Back-to-Back PostalOne!® Mandatory Software Updates

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) will be issuing back-to-back software updates for the PostalOne! production system this fall. The first update, which was postponed from the planned July 13, 2014 date, will now be implemented on August 24, 2014. The second update is for the regularly scheduled October update, and that implementation date is October 26, 2014. In both cases, the Test Environment for Mailers (TEM) update will take place the following day.

Why the update?
The USPS periodically makes updates in the PostalOne! system to incorporate enhancements and bug fixes to the software. Major changes are performed when there are significant changes to postal rates or regulations, such as when the USPS increases their prices in January each year. There are usually at least four PostalOne! software updates during the year: January, April, July, and October. There may also be interim updates to PostalOne! for immediate fixes or other system issues.

The August update is a major change to support new USPS products and services, postage statement changes, and other updates. The postage statement changes take effect on September 7, 2014.

There is a Mail.dat® specification version change associated with this update; the current version is 14-1; while the new Mail.dat version is 14-2. For purposes of submitting Mail.dat files to PostalOne!, the table below shows the various Mail.dat version numbers and the dates on which they are supported by PostalOne!

Submit Date Postage Statement Mailing Date Postage Statement Version 13-1 14-1 14-2
Before 8/24/14 Up to and including 9/6/14 January 2014 Supported Supported Not Supported
8/24/14 and after Up to and including 9/6/14 January 2014 Supported Supported Not Supported
8/24/14 and after 9/7/14 and after January 2014 or September 2014 Updates Only Supported Supported

Summary of some of the changes for the August release:

  • Periodicals Statement of Ownership: The Requester Publications Only (PS Form 3526) and Requester and General Category Periodicals Publications Only (PS Form 3526-X) will be combined into a single automated online form.
  • Manifested Parcels for Domestic & International Mailings: Customers who currently ship single piece mailings and who use the manifest mailing system with the permit imprint payment method can now meet volume minimums of 50 pieces or 50 pounds by combining parcels volumes of various classes of mail.
  • Shipping Services File conversion: Additional classes of mail will be converted from Mail.dat to the Shipping Services File format for Standard Mail, Parcel Select Light Weight, and the remaining portions of Priority Mail.
  • HUB Facilities FAST Appointment Scheduling: The FAST system will be updated to allow customers to schedule appointments for drop ship to HUB facilities.
  • Full-Service eDoc verification & Invoicing: Reports which provide metrics for Full-Service errors will be launched and known issues will also be fixed. Reporting metrics will be made available for mailer-review on August 24. Whereas actual charges for assessments of postage will be visible on the reporting, assessments of postage will not be activated.
  • Seamless Acceptance will add reports and enhancements to correctly assess Seamless errors.
  • eInduction will enhance numerous electronic processes to increase visibility.

The following items will be available September 7, 2014:

  • Call Return Tag: This new service allows Merchandise Returns Labels to be generated and delivered by the Postal Service to a customer on behalf of a merchant.
  • Premium Forwarding Services Commercial: This new service will allow commercial mailers to consolidate mail received from multiple Post Office boxes and street addresses, or both, into a single package for delivery to a single address. The Mailer can sign-up through the Business Customer Gateway (BCG).
  • Political and Election Mail: New indicators for Mail.dat and Mail.XML™ can be used in the eDoc. This will help USPS better tabulate election mail volume by entry point to help with current and future planning.
  • Intelligent Mail® for Package barcode (IMpb) Non-compliance: The Non-compliance threshold will increase slightly.

The October update does not have any postage statement changes associated with it, but here is a sample of some of the other changes:

  • For postage statement Mail Owner display, the company name and address of the Mail Owner that is displayed on the postage statement will be based on the eDoc submitted when the Mail Owner is identified by a Mailer ID (MID), Customer Registration ID (CRID), or Permit.
  • The nonprofit authorization numbers must be attached to the CRID, i.e. company location, instead of attached to a permit as is the case currently. The eDoc Submitter may identify each nonprofit organization by a MID, CRID or Permit when using Mail.dat files.
  • Postage assessment of Seamless Acceptance error for certain error types will be automated.
  • Move Update will no longer be measured in MERLIN, but assessed as a census verification for all eDoc Submitters over 75% Full-Service and residual Address Change Services (ACS) will be provided for pieces received from these eDoc Submitters at no charge.
  • The Incentive Programs and Online Enrollment services area of the Business Customer Gateway (BCG) will have a new look and feel.
  • New functionality will be added to the BCG and Mailer ID in order to facilitate accurate designation of a CRID when a customer attempts to add or modify a company name/business location.

Details of the changes for these updates may be found on the USPS RIBBS® web site for both the August 2014 changes and for the October 2014 changes.

Handling Change
When these types of changes are announced, it is important for mailers to pay attention to the outage periods so that you can make adjustments in your mailing operations to accommodate the downtime. It is also extremely important for mailers to download and install the USPS Mail.dat Client software (also sometimes referred to as MD Client or MDR Client) as soon as it is available. This software can be downloaded from the Business Customer Gateway web site. Mailers also need to make any associated updates or configuration changes to software that interfaces with PostalOne! once their Mail.dat Client software is updated. For example, if you use DAT-MAIL’s eDocs Manager Plus, you will need to edit the configuration for this in the Window Book Automation Scheduler.

