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Mailing Industry Task Force Makes Progress in Unifying the Mailing Industry

Press release from the issuing company

SAN DIEGO, April 22 -- The Mailing Industry Task Force, lead by a Steering Committee comprised of senior executives representing all segments of the mailing industry, today outlined its progress in making the mail more valuable and customer-friendly. The Task Force was formed in March 2001 to unite the industry and deliver new products and service improvements that better meet evolving customer needs. The Task Force, co-chaired by Pitney Bowes Chairman and CEO Michael J. Critelli and U.S. Postal Service Deputy Postmaster General John Nolan, has developed various programs and initiatives to add customer value and reduce costs. Among them are: the launch of a pilot track and trace solution, a strategy to develop an intelligent mail system on the existing USPS infrastructure, a USPS self-service retail pilot offering 24/7 access and enhanced merchandise return, new credit and financing options, submission of a Federal Register notice to enhance address quality, and a world-class network integration model. "I am very pleased with the progress we've made to date," said Mr. Critelli. "Our goal is to revitalize the mail channel into a medium that's easier to use, more flexible, data-enhanced and relevant to today's customer needs. The mail is important to individuals and critical to business. By enhancing its value and flexibility we will ensure its future viability." In October 2001 at the Denver Postal Forum, The Task Force presented to Postmaster General Jack Potter eight recommendations on how the industry could enhance the value of the mail. The eight recommendations center around three imperatives -- to respond to customer needs, make the mail channel more competitive and unify the mailing industry. For both value-added and security enhancements, the Task Force put forth a plan to create the Intelligent Mail System. It utilizes existing USPS technology, including Planet Code, CONFIRM, PostNet and IBIP, with the goal of tracking of every mail piece through the system. The Intelligent Mail System could then identify mail pieces that originated from mailers whose origination processes had been appropriately certified as secure, thus increasing confidence in the safety of the mail piece for the recipient. Mr. Nolan added, "The work done by the Task Force was important input to the USPS' recently announced Transformation Plan. In order to succeed in the future, the USPS requires a commitment to innovation and efficiency both from its own workforce and from its partners in the mailing industry. These initiatives reflect how well that partnership can work." To unify the industry and underscore the vital role that mail plays in today's economy, the industry, apart from USPS, created an advertising campaign that will debut this week in San Diego, and then run in target cities around the country. Going forward, the Task Force intends to continue working closely with the Postal Service to refine and implement the over 40 strategic initiatives to be presented at this Forum. In the five months between the spring and fall Postal Forums, the Task Force Steering Committee and its sub-committees will act on the action plans announced this spring. By the Fall Forum, the Task Force expects to present specific results from its planning, and announce next steps based on those results. "All along, we have made it clear that our report and recommendations were not simply a document," said Mr. Critelli, "but a call to action to which we would respond. Our response is underway, but this is just the beginning of what can and must be accomplished."