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Postal & Parcel

Case Studies

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INDUSTRY SOLUTIONSPostal & Parcel

1. Business to Business Multi-Party Web Services Platform – Development of a Digital Supply Chain – Idealliance b2b Data Governance for the entire e-commerce, Mailing, Shipping, and Logistics Industry

Problem Statement: A futuristic digital supply chain needed to be developed for the US eco system to enable efficiencies, cut costs, provide end to end traceability and development of digital products and services for consumers. Idealliance as a non-profit owns all data specifications that enable business transactions between the parties within the US mailing and parcel eco system. There was a need to hire a company that understands both sides of the equation, i.e., commercial industry (mailers, shippers, consolidators, eTailors, marketplaces, logistics companies) & the USPS for first and last mile development of a future digital supply chain specification,

Solution: Industry-wide data governance, webservices and micro-services development, b2b Data Specification development, (Mail.dat and Mail.XML)

Services from Assurety: Technical Strategy, Functional leadership and industry and Postal process and technology knowledge, Data Governance, B2B design development of data specifications, Technical collaboration with industry and USPS stakeholders, Change management process implementation, Communications (External and internal).

Technologies: Web Services, Oracle, Java

Client – Idealliance

2. Parcel – Last Mile Dynamic Routing with updates to the TMS (Transportation Management System) and Parcel Returns optimization

Problem Statement: Only silo-ed dynamic routing existed for one data source for parcels, whereas parcels were manifested and data was also sent to the USPS through Mail.dat and Mail.XML and there was a consulting need to develop a single platform for last mile dynamic routing that can support all b2b data specifications and optimize parcel returns management

Solution: New Integrated Data Structures and APIS

Services from Assurety: Provided business and technical consulting to assess, identify and map from multiple data sources a single interface control to support last mil dynamic routing and returns service optimization for parcels by mapping Mail.dat and Mail.XML to the Shipping Services File which required deep understanding of the business, data, and extensive data translation and transformation needs.

Technologies: Oracle, and manual ETL design and oversite of development and leading the testing.

Client – MEPT

3. Enterprise Financial ERP System focused on Automating Compliance, Revenue Assurance and Financial Reporting for the Commercial Business Channel

Problem Statement: Paper driven postage, verification acceptance, entry, induction processes. Lack of visibility about customers, products and service usage and very high cost of manual processes and manual workflows

Solution: Discover/ Assess, Design, Develop, Implement, Maintain a truly enterprise platform processing over 30 billion rows of data and millions of transactions per day to process and upload b2b data, validate the data, calculate postage, debit customer accounts or invoice and adjust payments, use the data to verify the mail and automate verification of mail, push data downstream for induction validation, scanning and revenue assurance processes and support price and classification changes of all commercial products and services twice a year.

Services from Assurety: Communications (External and internal), Data Governance, B2B design and consulting, business process engineering, system and application design and architecture development, QA (Customer Acceptance testing), Revenue Assurance Analytics and Business modeling/predictive analytics.

Technologies: IBM WebSphere Java, Oracle RAC, Java Scripting, Web Services B2B development MicroStrategy, Teradata for warehousing and historic reporting, SAS reporting and modeling

Client – USPS MEPT

4. Parcel and Post – Business Transformation. Intelligent Mail and Intelligent Package (Parcel) Platforms Design and Implementation

Problem Statement: Congress passed a law requiring independent reporting of Service Performance measurement and digital incentives from the USPS to the Commercial mailing industry

Solution: Discover/ Assess, Design, Develop, Implement, (New processes, new workflows, new systems, new applications that enable a single big data information platform that can support all aspects of the USPS from marketing, to sales, to customer support, entry, acceptance, induction, operations, transportation, delivery, pricing and classification, finance, and enable an analytics [platform that can allow the USPS to measure all aspects of the business including service performance and share I it with the industry).

Services from Assurety: Technical leadership and strategy, business strategy, Communications (External and internal), Data Governance, B2B design and consulting, business process engineering, system and application design and architecture development, QA (Customer Acceptance testing), Revenue Assurance Analytics, Informed Visibility Design and architecture and Business modeling/predictive analytics.

