New FAST User Group Kicks Off

This group was formed by the Mailers Technical Advisory Group (MTAC) to discuss and work through any FAST-related issues that were tabled and passed to it by MTAC 122 – as well as new issues that have come up since the announcement of this group forming.  The first meeting was held this past week on Wednesday afternoon.  If you are interested in joing this User Group, please contact the Industry Co-Chair Michelle Billman of ALG Worldwide Logistics at mbillman@algworldwide.com

Here are a few highlights from that initial meeting:

There is a “patch release” (14.3.0) coming out on August 15 (FAST is trying to follow the overall PostalOne! release schedule.)  Here is some helpful info from the latest DMM Advisory:

*** FAST Release 14.3.0 and Scheduled Outages (August 15-16, 2010): FAST® Release 14.3.0 will deploy to the production environment on Sunday, August 15, 2010. Updated release notes for FAST 14.3.0 are available on RIBBS>Site Index A-Z>FAST/Surface Visibility>Important Links>FAST Release Notes. The FAST production system will not be available from 4 a.m. through 8 a.m. (CDT) on Sunday, August 15, 2010.

FAST Release 14.3.0 will deploy to the Test Environment for Mailers (TEM) on Monday, August 16, 2010. The FAST TEM system will not be available from 8 a.m. through 12 Noon (CDT) on Monday, August 16, 2010. ***

The pre-release notes available on RIBBS were updated to include information about the new Help Desk set up for FAST.  The industry seems a bit hesitant (I’m being nice here) about how helpful this will be.  They are concerned that if they have a truck full of mail at the dock that is not being accepted, they will more than likely still have to go through their current escalation routine to get the mail accepted as opposed to just calling the Help Desk for resolution.  The USPS says those calls will route to a Manager on Duty at that facility.  The problem there is that the normal escalation process inside the facility already includes contacting that manager, so that Help Desk routing could end up with a mailer saying “Hello Manager John – I need to complain about Manager John I was just talking to.”  (Could be a touchy situation!)

Last discussion item was about the open issues handed off from MTAC 122 and how to open new issues moving forward.  It was decided to table that until next meeting when Ed Wanta (USPS) would be on the call.