Archive for June, 2009

Senior Prank Launches Federal Investigation

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Senior Prank Launches Federal Investigation – WJW.

If you were the USPS, wouldn’t an order for 5,000 Priority Mail boxes make your sales people want to follow up?

Written by Lisa.Bowes

June 8th, 2009 at 11:07 am

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Intelligent Mail Barcode Readability Tolerances

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At the business meeting that took place after the last MTAC general session in April, it was unanimously voted to press a Key Issue regarding the Postal Service plan for barcode tolerances on Intelligent Mail barcodes.  On Friday the USPS sent a response via the DMM Advisory:

June 5,2009
MTAC LEADERSHIP COMMITTEE
SUBJECT: Intelligent Mail® Barcode Readability Tolerances

This is in response to the MTAC Issues letter dated May 4,2009. After careful consideration of the needs and capabilities of both the Postal Service and its commercial mailers, we have made the following decision:

1) From now through September 6, 2009, the following readability thresholds for Intelligent Mail® barcodes applied to Letter and Flat automation-price pieces are in effect:
a. A mailing with a barcode readability verification result of 90 percent or higher passes verification.
b. A mailing with a barcode readability verification result of 70 percent to 89 percent will have additional postage prorated based on the percentage of error for the automation price pieces in the mailing.
c. A mailing with a barcode readability verification result of below 70 percent will have additional postage calculated based on 100 percent of the automation price pieces in the mailing.

2) From September 7 through November 28, 2009, the following thresholds will be in effect:
a. A mailing with a barcode readability verification result of 90 percent or higher passes verification.
b. A mailing with a barcode readability verification result of 80 percent to 89 percent will have additional postage prorated based on the percentage of error for the automation price pieces in the mailing.
c. A mailing with a barcode readability verification result of below 80 percent will have additional postage calculated based on 100 percent of the automation price pieces in the mailing.

3) We will make a decision to either suspend or extend the 80 percent threshold beyond November 29, 2009 based on results of mailings accepted and verified in this timeframe taking into account the following criteria:
a. Number and volume of mailings verified;
b. Performance by shape characteristics (Letter vs. Flat);
c. Percentage achieving 90 percent or better;
d. The pattern of performance below 90 percent; and
e. Performance of IMb in relation to POSTNET.

Also in response to the MTAC issues letter, we will support the formation of a work group that will focus on best practices required to produce quality barcodes. The work group will rely upon both USPS and mailer experience with print technology, work methods, and quality control/quality assurance in the print production process. The final issue statement will be reviewed and approved by the co-chairs of the Intelligent Mail® Focus Area of MTAC.

During this time frame of relaxed tolerances, we strongly encourage mailers to prepare mailings using the Intelligent Mail® barcode. To the extent a mailer is not ready for Full-Service Intelligent Mail®; they are encouraged to migrate to the Basic option using the Intelligent Mail® barcode.  As we progress through the next six months, we will achieve a result that is beneficial to both the Postal Service and its commercial customers. We must work together to improve the quality of mail to include addresses, barcodes, and preparation. Over time we must raise the thresholds to achieve the cost control and service improvement envisioned in the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. We will continue to work with MTAC to achieve this objective.

Thank you for bringing this important issue to our attention.

THOMAS G. DAY
Senior Vice President
Intelligent Mail and Address Quality

Written by Lisa.Bowes

June 7th, 2009 at 8:19 pm

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Summer Patch Blitz – PostalOne!

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PostalOne! will be down between 4am and 8am on Sunday June 7 for the release of v20.0.1.  Thi is the first in a monthly series of bug fixes and changes needed as mailers start testing the Intelligent Mail systems.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

June 5th, 2009 at 3:34 pm

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USPS Summer Sale

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USPS Summer Sale Federal Register Final Rule posted here:
http://pe.usps.com/FRN/Summer_Sale.doc

Highlights/Summary:

Program – July 1, 2009-September 30, 2009

  • Volume incentive program
  • Commercial or Non-Profit Standard Letter and Flats
  • For volume mailed between July 1-September 30, 2009 above a USPS-determined threshold level

To Qualify:

  • Permit holder
  • Permit Owner
  • Owner of Mail entered via a Mail Service Provider permit, with supporting documentation
  • Volume of 1 million pieces between October 1 2007 – March 31 2008

Mailers will be notified of qualification by USPS letter, alert all possible personnel that they might receive this letter.  The letters will go to whoever Permits are registered to.

