Do-Good is hiring

Do-Good is hiring this spring!  We are looking to fill our Operations Manager Assistant position.

This position has been specially designed to assist the Operations Manager and production staff in the operation of our production systems and customer service.

The candidate must be motivated to learn, be able to receive detailed tasks and be solution-driven. In this role, the Operations Manager Assistant will help the Operations Manager in the execution of bulk-mailings prepared to meet US Postal standards. Though this position will require a technical aspect, the position will also require hands on work being part of the final output of special communications and marketing designed for nonprofits, political campaigns, and small businesses.

Requirements:

Must have excellent attention to detail and ability to work under deadlines.
Able to work 40 hours a week, between the hours of 8:30-6pm.
Able to communicate well with customers over the phone and in person.
Have a valid driver’s license, the ability to lift up to 30lbs, and able to stand for periods at a time.
Experience working in Microsoft Office (specifically Excel and with Word creating mail merges)

Desired qualifications:

Comfort working with computerized machinery
Have the ability to troubleshoot machinery, computer, and printer problems
Experience working with data (i.e. access databases, fundraising software, etc)
Some graphic design or web design experience

Job description:

Assist Operations Manager in preparation of bulk-mailing projects using necessary programs including Excel, UltraEdit, Word, BulkMailer, and MatchUp. Must learn the postal regulations regarding discounts and qualifications needed for a bulk-mailing.

Customer Service – Communicate with customers regarding data questions, intake of new projects, follow-up regarding data and leftover materials, etc. Will be required to answer the phone and greet visitors in the office.

Assist Operations Manager with the daily and weekly schedule of outgoing jobs and abide by set deadlines. Organize and prepare paperwork for the daily delivery of completed jobs to the bulk mail center.

Provide light maintenance and troubleshooting with computers and mailing equipment. Will assist production staff in set-up and support with mailing equipment (formatting of mail piece design, quality control of print performance, etc.)

Will operate all mailing and printing equipment in cooperation with production staff in the production of mailing projects.

Become knowledgeable in the working of Results Plus donor tracking program. May be required to assist with data entry.

Compensation:

We have tried to make working here as close to being a family business as possible. There are great benefits that include health insurance, dental care, paid time off, holidays, bonuses depending on how the company fares each year, and “happy hours” where staff kick back and enjoy themselves.  Starting wage will be between $16-$19 an hour.

To apply:

If interested in applying for the position, please email resume and cover letter to Maria Johnson at maria@do-good.biz. Job will be filled by this April so please submit resume by Friday, March 18th.

Do-Good 2015 – 2016

     So now it is over. 2015 has passed us by and we are beginning the new adventure of 2016. Was 2015 a good year? That depends, of course, on your perspective. Every year contains the events that bring us not only immense joy but also unfathomable sorrow. We can all point to them on both a personal and news-cycle level.
 
     Our business has always had an optimistic nature. Our name is both an imperative as well as a noun. We believe in the “good” and try to reflect the value of the good in the work we do every day, albeit that work is centered around mail communication.
 
     But we get to meet and work with many, many worthwhile groups that are working hard in their missions “to do the good.” That confirms for us that we are on the right track, that putting an address on a postcard or letter is actually contributing to a better and more interesting life for those around us.
 
     There is an exciting buzz at Do-Good because we jumped into a new office space in 2015, by far the most significant event that took place in 2015 for our business. Our space doubled from 4,000 to 8,000 sq feet, we added 2 new full-time staffers, and made a number of internal improvements. 

  Ali, Thad, Araceli, Mary, Maria, Randy, and Rogelio

We did all of this in anticipation of growth and a robust political year of mailings. We hope to be a big part of the political scene in 2016. Our web page is #1 on the Google search for mail services in the Twin Cities. We continue to help each person who contacts us with the same concern for their projects as we did when we were founded 14 years ago.
 
     I cannot imagine a better place to be in as we start the new year. All of us “Do-Gooders” wish each of you a wonderful 2016. May it surpass your expectations and bring you as much good fortune as possible.
     Sincerely,
 
     Thad Ludwiczak, CEO
     612-789-7226

Spectacular One Time Savings of $5,000

It doesn’t happen often but it happens. A job came to us that involved mailing out 3,000 chapbooks. These are books that are small enough to fit into a shirt or trouser pocket. They were to be inserted into a regular envelope along with a letter.

 

The real challenge was to see if there was any way to fit these dimensions into a category that would reduce the cost of unit postage compared to the first class rate. I went down to my friends at the postal service in Eagan Minnesota, where all the experts on regulations have their desks, in order to figure this out.

 

With the sample in his hands and referring to the latest postal rate publication, our contact determined that the piece would qualify for a steep discount. To be honest, I would never have found the category of mail he found. It had to do with changing a parcel to a letter sized piece and it was only available to non-profit groups.

 

But there it was in black and white. When we did the math it turned out that the customer would save almost $5,000, and this on just one mailing!

 

Because of our willingness to research, I believe we are one of the only mailshops that could have found this solution. As I tell people, the rule book is complex but the reward for understanding it is very high.

