DST Output and Zumbox today announced two Georgia-based utility companies, Cobb Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) and Gas South, are now delivering digital postal mail via the Zumbox digital postal system as an additional channel that their customers can opt into. Through an agreement between DST Output, a leading provider of print and electronic customer communications, and Zumbox, the world's first digital postal system, DST Output's customers can realize vital paper suppression savings, reduce costs related to billing and customer service and enhance customer education opportunities.
"Digital postal mail from Zumbox can be especially advantageous to a utility provider like Cobb EMC because it will provide another efficient way to help improve our customer communications and reduce the waste associated with paper bills and statements," said Chip Nelson, president and CEO of Cobb EMC.
Digital postal mail is an exact digital facsimile of the paper mail sent to consumers, delivered in a secure, central online environment. In August 2010, DST Output started integrating Zumbox' delivery system as an additional electronic channel. As a result, DST Output clients are now able to deliver digital postal mail simply and efficiently to their customers.
Together, Cobb EMC and Gas South, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cobb EMC and a natural gas provider, produce 600,000 bills and statements monthly for residential, business and government customers across the state of Georgia. By delivering digital postal mail via Zumbox, and assuming a 10 percent increase in paper suppression, both companies could realize more than $200,000 in mailing cost savings per year.
"Our clients are some of the country's largest transactional mailers, and they must continue to implement electronic strategies to meet the evolving needs of their customers," said Frank Delfer, executive vice president of technology and chief technology officer at DST Output. "This capability is one of several potential electronic channels that we can provide our clients to help them achieve cost savings and paper suppression rate objectives. Our team of specialists worked to integrate Zumbox seamlessly into our print and mail offerings, and we're excited to see Cobb EMC and Gas South adopt digital postal mail and pave the way for others to follow their example."
Zumbox provides an innovative paper suppression alternative to address the remaining percentage of consumers who may go paperless, offering an opportunity for transactional mailers to address more than $20 billion in direct print mail costs.
"While many industries have been slow to offer new digital billing options, Cobb EMC and Gas South are leading the utility industry inadopting a solution for increasing paper suppression rates and enhancing customer communications," said John Payne, CEO of Zumbox. "Digital postal mail is the way forward. Our relationships with print service providers like DSTOutput allow us to efficiently bring both cost savings and new revenue opportunities to other industries around the globe."
Digital postal mail eliminates the need for mailboxes, file drawers and bankers boxes with a central, secure digital repository for mail and documents based upon household residence address. Zumbox has created a digital mailbox for every street address in the US, connecting large transactional, financial and government mailers to consumer households for the protected, on-time delivery of postal mail online. The service provides a simple, environmentally friendly place to receive, interact with and archive important household mail forever, for free.
For utility companies, in addition to providing cost savings from paper suppression, Zumbox directs customers to lowest cost payment andcustomer support options and can provide other relevant messages via an interactive panel below the bills and statements for strengthened customer communication.