|Publishers and Print Post mail users could face 9.1 per cent postal hike next February.
A recent Forum was held in Sydney this month between representatives of Australia Post, major B2B and Consumer publishers and D&D Mailing Services one of Australia's major mailing fulfillment houses to discuss " Proposed Changes " to Print Post for 2011.
Twenty delegates from Australia Post, B2B , Consumer and Custom publishing houses represented by Haymarket, Reed, NRMA, and Westwick-Farrow amongst others attended the Forum. The initiative was at the behest of D&D Mailing and follows the previous Forum held in November 2009. Through the D&D analysis of an Australia Post " Proposed Changes " document they ascertained, amongst other conclusions that the proposed changes would have a devastating effect on the publishing industry and went so far as to state that their research indicated " publishers would review their stable of magazines and the likely result would be the reduction in numbers via a consolidation of titles, reduction of circulation numbers or the death of some publications altogether".
This was outlined in a document presented to Australia Post and an email to clients outlining the " detrimental effect these draft proposals , if approved, would mean to the industry".
The document and the presentation from D&D Mailing which includes charts and samples of the new pricings is linked below.
To arrive at their findings D&D Mailing used live data from seven of their clients files exhibiting volumes between 2000 and 30,000 articles. The results, attached to this Enewsletter, are detailed in the charts which span small letters of 30g to large letters of 999g and illustrate the percentage breaks and gains for various weight breaks.
Responding to the correspondence and presentation, Alana Maddahoff, Product Manager, Postal Services who attended the Forum stated to Publishing Edge "Australia Post are currently reviewing all responses from customers, industry and membership representatives. Within the next couple of weeks Australia Post will communicate exact Print Post changes."
MMUA the representative arm of some of this countries major mail users through their CEO John Gilroy conveyed the following comment to Publishing Edge
"Between AP and MMUA there is a long history of working at various levels regarding the PRINT POST product and, in the context of the current Print Post Review process being followed by AP, we have been kept advised and involved. The due processes of consultation agreed upon in years past have been properly honoured and observed by AP.
It is our understanding that the current Print Post Review is not yet finished and that we can expect more information in a relatively short time when AP has finished the process of examination of all the responses it received to the August 2010 draft proposals and formed its "final draft" proposals for the Delegate's due consideration and decision."
Below is the email D&D sent to Australia Post:
I refer to your letter dated 23 August 2010 with regards to the proposed changes to the PrintPost service effective February 2011.
As you are aware D&D Mailing services in conjunction with the Letters Group, Australia Post conducted an open forum in November 2009 to discuss options and the needs of publishers within the PrintPost service.
At that forum it was agreed to meet again to discuss further changes and or proposals.
I thank you for being part of this second forum and hope that future forums will be held to discuss any future changes.
With regards to the proposed changes Publishers are generally satisfied with the introduction of greater weight steps to assist with Publications that extend beyond the current weight breaks by just a few grams and avoid receiving a large cost penalty. However, it was agreed that not in all cases does the 25 gram weight step solve all problems and in fact could result in creating more work in measuring and budgeting for publications over a twelve month period. It was suggested that a 50 gram weight step may be more conducive.
The overall increase of an average 9.1 per cent was unanimously rejected and was regarded as out of touch with economic reality and out of line with commercial practice of aligning increases to CPI rates.
The meeting did not accept the validity of the costing and suggested that whilst they form the basis of the increase remain questionable at best and would not stand up to in depth audit processes.
It was widely accepted that if the proposed price increase was to go ahead that it would put increasing pressure on all publications that are already suffering from the continuing global economic crisis.
In fact it was agreed that almost in all cases publishers would review their stable of magazines and the likely result would be the reduction of numbers via consolidation of titles, reduction of circulation numbers or the death of some publications altogether.
Publishers will be forced to look for other suppliers such as alternatives to Australia Post or in most cases the on line networks available in the market place.
The overall sense from discussions with publishers was that these increases cannot be properly justified and request that Australia Post review these proposals with a view to keep the industry alive and assist in its growth for all concerned rather than be an accomplice to its demise.
PLEASE SEE ATTACHED PRESENTATION NOTES FROM THE D&D MAILING SERVICES OPEN FORUM AND IN PARTICULAR THE COST COMPARISON ANALYSIS CHARTS.
D&D Mailing Services Pty Ltd