Barcode Uniqueness on Trays, Sacks, and Pallets

One of the areas that we often receive questions on is the management of the uniqueness of the Intelligent Mail® barcodes on the tags for trays, sacks and pallets. Managing the uniqueness for these barcodes can be a challenge, particularly if you have a number of different mail processing workflows. Two keys to success with managing this uniqueness is to remember that: the barcodes must maintain uniqueness for a period of at least 45 days after the mailing date, and that each and every method you use for generating these barcodes needs to be included in your uniqueness management process.

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Don’t Forget! PostalOne!® Mandatory Software Update This Weekend

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) is issuing a mandatory software update for the PostalOne! production system this weekend. This update will be implemented on Sunday, June 25, 2017. The PostalOne! Production (PROD) system will not be available during this update process, on Sunday morning June 25, 2017. PostalOne! will then be updating the Test Environment for Mailers (TEM) on Monday, June 26, 2017 and TEM will be unavailable during that update period.

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Processing Mail.dat Files for Informed Delivery™ Campaigns After June 24

As you may recall from earlier, the new USPS® Informed Delivery program allows participants to receive a daily email notification, including black and white mailpiece images, of the mail that will be delivered to their mailbox later that day. The email notifications may contain up to 10 mailpiece images, which may be viewed on any computer or smart phone. If you receive more than 10 pieces of mail, additional images are available for viewing via an online dashboard. Mailers can likewise benefit from this program by including additional data in the eDoc to provide users with links to digital content related to the mailpiece. This can greatly enhance the value of the mailpieces by providing users advance notification of the incoming mailpiece and the opportunity to immediately access additional information. Mailers can provide color images of mailpieces, as well as images of flat size pieces, which are not currently available from the USPS. Along with the images, mailers can provide links to related digital content. Recipients of the email notices are then able to click on the links to see the color images and access the related digital content.  

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Informed Delivery™ Campaigns

The star of the show at the recent National Postal Forum in Baltimore MD was definitely Informed Delivery! There were twelve workshops offered on this topic alone, plus the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) booth in the exhibit hall was all about Informed Delivery. As we told you in an earlier E-tip, the USPS recently rolled out the Informed Delivery program nationally, after pilot testing in limited geographic areas. This program allows participants to receive a daily email notification, including black and white mailpiece images, of the mail that will be delivered to their mailbox later that day. The email notifications may contain up to 10 mailpiece images, which may be viewed on any computer or smart phone. If you receive more than 10 pieces of mail, additional images are available for viewing on an online dashboard. The USPS is reporting that up to 10,000 people per day are signing up for this service.

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Participating in USPS Promotions

As we have mentioned earlier, the USPS is offering six promotion programs for calendar year 2017; these promotions offer postage discounts for eligible mailings. Virtually all of the USPS Promotions and Incentives programs require that mailings be submitted electronically into PostalOne!. This requirement (along with other requirements) means that we often get questions from mailers regarding what specific data needs to be in the Mail.dat® files to claim the incentives, or, how to troubleshoot issues when submitting these files to PostalOne.

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Processing shortage or spoilage in eDoc

A frequent question we receive from mailers regards how to properly report spoilage or shortage when submitting files to PostalOne!® There are a multitude of reasons why mailers need to report spoilage or shortage: perhaps some of the mailpieces get damaged during processing, or you may run out of some of the mailpiece components before the job is finished. We’ve all heard the saying “stuff happens” (paraphrased here of course!). Mailpiece production and mailing processes are essentially manufacturing processes, and regardless of the quality assurance procedures you have in place, it is almost inevitable that some pieces need to get removed from the mailing. Whatever term you use to call these pieces…pulls, deletes, mutes, rejects, spoils, shorts…these are pieces that get pulled from your mailings for any number of reasons. Mailers likely already have procedures in place to handle this from a manufacturing perspective, but what about making the adjustments to report these types of spoilages or shortages in your eDoc submissions to PostalOne!?

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Informed Delivery™

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) has been pilot testing a program called Informed Delivery, which allows participants to receive a daily email notification, including black and white mailpiece images, of the mail that will be delivered to their mailbox later that day. The email notifications may contain up to 10 mailpiece images, which may be viewed on any computer or smart phone. If you receive more than 10 pieces of mail, additional images are available for viewing on an online dashboard. The pilot test is currently limited to areas of California, Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC. However, this program will be rolled out nationally sometime in May.

Read more: https://www.windowbook.com/Learning/Postal-Concierge-E-tips

Don’t Forget – PostalOne!® Mandatory Software Update This Weekend

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) is issuing a mandatory software update for the PostalOne! production system this weekend. This update will be implemented on Sunday, March 26, 2017. The PostalOne! Production (PROD) system will not be available during this update process, on Sunday morning March 26, 2017 between 2:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. CT. PostalOne! will then be updating the Test Environment for Mailers (TEM) on Monday, March 27, 2017 and TEM will be unavailable during that update period.

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Informed Visibility®

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) is introducing Informed Visibility (IV®), to provide the mailing industry with more powerful insight into the USPS mailstream. This new program is designed to provide a one-stop shop for mail tracking data, consolidated into one system, as opposed to tracking the data via IMb Tracing® and PostalOne!®. The key to the success of this new program is the near real-time expanded visibility into mailings as the mail moves through the mailstream, that is much more powerful than the tracking data that exists today which can sometimes be delayed. Another benefit is a user-friendly data provisioning and data delegation, so it is much easier for mailers to specify what data they want, when they want it, and who receives the data. The result is increased value of the mail, enabling mailers to better plan mailing campaigns and resources.

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USPS Price Changes Took Effect Over the Weekend

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) 2017 price changes took effect on Sunday, January 22, 2017. These price changes impact virtually all classes of mail and processing categories in both the competitive and market dominant services. The PostalOne! production system was updated to support the pricing changes on Sunday, January 8, 2017. At that time, the new Mail.dat® client download for the Production Environment became version 45.0.0.0_PROD; all previous versions of the Mail.dat client were expired. Details of the changes for this update may be found on the USPS RIBBS® web site for the 45.0.0.0 Release Notes.

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