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Opportunities in Postal Regulations and Full-Service Compliance Assessments

Aug 11, 2016 2:51:12 PM / by Assurety Consulting

 

The changing technological landscape has led to new regulations, some confusion, and even more opportunities in postal logistics. As the USPS experiments with regulations, they have opened up opportunities for commercial mailers and parcel shippers of all sizes to take advantage of efficiencies and improved services. One of the most notable changes is the USPS’ implementation of Full-Service Intelligent Mail (IMb®) Program. Full-Service mail is not a requirement for automation rates; the USPS initially mandated it for automation rates then rescinded and instead made Full-Service mail an opportunity for commercial postage discounts. The regulations associated with Full-Service and Seamless Acceptance programs do require additional work on the mailer side, but the opportunities it creates offset any resource investment towards compliance, especially for mid to large mailers. For small mailers, USPS has developed IMSB and EDDM solutions to bring small mailers onboard. Though Full-Service mail is no longer mandated, it may be again in the future. Until then, complying with its regulations is still good business practice.

Full-Service mail provides multiple opportunities for mailers:

  • Per piece postage discounts
  • Free change of address data
  • Free visibility data
  • Eliminates Permit fees
  • Reduces labor costs
  • Reduces paper costs
  • Utilizes the MailAnywhere program
  • Improves back office, resource management, sales, and marketing processes through IMb® technology integration

 


Video: Opportunities in Postal Regulations and Full-Service Compliance Assessments

Presenter: Shariq Mirza, CEO and Founder of Assurety Consulting

 

Full Service Leads to Big Incentives

Once a mailer goes Full-Service, it joins a platform that features multiple yearly incentives plus ongoing benefits. Full-Service mail offers a variety of digitized incentives based on improved technology throughout the postal supply chain. These incentives are also available to Basic service users but Full-Service enablement makes it much easier to participate in the incentives.

These include:

  • Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMb) incentives
  • QR barcode incentives (scan for digital experience from physical mail)
  • Catalog content-driven, Color driven, and A/B testing driven incentives (test one type of piece against a similar piece to see which gets more responses as a campaign moves on)

All of these programs provide businesses with built-in tools that improve their mail program efficiency and effectiveness. Previously, the benefits Full-Service mail provides required individual programs and business expenditures, but in today’s mailing ecosystem, the benefits come with significant savings.

Electronic Mailing Technology Creates Opportunities

Full-Service mail allows mailers to take multi-million dollar USPS technology directly into their back offices and processing centers—regardless of size or mail volume. Granular mail tracking and address correction are practical benefits of making the switch to Full-Service mail. The same information callow for improved costing for mailers. With Full-Service, mailers of all sizes are granted access to the USPS address correction, Informed Visibility, and Informed Delivery platforms that enhance the ROI for commercial mailers and long term strategic gains through data insights within their own businesses.

Mailers do need presort and post-presort software that they can develop or buy from the market like AIMS™ MailAssurety™. Businesses can leverage these tools to increase discounts, save money and enhance mail effectiveness, provided they understand the regulations and adhere to them. Full-Service mail benefits the USPS by removing manual processing, automating verification, acceptance, and induction processes and removing paper and manual costs for both USPS and commercial mailers.

Full-Service can be a positive disruption in the long run by requiring new updated workflows for mailers and providing data driven efficiencies that make the disruption worth every penny.

Full-Service Compliance Assessments Coming in November 2016 and What to Do About Them

  • Full-Service Program will start assessing if commercial mailers are in compliance with the Full-Service rules and regulations. The USPS will begin assessments of Full-Service Mail Quality Metrics over the established threshold beginning in November 2016, based on October 2016 data. Two Full-Service Assessments result in the removal of the Full-Service discount on pieces exceeding a Full-Service Mail Quality metric threshold within a calendar month.

    The Full-Service program assesses commercial mailers on the following criteria and eDoc errors. All of the following errors are driven by eDocs (Mail.dat, Mail.XML, Postal Wizard qualification and postage documentation):

Error Type

Description

Error Threshold

What to do about it

Invalid MID on Container

 

The Mailer ID in the IMcb is invalid or cannot be found in the USPS Customer Registration system

2%

MIDs in the IMcb come from your Presort or post-presort software that generate the IMcb barcodes. Have processes in place to make sure all reference MID data in your systems is valid. Your post-presort software such as MailAssurety can also run basic format validations on MID.

Invalid MID on Handling Unit

The Mailer ID in the IMtb is invalid or cannot be found in the USPS Customer Registration system

2%

MIDs in the IMcb come from your Presort or post-presort software that generate the IMcb barcodes. Have processes in place to make sure all reference MID data in your systems is valid. Your post-presort software such as MailAssurety can also run basic format validations on MID.

Invalid MID on piece

The Mailer ID in the IMb is invalid or cannot be found in the USPS Customer Registration system

2%

MIDs in the IMcb come from your Presort or post-presort software that generate the IMcb barcodes. Have processes in place to make sure all reference MID data in your systems is valid. Your post-presort software such as MailAssurety can also run basic format validations on MID.

Invalid STID

The Service Type ID used to identify class and services is invalid or is missing

2%

This usually happens when pieces are upgraded or downgraded but eDocs is not up to date. Your post-presort software such as MailAssurety can provide you the capability to upgrade or downgrade pieces with correct STIDs.

By/For (3 errors)

Either the MID or CRID or Permit provided for Preparer or Owner is invalid in eDocs; or Preparer and Owner’s CRIDs and MIDs or Permits are identifying same entity in eDocs (By and For are same entities); or in the last 90 days the Owner in the eDocs was identified as a Preparer on USPS Business Customer Gateway

5%*

First type of BY/For error is logged when the MID or CRID or Permit belonging to the Owner or preparer is invalid and does not exist in a USPS system. Second Type of error is logged when a mailer identifies both preparer and owner as same entities. This error can also occur when a mailer processes small mailers mailings and may not have their Owners information.

Third type of By/For error occurs when the Mail Owner identified in eDocs was identified as a Preparer on the USPS BCG gateway within the last 90 days. Your post-presort software such as MailAssurety can provide you the capability to validate and fix your MIDs and CRIDs against the USPS Customer Registration System.

Barcode uniqueness non-compliance - Container

The IMcb provided in not unique within the last 45 days in eDocs from the postage statement mailing date in the eDocs

2%

This type of error usually occurs in de-centralized data environments. As a fluke it can occur when one mailer’s serial number matches another mailers serial number while both are using same Mail Owners MID. Your post-presort software such as MailAssurety can provide you the capability validate and fix your MIDs and CRIDs.

Barcode uniqueness non-compliance – Handling Unit

The IMtb provided in not unique within the last 45 days in eDocs from the postage statement mailing date in the eDocs

2%

This type of error usually occurs in de-centralized data environments. As a fluke it can occur when one mailer’s serial number matches another mailers serial number while both are using same Mail Owners MID. Your post-presort software such as MailAssurety can provide you the capability validate and fix your MIDs and CRIDs.

Barcode uniqueness non-compliance – Piece

The IMb provided in not unique within the last 45 days in eDocs from the postage statement mailing date in the eDocs

2%

This type of error usually occurs in de-centralized data environments. As a fluke it can occur when one mailer’s serial number matches another mailers serial number while both are using same Mail Owners MID. Your post-presort software such as MailAssurety should provide you the capability validate and fix your MIDs and CRIDs.

Entry Facility is invalid for Container

This happens when the Locale key that uniquely identifies a facility is invalid in the eDocs for the container

2%

This type of error occurs when the Presort software is not using the latest drop ship product file set where some facilities may have closed. Make sure to download the latest files through your post presort software and make it an automated process through MailAssurety.

Entry Facility is invalid for handling Unit

This happens when the Locale key that uniquely identifies a facility is invalid in the eDocs for the handling unit

2%

This type of error occurs when the Presort software is not using the latest drop ship product file set where some facilities may have closed. Make sure to download the latest files through your post presort software and make it an automated process through MailAssurety.

Unlinked Copal containers

Previously known as OCI error, this error is logged when Origin handling unit’s Pallet information by the consolidator via eDocs is missing information. Pallet data is unavailable for Copal handling units.

5%

This usually happens when the Consolidators process to validate that they have checked off all trays in eDocs that they received from the Origin Mailers and have uploaded the pallet information to PostalOne! through Consolidators jobs. OCI process in most post presort software such as MailAssurety allows you to create OCI data, Palletize the mail and upload the eDocs to PostalOne!

 

* A custom By/For threshold may be set for a mailer who accepts more than 5% of volume from small mailers presenting less than 5,000 pieces per day

Commitment to Compliance Pays Off

For businesses of any size, moving towards Full-Service mail provides more internal tools and better customer service, efficient business and process workflows, and visibility into operations through data, which are obvious benefits. In situations where the cost-benefit analysis may appear to be a wash, there are hidden incentives for even small businesses to commit to Full-Service mail. If over 90% of a mailer’s mail is Full-Service, there are no Permit fees associated with utilizing the Full-Service system.

Assurety Consulting and Solutions helped the USPS and Idealliance/EPICOMM implement many of its Full-Service mail tools, including Mail.dat and Mail.XML, and the same expertise that served the USPS and Idealliance/EPICOMM can also serve mailers of all sizes. If your business is looking to implement Full-Service mail, Assurety can ensure you make the most of it. Assurety’s AIMS™ - ScorecardAssurety™ can help you avoid logging into the Microstrategy reports to review your eDoc errors, instead you can see all the error statuses within your AIMS dashboard.

 

2016-07-Case-study.jpg 

 

 

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1

https://ribbs.usps.gov/intelligentmail/documents/tech_guides/FullServiceIntelligentMailFactSheet.pdf

 

2

Guide to Streamlined Mail Acceptance For Letters and Flats Reporting

 


 

 

 

Assurety Consulting

Written by Assurety Consulting

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