USDA Forest Service

Replaced their postage meters and saved $17,000 annually.

“It only took a short trial for us to realize that Stamps.com Enterprise was the postage and shipping solution we wanted to use. Its straightforward, easy to use design has everything we need to fill the needs of our eight shipping locations, and it saves us over $17,000 a year over our old postage meters. I would definitely recommend Stamp.com Enterprise to any organization with multiple offices and extensive postage requirements.”
– Cheryl Moreland, Staff Assistant to Forest Supervisor, USDA Forest Service

Customer
The USDA Forest Service is the agency of the United States Department of Agriculture that administers the 155 national forests and 20 national grasslands throughout the country. These lands cover over 193 million acres of protected wilderness, and are designated wildlife refuges for thousands of species, including many on the verge of extinction. Mark Twain National Forest, Missouri’s only National Forest, encompasses roughly 1.5 million acres. USDA operations on this enormous piece of land are carried out by just over 200 individuals operating in eight field offices.

Challenge
Because of the remote nature of these facilities and the importance of their interaction with the public, postage and shipping accounts for a relatively large portion of total operation. The Mark Twain USDA Forest Service mails almost 20,000 pieces of mail a year, including inter-office letters, public brochures, financial documents, legal documents and assorted packages.

Because they are part of the Federal Government, the Mark Twain USDA Forest Service regularly reviews all internal processes to ensure they are doing everything as efficiently and cost effectively as possible. This helps to ensure that they stay within budgets and can carry on operations unhindered throughout the year. In 2005, they conducted a review of their shipping solutions, and realized that the postage meters they were leasing for each of their eight locations were inefficient, overpriced and outdated. Cheryl Moreland, Staff Assistant to the Forest Supervisor, initiated a search for a replacement postage solution that could fill the needs of their organization, save money and simplify all of their processes.

Solution
Cheryl evaluated several shipping management systems. After a short trial period using Stamps.com Enterprise, she realized that it was the best fit for the organization’s needs. “Once I used Stamp.com Enterprise, I knew that it was the best choice. Stamps.com gives us the capabilities we were looking for, and has saved us considerable money.”

Key criteria for her decision included the ability to ship certified mail, ship traditional postage at high volumes, overall cost-effectiveness and ease of use. Stamps.com Enterprise was rolled out in all eight of the Mark Twain USDA Forest Service’s facilities in 2005, and has been their primary postage management solution ever since.

RESULTS

Cost Savings
Previous to using Stamps.com Enterprise, the USDA Forest Service was locked into long term leases on eight postage meters. These hardware-only solutions came with substantial price tags that extended past their high rental cost. Each one required expensive ink refills that could only be purchased from the manufacturer, dramatically increasing the cost of each piece of postage prepared. The USDA also paid for each system reset when postage rates changed, each USPS Tracking and each scale used in their mailrooms. Most importantly, because of the postage meters’ unnecessary complexity, they required substantial training to operate, which drove up their overall cost of ownership. With Stamps.com Enterprise, none of this is required.

Efficiency
Because Stamps.com Enterprise is a software based application that runs directly on user’s PCs, it was quickly deployed throughout all of the offices of the USDA. The simple, linear interface allowed users to instantly begin shipping packages and printing postage with no special training needed. Each office designated one primary mail clerk and as many as three alternates, because the system could easily be used without any special training or experience. Stamps.com interfaced with their existing contact database, and was able to handle large scale public mailings on its first day of use. Preparing Certified Mail, which used to be a cumbersome task with their postage meters, was immediately simplified by using Stamps.com. The migration from postage meters to Stamps.com Enterprise proved so easy that the USDA moved all postage and shipping activities over to the system on its first day of activation.

Reporting
One of the most important features the USDA was looking for in a postage management solution was a powerful, networked reporting capability. With Stamps.com Enterprise, the system administrator has the ability to instantly review activity in all of their locations, preparing detailed reports that can focus all the way down to the user level. Stamps.com Enterprise has enabled the USDA to manage their postage activities and expenses in a way that was not possible before. This capability has increased employee accountability, decreased accounting errors and oversights and given them the ability to forecast their expenses well into the future.

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