Harry Herget and Steve Smith
1993 - Our story begins.
Partners Harry Herget and Steve Smith, become involved with a new technology for banks called “Check Imaging.” At this time, banks were clearing about 70B paper checks a year through our payment system and check imaging offered the advantage of eliminating the paper items and replacing them with exact, digital copies that were acceptable proof of payment by the IRS, the Federal Reserve and the Uniform Commercial Code AND could be exchanged electronically. Using electronic data instead of physical items, the time it took to clear a check through the payment system went from an average of four days to less than a day. Banks using Check Imaging could produce monthly checking account (or DDA) statements using digital images of checks neatly displayed on standard sized sheets of paper, several to a page and printed on both sides. No more bulky, hard to handle loose-leaf checks to count and stuff.
Smith and Herget are invited by the USPS to become certified Business Partners. They were former senior bank officers who had started separate businesses; Smith founded and managed a mail fulfillment business and Herget founded a full service marketing company.
Banks were their core customers.
As newly certified USPS business partners their stated mission was to advocate for manifest mailing and to help their large mailing clients present their mail in postal pre-sort order. For their part, the USPS would reward mailers with lower postage rates resulting from “work share” discounts. If large mailers would help the USPS save on the rising cost of processing and sorting mail, the mailer would be rewarded for their efforts. Work share discounts amounted to a 25% hard dollar savings on postage costs. That’s real money and it’s substantial!
Smith and Herget are recertified as USPS Business Partners and the more they promoted Manifest Mailing the more they realized there were no solutions in the marketplace, no affordable, in the box, solutions that would help them achieve their mission for the USPS. As a result, they began to develop manifesting software for banks offering image statements, software that would count pages, know the weights of each sheet, the envelope and allow for any inserts in a given statement. In the process, it would CASS code addresses and PAVE sort the items in postal, pre-sort order.
Smith and Herget start AutoMail, LLC, and succeeded in developing AutoMail for banks. It consists of AutoMail, LLC, developed CASS, PAVE and Batch MAC Manifest software. AutoMail was then and remains today the only mail automation/manifest solution for banks that is comprised of proprietary software developed, maintained and supported by one company; moreover, it manifests mail items of differing weights and eliminates the need to use stamps or a postage meter. This significant differentiator applies today to all transaction and marketing businesses that regularly print and mail items of both dissimilar and identical weight. AutoMail is also totally integrated into a banks operating system before the bank goes live. All the bank operations person has to do is hit the “Run” button and it works. AutoMail uses an ROI pricing model that documents its contribution of helping manage finances by preserving capital of all its users. Monthly mail volume is multiplied by the real, hard dollar savings in postage. Ten months of postage savings equals AutoMail’s license fee. In effect, in less than a calendar year, the USPS, using work share postage discounts, pays for AutoMail. When AutoMail, LLC, introduced manifest mail, few bulk receiving clerks throughout the country had a clue what “manifesting” meant and how it worked. As a result, AutoMail, LLC, spent their first five years training USPS personnel on the meaning of manifest mail, its requisite reports and its importance to the overall mailing process and the future of the USPS.
AutoMail logo, 1999
2000 > 2006
AutoMail, LLC, partnered with 22 bank technology companies offering check imaging software solutions. Check Imaging software functions like VDP, Variable Data Publishing, software that designs and prints documents. When a bank’s host software sends a statement download file to the image software, AutoMail intercepts the file, does all its mail magic – CASS, PAVE and Manifesting – then returns to file in exactly the same format so it can continue the process of designing and printing statements.
Workflow Manager diagram
AutoMail, LLC, has 1400 banks running their mail automation/Mixed-Weight Manifesting solution. Banks in all fifty states including Guam use AUTOMAIL when processing their monthly DDA statements. This is more banks using their solution than anyone has ever achieved. Then. Now. And Always..
2000 > 2016
AutoMail software becomes the bank industry standard for mail automation and mixed-weight manifesting.
AutoMail, LLC, starts DOC, LLC, Document Output Center, to offer outsource Print2Mail services to banks and other transaction businesses like utilities and medical billers. DOC runs entirely on AutoMail, LLC, developed solutions including AutoMail and AutoDocs™, a variable data publishing solution that designs, prints and eDelivers documents such as monthly bank statements and utility bills. DOC, LLC, also uses File Based Tracking software developed by AutoMail, LLC, that marks each page in a mailing and verifies that each statement printed and processed contains the right documents and the correct number of pages. DOC, LLC, also uses eDocs to electronically file all required mailing reports to the USPS. Their MailStream Navigator solution enables client banks to track their mail through the USPS MailStream so they can verify their items have been mailed and estimate their delivery times.
2011 – H. Herget article in MAIL: magazine’s annual “CEO Perspectives” December issue: “The Inevitable Mailroom.”
CEO Perspectives magazine cover and pages
H. Herget article in MAIL: magazine’s annual “CEO Perspectives” December issue: “ATTN: Industry Execs – Is It Time To Call In A Rocket Surgeon?”
CEO Perspectives magazine cover and pages
H. Herget article in MAIL: magazine’s annual “CEO Perspectives” December issue: “The New USPS” (US Package Services – IMpB)
AutoMail, LLC, offers a full suite of workflow and manifesting solutions to all verticals including utilities, insurance companies, medical billers, cable companies and the like. AutoMail, LLC, helps make the Mail Moment Possible by simplifying the mailing process and saving money for its users; moreover, it enhances the moment by combining documents to reduce the total number of mail pieces; by aggregating different document files to create a single print stream and this helps increase volumes of many mailings so they can qualify for maximum work share discounts; it also offers dynamic messaging so users can communicate in a more timely and relevant way with their customers. Other contributing values of AutoMail include taking less time and fewer people to process the mail. By eliminating the postage meter, one-third of the mailing process is eliminated along with the attendant, high cost of luminescent metering inks.
AutoMail and USPS logos
2000 > 2016
AutoMail, LLC, remains the working liaison between their users and the USPS. They have certified, mail piece designers on staff and their development group works closely on a daily basis with the USPS Technical Solutions Group in maintaining up-to-date USPS certifications and software updates.
In 2000, AutoMail, LLC, was the only company offering a complete, Host2Post manifest mailing solution to American’s banks. A solution that is made up of proprietary software components and is totally integrated into a user’s workflow system. In 2016, AutoMail, LLC, continues to be the only company that can make this statement.
As Smith and Herget look to AutoMail, LLC’s, future role, they are pursuing several initiatives: They have recently developed AutoMail/Certified, a solution that capitalizes on the IMpb, Intelligent Mail Package Barcode, for processing and delivering Certified mail items. In addition, they have packaged all their proprietary solutions under the umbrella banner of “Mail Center Manager”, and are aggressively marketing them to large mailers, Data Centers and Print2Mail operations.