 

Some people think that postage is postage, that you really can’t control the bottom line when it comes to what the post office charges you. What we try to do here at Do-Good is show that is not the case.

 

The $5,000 we saved the customer will “buy a lot of hamburgers.” If we use our knowledge base and connect with the right postal people, there is a lot of money that can be returned to your pocket. This is just one example.

 

Thank you for your continued interest in Do-Good.biz.

 

DoGood Makes Successful Move

WE ARE IN

Do-Good.biz is now firmly planted in our new space at 1410 Energy Park Dr, Suite 9, Saint Paul, MN 55108. The move went as calmly and smoothly as we could have ever expected.

Professional movers, joined by the Do-Gooders, loaded up a lot of boxes. We work with paper for a living and paper is heavy. A workroom full of boxed paper makes for a long day of hauling!

In addition to these boxes was our equipment – inserters, addressers, paper cutters, meter machines, and printers. These all had their own challenges, mainly that most of them had to be connected to computers in order to work and the computers needed to have the proper cabling and access codes to our network.

Despite all the dust and set up, the Do-Good team worked magnificently. The very next day we were operating some of the machines and two days later almost all of our equipment was set up and in place. It was business as usual and our customers experienced no delays.

Many thanks to Paul and Bill of MEVCO Mailing for their expertise and hard work to set up the machinery. Kudos to TechGen for connecting all of the computers. High praise for the moving company, Two Men and a Truck, for going back and forth more than once to flawlessly transfer our goods.

There are still a few things to do, but we are all in great spirits knowing that we have found a good home for many years to come. This is a wonderful office/greeting place, with a separate conference room, individual walled offices, and a spacious production area. We anticipate further growth and a bright future.

After all, our name “Do-Good” commands us to move upward and onward to do great things. Thank you for your ongoing and caring support of our work!

Thad Ludwiczak, CEO
Do-Good.biz
1410 Energy Park Dr Suite 9
Saint Paul MN 55108
(612) 789-7226

Do-Good Is Moving!

After 9 years in one building, our company is on the move. In 2002, we started in the basement of a Northeast Minneapolis office building on Stinson Blvd, occupying a couple of rooms in the basement. Three years later we upgraded to our current building at 2300 Kennedy St NE. We have lived in this building for 9 years, expanding our space a couple of times within the building.

And now, it is once again necessary to part ways with the current space and move upward and onward. Our new space will be part production area, part office area. It will be located at 1410 Energy Park Drive #9, St Paul, MN 55108. We will be part of a larger building that will house multiple businesses, – an office park located virtually across from Bandana Square at the corner of Lexington Parkway and Energy Park Dr. We will double our space to almost 8,000 sq ft.

Some businesses struggle. Others thrive. I’d like to think we are closer to the “thriving” image. Although I started Do-Good late in life, I found that the need for the kinds of services we offered and the way we delivered those services were in great demand regardless of the age of the owner.

The basic philosophy that guided me when I did social work 40 years ago, guided me in the establishment of the business, i.e, treat people well and you yourself will be rewarded a hundred different ways. I added a certain knowledge and expertise to this idea and today we can point to a successful enterprise.

Beyond my individual effort, however, one must recognize the people who come to work here every day and totally dedicate themselves to the quality and integrity of the products we offer. Some of those people can be found in the photo below. They are the real heroes of Do-Good.

We want to thank all of you who have supported us, whether you are a newly acquired customer or have been with us for years. We recognize that there will be bumps in the “moving” road but are confident that we solve whatever problems that arise with the same coolness and competency that has allowed us to reach this point.

We invite all of you to stop by and say hello.

The Importance of Being Ernest

Today’s note is not about the Oscar Wilde play written in the last few years of the 19th century. It is a directive for you to pay close attention to your timelines for your print/mail project.

As a rule of thumb, I use the following guidelines; 4-5 days to print, 3 days to mail out, and 3-5 days to get into the hands of the mail recipient (local mail).  Keep in mind that weekends and holidays do not count.

Work backwards from the time you want people to have this in their hands. For example, if you want people to have it on May 1, you would want the piece ready to print by April 13.

We find one of the worst bottlenecks in the process is printing. That’s because the printer requires the piece-to-be-printed in a certain technical format, graphic design sometimes conflicts with postal regulations, approval of a final version takes time and the printer must divide the job into certain functions that cannot be completed in one day. Anyone of these reasons can cause a delay.

Many of our clients depend on volunteers. As well intentioned as they are, volunteers often do not adhere to the request for urgency. The remedy is for the project manager to stay in constant contact with those people who have taken on writing or editing functions, letting them know that they must adhere to the time frame. Be diplomatic but firm. I realize that there is a fine line between diplomacy and firmness, but it has to be done.

Do-Good.biz is at the end of the chain of all this. We are the last ones to handle the piece before it goes to the post office. Once it is delivered to the post office, we have no control.  It is our opinion that the post office does a good job of delivering mail according to their standards, but there can be anomalies.

The best way to avoid disappointment with your project is to be aware of what needs to be done and when it needs to be done. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Never assume anything.

