Printer Friendly

A venture with zip.

A Venture With Zip

United Systems Of Arkansas Cashes In On Postal Service's Free Mailing List Cleanup

Few things in life are truly free, but United Systems of Arkansas has found a way to cash in on that maxim with a business solution which could result in $1 million in sales.

The company's entrepreneurial hopes are fueled by the U.S. Postal Service's plan to bar code all mail by 1995, a goal which will require accurate Zip + 4 coding. To speed this process along, the USPS is offering a free mailing list cleanup service to any business that provides list data in the post office's specified file format on diskette.

Sounds like a great deal until the business owner learns he needs an in-house programmer who can translate and reprocess mailing list data. Since the post office doesn't do computer consulting, and hiring an outside consultant could cost as much as $500, most small businesses decide it's just not worth the effort.

Help For The Computer Illiterate

That's where United Systems of Arkansas steps in with ZipPRO, an intermediate software utility that provides step by step instructions for translating mailing lists both to and from a business's data files and the USPS service.

"To take advantage of the post office's free service, you've got to spend money," Tim Rooney, manager of data processing and development, explains. "We're trying to provide a service for less money (than a computer consultant)."

For an introductory price of $39.95, ZipPRO will enable a businessman to do a before and after comparison of the mailing list when the post office returns it, as well as make corrections in the system and write the corrections back to the database. The software can be used with any IBM PC compatible equipment.

"We feel it will generate over $1 million in gross sales the first year," CEO Glenn Petkovsek reveals, adding, "We've been very conservative on that estimate."

Rewarding Realization

Rooney created the program after discovering the company's own need for using the USPS service. United Systems' primary business is validating information and publishing it in nationwide non-advertising directories.

Bill McLemore, USPS manager of commercial accounts, says their discovery will open up a new area for businesses previously unable to take advantage of the mailing list cleanup.

"(United Systems of Arkansas) is offering a viable service to the customer so he or she can benefit from free services the post office offers," he explains. "There will be more people who will use our conversion service because of this software."

Results from a recent beta test site were successful, revealing only a few bugs which have since been worked out. The company will begin a direct mail campaign at the end of this month, focusing on the Little Rock market first, then going nationwide. Petkovsek says two local retailers, Copy Systems of Little Rock and RoNan Computer Resources, also of Little Rock, will carry the software. Negotiations are also under way with other dealers.

"We're getting 'go! go! go!' from everyone, and it's hard to keep your feet on the ground," Rooney admits.

One reason their heads may be in the clouds is the predicted gross sales from the product.

Of an estimated 19 million small businesses in the United States, Rooney and Petkovsek feel they can achieve their $1 million sales projection if they reach only .003 of those businesses.

And if those predictions are correct, Rooney and Petkovsek may have an even harder time keeping their feet on the ground. With the energy and excitement they project, it's hard to believe there could be a down side to their venture, but they are keeping a lookout, just in case.

"Nobody's shooting it (ZipPRO) down," Petkovsek remarks. "We're looking for people to throw rocks, but none are coming our way."

PHOTO : SOFTWARE SOLUTION: Tim Rooney and Glen Petkovsek of United Systems of Arkansas demonstrate the ease of using ZipPRO, a program which provides step by step instructions for using the post office's free mailing list cleanup service.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Journal Publishing, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:United Systems of Arkansas cashes in on postal service's free mailing list cleanup
Author:Garner, Jennifer
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Aug 27, 1990
Words:671
Previous Article:Singer of the blues.
Next Article:Something to bank on: startups, acquisitions and expansions will keep altering the banking scene.
Topics:


Related Articles
Frank talk.
Zipping right along.
ELetter Launches Web-Based Bulk Postal Mailing Outsourcing.
USPS.com.
LAKE L.A. POST OFFICE PUSH WINS COUNTY ALLY.
OAK PARK TIRED OF L.A. JURY FORMS IN MAIL.
SURVEY FAVORS SHARED ZIP CODE.
CONGRESSMAN BACKS ZIP CODE CHANGE.
OAK PARK FIGHT GETS SOME ZIP : LETTERS WILL VOUCH FOR VENTURA COUNTY LOCATION.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters