Would your business survive a malware attack?

By Paul Johnson, President Complete Mailing Solutions


If your business were struck this afternoon by a malware attack, how would it fare? At first brush, most executives would be inclined to say they’re prepared. Upon digging further, many would find that they have vulnerabilities that could be quite disruptive and costly.

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When it comes down to it, there are two primary issues to consider:

  • How well are you protected?
  • How would you recover if successfully attacked?

The former has to do with protection and prevention and the latter with recovery or what is often referred to as business continuity. Each of these is an extensive topic and can’t be given their just due in one article. However, we’d like to provide insights into business continuity, helpful resources and actions you can take to move your company closer to the ideal of being able to recover without missing a beat.

The frequency and effectiveness of malware attacks are growing at an alarming rate. This is placing ever more importance on business continuity to the point where it is now a business imperative.

Is a good backup strategy sufficient?

This is an important point to consider. It primarily boils down to what you define as sufficient. How long would it take to recover using on site backups? Hours? Days? What would that cost you in direct and intangible costs? The eBook, CEO? Here’s Why You Care about Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery, is a helpful guide for executives to assess the risks and costs of downtime.

What is the difference between backup and business continuity? A picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s an infographic, Traditional Backup vs Intelligent Business Continuity, that does a nice job of
comparing and contrasting the two.

If you want to learn more about business continuity solutions and/or get an assessment for your business, call or email Paul Johnson at 303-761-0681 or Paul.Johnson@comp-mail.com

Privacy Compliance… are prying eyes viewing private information?

By Paul Johnson, President Complete Mailing Solutions


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The current privacy compliance pressures facing businesses in many industries, from healthcare to finance and manufacturing, have resulted in a heavy focus on the high-tech areas of IT and data security. But there is an often overlooked low-tech area that represents a prevalent risk, and it’s one that can be mitigated relatively easily and inexpensively.

Are your document handling and billing systems putting you at risk?

Mail handling, billing and customer communications are functions that have been around seemingly forever. Consequently, companies often mistakenly believe that they have these areas “handled”. Yet these are areas where customer privacy can be put at risk on a daily basis.

What if these risks could be fairly easily and inexpensively mitigated? Further, what if addressing them also resulted in reduced costs and increased operational efficiencies? Implementing processes and software to properly handle customer information and customer communications can deliver these results.

Here a few examples of commonly overlooked areas of exposure:

  • Mail processing systems that do not prevent combining statements or invoices for two different customers.
    • You’d be surprised how often this happens and how easily it can be avoided.
  • Mail being handled in a publicly accessible area by a secretary or receptionist.
    • If so, you’re not alone – this is a common practice and one that often puts customer information unattended within public view.
  • Mismatched or “problem” mail left exposed in a public area while problems are being solved.
    • Not only is this process out of compliance but wastes valuable employee time to correct.
  • Manually handling client documents with different numbers of pages and inserts.
    • This not only exposes private information to workers but is extremely inefficient and error prone.

These are just a few of the many areas where businesses put themselves at risk on a daily basis.

Want to do a quick check to determine areas where you might be at risk?

Download this free compliance checklist to identify often overlooked areas of exposure that may need attention. Another great resource is the white paper from Neopost on How to Ensure Your Organization’s Mail Process is Compliant. It includes 8 best practices for mail compliance.

Interested in digging deeper? Learn more with our complimentary document handling compliance and cost reduction assessment.

 

Drowning In Rising Shipping Costs?

By Paul Johnson, President Complete Mailing Solutions


Both UPS and FedEx have announced their General Rate Increase (GRI) for 2017. For the first time, there are differences in how each carrier is approaching their increases. Here are some highlights of the changes shippers will encounter as well as some strategies on managing the increases.For the first time, UPS will be increase the majority of their 2017 rates on December 26th, which will impact shippers with post-Christmas returns.
 

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  • The basic rate increase that averages 4.9% (packages in the 1-10 lb range are typically higher).
  • UPS will now be assessing Additional Handling Surcharges on packages that are 48” or more ion the longest side (from t 60”) on Ground, Air, and International packages.
  • Additional Handling Surcharges will increase $.35 and will now also be applied to UPS’ more economical SurePost packages (packages that ship UPS but are delivered to their final destination by the USPS). The surcharge will go into effect on January 8, 2017.

View a 2017 rate overview here Rates at ups.com
 
 

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  • FedEx will increase their rates on January 2, 2017. The change reflects an average 3.9% increase on domestic U.S. domestic, import and export services.
  •  FedEx is changing their domestic dimensional weight multiplier from 166” to 139” (dimensional weight is calculated by multiplying the length x width x height then dividing by the multiplier – 139).
  • FedEx will adjust their Fuel Surcharge on a weekly rather than monthly basis. Industry experts suggest this indicates FedEx is anticipating higher fuel costs next year and want to reduce the impact on their revenue.

View FedEx 2017 shipping rates here 2017 Rates at fedex.com
 
 

  • The USPS has not announced a specific rate increase but has published tentative structural changes that would go into effect on January 22, 2017

View USPS proposed changes USPS 2017 Changes
 
 

When Does a 1-Lb Parcel Weigh 11 lbs?

No it’s not a trick question but it might depend on the date.

Dimensional pricing has had a significant impact on the cost of shipments because pricing is based on dimensions rather than weight. Essentially a 1-lb package is no longer a 1-lb package!

Consider this:

Cost Comparison of a 12” x 12” x 12” Package Weighing 1 Lb.
Carrier 2016 Billable Weight 2016 Rates – Price* 2017 Billable Weight 2017 Rates – Approx Price
FedEx Ground 11 lbs $15 13 lbs $20
UPS 11 lbs $18 11 lbs $19
USPS 1 lbs $7 1 lbs $7

As rates and surcharges steadily increase, it’s no longer feasible to be lax about how items are packaged and shipped.

3 Tips To Better Manage Rate Increases

It is now imperative that shippers more closely manage their shipments. Here are 3 tips to help you better control shipping costs:

  1. Optimize Package Contents and Packaging
    Package as many items in a single container as possible as well as use the smallest box possible to ship the products. This will not only reduce the cost of packing materials but the actual cost of the shipment.
  2. Rate-Shop All Shipments
    With the divergence of pricing strategies between UPS and FedEx, it is more important than ever to shop for the best rate (especially with weekly fuel surcharge adjustments at FedEx).
    Incorporate rate shopping tools such as NeoShip, ProShip, and EMS that not only identify the best shipping rate but provide greater visibility of your shipments progress.
  3. Dimensional Equipment
    Take the guesswork out of dimensioning each package and identify package size and pricing instantly with a dimensional scale that automatically calculates package dimensions

Contact us today for a Free Assessment of your shipping needs and more ideas on how to better manage them –303-761-0681.