Technologies: IBM WebSphere Java, Oracle RAC, Java Scripting, Web Services B2B development MicroStrategy, Teradata for warehousing and historic reporting, SAS reporting and modeling

Client – USPS MEPT

5. Streamlining and Automation of Financial Calculations Engine. Universal Pricing Engine (UPE) – Content Driven Rules Engine

Problem Statement: High Cost for USPS in tens of millions of dollars per year, and same for industry to communicate and implement complex rules for over 45 products; including implementation of new prices, new products and new services twice a year

Solution: UPE – Develop a data driven complex set of new data structures driven by SKUs to let software simply map and get the new prices with each release instead of writing complex software code with each release.

Services from Assurety: Consulting, Design and Development of the new Data Structures, Communication and Collaboration with IT and the entire industry to sell the solution which would save the USPS and the industry millions of dollars per year.

Technologies: Web services and TCPIP based downloads

Client – USPS MEPT

6. Postage Analysis and Capital Investment Decision Support

Problem Statement: SG360° was a $300 Million Dollar successful commercial mailing operation focused primarily on Marketing Mail and First-Class letters and has been using other large and small logistics organizations to transport its first mile and last mile mail to the USPS for final delivery.   SG360°has multiple sites where mail is printed, manufactured, containerized and then for the most part transported by third parties to the USPS. SG360° was looking for an expert organization that can help with the business case development through data analysis and decision support surrounding postage, consolidation, and transportation related opportunities and an expert organization that understands DMM, postal rules and regulations, payment and acceptance processes, and the dropship channel. This expert organization also must have a deep understanding of presort and post-presort workflows, processes and volume optimization and transportation opportunities within the Business Customer Commercial Mail channel.

Solution: Gather all the Mail.dat data and load it in query-able centralized database from all SG360°Facilities. Get organizational overview documents with existing site level reports, if available, and details on the current business and future comingling expansion plans from SG360°. Analyze the data by entry, destination, sortation, volume, weight, class, shape and other pertinent characteristics with focus on comingling, internal co-palletization (possibly external co-palletization as well) and postage consolidation and transportation opportunities. Develop a report outlining if the business case for a transportation organization exists and how big the opportunity is today and could be with future expansion of already planned comingling operations.

Provide the deliverable report and present the findings and recommendations to SG360°.

Services from Assurety: Communications (External and internal), Data Analysis, ETL Data transformation service, Data Governance, and development and reporting. BI & Analytics and Business modeling/predictive analytics.

Technologies: Microsoft SQL server, Assurety’s AIMS post presort software platform, Python ETL and data modeling, Tableau reporting and modeling

Client – SG36, a Seagerdhal Company

7. Operational Optimization at Processing Plants to Cut Labor Costs and Improve Service Delivery Performance – Facilities Shipment, Induction, and Tracking Management

Problem Statement: Manual data entry by fed Ex, UPS, Logistics companies to request appointments at the USPS 250+ Facilities was high costs. Manual dock and resource management at USPS and no electronic induction Tracking was a major internal service performance tracking issue at USPS

Solution: Discover/Assess, Design, Develop, Implement, maintain a truly enterprise platform processing thousands of appointments a day and provide administrative management of docs, facilities, labeling lists, mail direction and redirection management. Automating all transactions from customers to the USPS systems removing almost all manual data entry.

Services from Assurety: Business process engineering, system and application design and architecture, development, QA (Customer Acceptance testing), Technical collaboration with industry and USPS stakeholders, Communications.

Technologies: IBM WebSphere Java, Oracle RAC, Java Scripting, Web Services B2B development, MicroStrategy, SAS

Client – USPS Operations and MEPT

8. Logistics TL and LTL Pool Management, Workflow Automation of business processes and Optimization of TMS (Transportation Management System)

Problem Statement: Extensive labor costs, lack of visibility into induction and lack of early late reporting to clients were big issues as well as direct linkage from TMS and pool management and automation of induction appointments was needed. Identification of cost-effective point of induction based on tariff, LTL, per mile cost etc.

Solution: digital transformation and business process engineering resulting in a Software product driven by APIS that automated business decision through rules engine and updated the TMS pool optimization and workflows. Considering the postage, tariff, LTL rates, cost per mile etc. intelligent assessment and comparison between different induction entry points resulting in cost effective and efficient transportation as well as net saving on total cost of delivery.

Services from Assurety: Consulting, Integration and workflow redesign

Technologies: Oracle, Microsoft .Net C# WMI web services, MS SQL server, web-based reporting

Client – R. R. Donnelley

9. eCommerce Revenue Assurance Platform (Automated Reconciliation and Risk Management)

Problem Statement: Short-Paid revenues above $225 Million per year caused by b2b platforms such as Stamps.com, Indicia and many others where small businesses, commercial shipping organizations, and consumers deliberately or mistakenly are not paying full postage of parcels and it is humanly impossible to verify every parcel as the parcels volume grows.

Solution: APV – Using manifest systems data, data from MPE (weight, dimensions, packaging, postage) and automatically matching actual, verses paid, verses should be payment to identify short paid and invoice the clients

Services from Assurety: Consulting, Definition and design of the entire APV program and how the systems should work, leading Pilot activities including testing driving upgrades on MPE and performing testing with real clients to move APV into production and all onboarding and communications activities.

Technologies: MPE hardware, software, b2B web services interfaces/APIS and Java and Oracle technologies.

Client – USPS MEPT

10. Re-Engineering of Logistics Accounting and Financial System

Problem Statement: Legacy Accounting System with too many incomplete workflows, manual processes were unable to meet the business needs and extensive labor costs as well as reporting issues for A/R and A/P were a risk to the business

Solution: Newly re-engineered software application with automated workflows and scalable, secure and accessible web-based interfaces.

Services from Assurety: Consulting, Integration and workflow redesign and automation. Software Engineering

Technologies: Microsoft .Net C#, MS SQL server, web-based reporting

Client – South West Distribution – Washington Posts largest distributor

11. eCommerce readiness – Operations realignment and re-engineering

Problem Statement: As parcel volumes and international mail is growing, the Post needed an audit and expert advice and consulting services that can help it become the western Africa’s hub for eCommerce by redesigning its sortation facilities, its sortation and workflow operations and updating necessary technologies to help bring more automation and efficiencies to the Post.

Solution: Expert Consulting and Advisor report focused on four scopes in the SOW, driving PNC operational excellence, volume and capacity optimization, Organizational review, and physical redesign of the facilities.

Services from Assurety: Consulting

Technologies: Hardware Sortation (NPI) and Tableau, and existing software at the Post.

Client – Post Morocco – Barid Al Maghrib

12. Inventory Management & Tracking Reporting System – Needing proactive flagging of early or late mail for its clients

Problem Statement: Lack of reporting caused by lack of integration between SAP and USPS b2B interfaces causing time sensitive mail delivery notifications for early or late delivery to be provided after the fact. Vertis’s million dollars clients like a big insurance company and a large US bank were wanting proactive reporting by Vertis on early late reports.

Solution: Designed and Developed APIS between SAP inventory management and USPS b2B APIS, Developed Reports and linked the changed identities of Pallets to original identities for Pallet barcodes. Developed a Web services platform for TL, LTL, Line haul logistics companies to automatically push data to Vertis servers for their mailings that existed on Logistics company’s pallets and generate proactive early/late flagged reports.

Services from Assurety: Custom Software engineering and Integration services, requiring expert level consulting.

Client – Vertis Inc.

13. SSK (Self-Service Kiosk for Mail and Parcel Self Service)

Problem Statement: No Self-Service Terminals available for both retail and commercial clients to help with traffic and volume management at retail Post Offices and at Business Mail Entry Delivery Units

Solution: Discover/Assess, Design, the Self-Service Kiosk and provide pilot and stakeholder management

Services from Assurety: Discovery, Stakeholder management, Requirements Development, System Architecture and application over-site and approval

Technologies: IBM WebSphere Java, Oracle RAC, Java Scripting, Web Services internal APIS,

Client – USPS MEPT & Retail

14. Performance Analytics Engine for Parcel Shipping products

Problem Statement: too many un-sustainable products and services with high cost of maintenance and negative and confusing customer experience

Solution: Real Time performance Analytics Reporting Engine to help add, remove, merge parcel products and services and cut costs and increase revenues

Services from Assurety: Consulting, Development and management of a Reporting analytics engine

Technologies: Oracle, MicroStrategy, Real time reports

Client – USPS Shipping Products

15. Hybrid-Digital Marketing Platform (Inbox – Now called Informed Delivery)

Problem Statement: USPS did not have digital access to its households and was losing business to the internet revolution and emails and needed to develop digital strategies to create new services and products driven by digital solutions.