Consider Do-Good.biz a resource. We will advise you every step of the way, if you wish.

We hope you will have every success with your next project. Thank you for being associated with us!

 

Bad Addresses – How They Can Hurt You

Article By Thad for Satori – Link to Satori site.

There are 2 major ways that mail delivery can be comprised with an incorrect address. Here we will talk about the first way. This has to do with the named individual not residing at the street address which is on the envelope or postcard. At least 10% of the population moves each year and a bad address never gets better. So after two years, you can expect 20% of the addresses on your list to be dead weight if you have not corrected them.

Fortunately, the post office has a way of fixing these addresses. It is called “NCOA” or National Change of Address. This is the most common way for a mailer to make address corrections BEFORE the mail goes out. The “BEFORE” is a critical piece because it means that almost none of your mail will be thrown out or delayed in delivery.

The post office creates and maintains a list of every delivery point (mailbox) in the United States. When someone moves they fill out a card and leave it at the post office that lists their old and new address. That information is eventually transmitted, usually within a couple of weeks, to the master address list with hundreds of millions of United States addresses. If someone skips town or dies, the letter carrier is charged with updating that information and alerting his station manager of this. Eventually the change will occur.

When a mailing comes in, the customer list is sent electronically. The mailing service then compares this list via computer to the most updated postal list as provided by the software owned by the mailing service. The software vendor then finds the bad addresses and replaces them with the good addresses. The mailing service should send a report back to its customer listing the old and new addresses so that the customer can change their database.

Here’s how not updating an address list can hurt you. One mailing service found 525 bad addresses in its last 2 mailings.. If each piece was worth 40¢ in postage and printing, that amounts to more than $200 in waste. If these were fund raising appeals and 5% would have made a gift of $25. Then, the customer lost another $656 in lost revenue.

Anyway you look at it, on the front end or on the back end, bad addresses will hurt you.

List Hygiene – Part 2

There is a second part to list hygiene which often gets overlooked. These are the addresses that are often ignored by mail owners but the importance is significant nevertheless.
Step back a moment and think about the address where you live. Let’s say you live at “123 Washington Ave S”. If a mailing list with your name on it contains the address “123 Wsh Ave”, is this enough for the post office to deliver it? Maybe not. What if your address on the list is “12300000 Washington Ave”? Would the computer program at the post office be smart enough to know where you live?

These addresses are known as “Non CASS” addresses and every database contains them. They are little thorns, and sometimes big thorns, in the efficient delivery of mail. Unfortunately 80% of these types of addresses never get delivered.

You pay a higher postage rate for these to go out AND the chances of having them delivered are low. Bottom line is you are wasting money.

What is the solution?

You will have to do a little more research to get the address right, either calling the addressee to verify the number on their address, double checking the street spelling or correcting the zip code. The time will be well spent. Remember – a bad address never gets better so you will repeat this error and waste money every time you mail that list.

If your mail service does not routinely send you these non-CASS addresses, ask for them.

Fortunately, there is a do-itself-yourself way to fix these. It is the postal service website at www.usps.com. Click on the tab that says “Find a Zip Code”.

Type in the address you have researched and changed. See if it goes through without an error. If it is OK, you will see a message – “Here’s the full address, using standard abbreviations and formatting”, followed by the correct address as it should appear in your database and the way the postal service wants to see it. If it fails, you will see an error message and you can try again.

Address Corrections and fixing NON-CASS records are important elements for insuring that your mailing will be as successful as possible.

Failure to pay attention to these details can minimize results and disappoint expectations.

About the Author:
Thad Ludwiczak represents Do-Good Mailing – An integrative communication services business. They are a mailing service dedicated to helping small businesses and nonprofits use the postal system so that their mail is delivered quickly and at the lowest possible postage cost. Do-Good.biz

2013 Self-Mailer Standards

MAJOR CHANGES FOR SELF-MAILERS – BEGINING JANUARY 1, 2013

             Major changes from the postal service are coming to self mailers. And these new regulations are going into effect the first week of January 2013. Non-compliance will mean doubling or tripling postage.  

 “Self mailers” are pieces that are not inserted into envelopes and which have an address applied to the outside. Most commonly these are newsletters that start out as 11×17 and are folded down to 5.5 x 8.5. Or they may be an 8.5 x 11 folded into thirds.

However, there are many variations to what can be called a “self mailer” so they are not limited to what I described above.

Thickness of paper, folding and tabbing standards have been changed with the new standards. In fact, this is, in my opinion, the largest change in regulations during the 10 years I have been in the business, so it is a really big deal.

The first thing you should do is contact your designer. Let them know these changes are coming. Your designer can give us a call prior to the next round of your mailings.

Resources that are available to you are the USPS customer service rep at Mailing Requirements, 651-681-2630 and this document which summarizes the changes.

 

Do-Good recommends a phone call to us and we will discuss your project with you. If we do not have the answers, we will get them.

I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to think about these things prior to designing, printing and mailing your next project.

As always, Do-Good is trying to be proactive. Education and awareness of the postal standards are important to us and to our customers.