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3 Ways Recent USPS Changes Have Impacted Business Operations & What You Can Do About It

usps changes

Solutions to combat the effect of USPS changes and how to set your business onto a path of increased efficiency, reliability, and lower expenses.

The US Postal Service (USPS) plays a significant role in most business operations. Companies of all sizes depend on the postal service to ship products and mail documents around the country—including important financial documents. However, the continuous postal price increase and other USPS changes recently implemented have placed a strain on business operations and instilled doubt in the reliability of postal services.

Price increases alone can inconvenience a business massively. But additional delays and policy changes have also placed doubt on the reliability of the USPS, especially as it pertains to important or urgent financial and business documents.

However, there are alternative solutions for businesses available to help combat the USPS changes in efficiency, reliability, and cost.

In this post, we discuss digital enterprise solutions available that can free your business from expensive and inefficient paper documents.

Recent USPS Changes to Services

Increasing fees, slower shipping timeframes, and systemic delays all factor into business decisions to look elsewhere for more feasible alternatives.

1. Changing—And Often Unpredictable—Service Times

In October 2021, USPS announced new standard shipping times for first-class mail. Beginning May 1st, the standard for packages to be considered on time will extend from three days to five days. For those who manually handle payments and financial documents, this may pose a significant problem in administrative and payment timelines.

With over 6.8 billion mail items (more than 4.5% of the yearly outbound volume) considered undeliverable in 2020, this only exacerbates questions of dependability. Despite the common USPS refrain, “Nor snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers,” weather delays, changes of address, and other unanticipated events all do frequently cause service interruption.

An uptick in assaults and threats to postal workers has led to further disruptions. For example, for several days in April, the USPS simply stopped servicing several blocks in Santa Monica, California, due to a series of ongoing threats to workers. While service later resumed, the disruption to personal and business mail had already happened. These sorts of unpredictable occurrences leave businesses powerless to ensure that documents arrive on time.

2. Cost Increases

It’s not only delays that have affected USPS either. As service slows, the cost of it is on the rise. Besides the annual shipping rate increases in January, another price hike of upwards of 8.5% is on the horizon for July 2022—with more changes to follow.

USPS is adopting even more surcharges for certain delivery areas as well. Considering how businesses often provide free shipping, the brunt of these increases falls entirely on individual companies.

3. A Loss In Credibility

These increased fees and wait times would be a dent on their own, but they're part of a wider loss of credibility for the organization as of late. Policies proposed by new officials at the USPS have put the historic organization’s credibility on the line. In particular, the newly instated Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has come under heat regarding the efficacy of several cost-cutting measures put into place or suggested.

Internal projections of revenue saved from measures like slower service and increased mail and postage fees (as well as more disruptive suggestions like canceling Saturday service) just don’t add up.

The Postal Regulatory Commission—the organization’s own regulatory board—announced recently that “at present, the Postal Service has not demonstrated that it can achieve reliability, efficiency, and economy in its service standard changes.”

Changes such as reduced and longer service and higher fees do not seem to have much if any bearing on the service’s finances while placing a higher burden on service users. This very vocal analysis from the USPS itself pushing back against changes has led many to question the organization’s reliability at this point.

Changes that seem to be made for the sake of a change do nothing for an organization’s credibility—especially one relied upon by as many people as the USPS. Coupled with federal investigations into the Postmaster-General regarding campaign finance and ethics violations, it raises the question of the organization’s overall trustworthiness.

usps changes

Digital Solutions to Improve Business Operations

It’s increasingly clear that businesses must find alternative solutions to get important financial documentation from point A to point B safely, quickly, and consistently.

Here are some solutions for what businesses can do to minimize the effects of these USPS changes on business expenses—while also making your operations more efficient.

Conduct Transactions and Invoices via ACH Instead

Automated Clearing House (ACH) or direct payments transfer funds directly between bank accounts, eliminating the complications of ordering, writing, checks and mailing checks. More secure than waiting on mail services, ACH payments reduce non-delivery and shipping delay risks.

