Friday, March 27, 2015

USPS Scraps April 26th Rate Hike Implementation Date

/From the American Catalog Mailers Association: March 27, 2015, 6:00 PM

"This just in: The USPS announced it will not implement new rates until it resolves all of its proposed market-dominant price changes with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). The PRC has twice remanded the USPS's rate proposal as it pertains to Standard Mail, Periodicals and Package Services, citing numerous issues and assorted errors. Below is this afternoon's announcement by the postal Board of Governors:

"The Postal Service Governors decided today to delay the implementation of new market-dominant and competitive rates and classification changes until all of our proposed market-dominant changes are approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission (“PRC”). ;This decision was primarily motivated by a desire to eliminate potential adverse impacts on postal customers that might result from a staggered implementation of our new prices.  After considering the complexity of the required programming changes in view of the remand of some of our proposed changes by the Postal Regulatory Committee, the specific complications that our customers might face; the potential cost to the supply chain as a whole of a staggered implementation, the Postal Service has decided to delay implementation until all of our proposed rates and classification changes can be implemented at one time.

"While proposed prices for First Class Mail, Special Services and Competitive Products have all been approved by the PRC, prices for the Standard Mail, Periodicals and Package Services classes have twice been remanded back to the Postal Service by the PRC for a wide array of technical and other concerns that are primarily related to the complexities of the price cap and the manner in which it is calculated.  Rather than subject our customers to a piecemeal implementation of our new prices, the Postal Service has decided that the best course of action would be to wait until our complete price proposal is approved by our regulator.  We have no desire to saddle our valued customers with the additional costs and burdens of a staggered implementation while we work with the PRC to obtain final approval of our remaining prices.  We will set a new implementation date when we propose new prices for Standard Mail, Periodicals, and Package Services in response to the PRC’s March 18th remand order."

Friday, March 06, 2015

PRC Rejects Proposed USPS Rate Increases

March 6, 2015. According to the American Catalog Mailers Assoc, "The Postal Regulatory Commission today rejected proposed rates for Standard Mail, Periodicals, and Package Services, contending that the prices in the USPS proposal from January 15th "do not comply with certain statutory and regulatory requirements and are therefore remanded to the Postal Service for further action.”

According to many long-time postal observers, this was the most poorly prepared rate filing in memory, containing mixed pricing signals and shifts of workload that may create inefficiencies for both USPS and mailers. Highlights from the PRC's Order:
  • PRC determines that the unequal commercial and nonprofit discounts in Standard Mail must be made equal or justified.
  • PRC finds that, without adequate justification, several Standard Mail workshare discounts exceed 100% of avoided costs.
  • The Postal Service must review and resubmit its proposal, including amending rates and Mail Classification language to remedy deficiencies described in the Order, and respond by March 12th.
Whether the Postal Service can make this happen in time for the new rates to be implemented by April 26th as originally intended is questionable. ACMA (and for that matter, the entire mailing industry) has been working diligently since January to understand all implications of the structural changes and new regulations being promulgated.

The entire Postal Service filing, including new FSS rates it contains, represents significant current and long-term changes and challenges for catalog mailers. There are many issues in play that must be satisfactorily resolved. You can expect spirited discussions with postal executives about the rate case at the 2015 National Catalog Forum, April 7-9. We hope you will join us in Washington as we work towards getting these issues resolved. In the meantime, we will monitor this situation and keep you posted as it develops.

Dydacomp is now FreeStyle Solutions

On March 3, 2015, Dydacomp officially changed its name to Freestyle Solutions.  

All personnel, products, phone numbers, and business operations will remain the same – just the name is changing.  

The company remains committed to long-term support for M.O.M., SiteLINK, BizSyncXL and their various services. 

According to the company's press release: 

“We believe that it is important to brand ourselves consistently with the vision and direction that we are taking the company,” announced Fred Lizza, CEO, Freestyle Solutions.  “The majority of new sales growth for small and mid-size merchants now comes from eCommerce channels.  Our customers seek the newest technologies with the power and flexibility to meet their unique business needs. By focusing on these areas, we’re really giving our clients the keys to drive success.”
In 2014, the company announced the General Availability of Freestyle Commerce, the latest cloud-based innovation. Freestyle is tightly integrated with leading third-party eCommerce platforms, including Magento and Amazon, providing always up-to-date business insight needed to grow sales.
Freestyle Solutions will continue to provide Multichannel Order Manager [M.O.M.] to retailers and etailers that prefer an on-premise solution and for those where the feature set of M.O.M. suit their business requirements.

Friday, February 20, 2015

SSL no longer acceptable for data protection, PCI SSC says

The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) has announced that no version of secure sockets layer (SSL) technology meets its definition of "strong cryptography." Accordingly, it will need to revise its Data Security Standard and Payment Application Data Security Standards.
According to a PCI press release, the announcement was based on finding by the National Institute of Standards and Technology that the Secure Socket Layers v3.0 protocol is no longer acceptable for protection of data due to inherent weaknesses within the protocol.
With no known way to remediate vulnerabilities in the SSL protocol, the PCI SSC is urging organizations to work with IT departments and partners to determine whether they are using SSL and what options they have for upgrading to a strong cryptographic protocol as soon as possible.
Once published, PCI DSS v3.1 will be effective immediately, however, affected requirements will be future-dated to allow organizations time to implement the changes.

Monday, February 09, 2015

First Data, Capgemini announce tech development partnership

According to Retail Customer Experience, "Payment technology firm First Data Corporation and Capgemini, provider of consulting, technology and outsourcing services, announced they have formed a global alliance to develop next-generation payment technology software using First Data's VisionPLUS and AccessPLUS solutions. According to the companies, this collaboration will leverage Capgemini's global vertical industry and payments expertise and First Data's suite of payments solutions."

Friday, January 30, 2015

New Remote Sales Tax Simplification Bill Less Onerous Than MFA or State Initiatives

According to the American Catalog Mailers Association [all text is quoted from ACMA]: "Although some remote sellers would prefer to see the 1992 Quill v. North Dakota sales tax precedent remain intact indefinitely, last year nearly ushered in the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA). If passed, it would have been devastating. Fortunately, ACMA – and the TruST coalition we cofounded – fought hard so that enough lawmakers realized the Senate-passed MFA would have disastrous effects – and the House did not act.

"Unfortunately, our assessment is that Quill won’t hold up for much longer. Furthermore, in the absence of clarifying federal legislation, states are becoming increasingly creative and aggressive, ushering in the potential for a patchwork of contradictory state laws with the need to fight a multi-front war. 

"ACMA’s position has been to deal with this reality, working to find the best way towards 'fairness.' Throughout the past year, TruST and ACMA worked closely with Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.-6th), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, on an MFA alternative. On January 12th, the Chairman began circulating adiscussion draft. You may prefer to read a section-by-section analysis the Chairman is also circulating. While not perfect, this bill is far better for catalogers than MFA.

Industry Must Step Up Now
"I’m coming to you for your support. When we launched TruST nearly three years ago, we received enough industry funding allowing TruST to stop the MFA freight train in favor of common sense. We used our contributions carefully, making them last twice as long as projected. We have now exhausted this money. Meanwhile, backed by Amazon and big-box retail, MFA proponents are gearing up to launch a new version of their flawed bill.

"Without your support, we can’t have continued success. So please go to ACMA’s Action Funds web page and make a significant donation today. Any amount you can muster will help. $25,000 or more will give you an (optional) seat on TruST’s steering committee."

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Dydacomp Success Stories and Free Trial of MOM

Here's the latest on Dydacomp: two stories of customers that have realized success by automating their order and inventory management processes.
  1. You may know Out of the Box Publishing (OTB) by their popular board games like Word on the Street or Apples to Apples. This Dydacomp customer partnered with big box and online behemoths like Walmart, Target and Amazon to market its family games to a much broader audience. Through automation with Dydacomp’s M.O.M. solution, OTB not only gained 100-percent accuracy, but the assurance that shipments would arrive within their requested timeframe and avoid chargebacks. Read the whole story in a recent issue of STORES Magazine.
  2. The only way – fresh every day! That’s the promise at the Caroline Cookie Company, where gourmet cookies are always baked in the tradition of homemade Southern hospitality. Every Carolina Cookie is baked, packed and shipped by hand, because they know you wouldn’t have it any other way! Read the complete story to learn the details of how Dydacomp enables Carolina Cookie to track their multichannel orders, manage their diverse inventory, and efficiently ship their unique product, fresh the same day every day.
For a limited time Dydacomp is giving out a Free Trial of their software. To get started click the link below:
Free Trial
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