Archive for November, 2009

IMb Full Service Acceptance Changes

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I guess this is the USPS way of getting the word out – I just noticed a new link at this page (one that was not there this morning)

Intelligent Mail Latest News page    http://ribbs.usps.gov/index.cfm?page=intellmaillatestnews

Changes to Acceptance Process for Full Service Mailings
http://ribbs.usps.gov/intelligentmail_latestnews/documents/tech_guides/ChangesToAcceptance.pdf

These changes are effective immediately, as Full Service discounts kick in as of today.  I assume there will be a DMM Advisory to follow, but you never know.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

November 30th, 2009 at 5:07 pm

Posted in USPS

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USPS Confirm Service EMD Extension

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The USPS will continue to provide Electronic Mailing Data (EMD) information to Confirm subscribers through March 14, 2010.  Originally slated to be discontinued as of today, Confirm users and prospects have been able to convince the USPS that they find the scan information valuable and use the information in their business processes.  EMD information gives mailers another point of reference as to where in USPS supply chain their mail shipments are.  We will continue to educate and lobby the USPS to provide the EMD scan information as long as possible, at least until there is a viable alternative to accessing the information in another manner.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

November 30th, 2009 at 9:55 am

Posted in USPS

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Black Monday?

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Top ten thoughts from the USPS “Intelligent” Mail think tank:

1.  Let’s plan a major undertaking such as Full Service Intelligent Mail to be implemented on the Monday after a long holiday weekend, during the busiest part of the mailing season.

2.  Let’s tell mailers Full Service delivers end-to-end visibility into the mail stream, when it does NOT.  Once the mailers have bought in and invested enormous sums of money, then tell them piece tracking is at an additional cost, and oh, by the way, you don’t need Full Service to do so.  (Or, let’s just not tell them at all)

3. Let’s make changes to our verification processes on the Wednesday before the Monday implementation, and then let’s not get the word out to the vast majority of mailers (or our clerks) until Friday-or Monday, implementation day.

4.  Let’s put all our required eDocumentation eggs into an already overflowing, slow, unstable, and unreliable PostalOne! basket.

5.  Let’s continue to delude ourselves into believing that mailers are eager to get on Full Service for the “benefits”, not the postage discount.

6.  Let’s write and then continually edit/update at least a dozen different guides and specifications necessary to do Full Service Intelligent Mail.

7. Let’s make Mailer ID and Service Type ID management so complex and difficult that even mailing experts come away baffled and confused.

8.  Let’s offer three different types of address correction systems, with different file formats, different rules, and different billing processes.

9.  Let’s figure out how to charge for address corrections on the mail that needs it the most, while at the same time telling mailers we are committed to reducing Undeliverable As Addressed mail.

and

10.  Let’s acknowledge that there are major issues with Intelligent Mail, but proceed as if “everything is fine” anyway.

All aboard!!  Damn the torpedoes, Full Service steam ahead!

Mailers and mail owners, careful – you are about to get burned.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

November 25th, 2009 at 10:06 pm

Posted in USPS

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Happy Thanksgiving

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Best wishes to all of my faithful readers for a terrific Thanksgiving holiday!

Written by Lisa.Bowes

November 25th, 2009 at 5:00 pm

Posted in USPS

5-day delivery no sure cure for USPS financial woes, economist says

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Written by Lisa.Bowes

November 24th, 2009 at 12:02 pm

Posted in USPS

USPS Shares Policies on Full-Service IMb

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Written by Lisa.Bowes

November 21st, 2009 at 5:57 am

Posted in USPS

Translating the DMM Advisory

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I’d like to take a crack at translating a DMM Advisory that came out today.  Here are some of the sections that need translating:

DMM Advisory:
PostalOne!® Release 22.0 (November 15) – The USPS® deployed PostalOne! Release 22 on November 15 to support the Intelligent Mail Full-Service pricing incentives that will be effective on November 29. Release 22 will also allow mailers to provide electronic documentation and retrieve Mailer IDs, Customer Registration IDs, and Full-Service feedback using Mail.XMLTM. The PostalOne! Release Notes will be posted on RIBBS Friday, November 20th (today).

