A Mailing Service Provider (MSP) in New England was working through the process of transitioning into the USPS Seamless Acceptance program and came across a particularly challenging hurdle. During the parallel phase of the process, the MSP was receiving a worrying number of reported undocumented records on their USPS scorecard. Although they were confident that the number of truly undocumented pieces was only a small fraction of what was being reported, they found it very difficult and time-consuming to prove this to the USPS.
The MSP deals with lots of mailing files from a large number of sources. They produce both commingled MLOCR jobs as well as list presorted jobs. A portion of their commingled work is First Class mail and has to be processed in a separate, highly secure area within their facility. That adds up to a lot of mailing jobs. However, the USPS undocumented reports do not provide the MSP with the Job ID since the Job ID is not in the Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMb) scanned from the mail piece. For the MSP, linking the IMb’s from the undocumented report back to the correct Job ID, so they could prove they actually were documented, was a nightmare. They were spending many hours trying to resolve these discrepancies and needed to find a better solution.
They reached out to Assurety Consulting and Solutions™ for advice. The company’s Assurety’s mailing experts introduced the MSP to its MailAssurety™ and SeamlessAssurety™ software solutions that are part of Assurety’s AIMSplus™ mailing and shipping software platform. which can read in the USPS undocumented reports and automatically match them to their respective jobs in its Mail.dat database. The solution also allows reports to be generated showing which Job ID’s the records were in, making it very easy to prove to the USPS that the records actually were documented. The MSP was thrilled! They also liked the fact that the software can find “near” matches which they found very helpful in troubleshooting when some records actually were undocumented. If an exact match cannot be found, the system often finds a job whose IMb sequence indicates that a particular record probably came from that job. The MSP can then focus on that particular job to find out why the undocumented records occurred and prevent it from happening again.
Although editing Mail.dat information was not initially high on the list of priorities for this MSP, they quickly realized the benefits. Sometimes, incorrect information is entered during the presort setup when, for example, the mailing date, piece weight, postage payment method, piece weight, or mail preparer/mail owner (by/for) information isn’t known upfront. In the past, the MSP would have rerun the presort to correct these anomalies before submitting the eDoc’s to PostalOne!, which was time-consuming and could disrupt production schedules. Seamless Acceptance made this problem even worse because the IMb’s were already printed on the mail pieces by the time the problem was detected. Rerunning the presort would generate new IMb’s which meant the eDocs would not match the physical mail. The MSP was delighted to learn that they could use MailAssurety™ to quickly edit any of the Mail.dat fields prior to uploading the eDoc’s to PostalOne! without having to rerun the presort.
Overall, Assurety Consulting and Solutions is saving this MSP a tremendous amount of time and resources. They have been able to move smoothly into the Seamless Acceptance program while keeping their scorecard clean.