Saturday, July 31, 2010

Using Battery Backups - Why Take a Chance?

Are You Ready for Lightening?
The lightning and power interruption season is definitely underway. And not just here in Florida, but everywhere. One of our techs just told me they helped with another reinstallation of CPS due to a computer that was plugged directly into the wall and failed when there was a nearby lightning strike. So it's time for a word about battery backups and spike/surge protectors.

If you are in the middle of your shipping day and there is a nearby lightning strike that causes a power spike or temporary power loss, it's easily possible to lose that day's shipping data. That is NOT a good thing. Or, maybe from some other cause, there is a power spike followed by a power loss and the damage is worse - the computer is dead. We've talked about the automatic tool in CPS to back up the data from your shipping computer. Here are some ways to solve this power problem as much as possible before it happens.

Our programmers try to make CPS as protected as possible against data loss if the power drops. A shipping record is only open when you are working with that particular record. Even with programming precautions, it's still possible that data corruption due to a power failure or voltage surge can interrupt your shipping day. Even a modest investment in a battery backup can more than pay for itself the very first time it takes over during a power loss.

What to look for? Here are some general guidelines. Companies like APC, TrippLite, Belkin and others provide battery backup devices with surge/spike suppression in a variety of sizes. Generally, the higher the rating, the longer the battery backup will supply power to the computer system. Also, in the higher rated devices the surge/spike protection may be better, including being able to handle voltage sags. A voltage sag occurs when the voltage drops to a point that doesn't engage the battery backup but might be low enough to damage the computer. This might not cause damage that day, but over time this, too, can kill a computer.

Make sure you get a device with the right capability for your computer's system, but even in the under $100 price range, you will find a battery backup that can provide protection from a power loss and the resulting mess it can make of your day. The power line is not the only source of potential trouble. For additional protection, look for a connection to protect your network connection, too. Of course, a direct lightning strike can be devastating, but the idea is to do as much as you can for problems you can prevent.

Backing up your computer goes hand-in-hand with using a battery backup, so consider both and solve this problem before it happens.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Getting Started with Internet Postage is Easy - Here's How

Using CPS Shipping Software with Endicia...
You know it's there; you can try it free, so now you've decided it's time to try out Internet postage for US Postal Service shipping. What's next and how do you choose the right plan to make this work for your company? The following explains how to take advantage of the special 60 day Endicia free trial using CPS. Keep in mind you can also try the Computerized Parcel System (CPS™) shipping software for just $19.95 a month for 60 days.

When you sign up with Endicia, you choose one of their service levels. The Endicia Premium service is their plan that works with CPS and is their next to least expensive plan. The Premium plan does everything you need for domestic and international USPS shipping, even if you are a high volume shipper. After you sign up, next you download and install Endicia's DAZzle software. After DAZzle is installed, you run CPS Setup to tell CPS that you want to use Endicia Internet postage, make your label choices for domestic and international shipments, and now you are ready to ship your domestic and international packages with the Post Office. That's it. Sign up, set it up, and start saving!

Last time we covered a number of reasons to use Endicia's Internet postage. The savings and convenience are great, and there is more. If you do not want to display the amount of the postage on your package, this stealth postage feature is just a setting you make. If you use package insurance, you have the choice to use Endicia's discounted package insurance. Plus, basic address verification is included and you can even choose to use this for every package you ship, not just Endicia Internet postage packages.

And don't forget to use that free 60 day trial. This limited time offer may end without notice, so try it today.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Use this Free Offer to Check Out USPS Shipping Savings

Try CPS Shipping Software with Endicia 60 Days for Free...
This note will fall under the "shameless self-promotion" category, so get ready. The bonus for you is you might really save a lot on your shipping.

Every day, offers a free 30 day trial of their Internet postage service to anyone. It's a great way to be introduced to the ways that Endicia and the US Postal Service might help your shipping. If you're using our multiple carrier Computerized Parcel System (CPS™) shipping software, you get one step better. Any company that signs up for Internet postage services through our web site gets double the offer - a free trial of services for 60 days. This is available to any CPS user trying Endicia for the first time. Internet postage with can really simplify shipping with the Post Office.

If you have not looked into using Internet postage, here are some points to consider. Internet postage takes the place of manifesting, postage meters and stamps for package shippers. After a package is processed and the shipping label is printed with postage printed on it, the shipping steps are complete and the package is ready to give to the post office for delivery. That's easy, but that's not all. supports both domestic and international US Postal Service shipping services, so shipping practically everywhere is now at your fingertips.

