notification form and a set of FAQs are attached to the contracts awarded to Pitney Bowes (02713) and Neopost and FP Mailing Solutions (03415). Customers can expect to see a more standardized review process with better communication along the way. If you are unfamiliar with the review requirement or need more information, contact Contract Manager Breann Aggers, (360) 407-9416.

USPS price increase

For the first time in three years, the United States Postal Service (USPS) is raising rates on commercial Priority Mail products, as well as for other Shipping Services products. The rate change is effective January 17, 2016. First Class and Standard mail rates will remain the same.

The Postal Service’s average rate changes to specific products include:

  • Priority Mail Express: 15.6 percent
  • Priority Mail: 9.8 percent
  • First-Class Package Service: 12.8 percent
  • Parcel Select Destination Entry: 4.9 percent
  • Parcel Select Ground: 1.9 percent
  • Parcel Select Lightweight: 23.5 percent
  • Parcel Return Service: 5 percent
  • Standard Post: 10 percent

If you have questions, please contact CMS Customer Service at (360) 586-0457.

Keep your documents safe in a campus envelope

Using campus envelopes can protect your important documents from damage and helps ensure your interoffice mail gets to the right place. Learn more about using campus mail. If you’re running low on envelopes, order more online. If you have too many and want to recycle some, send them to mail stop 41050.

CMS customer training and tour

Consolidated Mail Services offers a half day Customer training and tour that will answer your mailing questions and provide great cost savings opportunities for the many different classes and types of mail you send and receive. Space is limited so please call (360) 586-0457 to register if you would like to attend. Upcoming dates are:

  • February 18, 2016 from 9 am to noon
  • April 21, 2016 from 9 am to noon

Discounted postage rates for more than just letters

Consolidated Mail Services offers discounted postage on your First Class flat-size mailings. Similar to how you’re able to save by having us presort your one, two or three ounce letters, our presort flats option offers savings on qualifying material. Your flat-size mail might already qualify or be just one or two quick adjustments away from discounts. Learn more.

Fun CMS facts from calendar year 2015

Did you know Consolidated Mail Services handled nearly 118 million pieces mail though our facility and save the state $2,327,586 by presorting qualified letters and flats? If you would like more information on our Presort services please call (360) 664-9507.

If you have questions, please contact CMS Customer Service at (360) 586-0457.


Washington State Department of Enterprise Services - Consolidated Mail Services October 1, 2015 Message - click link to open pdf file


October 1, 2015

Consolidated Mail Services News and Updates

Customer training and tour event October 15

CMS is hosting a training and tour for customers October 15, 9 a.m. to noon. This presentation covers mail guidelines and features a guided tour through the CMS facility in Olympia. Space is limited and registration is required. To register, please contact CMS Customer Service at (360) 664-9505.

CMS welcomes Brion McCoy to the team

Brion McCoy has recently joined CMS as a management analyst and will be the main contact for billing questions. Before coming to CMS, Brion served at the Department of Licensing for 10 years as an excise tax examiner after one year as an office assistant in the DOL mailroom. Brion has a graduate degree in management and strategy and is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family and his dogs, playing in his band and coaching softball and basketball for the Special Olympics. He can be reached at (360) 586-1947 or Brion.McCoy@des.wa.gov.

Planning ahead

In the coming months, many agencies will have monthly, quarterly and annual mailings occurring simultaneously. CMS is currently ramping up for this busy production time. Last December and January, CMS inserted documents into nearly 9 million envelopes!

With this in mind, we encourage you to plan ahead and schedule print and mail jobs early. Remember to factor in holidays and potential transportation delays caused by inclement weather. Last minute jobs can mean higher postage costs. For more information or to schedule a job, contact CMS Customer Service at (360) 664-9507, or visit our website.

Reminder: Have personal packages delivered at home

With holidays approaching, it is tempting to have packages delivered to the workplace, but this can actually lead to higher costs for your agency. Now is an excellent time to remind employees to refrain from using state resources to receive personal mail.

DES print and mail services to present at the 2015 Training Conference and Trade Show

The 2015 DES Training Conference and Trade Show is an opportunity to learn about DES services and using master contracts. The CMS, Printing & Imaging, and Production Services team will give a presentation on innovative mail solutions to reduce cost and risk. The presentation is at 9:45-10:45 a.m. on November 5 at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center.

Share the envelopes

Are used campus envelopes stacking up in your office mailroom? CMS can help. If your office has more campus envelopes than it can use, we can redistribute them to state agencies that don’t have enough. Please send excess envelopes to mailstop 41050 so CMS can supply other agencies and reduce the need for envelope purchases.


Washington State Department of Enterprise Services - Consolidated Mail Services August 4, 2015 Message - click link to open pdf file


August 4, 2015

Consolidated Mail Services News and Updates

Stay alert

Although they are rare, mail security threats are real. CMS takes extra precautions, including X-rays, to ensure mail is safe. Employees at state agencies who handle mail should also be aware of best practices in handling incoming and outgoing mail. Learn more.

CMS welcomes Customer Services Specialist Stacey Daniels

Stacey Daniels has joined the CMS team as their new customer service specialist. Stacey comes from Lemay Inc., where she dispatched a fleet of 70 recycling and refuse trucks. At CMS, Stacey is part of a customer service team that provides guidance and consulting services for agencies to find the best value for their mailing needs. She can be reached at (360) 664-9505, or Stacey.daniels@des.wa.gov.

Use CMS consulting services to best meet your mailing needs

CMS customer service representatives offer consulting services that can help your agency save resources and allow state employees to focus on their core business functions. Recently, CMS has helped agencies by:

  • Replacing costly courier services with existing CMS mail routes.
  • Absorb mail metering services, ending leases of agency metering machines.
  • Working with agencies to get their insert material onto high speed insert equipment.
  • Qualifying customers’ letters and flats for discounted postage rates.

Learn more about mailing tips and guidelines.

State agencies save with FedEx

There are several options to choose from for package shipping services. Because FedEx holds the state contract for small package services, their rates are lower than other competitors. When looking for a shipping service, agencies can save money by calling CMS first.

Are you using your pink slip account?

The beginning of a new biennium is a good time to review your program’s open outgoing mail accounts/pink slips and determine if changes could be made. If you have pink slip accounts you no longer use, CMS can work with you to close them. Call CMS Customer Service, (360) 664-9507, for more information. Remember, when you close an account, recycle all those old pink slips.

Remember to include your P.O. Box or mailstop number in your address

Whether your receiving mail to your P.O. Box from USPS, or packages to your physical address, it’s always helpful to include your P.O. Box number to ensure a timely delivery.

Receiving package deliveries from FedEx or UPS

CONSOLIDATED MAIL SERVICES
JOHN DOE
616 CHERRY ST SE
P.O. BOX 41050
OLYMPIA, WA 98501

Receiving mail to your P.O. Box

CONSOLIDATED MAIL SERVICES
JOHN DOE
616 CHERRY ST SE
P.O. BOX 41050
OLYMPIA, WA 98504–1050

Reminder:
If you are looking for a specific PO Box or mailstop number, you can find it by using our handy lookup tool online.


Washington State Department of Enterprise Services - Consolidated Mail Services April 20, 2015 Message - click link to open pdf file


April 20, 2015

Consolidated Mail Services News and Updates

CMS customer training and plant tour

Consolidated Mail Services (CMS) offers a half day customer training and tour that will answer your mailing questions and provide innovative cost saving ideas for all the different types of mail you send. Register by calling (360) 586-0457. Upcoming training dates are:

  • April 28, 2015, from 9 am to noon
  • July 23, 2015, from 9 am to noon
  • October 15, 2015, from 9 am to noon

Opportunities to save

Is your agency looking for saving opportunities in the new biennium? Here are some ideas to help you save time and expense in mailing.

Presort letters
CMS presorts letters weighing up to three ounces. Customers can potentially save more than 30 cents on qualifying letters.

Weight Meter rate Presort rate Savings 1 ounce $0.485 $0.391 $0.094 2 ounce $0.705 $0.391 $0.314 3 ounce $0.925 $0.651 $0.274

To take advantage of these savings, be sure to correctly format and address your letters according to USPS standards for automated mail, and check the correct box on the pink slip.

