We have a dedicated team of expert professionals who not only provide outstanding technical support, but we help keep you up to date. Staying abreast of the ever-changing rules and regulations, policies and procedures in the mailing and shipping industry is a daunting task at best. We hope you will find this blog filled with pertinent information you can use to run your business more efficiently and profitably. As always, we welcome your feedback and comments.

More changes are coming for the rest of 2014. Do you know what they are?

Even though the USPS® has deferred the requirement for Full-Service, the USPS is making this a requirement for participation and eligibility in many programs. There are postage statement changes coming up, back-to-back mandatory PostalOne! updates, Mail.dat and Mail.XML specification changes, changes in Mail Owner postage statement display data, changes in nonprofit authorization number linkage, potential Seamless Acceptance postage penalties…are you prepared for all of this change?

Join Window Book for a timely, informative webinar on the many postal changes coming up this fall that you may NOT be aware of. Don’t miss this one!

Title: USPS Changes for Fall 2014
Date: Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Time: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EDT

Reserve your seat now for this complimentary webinar:

https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/531086304

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) announced changes to the Labeling List data, effective September 1, 2014, with a mandatory use date of September 30, 2014. The Labeling Lists affected are L001, L006, L007, L012 and L606. Please note that the format for the L006, L007 and L012 lists now have each ZIP Code™ listed individually in the first column. For label changes, the ZIP™ column will be followed by the change from/change to label names and an indicator as to whether or not that ZIP is being added to a new label or moved to another existing label. For adds and deletes, the new/old Column B label name will be listed for each ZIP.

The Labeling Lists are located on the Postal Explorer web site under the Additional Links tab.

Use of Labeling List Data
The Labeling List data is used to define the specific destination information to be printed on sack labels, tray labels, and pallet labels. This destination information is used to route the mail inside the sacks, trays and pallets to the correct postal facility for processing. The destination information is based primarily on 3-digit ZIP Code prefix, and varies based on the class of mail, processing category, and other criteria. Virtually all container labels are generated using computer software, which accesses this Labeling List data in a file format, operating much like a look-up table.

Why the changes?
There are many reasons why the USPS makes changes to the Labeling List data. Recently, many of the changes are being made as a result of their efforts to consolidate processing facilities to improve efficiencies and reduce costs. Changes also take place when the USPS makes alterations to the service areas for certain processing facilities, which can be the result of shifts in population, mail volumes, staffing and many other reasons. Keep in mind that approximately 12% of the US population moves each year and there are about 1,800 new delivery addresses added each day. So, there are lots of ZIP Code changes happening all the time!

Time for change
The USPS provides for a transition period when these changes are announced, to allow software vendors time to update their software and for mailers to use up existing labels. During this period, the USPS encourages mailers to use the new Labeling List data as soon as possible, but it is acceptable to use the old Labeling List data until the mandatory date. In the case of this most recent update, the mandatory date is September 30, 2014.

Handling Change
When these types of changes are announced, it is important for mailers to work with their software vendors and mail service providers to make sure that the changes are implemented on a timely basis. This is critical so that the correct destination information is populated into the Mail.dat® files, or any other files or printed documents that are used to process or submit postage statements (and other postal documentation) and to create sack, tray, and pallet labels. Keep in mind that the Labeling List changes involve not just the facility names, but the ZIP codes associated with those facilities. This affects the destination line on the tags and the mailpieces that are placed into the sacks, trays, and pallets. As such, these changes MUST be incorporated into the presort software first; if the data is incorrect during this process (and thus incorrect in the Mail.dat files), it cannot be corrected in Post-Presort software, such as DAT-MAIL™.

Automatic Postal Data Updates System
Window Book makes these updates easy for our clients by providing an automated method to update the Labeling List information into your Post-presort software. Once you have this FREE add-on tool installed with your DAT-MAIL software, you no longer have to remember to check for Labeling List updates, nor do you have to perform manual downloads because it will automatically be taken care of for you! You can just set it and forget it!

And if you think that’s cool – ask us about how we can automate the process of downloading and installing new MDR Client software from PostalOne!®

Window Book is here to help
Window Book’s industry-leading post-presort solution, DAT-MAIL™ can help you take advantage of these USPS incentive promotions. To schedule a free Mail Optimization Analysis, visit www.windowbook.com/MOA.

Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP on April 8, 2014 which meant no more security updates, non-security hotfixes, free assisted support options and online technical content for Windows XP users. Without doubt, this can cause serious consequences for companies that still run Windows XP. But what are the major risks companies still using WinXp face and how to mitigate those risks?

Increased Attacks
When the support ended in April, the number of infections increased by 66%, leaving Windows XP exposed to attackers who find vulnerabilities by reverse-engineering security updates for newer Windows versions. This way they can discover precisely where that weakness is and how the vendor repaired it.

Browser Risks
Users who still use Windows XP are left behind because no later version of Internet Explorer® (IE) than IE8 is compatible with the platform. One solution is to use alternative browsers, but this may pose threats, too, due to browser exploits.

