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Alternative to Netflix Throttling?

 
 
Alpha
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Posts: n/a
 
      02-13-2006

"PC Medic" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:u7JHf.87589$4l5.62542@dukeread05...
>
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed) oups.com...
>> PC Medic wrote:
>>
>>> Much simpler way for them to have done this instead of 'throttling'
>>> would be
>>> 'combined shipping'. If you have multiple movies shipping to you from
>>> the
>>> same facility (almost always the case) offer you the option in your
>>> profile
>>> to have them placed in a single shipping envelope and you return them in
>>> the
>>> same single envelope. The weight of a CD is minimal and would more than
>>> halve their current shipping rate using this method.

>>
>> Pardon, but you obviously do not understand how the USPS operates.
>> Your proposed solution would not only complicate NetFlix's mail
>> preparation, it would require the use of affixed [metered or stamped]
>> postage instead of permit imprints and deprive NetFlix of some of the
>> postal discounts for which they now qualify.
>>

>
> Wrong...and I am quite aware of how the USPS works as my company uses them
> (and UPS) to ship thousands of items daily. 3 CD's in a single mailer
> would cause little IF any change in rate and what ever slight change there
> was would certainly be less costly than 3 seperate mailers (savings in
> both postage and materials).
>
>> Secondly, an additional DVD would obviously push the weight class up
>> an ounce [a DVD is roughly 0.6 ounces] meaning NetFlix would pay an
>> additional 24 cents each way. While this is lower than the cost of two
>> envelopes, the postal "savings" is on the order of 14% at best, not
>> 50%. This savings would apply only to a subset of their total postage
>> bill, and in my estimation would be more than eaten up by the
>> additional costs in preparation and loss of discounts.
>>

>
> I do not agree totally with your figures and yes it MAY cost slightly
> more, but still would be less than 3 seperate mailers.
>
>> Add to this that the additional stiffness of the package may well
>> require sorting on flat equipment instead of letter equipment to
>> prevent damage, and you are adding to the postal delivery time.
>>

>
> I ship double packs of CD's every day (in the cardboard media mailers) and
> rarely does it take longer than 1-2 days for customers in the region to
> receive them. Besides, my main complaint is not in how long USPS is
> taking, it is the recent 2-3 day turn-around at the Netflix facility
> itself.
>
>
>

Your analysis is wrong and the previous poster is correct. All, and I mean
all, of the processing at Netflix is by hand. There is a reason each disc
must be separate: Correct inventory scans of bar codes and filing. Putting
discs in one package would cost huge money in overhead, and save absolutely
nothing. It would cost a lot, lot more.


 
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PC Medic
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Posts: n/a
 
      02-13-2006

"Alpha" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> "PC Medic" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:u7JHf.87589$4l5.62542@dukeread05...
>>
>> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>> news:(E-Mail Removed) oups.com...
>>> PC Medic wrote:
>>>
>>>> Much simpler way for them to have done this instead of 'throttling'
>>>> would be
>>>> 'combined shipping'. If you have multiple movies shipping to you from
>>>> the
>>>> same facility (almost always the case) offer you the option in your
>>>> profile
>>>> to have them placed in a single shipping envelope and you return them
>>>> in the
>>>> same single envelope. The weight of a CD is minimal and would more than
>>>> halve their current shipping rate using this method.
>>>
>>> Pardon, but you obviously do not understand how the USPS operates.
>>> Your proposed solution would not only complicate NetFlix's mail
>>> preparation, it would require the use of affixed [metered or stamped]
>>> postage instead of permit imprints and deprive NetFlix of some of the
>>> postal discounts for which they now qualify.
>>>

>>
>> Wrong...and I am quite aware of how the USPS works as my company uses
>> them (and UPS) to ship thousands of items daily. 3 CD's in a single
>> mailer would cause little IF any change in rate and what ever slight
>> change there was would certainly be less costly than 3 seperate mailers
>> (savings in both postage and materials).
>>
>>> Secondly, an additional DVD would obviously push the weight class up
>>> an ounce [a DVD is roughly 0.6 ounces] meaning NetFlix would pay an
>>> additional 24 cents each way. While this is lower than the cost of two
>>> envelopes, the postal "savings" is on the order of 14% at best, not
>>> 50%. This savings would apply only to a subset of their total postage
>>> bill, and in my estimation would be more than eaten up by the
>>> additional costs in preparation and loss of discounts.
>>>

