Live from the National Postal Forum: Confirm improves Penney delivery times

Boston–Using the U.S. Postal Service’s Confirm mail tracking system, J.C. Penney has seen mail delivery improve to the point where nearly 90% of its catalogs arrived on time. Martin Bernstein, media transportation/smallpackages and postal relations manager for the Plano, TX-based cataloger/retailer, shared the information during a session at the National Postal Forum here.

Having used the USPS’s Planet codes for the past four years, Penney positioned itself to be one of the first out of the gate when the USPS formally rolled out Confirm this month.

“It’s been a learning proposition for both us and the USPS,” Bernstein said. “And we haven’t even tapped in to many of the benefits of Confirm.” Penney tracks its catalog mailings by zip code, “which is critical when all your mailings are national,” Bernstein says. “Confirm gives us the ability to go to a Website, look for a zip code, and see [if a mailing is late]how we can react–whether that be run additional ads in a particular area, radio commercials, or whatever to promote a sale.”

George Lopez, the Postal Service’s vice president of area operations whose region includes Plano, noted that “we still have a way to go” in improving on-time delivery of standard mail. “Confirm has provided us a way to work together on it, so we can look at things the same way.”