Streamline Group, LLC

Only source in East Tennessee & Western North Carolina for full spectrum of internal equipment, software & web-based solutions for both physical & electronic mailing, shipping, receiving, e-billing, document automation

Archive for the ‘Customer Applications’ Category

Connect+ Digital Mailing Systems

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010 | Customer Applications, Important Customer Updates, Industry News, Launchpad-New Products & Services, Operational Tips | 1 Comment

®NASHVILLE, Tenn., 2010 – Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE: PBI) launched a new series of customer communications solutions in the U.S. to help organizations deliver more powerful and profitable messages. Among many other new features, the Connect+™ Customer Communications Series enables mailers to print high-resolution graphics and messages in color or black on the outside of the envelope. The print technology was developed as a strategic collaboration with HP & is also available through your local Secap® dealer.

See Connect Plus Digital Mailing Systems now at

The Connect+ Series is the first mailing systems series with a Web- and application-based software architecture and features an intuitive color touch-screen display with graphic icons that provides instant online access to numerous mailing, printing and reporting applications. Customers can access their accounts online to order supplies, download graphics, place service calls, visit USPS Web sites, track parcels and access exclusive Pitney Bowes® presort services.

High-resolution HP inkjet technology with 1,200 dpi allows promotional messages to be printed across the top of envelopes with text, logos or photographs in color or black, while applying postage all in one pass. Messages may range from simple text to limited-time specials or complex color graphics to help build and reinforce an organization’s brand, increase read-rates and drive customer response. With the Connect+ Series, users can also print messages and images along the bottom and back edge of the envelope with multiple passes. Marketers can instantly design messages and import graphics or select images from Pitney Bowes’s extensive library to print on the outside of envelopes, and the Connect+ Series enables direct control of the entire messaging process from an individual’s desktop.

Recent independent market research commissioned by Pitney Bowes shows that 69 percent of consumers indicated they would be more likely to open a mail piece with color text and graphics first compared to a plain white envelope without messaging. What this suggests is printing color promotional messages on the outside of envelopes can help marketers connect with more customers.

“In today’s economic environment, organizations are looking for new ways to retain, acquire and grow the value for their customers,” said Leslie Abi-Karam, Pitney Bowes Executive Vice President and President, Mailstream Solutions Management. “With the Connect+ Series, organizations can now build customer relationships and grow their businesses by turning all of their physical communications into new opportunities to help increase revenue.”

The Connect+ Series includes three product platforms for mid- and high-volume mailers. For mid-volume mailers, the Connect+1000 and Connect+2000 systems can print up to 180 letters per minute and features a 10.2” color touch-screen display. The Connect+2000 system also offers Pitney Bowes Weigh-on-the-Way® technology, which automatically weighs and dimensions mail pieces for additional productivity.

For high-volume mailers, the Connect+3000 system can produce up to 300 letters per minute and includes a standard 10.2” color touch-screen display. The Connect+3000 is also available with Weigh-on-the-Way technology and additional options to customize the solution, including a high-resolution, 15” color touch-screen display.

The Connect+ Series is available for order immediately. Systems with black printing will ship immediately. Color systems are scheduled to ship during the third quarter of this year. Color printing upgrades, which are easily added to existing systems, can also be ordered immediately

Thursday, October 7th, 2010 | Customer Applications, Industry News, Operational Tips | No Comments

The future of eBilling – what are the trends?

1. Online portal paper suppression rates will continue to disappoint;

15% of any average consumer base is usually ‘technologists’ who are happy to embrace a technology like eBilling. The remaining 85% are generally concerned about the cumbersome registration process associated with online billing, and then once logged in find it fairly confusing to navigate and retrieve their bill.

2. Billers will begin charging for paper bills or full detailed bills, however this will have little lasting impact on paperless adoption rates;

We have seen a number of billers trying to charge for paper bills, the most recent example being ‘T-Mobile’ in North America. This usually results in a consumer backlash – consumers are not willing to pay for an item that they believe should be provided to them anyway. The result: although this strategy may impact paperless adoption rates, it is fraught with danger.

3. Detailed online bill analysis will not improve paperless adoption;

Many organizations have enabled detailed online bill analysis, but haven’t yet addressed the 85% of consumers who have refused to register for the service in the first place, so a solution like this will impress technologists, but not the remainder of the base.

4. Integration with personal financial management tools will do little to assist with paperless adoption;

Personal financial management tools are elements that will again only attract technologists who are willing to register for a paperless solution. So the inclusion of tools like this still doesn’t address the 85% of people who are reluctant to sign up for paperless billing.

5. Internet Banking will continue to be the most common method of eBill Payment;

Internet banking is a very convenient way to pay, however it still requires additional logging on and navigating within the security requirements of an online portal. Consumers are looking for easy, simple ways to pay their bills without having to log into a separate environment.

6. ‘Pushed’ email bills (delivered to the inbox) will continue to grow in popularity among consumers;

In every country that we operate, we continue to receive rave reviews from consumers because our solution allows them to receive their bills without having to collect them anywhere. It is delivered directly into their inbox, and it allows them to facilitate payment directly from within the bill, without having to visit a separate payment portal.

7. Home-grown ‘Push’ eBilling solutions will disappoint because of the requirement to pre-register online;

We’ve seen a number of billers try to implement their own electronic ‘push’ solution. However, it usually fails because there is still a registration requirement and consumers are looking for a service that is provided to them automatically without the need for a complicated system generated username and password process.

8. The EU proposals for electronic invoicing methods will continue to frustrate, confuse and slow down the adoption of eInvoicing in Europe. This will not affect electronic invoicing adoption in the US.

If you are in the EU, you may be familiar with the discussions that have been ongoing for the past 3 / 4 years regarding electronic invoicing across Europe.

On 26 March 2010, the 27 EU Nation States reached an agreement that the solution proposed by these EU Ministers doesn’t effectively allow the rapid introduction of eInvoicing. We predict that these conversations will continue for another 2 years, so why wait for the bureaucrats? Instead, implement something that makes business sense.

Conclusion: The solution to an effective paperless billing strategy is to remove all registration requirements.

  • As long as you have the consumers email address, you can provide an electronic bill.
  • Make sure that the bill is delivered directly to the inbox.
  • Ensure that they don’t have to jump through any hoops to receive their bill.
  • Make payment as simple as possible by including capability to settle the bill within the eBill itself.
  • Any marketing included in the eBill must be personalized in order to drive more targeted traffic back to your website. Enabling cross sell and up sell opportunities.

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