Tag Archives: Media Mailer

Conformer to Speak at Envelope Manufacturers Conference

The executive team here at Conformer, Marvin, Sari, and I will be participating in a presentation and panel discussion at the Envelope Manufacturers Association fall conference.  The topic of discussion is a core value of our organization — innovation.

The presentation will center on the book Blue Ocean Strategy.  The book provides a “systematic approach to making the competition irrelevant and creating uncontested market spaces.”  The Blue Ocean Strategy argues that corporations can either battle in the shark infested waters of red oceans where products and services are equal and price is the primary differentiator, or we can create blue oceans where innovation opens uncontested markets.

Product innovation is not foreign to the envelope industry, but what Blue Ocean Strategy suggests is that companies need to create dramatic changes in their product line up whereby new offerings create altogether new markets, not simply improvements on existing products.  For example, two years ago we introduced the Conformer Media Mailer, a radical shift in product packaging designed to mail CDs and DVDs at dramatically lower postage rates.  Until our innovation came along, the primary packaging available to the media fulfillment industry were ubiquitous bubble mailers and small cartons.  Our Conformer Media Mailer enables low cost envelopes to compete directly with higher cost product categories. When you factor in halving the postage rate, our Conformer solution makes our “competition irrelevant”.

We are in the process of writing our presentation for the October 29 event.  We will share it with you in the coming weeks.  To learn more about the Conformer Media Mailer, click here.

by Bob Makofsky bmakofsky@conformerinc.com

Girls Gone Wild, Hot For Conformer

I was up late last night watching an exciting stage of the Tour de France when a Girls Gone Wild infomercial came on.  Suddenly, I thought (as any man would), “Wow, these girls get great postage rates thanks to Conformer.”

Whether you love or hate their product, smart distribution companies are paying less to mail DVDs than others because they’re using the Conformer Media Mailer.  As I reported in our white paper a few weeks back, the Conformer Media Mailer ships DVDs as automated flats, reducing postage costs as much as 145%.  Girls Gone Wild is now realizing postage savings of roughly $0.43 per unit shipped, based on the current postal rate increase.

OFFER: To receive a free sample of the Conformer Media Mailer, send your contact information to support@conformerinc.com with the subject line: “Media mailer sample.”

by Bob Makofsky bmakofsky@conformerinc.com

White Paper: Infinity Resources Cuts DVD Postage 145%

Easing Postage Pressures

How to Get in Shape and Optimize Savings

Executive Summary

●      After the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) restructured rates in May 2007, Chicago fulfillment company Infinity Resources, Inc. saw its postage costs increase 166% for media mailed in jewel cases, Amaray cases and Digipaks.

●      The Conformer Media Mailer, the only known solution capable of mailing these items as automated flats, reduces postage costs as much as 145%.

●      Combined with the Tension AutoPack solution, the patented system allows businesses to realize greater savings through improved labor productivity.

●      Infinity adopted this joint solution and is realizing postage savings of $0.43 per unit shipped, based on the May 2009 postal rate increase.

●      The Tension-Conformer solution is a viable alternative for companies mailing 10,000 units or more per year.

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CD, DVD, and Game Shippers Take Brunt of USPS Increases

About a month ago I wrote about how companies mailing small, light-weight packages would see a significant increase in the May 2009 United States Postal Service (USPS) price increase. Hold on to your chair, the increase is roughly 30%. Here are the details –

Standard Mail Not-Flat Machinable, Mixed BMC –

2008 Per Piece – $1.032

2008 Per Pound – $0.733

2009 Per Piece – $1.311 (27% increase)

2009 Per Pound – $0.99 (35.1% increase)

Standard Mail Machinable Parcel, Mixed BMC –

2008 Per Piece – $1.007

2008 Per Pound – $0.733

2009 Per Piece – $1.279 (27% increase)

2009 Per Pound – $0.99 (35.1% increase)

The USPS had committed to annual postage price increases to match up with the Consumer Price Index along with the implementation of shape based postage. But, I suppose the devil is in the details. In reality this is the second year in a row where light-weight parcel shippers have seen huge rate increases.

Fortunately, it is possible to mail CDs, DVDs, and video games as USPS Automated Flats. Read on for relief.