>>
>> I do not agree totally with your figures and yes it MAY cost slightly
>> more, but still would be less than 3 seperate mailers.
>>
>>> Add to this that the additional stiffness of the package may well
>>> require sorting on flat equipment instead of letter equipment to
>>> prevent damage, and you are adding to the postal delivery time.
>>>

>>
>> I ship double packs of CD's every day (in the cardboard media mailers)
>> and rarely does it take longer than 1-2 days for customers in the region
>> to receive them. Besides, my main complaint is not in how long USPS is
>> taking, it is the recent 2-3 day turn-around at the Netflix facility
>> itself.
>>
>>
>>

> Your analysis is wrong and the previous poster is correct. All, and I
> mean all, of the processing at Netflix is by hand. There is a reason each
> disc must be separate: Correct inventory scans of bar codes and filing.
> Putting discs in one package would cost huge money in overhead, and save
> absolutely nothing. It would cost a lot, lot more.
>
>


Afraid not....

Now being someone that works in this very enviroment every day, I can
disagree with some great certainty here.
'Obviously' these mailings are processed by hand. Each outbound order must
be retrieved from inventory, scanned to adjust the inventory level, packed
and shipped. The inbound must also be opened, the contents then scanned in
to update the inventory database and then returned to available inventory.
This is nothing unique to Netflix's operation and while it may take some
simple retooling of their line it is nothing major and opening a single
mailer and scanning in 2 or 3 items from its contents is no more (and done
right would be less) time consuming than opening and scanning 3 different
mailers with a single item inside. Don't want to retool and upset current
work flow then don't simply use barcode stickers on the outside of the
mailer to indicate the package contents.

We do it every day and is one reason we can offer our customers savings on
shipping if they order multiple items at the same time.





 
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Alpha
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-13-2006

"PC Medic" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:7vQHf.88431$4l5.48693@dukeread05...
>
> "Alpha" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>>
>> "PC Medic" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>> news:u7JHf.87589$4l5.62542@dukeread05...
>>>
>>> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>>> news:(E-Mail Removed) oups.com...
>>>> PC Medic wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Much simpler way for them to have done this instead of 'throttling'
>>>>> would be
>>>>> 'combined shipping'. If you have multiple movies shipping to you from
>>>>> the
>>>>> same facility (almost always the case) offer you the option in your
>>>>> profile
>>>>> to have them placed in a single shipping envelope and you return them
>>>>> in the
>>>>> same single envelope. The weight of a CD is minimal and would more
>>>>> than
>>>>> halve their current shipping rate using this method.
>>>>
>>>> Pardon, but you obviously do not understand how the USPS operates.
>>>> Your proposed solution would not only complicate NetFlix's mail
>>>> preparation, it would require the use of affixed [metered or stamped]
>>>> postage instead of permit imprints and deprive NetFlix of some of the
>>>> postal discounts for which they now qualify.
>>>>
>>>
>>> Wrong...and I am quite aware of how the USPS works as my company uses
>>> them (and UPS) to ship thousands of items daily. 3 CD's in a single
>>> mailer would cause little IF any change in rate and what ever slight
>>> change there was would certainly be less costly than 3 seperate mailers
>>> (savings in both postage and materials).
>>>
>>>> Secondly, an additional DVD would obviously push the weight class up
>>>> an ounce [a DVD is roughly 0.6 ounces] meaning NetFlix would pay an
>>>> additional 24 cents each way. While this is lower than the cost of two
>>>> envelopes, the postal "savings" is on the order of 14% at best, not
>>>> 50%. This savings would apply only to a subset of their total postage
>>>> bill, and in my estimation would be more than eaten up by the
>>>> additional costs in preparation and loss of discounts.
>>>>
>>>
>>> I do not agree totally with your figures and yes it MAY cost slightly
>>> more, but still would be less than 3 seperate mailers.
>>>
>>>> Add to this that the additional stiffness of the package may well
>>>> require sorting on flat equipment instead of letter equipment to
>>>> prevent damage, and you are adding to the postal delivery time.
>>>>
>>>
>>> I ship double packs of CD's every day (in the cardboard media mailers)
>>> and rarely does it take longer than 1-2 days for customers in the region
>>> to receive them. Besides, my main complaint is not in how long USPS is
>>> taking, it is the recent 2-3 day turn-around at the Netflix facility
>>> itself.
>>>
>>>
>>>

>> Your analysis is wrong and the previous poster is correct. All, and I
>> mean all, of the processing at Netflix is by hand. There is a reason
>> each disc must be separate: Correct inventory scans of bar codes and
>> filing. Putting discs in one package would cost huge money in overhead,
>> and save absolutely nothing. It would cost a lot, lot more.
>>
>>

>
> Afraid not....
>

Specious arguementation that is self-justifying and wrong.


 
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afn03488@afn.org
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-13-2006
PC Medic wrote:
> Wrong...and I am quite aware of how the USPS works as my company
> uses them (and UPS) to ship thousands of items daily.


The fact that "your company" uses the USPS daily does not qualify
YOU as an expert on the operations and machinations of the USPS.
As to my own qualfications, I am a retired owner of a fullfillment
house who lost only one appeal to Memphis. Since I was on the
civilian side of the line, I will not go postal like the Royal
****wad who litters this newsgroup, but will simply suggest you
seek out a qualified individual in your own mailroom to explain
to you just how anal BMEU and revenue protection personnel can be.

> 3 CD's in a single mailer would cause little IF any change in
> rate and what ever slight change there was would certainly be
> less costly than 3 seperate mailers (savings in both postage
> and materials).


That statement suggests Standard Mail is being used, not First
Class Mail. Standard Mail incurs no penalty for increased weight
until it exceeds 3.3 ounces. If you increase the weight of a
Standard Mail letter from 3.30 ounces to 3.31 ounces, the cost
of a thousand piece mailing at 5 digit automation rates without
destination level discounts increases by only $0.32. If you
increace the weight of First Class letter from 1.00 ounces to
1.01 ounces, the cost of a thousand piece mailing at 5 digit
automation rates increases by $240.00. The savings of putting
two DVDs in one envelope and mailing only 500 pieces would
be $40.50, although probably closer to $30 due to loss of
5 digit level discounts. The figures for three DVDs in an
envelope would be $133.19 and $122.20 respectively.

It is much simpler to print the appropriately barcoded mailers
for the day in title sequence, and have them filled with just
one stop at each inventory location for everyone getting that
title for the day and postal sorting the results on an internal
barcode sorter than it is to assemble the contents of an
individual three disk mailer for insertion. Balance your postage
savings above against the speed and labor cost with attendant
payroll taxes to accomplish it your way.

I admit I don't know how NetFlix elected to implement their
fulfillment, but I envision restocking as the major obstacle.
I wonder what kind of equipment they have for sorting returns?
Frankly I wouldn't credit you with a return until I could get
it in the appropriate location to be reshipped. I wonder if
that is part of the delay being observed.

> I do not agree totally with your figures and yes it MAY cost
> slightly more, but still would be less than 3 seperate mailers.


See above. While you are correct the postage charges would be less,
you are chosing to ignore the additional preparation costs and
opportunities to foul up. The last thing you want to do is have a
time sensitive mailing rejected for a preparation error. Non
identical weight mailings cannot use imprints and must have postage
affixed. Dividing the day's mail into separate one, two, three, etc
disk mailings to continue to use imprints cuts into the presort
discounts which depend on the fineness of the sort and the number
of pieces which qualify at each level not to mention the comparative
time and labor costs to assemble the contents of each order.

> I ship double packs of CD's every day (in the cardboard media
> mailers) and rarely does it take longer than 1-2 days for customers
> in the region to receive them.


I do not know what you mean by "in the region", but Standard Mail
is dumped into the First Class Mail stream at the destination level.
If delivered within the SCF of entry, it may be delivered the next
day, or it may be delayed depending on the First Class workload.
Standard Mail which leaves the SCF of entry moves at its own rate
and is not suitable for time sensitive mailings. Mixed AADC Standard
Mail moves as slow as maple syrup under the current weather
conditions in Maine. Not ****ing off customers with Standard Mail
delays is one reason to use First Class; a second is how anal the
BMEU is about what constitutes an "identical mailing" for the
purposes of qualifying as Standard Mail.

> Now being someone that works in this very enviroment every day,
> I can disagree with some great certainty here.


What you are doing with certainty here, is demonstrating your
ignorance. Again, don't accept what I say at face value; talk
to the person in charge of your mailroom for an education.

> This is nothing unique to Netflix's operation and while it may
> take some simple retooling of their line it is nothing major
> and opening a single mailer and scanning in 2 or 3 items from
> its contents is no more (and done right would be less) time
> consuming than opening and scanning 3 different mailers with
> a single item inside.


Using non-identical weight letters outbound will require sorting
by weight as well as zip code, both complicating the documentation
required for mailing and reducing the available discounts.

> We do it every day and is one reason we can offer our customers
> savings on shipping if they order multiple items at the same time.


You also indicated you used UPS, and shipping of "multiple items"
implies parcels, not "letters". NetFlix has obviously elected to
minimize their costs and delivery times by relying on properly
automated and sorted First Class letters of the less than one ounce
variety.

For those who believe in ignoring NetFlix's instructions to return
each DVD in a separate mailer, you may in fact be increasing the
turn around time for everyone by encouraging the accounting section
of the USPS to weigh each returning piece to assess the proper
postage. What you mail back does not go directly to NetFlix, but
stops at the local PO for the determination and payment of postage.
The Mail Handlers Union relishes the opportunity to justify their
featherbedding by catching insignificant postage undercharges and
you are just abeting them in that effort by mailing two disks back
in one mailer. To further encourage return of different weight
class BRM material as you suggest will only increase that delay.

If you want to continue this discussion, please provide me a
functioning e-mail address, as this is really departing from
the topic of the newsgroup.

BTW Alpha, thank you for agreeing with me.

 
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afn03488@afn.org
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-13-2006
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) wrote:

> It is much simpler to print the appropriately barcoded mailers
> for the day in title sequence, and have them filled with just
> one stop at each inventory location for everyone getting that
> title for the day ....


"Title sequence" is an obvious error and should read inventory
location sequence.

 
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Sam Rouse
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-13-2006
In article <(E-Mail Removed) .com>,
(E-Mail Removed) wrote:

> I admit I don't know how NetFlix elected to implement their
> fulfillment, but I envision restocking as the major obstacle.
> I wonder what kind of equipment they have for sorting returns?
> Frankly I wouldn't credit you with a return until I could get
> it in the appropriate location to be reshipped. I wonder if
> that is part of the delay being observed.


As of a couple years ago, restocking was all manual, and may still be. They try
to minimize it - when a returned disk is scanned in, if there's an unfilled
order for it in the queue, a mailing label is printed on the spot, it's
packaged, and added to the "to ship" stack instead of the "to stock" stack.
 
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Alpha
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-13-2006

<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) oups.com...
> PC Medic wrote:
>> Wrong...and I am quite aware of how the USPS works as my company
>> uses them (and UPS) to ship thousands of items daily.

>
> The fact that "your company" uses the USPS daily does not qualify
> YOU as an expert on the operations and machinations of the USPS.
> As to my own qualfications, I am a retired owner of a fullfillment
> house who lost only one appeal to Memphis. Since I was on the
> civilian side of the line, I will not go postal like the Royal
> ****wad who litters this newsgroup, but will simply suggest you
> seek out a qualified individual in your own mailroom to explain
> to you just how anal BMEU and revenue protection personnel can be.
>
>> 3 CD's in a single mailer would cause little IF any change in
>> rate and what ever slight change there was would certainly be
>> less costly than 3 seperate mailers (savings in both postage
>> and materials).