Organize your mail
Customers that make use of the presort service can receive discounts, but CMS and USPS presort equipment generally can’t read mail with handwritten addresses. To save time and resources, use printed addresses when possible. Otherwise, separate mail addressed by hand to avoid additional handling and fees.

Have CMS prepare it for you
If you have regular mailings or need to send a large communication, consider coordinating with CMS to have your mail prepared, stuffed and mailed without using your agency's staff time. CMS will work with you to ensure your mailings are fashioned for optimal savings.

To find more ways to save when mailing -- including presorting flat-size mail or utilizing electronic signature services -- please contact CMS Customer Service at (360) 664-9507.

Post Office requires a barcode on certain types of mail

To increase automation and integrity, the USPS requires a new label (USPS Label 400) on the following types of mail:

  • Priority Mail
  • First Class Packages/Parcels
  • Standard Post / Library Mail / Media Mail

You don't need to change how you’re currently mailing -- CMS will apply the labels to mailpieces requiring them. However, if you wish to make use of the service, you can apply the label yourself, keep a record of the tracking number, and check for updates about your shipment’s status as it travels to its destination. Updates from scans include arrival and departure information as well as the date and time of delivery or attempted delivery.

Customer kudos

CMS works hard to bring state agencies, and taxpayers, the best value in mailing costs. It means a lot when we hear positive results from a customer:

"Thank you, (CMS tour-guide) Jim for the amazing tour. You were great and we all learned a lot. The information you provided will help us in ‘Leaning’ our mail process. We greatly appreciate you for taking the time from your day to teach us." -- Department of Early Learning Mail Lean Team


Washington State Department of Enterprise Services - Consolidated Mail Services February 5, 2015 Message - click link to open pdf file


February 5, 2015

Consolidated Mail Services News and Updates

Greetings from Consolidated Mail Services (CMS). As the primary mail contact, this information was directed to you for use within your agency. Please distribute to your managers and coworkers as needed. If the contact information is incorrect we would appreciate being updated at (360) 664-9507.

Welcome!

CMS welcomes the City of Lacey and the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) Children's Administration Sky Valley and Bellevue offices as the newest customers to take advantage of the program's great rates and high-quality service. You can find CMS customer mail stops by using the PO Box/Mail Stop Listings tool.

Pink slips

The pink slip is your mailing instruction form or work order that ensures proper routing and charge-back for your agency's mail. Errors on your pink slip could result in a delay in delivery of your mail. Learn more about filling out and ordering pink slips.

Partnering with CMS saves agencies time, money

Last year, the lease for the mail metering machine used by the DSHS Smokey Point office ran out. Instead of leasing a new one, the office took CMS up on an offer to take on the metering service so staff could focus on the agency's core business. According to DSHS office supervisor Mikki Proctor, they were so happy with the service, DSHS has asked CMS to take on mail metering at three other north Puget Sound locations. "We've seen time and cost savings and we don't have to worry about machine maintenance," Proctor said. "We're really happy with the excellent staff and customer service from CMS."

More ways to save

Sometimes a simple change can mean thousands of dollars in savings. Enterprise Services can help you find solutions.

  • DES Mail Services, Production Services and Printing & Imaging worked with the Employment Security Department to utilize our innovative new print re-engineering service that modernizes formatting and barcoding for a significant tax mailing. As a result, a 172,000 piece mailing was quickly upgraded for added integrity and minimal cost.
  • One agency recently saved more than $22,400 in processing fees, mailing rates, and staff time simply by changing the envelopes they use for a large annual mailing.
  • Small changes and technological advances can have significant impacts, so it's often helpful to regularly evaluate your communications. Learn more about how CMS can help you.

Signature instructions for FedEx

FedEx has different options to obtain proof of delivery to residential addresses:

  • Indirect Signature means anyone can sign for a package upon delivery.
  • Direct Signature means only the addressee can sign for a package.
  • Adult signature can cost more and requires the recipient to show valid identification proving they are 21 or over.

If no option is selected, FedEx will not obtain a signature at a residence. When filling out a shipping label to a residence, consider if a signature is necessary and choose the option that best fits your needs.