Standard Mail Flats, Mixed ADC –

2008 Per Piece – $0.338

2008 Per Pound – $0.773

2009 Per Piece – $0.346 (insignificant change)

2009 Per Pound – $0.725 (insignificant change)

by Bob Makofsky

Flat Stanley Takes on a New Dimension

Have you ever heard of Flat Stanley? Flat Stanley, the storybook character, is something of a grade school celebrity.  As my mother read this book aloud to my son the other day, the parallels between the Flat Stanley story and the Conformer story just jumped off the page.  Sure, I think about envelopes more than your average mom, but hang with me here.

Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown

Stanley is a boy, but his new flattened form gives him amazing abilities.  He can be flown as a kite.  He can slip under unlocked doors.  He travels the world in an envelope.  Amazing!  And his brother becomes incredibly jealous.  Being a commodity kid with obvious limitations is no fun, especially when Stanley has access to so many new places.

Flat Conformer, expands to fit

Flat Conformer, expands to fit

Doesn’t this sound like the Conformer envelope story?  Compared to a commodity envelope, the Conformer has a superior construction that goes from flat to 1.5”.  This new form is a vast improvement over bulky expensive packaging solutions like bubble mailers and small boxes.  It packs flat and doesn’t hold excess air, which lowers freight and storage costs considerably.  And automated postal and insertion equipment simply adore the Conformer envelope because Conformer has changed its shape to optimally work with the post office and high-speed fulfillment centers.

And that’s where things get really interesting because, suddenly the Conformer envelope isn’t just an envelope.  It’s a packaging solution.  The Conformer media mailer is just the beginning of how a paper envelope takes on the form of a dramatically more cost-effective package.  Conformer is working on taking the mail-order pharma industry by storm.  It’s a whole new world for Conformer, doing so much more with less bulk…just like Flat Stanley!

Dead Space

Dead Space

In the end, Flat Stanley’s jealous brother Arthur restores Stanley to his original shape with a football air pump.  As for Conformer, we happily leave all the unproductive dead space to our competitors!

by Sari McConnell

Conformer Media Mailer First to Get USPS Green Light

The Conformer Media Mailer is the first to get the USPS ‘green light’ to ship as an automated flat. It’s quite an accomplishment – given the strict requirements imposed by the postal service – and one that only Conformer Products can claim. Saving $0.84 in postage per package is virtually unheard of, and the direct mail industry is responding.

Under the upcoming rate increase, mailing a 4-ounce CD by standard mail will cost $1.36 in traditional packaging. Packed in a Conformer media mailer, postage will drop to $0.52 as an automated flat.

Last year, direct-mail marketing companies faced huge challenges, not the least of which was finding solutions to escape escalating mail costs under the new shape-based postal system enacted by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).

Now, another price hike is slated for May 8, 2008, which will further widen the cost gap between automated mail, like letters and flats, and non-automated parcels. The latest move is intended to motivate companies to shift mailing practices toward more automation-friendly options.

It’s no surprise Conformer was the first to receive the USPS stamp of approval since the company is known for rigorous research and development to ensure products meet the demands of both customers and the postal service.

“We invested an enormous amount of time and attention to make sure these mailers would pass all kinds of tests,” said Marvin Makofsky, president of Conformer Products. “Our products work with the machinery at the post office and in just about any mailroom business environment: high-speed automation, semi-automated and manual. Absorbing the higher postage is tough enough; we didn’t want our solution to require an equipment upgrade.”

Businesses that haven’t already changed the way they send out media, like DVDs and CDs, have seen postage costs escalate more than 300%, according to Makofsky. Companies that mail large volumes of lightweight objects were among the hardest hit under the new USPS system.

According to Makofsky, “The best way for fulfillment companies to sidestep the steep cost of mailing a parcel is by moving toward automated flat packages, which can cut postage costs in half.”

Conformer Products are designed to solve problems, and the Conformer Media Mailer addresses two challenges: It allows organizations to take advantage of pricing incentives for automation-friendly mail – saving up to 62% in postal costs – and companies can continue to use equipment and processes as they did prior to shape-based postage.

About Conformer Products is a leading innovator of envelopes, mailers, presentation folders and portfolios. Founded in 1972, the company’s product line uses no more material than is absolutely necessary, dramatically reducing mailing costs under the new USPS rate restructure. By “pushing the envelope,” CEP’s award-winning products have been credited as among the biggest office product breakthroughs in decades. For more information contact us or visit www.conformerinc.com.