If you haven’t gotten a letter and think you should have, or you want to submit some Mail Service Provider documentation for your calculation, contact USPS Summer Sale at summersale@usps.gov.

Paticipants must use volume trends from October 2008 in calculating a projection for 2009, in order to prevent mailers from shifting, rather than adding more mail.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

June 5th, 2009 at 1:23 pm

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Postal Affairs Blog Newsletter

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Postal Affairs Blog Newsletter

Click here to sign up for a monthly recap of the most important Postal Affairs blog items for a given month.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

June 5th, 2009 at 7:24 am

Posted in USPS

Confirm Outage – Scheduled Maintenance

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There will be a short Confirm service outage Saturday June 6 from 8pm CST, through Sunday, June 7 at 4am CST.  During this time users will not be able to upload Electronic Mailing Data files.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

June 4th, 2009 at 5:53 pm

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USPS Summer Sale Approved by PRC

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From the DMM Advisory,

Today the Postal Regulatory Commission completed their review of the Summer Sale.

Mailers have until September 30, 2009, to take advantage of the savings.

Federal Register notice provides all of the details.

For more information, contact summersale@usps.gov

Written by Lisa.Bowes

June 4th, 2009 at 1:12 pm

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USPS BMCs to NDCs from Postcom

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Great write up from Postcom.org on the USPS NDC plans:

NETWORK DISTRIBUTION CENTERS.
USPS REVAMPS BMC NETWORK TO IMPROVE EFFICIENCIES.

Postal Service plans to realign its bulk mail center (BMC) network and transform it into a three-tier system of Network Distribution Centers (NDCs) have begun. Explaining the new system to business mailers attending the National Postal Forum last week, Senior Vice President of Operations Bill Galligan said Phase I began earlier this month in the Northeast corridor, with the Springfield and Philadelphia BMCs becoming Tier 1 sites, and the New Jersey BMC becoming a Tier 2 site. Outgoing volume from the Springfield and Philadelphia BMCs is sent directly to the New Jersey BMC for consolidation, processing and dispatch. The concept will be tested for 12 weeks and then evaluated before rolling out Phase II. Galligan said this will allow USPS to consolidate the processing of originating mail into fewer sites to increase efficiency and reduce transportation costs, while expanding the surface transportation reach for more products. The new network – when fully implemented – will include:

  • Eleven Tier 1 NDC facilities which will process and distribute local and destination Standard Mail, periodicals and package services.
  • Six Tier 2 facilities which will perform all Tier 1 activities, plus distribution of outgoing Standard Mail, periodicals and package services into the network.
  • Four Tier 3 facilities which will perform all the Tier 1 and Tier 2 functions and act as a consolidation point for less-than-truckload volumes from Tier 2 sites.

With the volume decline and changes in the mail mix, much of the mail the 21 BMCs used to process has gone away. Even before the downturn in the economy, mailers were drop shipping mail directly to the delivery units, bypassing the BMCs entirely. The Network Distribution Center concept was developed to reduce excess capacity to match workload, consolidate operations, increase transportation efficiency, and reduce costs. This transformation will keep the BMC facilities viable.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

June 4th, 2009 at 9:51 am

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Letter-Size Booklets and Folded Self-Mailers – Reminder

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From a DMM Advisory:

All letter-size booklets and folded self-mailers mailed as presorted machinable letters must meet the same physical standards required for automation letters. On September 8, we are changing the construction and sealing standards for letter-size booklets.

Review the April 11Federal Register notice, “New Standards for Letter-Size Booklets”

http://pe.usps.com/FederalRegisterNotices.asp

to prepare for the change.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

June 2nd, 2009 at 6:54 pm

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DMM Advisory- Lower Prices for Standard Mail High Density Flats

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Per a DMM Advisory yesterday, the USPS filed a notice with the PRC to reduce prices for high density Standard flats.  Change is effective as of July 19, 2009; decreases the per-piece price by 0.1 cent for both commercial and nonprofits.  Also, changing the high density pound prices to match the saturation pound prices.

No changes to drop ship incentives.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

June 2nd, 2009 at 8:54 am

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