Solution: Hybrid-Digital Marketing platform that allows mailers, shippers and marketers to market both physically through direct mail and digitally on consumers electronic digital devices and phones.

Services from Assurety: Consulting, B2B Integration, SAS business modeling, Design, Development and maintenance of a decision support ODS and development of Apple IOS and Android OS applications on smart phones. Also providing communications, stakeholder management, and customer onboarding services.

Technologies: Apple IOS, Android, IBM WebSphere Java, Oracle, Oracle DLs, Algorithm development, SAS, and MicroStrategy reporting

Client – USPS Digital Product Innovations under Marketing

16. Intelligent and Virtual Digital Addressing (Forever Addresses)

Problem Statement: By law USPS cannot keep any PII and cannot share any details of addresses with anyone, however there is a need to generate new revenues through new digital products and Intelligent Addresses are needed so USPS can comply with PII and GDPR type of rules and regulations and create new digital marketing products and services without sharing any details on an address with anyone. Also, there is a very high cost of move update for the USPS, almost $5 billion a year and there is a need to develop solutions that can cut the Move Update cost for the USPS.

Solution: Address coding, barcode coding, social media handles and digital identity all driven by algorithms that create Intelligent and Virtual Digital Addresses to cut move update costs where mailers don’t need to update the address lists anymore and USPS can keep track of the moves and where USPS can create new digital products and services while remaining compliant with the USPS laws and regulations.

Services from Assurety: Consulting, Complex algorithm development, Custom Software Engineering and data sciences.

Technologies: IBM WebSphere Java, Oracle, Oracle DLs, Algorithm development. Using Java and Oracle platforms and feeding the coding to the MPE.

Client – USPS Digital Product Innovations under Marketing

17. First Failed Attempt Delivery Cost Avoidance

Problem Statement: USPS loses at least $3 for every first failed delivery attempt and there are millions of failed attempts per year causing the USPS several hundred million dollars per year and failed first attempt costs. USPS cannot contact anyone who has not opted in for communication and there is a need to support delivery decisions driven by AI and pattern development.

Solution: Develop a predictive Analytics AI platform that develops patterns on delivery profiles of households and using social media handles, operations data, weather data updates the delivery profiles of addresses optimizing transportation and delivery routes and saving on transportation and fuel costs.

Services from Assurety: Consulting, Complex algorithm development, Custom Software Engineering and data sciences, AI development.

Technologies: IBM WebSphere Java, Oracle, SAS Algorithm development. Using Java and Oracle platforms and feeding the coding to the MPE.

Client – USPS Digital Product Innovations under Marketing

18. AIMS – Assurety’s own software product – Post Presort ERP and Tracking Solution

Problem Statement: No centralized web-based web services platform available for large commercial mailers, shippers and consolidators to manage their production mail streams. This includes merge and split mail streams, consolidate, palletize, barcode management, payment and billing, downstream transportation and entry planning, automation of b2B business transactions and tracking of mail with partners (TL, LTL, Line Haul and USPS).

Solution: AIMS (Assurety’s Integrated Mailing Solution) single platform expanded for multiple sites, centralized business workflow management and reporting.

Services from Assurety: Licensed COTS Software Solution.

Technologies: Microsoft .Net C#, MS SQL Server, WMIs web services APIS, MicroStrategy, Tableau, Power BI, Data Warehousing

Clients – Multiple Large Marketers, Mailers and Consolidators e.g., R. R. Donnelley, LSC Communications, Renkim, Nationwide Insurance, Access Mail Inc.  and many more.

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ASSURETY CONSULTINGHeadquarters
22570 Markey Court Suite 200,
Sterling, VA 20166
OUR LOCATIONSWhere to find us?
Locations
Washington DC
Toronto
Dubai
Kuala Lumpur
Casablanca
Karachi
GET IN TOUCHAssurety Consulting Social links
Find us on these social network sites

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© 2003 – 2020 Assurety Consulting™, Inc. All rights reserved.