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Zenger Group Enters Strategic Partnership With Spring Global Mail

Monday, December 17, 2007

Press release from the issuing company

BUFFALO, N.Y., AND AMSTERDAM, Dec. 17, 2007 - The Zenger Group - Printing Services Network, based in Buffalo, N.Y., has entered into a strategic partnership with the world's largest private cross-border business mail operator, Spring Global Mail of the Netherlands. Since Aug. 8, Zenger has served as Spring's exclusive partner for processing U.S.-bound mail originating from Canada and Europe, and placing it into the mail stream.
Spring management expects to work with Zenger on additional services, such as local printing of files delivered electronically, accelerating delivery and lowering distribution costs for Spring customers, while delivering new business for Zenger. "If you look at what both companies are bringing to this relationship, we really do complement each other," said Lou Laforet, vice president, Europe and the Americas, Spring Global Mail.  "I can easily see our joint business growing considerably."
To perform the new mail processing work, Zenger has installed at its Ulrich Mail Division an advanced scanning and sorting system that can improve mail service and achieve new postal discounts for other Zenger customers. "This development not only delivers ongoing new business, but allows us a superb opportunity to add value to our current mail clients," said Stephen R. Zenger, president and CEO, The Zenger Group - Printing Services Network. "We can now enter a new mailing service market for commingling that is occupied by very few competitors, none of whom are based in Buffalo." 
"Commingling" is the process of combining mailings, often from multiple senders, to help them qualify for automation rates from the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).  For example, smaller mailings of less than 500 pieces typically don't qualify. But Zenger can now aggregate them to achieve the required quantity, delivering not only potential postage savings, but - because the mail is actually processed more efficiently by the USPS -accelerated delivery to the end recipient, as well. 
The new service is enabled by the new scanning and sorting system, an  Olympus II MLOCR (Multi-Line Optical Character Recognition) Sorter, which Spring moved to Zenger from its Mississauga, Ontario facility. 
Zenger expects that as much as half the mail processed by the system will be for its own customers.  "This is another tool in our kit, complementing our robust pre-sorting, printing, inserting and electronic database capabilities to deliver the best possible value to our customers," Zenger said.
The Spring-Zenger partnership formed as a result of new USPS Delivery Point Validation (DPV) regulations that took effect Aug. 1, changing the way mail qualifies for automation rates and requiring certification to occur on U.S. soil. . Prior to Aug. 1,Spring had performed that step - CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System) certification, which standardizes addresses for automated processing by the USPS - at its Mississauga location. 
Spring sought a U.S. partner to help retain these services.. After a lengthy search process that included visits to five candidates, they chose Zenger. "We were very impressed with the way they approached their business and their quality processes to ensure everything is done properly," Laforet said.
Now, Spring trucks mail daily from Mississauga to Zenger in nearby Buffalo for CASS certification on the 36-foot-long scanner/sorter. The system works by electronically "reading" addresses on letter and flat-sized mail items to qualify the pieces for automation postal rates. The system matches addresses to those in the DPV database and also performs the CASS certification process.  It then uses its inkjet printing capability to automatically apply the zip plus-four post-net barcode for matching addresses, to qualify for the postal automation rates.  Finally, it physically pre-sorts the mail.
Since initiating the service, Zenger has processed an average of over 23,000 letters and flat-mail pieces per day, for both first-class and standard class-mail.  Spring expects to begin providing additional Zenger services, such as printing, to its customers as early as first quarter 2008, Laforet said.




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