Resources
The 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. In addition, detailed information regarding the changes in the PostalOne! software are available on the USPS RIBBS web site. Also available on the RIBBS site are the planned release schedules for these updates.

Window Book offers our Professional Services to users who may need assistance to download and install the Mail.dat Client software from the USPS, or to make any necessary updates or configuration edits to your Window Book software when these PostalOne! updates occur.

Free Educational Webinar: Common PostalOne!® Errors: Understanding and Correcting

The United States Postal Service® is continuously launching new programs which require using the PostalOne! system such as Full-Service, USPS® promotions and incentives, eInduction, and Seamless Acceptance just to name a few.

If you submit mailings to PostalOne! you know how stressful and time consuming it can be to monitor all the jobs you have uploaded to PostalOne!, not to mention if your submissions incur failures! If you have the right tools, you can quickly fix validation errors and easily resubmit files to retain postage discounts, and maintain operational consistency.

Come join us for an informative webinar (including a live demo!) on some of the frequently encountered validation errors mailers experience on PostalOne!, and how you can easily make corrections using DAT-MAIL™. Make sure to bring questions you may have when processing eDoc!

 

Tue, Jul 1, 2014 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT

Reserve your seat at:

https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/128525560

New White Paper: “Changes Are Coming in 2014: Do You Know What They Are?”

Are you wondering what you should expect from the USPS® in the months ahead?

 

This white paper will provide insight and information that will most likely surprise you.
In our ongoing efforts to educate mailers and the Postal industry in general, Window Book has just published a new and very important white paper titled “Changes Are Coming in 2014: Do You Know What They Are?

 

Download your free White Paper: www.WindowBook.com/2014-Changes.

eInduction: A New Way to Save Time and Money when Drop Shipping Mail

This new program is a cost-effective and automated validation system which provides an efficient an streamlined process for mail induction. If you drop ship, you owe it to yourself to take a good look at exactly how you can benefit from participating in eInduction and simplify the drop shipping process.  Download the Free White Paperhttps://www.windowbook.com/Lp/eInduction-Drop-Shipping-Mail

Are You Reviewing Your Mailer Scorecard?

Mailer Scorecard Reporting consists of a dashboard and several drill reports that will allow users to view a summary of performance across several USPS programs. Currently, metrics related to Verifications (Full-Service Electronic, eInduction, Seamless, Manual Sampling and Entry Point) are reported. A Mailer Profile that provides general information about the mailer is also available.  Read more.

Mailer Scorecard User Guide

Mail Quality Reporting User Guide

MicroStrategy Tips & Tricks

Via USPS RIBBS

eInduction: a New Way to Save Time and Money when Drop Shipping Mail

In our ongoing efforts to educate mailers and the Postal industry in general, Window Book has just published a very important white paper, eInduction: a New Way to Save Time and Money when Drop Shipping Mail, which discusses what eInduction is, how it works, the benefits you can gain from it, how to participate, and how easy it is to implement.

On November 17, 2013, the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) launched a new program to mailers: eInduction. eInduction is intended to replace the current hardcopy PS Forms 8125 and 8017 clearance documents used for drop shipments of origin and destination mail. This is all part of a continuing effort by the USPS to convert hard copy postal documentation into electronic documentation (eDoc).

This innovative program provides mailers, logistics companies, and the Postal Service™ a cost-effective and automated validation system, along with an efficient and streamlined process for mail induction.

eInduction promises mailers, logistics companies and the USPS a more streamlined process for drop shipping mail. If you drop ship, you owe it to yourself to take a good look at exactly how you can benefit from participating in eInduction and simplify the drop shipping process.

Download your free white paper now and learn all there is to know about eInduction and why you should be making the move to it now.

International and Domestic Market Dominant Federal Register Notices

Today the proposed International and Domestic Market Dominant Federal Register Notices for the January 2014 price change were posted on pe.usps.com under the Federal Register Notices tab of the left-hand side. The official 30 day comment period will start once the Federal Register Office reopens and posts these notices on the federalregister.gov web site. We look forward to feedback from the mailing industry.

Via USPS RIBBS

New Intelligent Mail Package Barcode (IMpb) Requirement Effective January 26, 2014

The Postal Service is revising Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®) to require the use of Intelligent Mail® package barcodes (IMpb) on all commercial parcels, and to require the transmission of supporting electronic documentation including piece-level address or ZIP+4® Code information. Included in these new requirements is a per-piece price adjustment for mailpieces not complying with the IMpb standards.

The Postal Service is also adding DMM reference to a future requirement to use a complete destination delivery address or an 11-digit delivery point validated ZIP CodeTM in the mailer’s electronic documentation.

Read more:  Federal Register (Vol. 78, No. 243).

Visit USPS RIBBS website for information on Shipping Services File (SSP Version 1.6).

January 2014 Price Change and PostalOne! Release Webinars

Webinars will be held on January 8, 10 and 15th which will cover Price Changes and changes to the PostalOne! system that will be implemented January 26, 2014. Topics will include the new requirements for Intelligent Mail parcel barcodes, the new Metered price and Flat Sequencing System mail preparation.

Read more

Via USPS RIBBS

Promotions & Incentive Programs for First-Class™ & Standard Mail®

Registration for promotions and incentives can be made through http://gateway.usps.com. Once logged into the Business Customer Gateway, select “Incentive Programs”. From this link, programs open to registration will display. Each incentive or promotion requires separate registration.

Via USPS