Vulnerable Endpoints
Another potential security danger is that vulnerable endpoints are used as launch pads for next-generation malware that outdated systems like Windows XP might find difficult to handle. Any PC running Windows XP is a major weak spot leaving the system exposed to highly targeted attacks using software exploits to get into the systems.

Business Costs and Consequences
Users of Windows XP who prefer not to switch to Windows 7 are familiar with the interface and know the platform of XP inside out. However, this can cause unpredictable costs to businesses. The financial cost of maintaining Windows XP after support ended is rising due to availing custom support services. Administering, managing and using Windows XP systems are also significantly more expensive than doing the same for Windows 7. In terms of time management and costs that come with such, handling operational Windows XP system activities takes up a lot of resources, therefore inhibiting business continuity.

For companies that are using their Windows XP systems it is recommended to have an additional layer of protection stopping unwanted malicious applications on endpoints, like Trend Micro OfficeScan.

We still, however, advise users to upgrade to the newest Windows OS version. Here are a few tips that help companies avoid future problems:
 Virtualise your Windows XP environment to have an additional layer of protection and more efficient management.
 Using RODC (Read-Only Domain Controller) like Windows 2008, 2008 R2, 2012 or 2012 R2 on Windows XP LAN. We recommend using a domain controller on the same LAN switch connected to Windows XP systems to remotely manage Windows systems more effectively without causing problems on the security of the entire network.
 Windows XP machines should not communicate outside the internal network. If so, Web proxy or an application-layer firewall should be used. Updates to third-party software should be done manually if needed.
 Companies should use alternate browsers.
 When new Windows XP vulnerabilities are announced, patches are not released anymore because of EOL (End of Life) making it easy for exploits to target this vulnerability. Virtual patching is the answer here. Virtual Patching shields vulnerabilities in critical systems as permanent protection in the case of EOL or unpatchable systems. Solutions like Trend Micro Deep Security’s virtual patching help organisations save money by preventing system downtime, as well as by reducing the risk of breach disclosure expenses.

In this modern age of technology the process of attacking organisations is becoming more and more simplified causing massive damages. We always recommend users running vulnerability scans regularly (once a quarter) to check for breaches and stop unidentified threats from attacking their entire network.

Via Smarttech: http://smarttech.ie/blog/windows-xp-risks/#

Yet another USPS® incentive promotion is rapidly approaching – Color Print in First-Class Mail Transactions. This promotion starts running at the same time as the Emerging Technology Promotion that we told you about last month – August 1, 2014. However, unlike the Emerging Technology Promotion, which ends on September 30, 2014, the Color Print promotion runs all the way to December 31, 2014.

Color Print in First-Class Mail Transactions Promotion
The goal of this promotion is to encourage producers of bills and statements to produce and mail statements that create a greater connection and response from customers by using color messaging, to increase the value of First-Class Mail®, and to encourage mailers to invest in color print technology. This promotion is offered to First-Class™ mailers who use dynamic/variable color print for marketing and consumer messages on their bills and statements.

The incentive is a 2% up front postage discount, which is calculated in PostalOne!® and applied to the postage statement at the time of mailing.

The registration period for this promotion started June 15, 2014 and runs through December 31, 2014. As a reminder, the promotion period runs from August 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014.

Eligibility
Eligible mail pieces must include a full color consumer or marketing message such as on “onsert” or “onstatement” to qualify, which is printed in-stream on a physical piece of paper within the content of the letter or statements. The onsert or onstatetement must include a graphic to text in full color using a dynamic variable print process and must be on a transactional mail piece which is required to be mailed as First-Class Mail.

  • Mailpieces must be part of a Intelligent Mail® Full-Service mailing.
  • Mailings must be submitted via eDoc using Mail.dat®, Mail.XML™ or the Postal Wizard. The eDoc must identify the mail owner and mail preparer in the By/For fields using the CRID.
  • All pieces covered by a postage statement claiming the discount must meet all eligibility requirements.
  • Mail must be tendered for acceptance during the promotion period of August 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014.
  • Postage payment for the eligible mailings must be paid using Permit Imprint or Pre-canceled Stamp permit. Some Meter Permit mailings may qualify.

More detailed program requirements are available online, as well as a Mail Owner enrollment guide and a Mail Service Provider enrollment guide.

Additional information
More detailed information regarding these upcoming promotions can be obtained at the USPS RIBBS® web site, or questions may be directed via email to FCMColorPromotion@usps.gov.

Window Book is here to help
Window Book’s industry-leading post-presort solution, DAT-MAIL™ can help you take advantage of these USPS incentive promotions. To schedule a free Mail Optimization Analysis, visit www.windowbook.com/MOA.

July 26th, 2014 is the 239th Birthday of the U.S. Postal Service. The Post Office (which was later renamed the U.S. Postal Service) was officially established at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia on July 26th, 1775. Benjamin Franklin was named the first postmaster general and held that position when the Declaration of Independence was signed almost a year later. That makes the Post Office older than the USA. Happy Birthday!

Via PostalMag

postalplane

 

Download your FREE July eNewsletter from Window Book with lots of new postal information that will keep you up to date on the latest trends in the mailing and shipping industry.

http://www.windowbook.com/Learning/Postal-Industry-News

Window Book’s monthly eNewsletter is tailored specifically for postal industry professionals just like you. Our intent is to bring you cutting edge information along with some lighter fare for your entertainment.