Since ACH payments do not require manual entry, receiving funds doesn’t hang on the time it takes for checks to make their way through the mail. Unlike mail checks, payments cannot be lost, as they occur near-instantaneously. ACH also provides automatic recurring payment options, with lower fees than credit card payments. Considering how all ACH payments must adhere to a strict security standard laid out by the independent National Clearing House Association (NACHA), you can also be sure of every payment’s safety.

In short, ACH payments offer a clean and comprehensive answer to shipping disruptions and trustworthiness in your financial matters. In the face of a slower, more expensive, and less credible USPS system, ACH can offer the changes you need.

NatPay offers comprehensive ACH distribution solutions for all types of payments. From tax payments and expense reimbursements to commissions, receivable collections, dividends, annuity, and vendor payments, NatPay has you covered. With multiple timing options, you have complete control over fund distribution. And NatPay also guarantees full NACHA compliance, meaning no yearly audits on your part!

Adopt a Modern Workforce Solution with Online Document Management

Effective paper document management depends on time and money. But continuous USPS changes make it hard to forecast and maintain a clear budget. Delivery is time-sensitive and subject to both controllable and uncontrollable delays.

On the other hand, online document delivery solutions like NatPay’s Doculivery eliminate the concerns that go along with physical mail distribution, saving you time and money.

Take, for example, the example of the Butler County School system in Kentucky. With over 300 full-time staff, the school district needed to minimize expenses, improve processes, and streamline its administrative processes.

They adopted NatPay’s Doculivery online document management service to eliminate paper pay stubs and W-2 forms, giving employees access to these documents through a secure online portal. The latest, industry-standard encryption methods and security protocols ensure the safety and security of payment information, while the system is also extremely easy for employees to access. Doculivery took only a few minutes to set up, with minimal training required.

After just a few months of implementing the Doculivery system, BCS anticipated a whopping 50% savings, thanks to the scale-back on time, paper, ink, printing, and postage. Employees also stated that they found the system convenient to use. BCS plans to adopt Doculivery in other areas to further drive savings and streamline business processes. Rather than hobbling on with a paper mail-based operation, they’ve upgraded for the digital age.

Time to Go Fully Paperless

Payroll documents and financial statements are time-sensitive and confidential. Paper management slows down productivity, contributes to clutter, and provides little security, especially when shipping documents long distances. Getting rid of your paper management process entirely is the best way to avoid these disruptions.

Natpay’s e-Statements and e-Invoice solutions use push technology to securely transmit financial documents to employees and customers. The secure links allow intended recipients exclusive access, so they can get a private overview of account balances and transactions with just one click.

The electronic storage system eliminates the need to dig for files and papers, and minimizes the physical storage space required. Documents can’t get lost or misplaced—in fact, you have them accessible on-demand! This helps you to monitor accounts and detect fraudulent activity more efficiently.

NatPay has been providing electronic pay statements to thousands of employees nationwide for over 20 years, and continuously upgrades security to keep at the forefront of information protection.

Transitioning to e-Statements and e-Invoices not only safeguards your statements more effectively; the switch also offers major cost savings. Aside from the administrative time saved, digital documentation cuts out all of your annoying printing, envelope, and paper expenses.

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Get Your Business on Top of Any Change with NatPay

While payroll software is not a new phenomenon, digitizing your systems is increasingly necessary to maintain speed and security standards. NatPay provides the tools to save you time, reduce expenses, and improve the security of every payment you make. A leader in ACH payment for over 30 years, we offer the attention to detail your business’ transactions deserve. From ACH payments themselves, to secure document delivery, to e-Statements and e-Invoices, NatPay has a digital solution for every aspect of your finances.

While once a mainstay of business operations, the changes the USPS is undertaking will only make your financial transactions costlier and slower—at a time when businesses are prioritizing cheaper and faster solutions. Consider making the jump to digital today. NatPay is here to guide you into the electronic era of payment!

Contact NatPay today to see how digital finance systems can help your business.