>
> That statement suggests Standard Mail is being used, not First
> Class Mail. Standard Mail incurs no penalty for increased weight
> until it exceeds 3.3 ounces. If you increase the weight of a
> Standard Mail letter from 3.30 ounces to 3.31 ounces, the cost
> of a thousand piece mailing at 5 digit automation rates without
> destination level discounts increases by only $0.32. If you
> increace the weight of First Class letter from 1.00 ounces to
> 1.01 ounces, the cost of a thousand piece mailing at 5 digit
> automation rates increases by $240.00. The savings of putting
> two DVDs in one envelope and mailing only 500 pieces would
> be $40.50, although probably closer to $30 due to loss of
> 5 digit level discounts. The figures for three DVDs in an
> envelope would be $133.19 and $122.20 respectively.
>
> It is much simpler to print the appropriately barcoded mailers
> for the day in title sequence, and have them filled with just
> one stop at each inventory location for everyone getting that
> title for the day and postal sorting the results on an internal
> barcode sorter than it is to assemble the contents of an
> individual three disk mailer for insertion. Balance your postage
> savings above against the speed and labor cost with attendant
> payroll taxes to accomplish it your way.
>
> I admit I don't know how NetFlix elected to implement their
> fulfillment, but I envision restocking as the major obstacle.
> I wonder what kind of equipment they have for sorting returns?


Somewhere there is a picture of a NetFlix facility on the web. Everything
is done by hand and filed into cubby holes just like old-time postal
services did.


 
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Black Locust
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-13-2006
In article <8WrHf.11922$(E-Mail Removed)>,
"TB" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> The corner video store is good enough for my dvd rental requirements.
> There's just something to be said for walking in, finding what they have in
> stock, making a couple selections and paying for them and leaving with them.
> Any obscure, rare movie I may want to watch that no one locally carries,
> I'll just buy it say, off an eBay seller, watch it at my leisure and resell
> it at some point later if I want to unload it.


Same deal here. I'm flabbergasted that so many people still think
renting from the local video store is too inconvenient. After reading
all the complaints about Netflix, it seems quite apparent to me that
they are the more inconvenient option. The whole late fees thing used to
hold some water, but since Blockbuster stopped charging late fees last
year, it's hardly an issue anymore. I keep most of my DVDs from
Blockbuster out for a week/week and a half and never get charged an
extra cent for them. And I don't have to let them bill my credit card
monthly get to get this privilege(yes, i firmly believe not paying late
fees is a privilege NOT a right).

I've been considering giving Blockbuster Online a try because of the 4
free in-store rentals a month, but with all the complaints of service
being even worse than Netflix, I'm not really sure it's worth it.
--
"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we.
They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people,
and neither do we." - George Dumbya Bush
 
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afn03488@afn.org
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-14-2006
Sam Rouse wrote:
> In article <(E-Mail Removed) .com>,
> (E-Mail Removed) wrote:
>
> > I admit I don't know how NetFlix elected to implement their
> > fulfillment, but I envision restocking as the major obstacle.
> > I wonder what kind of equipment they have for sorting returns?
> > Frankly I wouldn't credit you with a return until I could get
> > it in the appropriate location to be reshipped. I wonder if
> > that is part of the delay being observed.


> As of a couple years ago, restocking was all manual, and may still be. They try
> to minimize it - when a returned disk is scanned in, if there's an unfilled
> order for it in the queue, a mailing label is printed on the spot, it's
> packaged, and added to the "to ship" stack instead of the "to stock" stack.


Makes sense although it would really mess up PC's suggestion for saving
postage. It may also explain why one poster's observation of differing
days of return for items returned in the same envelope [one on the spot
because of instant demand, the other when returned to inventory]. Must
prove interesting developing an algorithm to predict stocking levels
where one's inventory is primarily stored on your customers' premises.

Reminds me of two library moves with which I am familiar; patrons were
requested to check out books from the old building [any old book] and
return it to the new building.

 
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