Learn more in person

Consolidated Mail Services is offering a free, general information training session on Thursday, Feb. 12, 9a.m. – noon, at our Olympia location. We'll provide an overview of services, cost-saving solutions, tutorials and an opportunity to get answers to those confusing mail questions. We will end the session with a tour of our facility, so you can see how your mail is handled.


Washington State Department of Enterprise Services - Consolidated Mail Services December 18, 2014 Message - click link to open pdf file


December 18, 2014

Consolidated Mail Services News and Updates

First-Class mail will take an extra day for delivery

The United States Postal Service (USPS) announced recently that inbound and outbound First-Class mail will take at least one extra day to be delivered, beginning Jan. 5, 2015. This change to only applies to First-Class mail. Delivery schedules for Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail or package services will not change.

This change in service standards is a continuation of budget adjustments by the USPS as it consolidates and refines its resources.

USPS to maintain product and service prices

There will be no price increases at the USPS in January. The current pricing of postal products and services will remain the same in the foreseeable future. Customers will be given advance notice of any price changes.

Let Consolidated Mail Services help you

Consolidated Mail Services offers a wide range of services to help agencies receive and deliver mail efficiently and cost-effectively. Learn more about CMS.

Please contact CMS Customer Service at james.bradley@des.wa.gov, (360) 664-9507, for more information.


Washington State Department of Enterprise Services - Consolidated Mail Services November 5, 2014 Message - click link to open pdf file


August 8, 2014

Consolidated Mail Services News and Updates

Presort flats

Consolidated Mail Services can now offer discounted postage on your First-Class flat-size mail. Similar to how you're able to save by having us presort your one, two or three ounce letters, our presort flats option offers savings on qualifying material. Your flat-size mail might already qualify or be just one or two quick adjustments away from doing so. Go to First-Class presort flats guidelines for more detail.

More USPS changes approaching

The United States Postal Service is continuing the consolidation of its processing facilities in an effort to reduce costs. The next phase will target 82 locations across the country. CMS will keep customers up-to-date on any USPS changes that may impact service expectations. For an in-depth look at the transitions, go to USPS planned consolidations.

Improved CMS tracking system coming soon

CMS has begun installation of a more robust tracking system for accountable campus and incoming mail. Soon customers can expect to see an enhanced user experience in both ease and accessibility. More news on expanded features and any differences in process will come to you as we complete our pilot programs.

Customer tours and trainings

CMS is offering a customer training and tour on Thursday, Oct. 23, 9 a.m. — noon, at our facility in Olympia.

These popular trainings fill fast so please call CMS at (360) 586-0457 to register. CMS customer service representatives are also available to come to your location to consult with you about mail services or provide trainings. Contact us to make an appointment.

Return used campus envelopes to CMS for recycling

If your office has an excess of used campus envelopes, please send them our way (mailstop 41050) so we can furnish other agencies and reduce the need for state purchases.

Remember: When returning extra interoffice envelopes for reuse please double check the envelope making sure all documents are removed.

Proposed USPS price changes

The USPS has proposed price changes to some of Priority Mail, effective September 2014. The proposed pricing files are posted on Postal Explore® at pe.usps.com under the September 2014 Price Change Information header in the left navigation bar. Priority Mail processed at CMS falls under Commercial Base pricing.

For further information about this or other CMS services, feel welcome to contact CMS Customer Service at (360) 664-9507.


Washington State Department of Enterprise Services - Consolidated Mail Services

June 24, 2014

Consolidated Mail Services News and Updates

Postage discounts on qualifying First Class flat-size mail

Consolidated Mail Services (CMS) is now offering a way to receive postage discounts on qualifying First Class flat-size mail.

Customers can potentially save an average of 7.5 cents per piece by preparing their mail to meet a few simple requirements. The United States Postal Services (USPS) applies automation discounts to mail pieces that are presorted and barcoded by the mailer. As customers are currently able to reduce postage costs on letter-size mail by using CMS Presort service, senders of flat-size envelopes can achieve similar savings by ensuring the address is properly formatted and placed, and the envelope is not too heavy or too rigid.

Flats are classified by the USPS as large envelopes that meet the following criteria:

 

For details on how to format your envelopes for this service, refer to these First Class Presort flats guidelines located on our mail services Web page. Many are common-sense requirements you may already be meeting. By considering these simple pointers in preparing your mail — especially high volumes of mail — you can realize noticeable savings for your organization.

Other things to know

  • Presort flats are submitted to the USPS the next business day.
  • Check the 1st Class Presort box under the Flats section of the mailing instruction form (pink slip) to request this service. If you don't have a new version of the pink slip, simply check the "other" box and write in "presort flats".

For further information about this or other CMS services, feel welcome to contact CMS Customer Service at (360) 664-9507.


Washington State Department of Enterprise Services - Consolidated Mail Services

April 28, 2014

Consolidated Mail Services News and Updates

Mailing integrity

The ability to irrefutably prove that your organization created and mailed a document can be critical for legally sensitive material. There are several ways to improve accountability but each has varying degrees of integrity. To help customers understand their choices CMS recently added information about levels of integrity with inserted material on the State Document and Mailing Standards pages of our website.

Accountability in parcel delivery

While FedEx will always obtain a signature when delivering to a business or office, signatures are not collected from residential recipients unless the sender requests one. If you require a signature, be sure to check the box marked "This is a residential address" and select the signature type under Special Services when creating your shipping label online. If CMS will be preparing the label for you, indicate "signature required" on the pink slip.

Express redressed

New packaging and labels are now available for USPS Priority Mail Express on the CMS mail supply order webpage. As you'll recall from previous News & Updates, Priority Mail Express is the new name for USPS Express. The service commitments have not changed. In order to save resources, please use old stock before ordering new.

Customer Tours and Trainings

CMS is offering customer trainings and tours on the following dates from 9 a.m. to noon at our facility in Olympia.

  • Thursday, July 24
  • Thursday, October 23

These popular trainings fill fast, so call CMS at (360) 586-0457 to register. CMS Customer Service representatives are also available to come to your location to consult with you about mail services or provide trainings. Contact us to make an appointment.


Washington State Department of Enterprise Services - Consolidated Mail Services

January 21, 2014

To:  Consolidated Mail Services Customers

From:  Consolidated Mail Services (CMS)
             Customer Service

Subject:  CMS News and Updates

New postal rates coming Jan. 26

The United States Postal Service (USPS) will adjust prices for domestic and international services effective January 26, 2014. The adjustments include:

Mailing Services

  • First-class full rate letters (1 oz.) – 3 cent increase to 49 cents.
  • Additional ounce rate for letters – 1 cent increase to 21 cents.
  • Postcards – 1 cent increase to 34 cents.
  • Letters to all international destinations (1 oz.) – $1.15.
  • Other mailing services, including Standard Mail, Package Services and Extra Services will also change in price.

Savings on presorted letters

Consolidated Mail Services (CMS) presorts letters weighing up to three ounces. Customers can save more than 30 cents on qualifying letters. To take advantage of these savings, be sure to correctly format and address your letters.

First-Class Mail Presort Letters Weight not over Meter rate Presort rate Savings 1 ounce $0.48 $0.381 $0.099 2 ounce $0.69 $0.381 $0.309 3 ounce $0.90 $0.641 $0.259

Other ways to save

Reformatting flats (large envelopes) into letters can provide significant savings. CMS can work with you to make sure your letter meets all USPS requirements.

The USPS will raise the rate for both Return Receipt and Electronic Return Receipt (ERR) on January 26; however, the savings difference will increase from $1.30 to $1.35 per envelope by using ERR. Use CMS's ERR function whenever possible to realize the greatest savings when you need that level of tracking.

2013 tax mailings underway

CMS is inserting and mailing more than 900,000 tax related mailings for state agencies this month, including state employee W-2s. All of these mailings will be processed and mailed as required by Jan. 31. Questions pertaining to W-2s should be directed to your agency's payroll department.

CMS training opportunity

CMS provides free mail services trainings and tours for customers at our location. The next training is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 27. Space is limited and registration is required. To register, please contact CMS customer service at (360) 664-9507.