Archive for January, 2010

Issues With Full Service ACS and Mail.dat .IMR

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Today’s DMM Advisory confirms a problem that some mailers trying to get Full Service “Free” ACS data have been reporting –

“Mailers who submit Full-Service mailings containing Intelligent Mail Range (IMR) records with a low number of pieces in the range are experiencing issues with receiving ACS information. We are working towards a resolution. The PostalOne! ® Helpdesk will contact affected mailers to provide assistance. Please continue to report all issues in receiving ACS data to the PostalOne! Helpdesk at 1-800-522-9085.”

Many publishers and other mailers who counted on Full Service “Free” ACS in their budgeting for 2010, and for use in complying with Move Update requirements, are finding themselves having to use alternatives like Traditional or One-Code ACS at an additional cost, through no fault of their own.

Preparing mail for Full-Service is an onerous and complicated process, adding cost to mailings.   Add to that a combination of the negligible discount, Full Service “Free” ACS being difficult and unreliable–Full Service is getting to be harder and harder to sell to increasingly wary mailers.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 29th, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Posted in USPS

OneCode Confirm and the Census Mailing

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https://liteblue.usps.gov/news/link/2010/nl_0127.htm

Tom Day, Senior VP at the USPS, explained that Census chose Intelligent Mail so it could receive scan information through OneCode Confirm, and to know, in real time, which addresses have returned a questionnaire. This will reduce the costs of sending a follow-up questionnaire or sending a census worker to visit that address – savings for Census that are expected to reach in the millions of dollars.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 29th, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Posted in USPS

Folded Self-Mailers – Changing Standards

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Today’s DMM Advisory requires some translating in order to get down to the important facts of the message:

DMM Advisory text:

Folded Self-Mailers – Changing Standards

Working in collaboration with the mailing industry, the Postal ServiceTM conducted a three-year study of non-enveloped letter-style mailpieces processed on automated letter sorting equipment. The study included mailpieces designed to test specifications and also included examples of folded self-mailers produced by the mailing industry. A thorough analysis of the data collected during testing is currently under review.

Based on findings of the analysis, changes to the characteristics of folded self-mailers mailed at automation or machinable letter prices may be developed. We will publish any proposed new standards in the Federal Register and encourage mail owners, mail preparers, and other interested parties to provide feedback during the comment period that will follow.

After comments on the proposal are received and evaluated, a final rule will be published in the Federal Register and subsequently in the Postal Bulletin. An effective date that provides time for production planning will be included in the final rule. Until the final rule is published, the current folded self-mailer requirements apply as described in DMM 201.3.14. Stay tuned for further information on the self-mailer study and possible proposed requirements.

TRANSLATION:
Three years have been spent studying folded self-mailers run on automation equipment.  The data is now collected and under review.  The USPS is looking for ways to increase their revenues by any means possible, including changing folded self-mailer requirements.   If the studies support changes so that penalties for non-compliance can be collected, the USPS will push this through as quickly as possible. New requirements will be published in a Federal Register notice, which carries a 30 day comment period from the day it is published.  They can’t say exactly when, though.  Don’t say we didn’t warn you to watch for it.  In the meantime, current requirements can be found in DMM section 201.3.14.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 27th, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Posted in USPS

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Service Type IDs Presentation

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STIDS.pdf

This is a terrific, comprehensive presentation on Intelligent Mail Service Type IDs and their usage.  The options are numerous, and careful planning and selecting the correct Service Type ID is critical to obtaining the results that you want – and avoiding sometimes costly ones you don’t!  I was part of a small task group off of MTAC Workgroup #124 that put this together.  I am happy to see that it is finally publicly available on the USPS RIBBs site.

Special thanks to Michelle Hilston of Consolidated Graphics, and to Laine Ropson of Ropson and Associates for all of their efforts in the area of Intelligent Mail education.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 27th, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Posted in USPS

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Comment Period on Postage Statement Changes

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Per the DMM Advisory, the USPS Federal Register notice having to do with changes to the Postage Statements, including processing – and elimination of the round stamp – and the new, convoluted process for actually obtaining a paper receipt:

“Today the Federal Register published our proposed rule, Streamlining Hard-copy Postage Statement Processing.

This proposed rule reflects changes in the processing of hard copy postage statements that accompany commercial and permit imprint mailings at Postal One!® facilities.

Mailers are encouraged to mail or hand-deliver written comments to the U.S. Postal Service® Headquarters in Washington DC no later than February 25, 2010. Mailers may also email their comments concerning the proposed rule, containing the name and address of the commenter to: MailingStandards@usps.gov, with a subject line of “Postage Statement Processing.”

Read the entire proposed rule on the Postal Explorer® website at pe.usps.com by clicking on Federal Register Notices in the left frame.”

This is the time to speak up, especially those of you who require a stamped postage statement as part of your current business process.  Don’t be caught off guard, be prepared for any changes, and provide feedback!

Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 26th, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Posted in USPS

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New OIG Study Estimates USPS Has Been Overcharged for the CSRS Pension Fund by $75 Billion

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A study just released by the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) shows that the current system of funding the Postal Service’s Civil Service Retirement System pension responsibility is inequitable and has resulted in the Postal Service overpaying $75 billion to the pension fund. The OIG estimates that if the overcharge was used to prepay the Postal Service’s health benefits fund, it would fully meet all of the Postal Service’s accrued retiree health care liabilities and eliminate the need for the required annual payments of more than $5 billion. Also, the health benefits fund could immediately start meeting its intended purpose — paying the annual payment for current retirees, which was $2 billion in 2009.

Full article here – http://www.uspsoig.gov/

I’m sure that I am oversimplifying with this comment, however – I think I would notice if it was ME being overcharged $75 Billion, especially if my finances were in the state that the Postal Service’s is in.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 20th, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Posted in USPS

March 14 Postage Statements, PostalOne!, and Full-Service

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If you got caught up with having your mail either encountering acceptance problems or flat-out being refused on January 4th, unless you had a dated January 4th mailing statement, prepare for a similar situation on March 14th.  New statements will be coming out that have a nomenclature change, from the old BMC Bulk Mail Center to the new NDC Network Distribution Center.  Software vendors have not gotten any drafts to program to yet, so the timing will probably be tight.

March 14th is a date to keep a close eye on.  There will be both a PostalOne! release, as well as a Full-Service Intelligent Mail release.  There are a good number of Full Service issues that need fixing, we’ll have to wait and see how many make this release, or get pushed to August.

Also, a MDR Client for Mail.dat files will need to be downloaded and installed for PostalOne!

Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 19th, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Senators Collins and McCaskill Calls On OIG To Review USPS Contracting Policies : PostalReporter News Blog

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Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 16th, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Posted in USPS

Do Not Obliterate!

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Do Not Obliterate!

postalnews.tv » Blog Archive » Do Not Obliterate!.

Informational video posted at Postalnews.TV.  The video illustrates the widespread problem of cross-outs, overstickers, and otherwise marking up of retruned addressed pieces, including crosing out the Intellignet Mail barcode, so that they can only be processed by hand.

As an address service provider, I see this situation with obliterated addresses on physical returns all the time.  I’m glad to see the USPS making an attempt to communicate to the carriers that we want our return addresses readable, and our return IMbs scannable.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 15th, 2010 at 9:42 am

Posted in USPS

Top 10 Postal Stories of 2009

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From the Office of the Inspector General, top 10 USPS News of 2009

Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 11th, 2010 at 11:42 am

Posted in USPS