Translation:
You can’t get release notes for the major Full Service supporting PostalOne! release scheduled for implementation on November 29th until Friday, November 20th.  You then have 5 business days to review and react to any changes that might affect you.

——————————–
DMM Advisory
Guides Update – Postal ServiceTM Mail.XML Technical Specification has been updated. Postal Service Mail.XMLTechnical Specification for Postage Payment and Reporting (eDoc) – The specification was updated to correspond with Mail.XML version 7.0C.The error codes were updated and elaborations were added, several exceptions scenarios were updated and business rules were clarified. Postal Service Mail.XML Technical Specification for Appointment Scheduling (FAST®) – Error codes were updated and business rules were clarified. Postal Service Mail.XML Technical Specification for Profiles and Full Service Feedback – business rules were updated as well as state codes for ACSTM data.

Translation:
Look in several different guides for lots of changes to specifications for Mail.XML.  Try to figure out what was updated, what was clarified, what was added, and what was changed.  Best of luck.

————————–

DMM Advisory:
Postage Statements submitted electronically prior to the software release as of November 15 cannot be finalized. A postage statement submitted prior to November 15 with a mailing date of November 15 or after cannot be finalized for payment by the USPS acceptance employee. The acceptance unit will notify the mailer/mail preparer (whoever submitted the electronic postage statement) to cancel the original job/postage statement and resubmit. The resubmitted job/postage statement must have a mailing date of November 15 or later.

Translation:
On November 15 files that went through PostalOne! without a problem subsequently failed after November 16.  Your local acceptance clerks had no idea why and were unable to help.  This is what happened, and what you had to rework as a mailer, through no fault of your own.

———————–

DMM Advisory:
A list of known issues and workarounds, if available, is posted on RIBBS under PostalOne! Critical Issues List.

Translation:
A bunch of stuff is broken, and the USPS knows about them, but it is still full steam ahead.  Go to RIBBS and try to find the Issues List.  Give up?  It is hidden at RIBBS, Intelligent Mail, Intelligent Mail Latest News, with a link to the list in the box on the right.  16 pages of issues and workarounds.  Again, best of luck.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

November 20th, 2009 at 12:37 pm

Posted in USPS

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Bye Bye Round Stamped Postage Statements

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The USPS believes that all mailers and mail owners would be better served to change long established business practices and utilize the Business Customer Gateway and PostalOne! Efforts to sell this concept have not gone as well as the USPS anticipated, however, so now they are mandating what they have had difficulty selling.

Beginning on March 15, 2010, when submitting a hard-copy paper postage statement, the USPS will no longer fill out the USPS Only section of the form, nor will they round stamp the document.  In order to get a receipt – which has traditionally, even in electronic environments, has been the round-stamped postage statements – mailers and mail owners will be forced to view their transactions on the Business Customer Gateway / PostalOne! online.  Alternately, upon request, mailers may obtain a hard copy receipt of the postage statement on PS Form 3607, Statement of Mailing/Weighing and Dispatch Certificate, which will be revised and renamed Mailing Transaction Receipt Form 3607-R.

According to the official spin, this process will “speed and improve service”, and “mailers are encouraged to go online to view their mailing activity”.

What do you think?  Comment, or drop me a note at Lisa.Bowes@intelisent.com

Written by Lisa.Bowes

November 17th, 2009 at 12:45 pm

Posted in USPS

Potter insists on five-day delivery as part of Postal Service reform

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Written by Lisa.Bowes

November 16th, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Posted in USPS

Postal service, union officials disagree on delivery dates

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Written by Lisa.Bowes

November 14th, 2009 at 10:30 pm

Posted in USPS