Week of February 28, 2000
  Snapshot from the Field

SmartMail Services' Headquarters Relocation:
Through San Francisco and on to Atlanta

"Through rain, hail, sleet or snow."

That's an often-quoted part of the U.S. Post Office's creed.

But for SmartMail Services (www.smartmailservices.com), it's more like through San Francisco . . . on its way to Atlanta.

SmartMail Services, which provides services for lightweight, non-letter-sized ("flat-sized") mail, has announced that it's relocating its corporate headquarters from Orinda, Calif., in the San Francisco Bay metro to Forest Park, Ga., in the Atlanta metro.

As part of its new headquarters operation in Georgia, SmartMail will be opening a SmartCenter facility that can process 250,000 pieces of flat mail a day, performing address verification, manifesting, tracking and sorting, company officials say. The Atlanta-metro SmartCenter will join SmartMail Services' other SmartCenters in Chicago, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Tampa, Fla.

"We chose Atlanta as our corporate headquarters because the city offers many incentives, including a high quality of life for our employees," explained Rick Rover, SmartMail's vice president of business development.

"As a major gateway to the South, Atlanta is the best choice to institute a national distribution strategy such as the one SmartMail is deploying in what we euphemistically call the new 'mail-lennium,' " Rover added.

SmartMail officials also liked the Forest Park site's strategic location near Hartsfield International airport. Hartsfield and Chicago's O'Hare International have spent the last few years seesawing back and forth between the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in the race for the title as "the word's busiest airport."

The Post Office Partnership

The proximity of Hartsfield International gains added significance in light of the strategic partnership that SmartMail Services has formed with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).

Explained Gail Sonnenberg, USPS senior vice president for sales, "SmartMail's business, in addition to its model for providing superior quality processing and expediting services, is very important to us."

The SmartMail Services-USPS partnership centers on delivering first-class flat mail pieces, which generally weigh between 3 oz. and 16 oz., and ranging from compact discs and paperback books to enrollment kits and proxies. The agreement between SmartMail Services and USPS guarantees business mailers 15 percent off the original postage rate, while still guaranteeing them the USPS' one-to-four-day delivery commitment.

SmartMail picks up business customers' flat mail pieces, sorts them at the local SmartCenter facility and then routes them to a specified USPS drop-off center for distribution within the designated locale.

By exclusively utilizing the Post Office's expedited services network, that process, SmartMail officials assert, maximizes delivery, cuts costs and provides customers with new services.

Technology Dominates Both Business Model and Facilities

The technology that's at the heart of SmartMail's business model is also at the heart of its SmartCenter facilities.

The SmartCenters' technological epicenter lies in SmartMail's proprietary FlatTrack system for mail encoding, manifesting and tracking. For example, FlatTrack, unlike other carrier manifesting systems, can trace a piece of mail by customer address and tracking number.

In addition, the technology inside SmartMail's facilities facilitates a portfolio of other company services, company officials explained. Those services include:

  • proof of processing from the USPS for each mail piece;
  • variable weight manifesting to avoid postage overpayment;
  • address and ZIP Code verification to prevent delayed and undeliverable mail;
  • address ID, which identifies "un-assignable addresses;"
  • selective routing and delivery to bypass problem delivery areas;
  • delivery testing services to ensure the timeliness of a customer's business communications; and
  • free mail consultation.



©2000 Conway Data, Inc. All rights reserved. Data is from many sources and is not warranted to be accurate or current.