 

 

 

As we told you earlier, there have been some major issues over the last few weeks with the labeling list and drop ship data that USPS® issued in June for July consumption.

This weekend, the USPS provided another update to July’s labeling list and drop ship data that corrected the issues we reported late last week.

If you have been delaying updating your destination files due to these issues, the data in the files from the USPS is now considered accurate and you should go ahead with updating your destination data files.

Reason #212 to use our
Automatic Postal Data Updates System

As you may have heard from us in the past, Window Book has an automated method to update all of these data files into your software. Once you have this FREE add-on tool installed with your DAT-MAIL software, you no longer have to remember to check for these data file updates, nor do you have to perform manual downloads because it will automatically be taken care of for you. No matter how many times the USPS updates the data – we always validate it before making it available. You can just set it and forget it!

Back in June of this year, the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) planned to implement an increase in the frequency of the updates to several critical destination data files; to monthly from the previous quarterly update schedule. Due to the postponement of the planned July 13, 2014 PostalOne! release to August 24, 2013, the USPS also decided to postpone implementing the monthly updates until September.

What you may NOT be aware of is that there have been some major issues over the last few weeks with the labeling list and drop ship data that USPS issued in June for July consumption.

The USPS recently provided an update to July’s labeling list and drop ship data that corrected these issues, but unfortunately another problem was found with the expire dates in the data. The USPS is aware of this situation and its urgency to the mailing industry. We are hopeful that the USPS will make the necessary corrections to these data files and get them posted for the mailing industry as soon as possible.

As soon as this data is fixed and an update is provided by the USPS, Window Book and other software vendors, will process it and make it available to software users. In the interim, you may receive automated notifications that the destination data files are getting ready to expire. Normally we would not encourage software users to ignore these alerts, but in this case there are no updated files to access until the USPS publishes the corrected data files.

Reason #212 to use our Automatic Postal Data Updates System
As you may have heard from us in the past, Window Book has an automated method to update all of these data files into your software. Once you have this FREE add-on tool installed with your DAT-MAIL software, you no longer have to remember to check for these data file updates, nor do you have to perform manual downloads because it will automatically be taken care of for you. No matter how many times the USPS updates the data – we always validate it before making it available. You can just set it and forget it!

On July 1, 2014 the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) filed a request with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) for price adjustments to Priority Mail®. The implementation date for the new prices is September 7, 2014. While this filing must be approved by the PRC before the new prices are implemented, it is anticipated that the PRC will approve this request.

Price Changes
The Priority Mail pricing structure will remain as it currently exists. The proposal calls for an increase in the Retail Priority Mail prices at an average of 1.7%. Commercial prices will actually see a decrease, with Commercial Base prices going down an average of 0.9% and Commercial Plus prices decreasing an average of 2.3%. This is great news for commercial shippers, just in time for the holiday shipping season.

New postage statements reflecting these new prices will be introduced for the September 7, 2014 implementation date, and will be made available in late August.

Details of the proposal, including the new rate charts, may be found on the PRC web site. The USPS has also posted the new postage statements online on Postal Explorer, as well as the rate charts in Excel format.

Handling Change
This is an extremely short notice of this price change, so software vendors are feverishly working to incorporate these new prices into their software products. On a related note, the USPS is also making format and verbiage changes to postage statements for many other classes of mail, also effective on September 7, 2014. There is also a Mail.dat® specification version change taking place at the same time, from the current version 14-1 to the new 14-2 version. Window Book anticipates having updated releases of our software reflecting these new prices, new postage statements, and supporting the new 14-2 Mail.dat version available in August.

Resources
These changes will also require a PostalOne!® software update, which is scheduled for August 24, 2014. USPS sends out notifications of all PostalOne! outages and software updates using the DMM Advisory. You can subscribe to the DMM Advisory by sending an email to dmmadvisory@usps.com.

 

Do you ever wonder how your mailings measure up to all the latest United States Postal Service® (USPS®) requirements?

How can you be sure if you are meeting all the requirements or barely meeting the thresholds set by the USPS?

Did you know that the USPS will implement financial penalties as early as July 2014 for Full-Service mailings not meeting the requirements?

Now the USPS has a new reporting system called the “Mailer Scorecard.” That’s right. You get scored on how well or badly you are performing when processing mailings using USPS programs. The Mailer Scorecard is a report that tracks your mailing performance trends across months and years for various USPS programs.

The Scorecard provides a complete summary of performance for Full-Service Electronic, eInduction, Seamless Acceptance, Mail Anywhere™ and SingleSource ACS™. You can easily view the metrics in numbers and percentages on a dashboard by logging in through the USPS Business Customer Gateway: https://gateway.usps.com/eAdmin/view/signin.   Once logged in, select Mailing Reports and then Mailer Scorecard.

Use it to your advantage

Each month your mailings will be aggregated to create your scores, and the areas which need attention will be highlighted in Green, Red, and Yellow….

Read more: http://www.windowbook.com/Learning/Mailing-and-Shipping-Articles-of-Interest