When the United States Postal Service began offering discounts for presorted mail, Kansas State University could not find a viable, cost effective method to capture the postage savings. Then the central mail operation in our state's capital, Topeka, Kansas, purchased a multi-line optical character reader and bar code sorter. Essentially they could offer the same services of a presort bureau. Student labor, a van, and a gross 6.9 cent per piece savings on automation compatible mail made transporting it to Topeka---an hour away---worthwhile.
After several years of performing this service, we captured a net savings of $75,880 for our university departments, almost 5 cents per piece of mail. Even with our operation's expenses factored in, we continue to save about 2 cents.
A side---yet almost as lucrative---benefit is the courier service we have been able to offer for state of Kansas business-related mail that's moving between Topeka and Manhattan. This service has saved KSU and the state of Kansas more than $52,000.