The packaging and shipping department of a non-profit organization was processing thousands of orders per week using padded Jiffy bags and sending parcels at library rate through the US Postal Service. The new Director was notified by his postal representative that since the books were being shipped to consumers they did not qualify for library rate and they would need to start shipping parcel post. This would result in a significant increase in shipping expense. The director was looking for different options and needed to find a way to reduce his monthly expense.
- Jiffy bags had been replaced by Sealed Air bubble bags. The difference in weight allowed many of the packages to qualify for a less expensive postal rate.
- The bags were difficult to work with. Items that slide into the Jiffy bags were getting stuck on the plastic and it took 2-3 times as long to fill.
- New bags required a heat sealer to melt the bags shut. This resulted in staff getting burned and the manual machines did not last very long since they were not made to handle thousands of packages per week.
- Bags were being manually stamped with various endorsements.
- Large runs of identical product could qualify for non-profit 3rd class identical rates. These were sorted and bagged for distribution to postal Bulk Mail Centers (BMC's). This was a manual process that was best completed by sorting pick tickets prior to processing.
- Thousand of packages were not identical and were being shipped at a much more expensive rate.
- A local bag manufacturer began to work with the team and designed a bag that was easy to pack and that could be self sealed without having to fold a flap over.
- The dimensions of the bags were designed around the frequency of certain packing requirement.
- Color and printing was added to increase the appeal of the package and eliminate the need for manual stamps.
- Upon review of the domestic mail manual (DMM) there was a provision that allowed non-profits to mail non-identical packages at a reduced rate.
- The IT department included a BMC # on each pick ticket which made the parcel sorting process more efficient.
- Eliminating the heat sealers resulted in a safer work environment and few injuries.
- Because of the volume of bags purchased the cost per package decreased even with the custom design.
- Manual stamping was eliminated and the staff re-purposed to a value added job function.
- The new non-profit non-identical 3rd class process saved an estimated $300,000 per year.