When you try this free 60 day offer you pay only for the postage and insurance you use. Right now, before the busiest shipping season, it's a perfect time to look at Internet postage, and how you might see real savings by adding this choice to your shipping.

One CPS user told us 'With CPS, we use Endicia to the best advantage for us every time. And CPS lets me easily use my data in real time and allows unlimited growth.' This extended free trial of Endicia makes this shipping power and savings available to every CPS user. This limited time offer may end without notice, so try it today.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Choosing the US Postal Service? Don't forget the free packaging!

Shipping Supplies
When you're shipping, you already know that the cost of packaging adds a little to every order, and that the "little things" add up. Anytime you choose the USPS® Priority Mail service, you can always take advantage of their free packaging. Priority Mail is used for a lot of business shipping, especially for business to consumer shipping. And whenever you reduce the cost of packaging, that's money saved that is headed for your bottom line.

Visit the United States Postal Service® web site and you will find over 20 types of free packaging for Priority Mail shipping. These are divided into boxes and envelopes for their flat rate services, and boxes and envelopes for general shipping. For the flat rate services, put in as much as will fit without bending the box and pay just one price for shipping. If a flat rate service is not the best choice, over 50% of the free packaging is for general Priority Mail shipments, so you have a generous choice of packaging and services to choose from.

Most carriers will provide some type of packaging for their premium/express services. The Post Office is unique in providing packaging for more than just the express services. And, again, with over 20 choices, it's a wide range of free packaging. The Post Office is the only carrier that delivers to Post Office boxes and to military (APO/FPO) addresses, plus there is no dimensional weight to consider and no fuel surcharge to compute with their flat-rate boxes. You know how much it costs to ship right when you label the package.

Can you use these boxes for every package? Maybe not, but when you can use them and look at other factors in addition to the actual cost of the box, such as using a flat-rate service and avoiding a fuel surcharge, your smart use of these can add up to real savings! The important thing is to do the math and check the rates between all the carriers, including the flat-rate services, before you ship. And be sure to check out using Internet postage through Endicia®, which gives you immediate discounts on many Post Office services and makes it very easy to use the Post Office. Our CPS shipping software (and others) can do this all automatically for you.

More information about carrier supplied packaging materials click here. For additional information about CPS, visit

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Why should I ship with the Post Office?

We've heard the jokes and seen the shows about postal workers, we know the term "snail mail" (not complimentary, to say the least), and we understand the reputation about questionable delivery success. However, every postal carrier I've ever talked to is at least as dedicated to delivering their packages as their small package carrier counterpart, so why not put that commitment to work for your company?

Let's look at some facts and reasons to consider the post office as part of a company's shipping choices and strategy.

Excellent price for residential delivery and lighter packages

For lighter packages, especially those going to residences, this is a sweet spot for the post office. For the lightest shipments, those under 13 ounces, the prices for USPS First Class with Delivery Confirmation are hard to beat. When you study the prices, you'll see that for packages over 13 ounces and up to 5 pounds or so, Priority Mail service with Delivery Confirmation is extremely competitive. And if you upload your Delivery Confirmation data or use Internet postage from a company like Endicia, Delivery Confirmation for Priority Mail is free. Finally, use a shipping system like CPS that does automatic rate comparisons and you'll always get the best price. That's reason #1.

No address correction fees

Sure, you can give the post office a package with an address to which delivery cannot be done. But, free delivery to a forwarding address is part of their service with no additional charges. Sometimes (granted, not every time), they even deliver a package when the address is close but not 100% accurate. Both of these can put you dollars ahead of the additional charges for address correction you'll see from other carriers. Another good reason to look at the post office.

They deliver everywhere

Well, maybe not EVERYwhere, but they cover all US addresses and most of the rest of the world, too. When shipping internationally, be sure the delivery time for the service you choose matches the delivery time you need. No other carrier has a wider delivery area. Even other carriers now depend on the post office for the final delivery of the packages shipped with some of their services. The reasons are mounting.

Discount pricing available to almost everyone

Upload your Delivery Confirmation data for Priority Mail, and Delivery Confirmation is free. Use an Internet postage company like or use a postal manifest and you take advantage of Commercial Base price discounts. Internet postage users also enjoy discounts on some international services, too. If you ship insured packages, the online postage companies have great prices for package insurance. No haggling or negotiating needed for these prices - just get started and start shipping. So add easy money saving discounts as another good reason.

No fuel surcharge

None! That says it all.

It seems there are many levels of success stories about using the USPS, but when you combine these clear advantages and use a multiple carrier shipping system like our CPS(TM) shipping software, you get great shipping prices and your packages get out the door fast. For more information about online postage for CPS click here. For additional information about CPS, visit