Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Mint has been honored with the inaugural Mailing Excellence Award at the Fall 1998 Awards Luncheon by the National Postal Forum, recognizing outstanding achievement in the effective use of mailing to meet business objectives.

“Our relationship with the Postal Service is helping us achieve the best-in-business customer service standards we are dedicated to,” said Mint Director Philip N. Diehl. “This award represents the tangible improvements we have brought our customers in the speed and security with which we handle their orders.”

The competition drew 79 entries in business, non-profit and government categories, with a wide variety of companies representing a cross section of the mailing industry that accounts for 900 million pieces of mail each year. The Mint was the winner out of six competitors in government for the success of its partnership with the U.S. Postal Service in improving customer satisfaction and increasing sales in commemorative and numismatic coin programs.

The award was based on two criteria: creativity of concept and execution, and marketing strategy and results, judged by a panel of three independent judges from the mailing industry.

Working with the Postal Service during 1997, the Mint converted shipments of silver coins from registered mail to Priority Mail, becoming the first Federal agency to use custom-designed Priority Mail containers. Using the custom-designed, recyclable, tamper-evident containers reduced delivery time, improved package security and increased the visibility of coin shipments to customers. The Mint saved more than $500,000 on postage and $100,000 on packaging in 1997, while guaranteeing $1 million in revenue to the Postal Service. The Mint expanded Priority Mail service nationwide this year, and expects to realize combined postage and packaging savings of more than $1.5 million annually. In addition, direct mail pickup of all mail at the U.S. Mint in San Francisco is saving the Mint an additional $200,000 in annual transportation costs.

Each year the Mint mails 4.5 million Priority Mail coin shipments and 20 million advertising brochures to its customers, generating more than $300 million in revenue, and $16 million in postage costs.

The winners each received a stunning, custom designed crystal glass sculpture created exclusively for the National Postal Forum by Steuben of Corning, New York, etched with the winner’s name.

The Mint first experimented with Express Mail for rush orders during the holidays in 1996, and expanded use to its annual holiday catalogue mailing. The Mint also is one of the first agencies to test the new Federal Postal Payment Card to improve cash management and postal cost accounting, and is using bar coded Delivery Confirmation in tandem with Priority Mail to further improve mailing efficiency.

Established in 1968, the National Postal Forum is an independent, non-profit organization, which works with the U.S. Postal Service to meet the needs of shippers and to formally bring people together on the technological changes occurring the industry.

Contact:
Press inquiries: Michael White (202) 354-7222
Customer Service information: (800) USA MINT (872-6468)