Will You be Ready for the January Postal Price Increases and Mail.dat 14-1?

In just barely more than a month, the USPS® will implement their annual price increases for mailing and shipping products. At that same time, a new Mail.dat® specification will be implemented: version 14-1. The current Mail.dat specification is version 13-1.

PostalOne!® will be updated in January 2014 to accommodate the new prices as well as the new 14-1 Mail.dat version. Mailers will need to be prepared to submit the new postage statements and the new Mail.dat file version.

The chart below shows the PostalOne! timelines for the various postage statement versions and Mail.dat file versions.

Read more.

 

Important Sites, Links, and Numbers to Note

Every once in a while it becomes necessary to stop, dig through emails and stacks of paper on your desk to find a phone number, email address or website to use to get help or research something. You may want to keep the following information easily within your reach:

  • For all the latest Intelligent Mail information and guides, visit the USPS RIBBS website at: www.ribbs.usps.gov. Click the “Intelligent Mail Services” tab on the left side of the page.
  • Find your local Business Mail Entry (BME) Manager:
    http://www.usps.com/ncsc/locators/find-bme.html
  • Find your local Mailpiece Design Analyst (MDA):
    http://pe.usps.com/mpdesign/mpdfr_mda_lookup.asp
  • Subscribe to the DMM Advisory: send an email, with “subscribe” in the subject line, to:
    dmmadvisory@usps.com
  • On-line Intelligent Mailbarcode encoder and decoder:
    http://ribbs.usps.gov/onecodesolution/Default.aspx.
  • Information on OneCode ACS®: ACS Department, 877-640-0724, acs@usps.gov
  • Information on OneCode Confirm® and theConfirm service in general: Confirm Customer Help Desk,800-238-3150, option 1 or visit:https://mailtracking.usps.com
  • PostalOne! Help Desk:1-800-522-9085
  • Questions about addressing and/or move update requirements: National Customer Support Center, 1-800-238-3150
  • Information on Mail.dat and Mail.XML, including how to get a User License Code: www.idealliance.org

USPS 2014 Promotion Calendar

Visit USPS RIBBS website at:https://ribbs.usps.gov/index.cfm?page=mobilebarcode to view USPS 2014 Promotion Calendar.

eInduction is here!

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) recently launched eInduction on November 17, 2013.  eInduction is intended to replace the current hard copy 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).

Join Window Book for an informative webinar on eInduction and discover what eInduction is, how to participate in eInduction , and the benefits of this new program. Most all, we will show you how you can easily implement eInduction by using DAT-MAIL post-presort software.

Webinar:  Benefits of Using eInduction

Date: Tues. Dec. 10, 2013, 10 AM – 11 AM EST

Register:  https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/763669809

Do Not Delay Your Full-Service Implementation!

just when you had your head wrapped around the Intelligent Mail® Full-Service deadline in January 2014, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) says the USPS® can’t mandate Full-Service in order to claim automation discounts – causing the USPS to announce a delay in their implementation schedule. So, now what do you do? STAY THE COURSE!

Read more.

 

Include Local Post Office in Your Full-Service Implementation Plan

As mailers feverishly work on implementation of Intelligent Mail® Full-Service before the January 26, 2014 deadline to retain automation discounts, there are a lot of tasks on your “to-do” list.  One task that may get overlooked is the ongoing communication with the local postal acceptance staff to review the changes in mail acceptance and verification.

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) is also working hard to get prepared for the January 2014 deadline, and that includes training and documentation for postal acceptance units.  That is a daunting task given the sheer size of the USPS, so there are definitely offices where this training has not yet taken place.

The issue this creates for mailers is that your local postal resources may not be able to provide much guidance for you during your Intelligent Mail implementation process.  In some cases, the local postal acceptance staff may even be providing incorrect or misleading information due to this lag in training.  Some examples that our clients have experienced include requests for hard copy documentation when electronic documentation is being used, conflicting information regarding when palletization is required for Full-Service mail, requests for qualification reports representing partial mailings rather than the full mailings, and others.   In some cases, mailers are even being told that their post office does not (and will not, even in January 2014) support Intelligent Mail Full Service!

This situation can make an already challenging process even more frustrating.  However, mailers do have resources you can use in cases such as these.   The best advice is to work with the USPS Business Mail Entry (BME) office that services your local post office, along with the Business Service Network (BSN).   These resources can not only provide the up-to-date information you need to complete your implementation project, but they can help to get training and other resources for your local postal acceptance unit.

We strongly encourage mailers to get Full-Service implemented in advance of the January 2014 deadline so that you don’t risk loss of lucrative automation discounts.   Keep in mind that the Full-Service deadline occurs at the same time that the USPS postage rate changes for 2014 go into effect, which also includes new versions of Mail.Dat® and Mail.XML™.   Add to the mix the busy mailing and holiday season, and you have even more reason not to procrastinate.   As part of your implementation project, make sure you include your local postal acceptance unit early on, and reach out to the BME and BSN as needed to make sure you will have a smooth transition to Full-Service.

IMb Services Update from the DMM Advisory

“Reaping the Benefits of Intelligent Mail®,” the next Postal Service™ webinar designed to assist mailers in transitioning from the POSTNET™ barcode to the Intelligent Mail barcode, will take place on August 30, 2012, at 1 p.m. EDT.

This webinar will cover Service Type IDs (STIDs) and how they can help you keep your address lists up to date, as well as various Full-Service feedback reports and where you can find them.

To join the online event:

1.      Click here. Or copy and paste the following link to a browser: https://usps.webex.com/usps/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=994338681

2.      Click “Join Now.”   (This event does not require a password.)

To join the teleconference only:

Dial toll-free call-in number (US/Canada) 1-877-668-4493; use event number 994 338 681.

 

 The Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®) is available on Postal Explorer (pe.usps.com). To subscribe to the DMM Advisory, send an e-mail to dmmadvisory@usps.com. Simply indicate “subscribe” in the subject line.

PRC Approved – The USPS Holiday Mobile Shopping Promotion

On August 7, 2012, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) approved the USPS™ 2012 Holiday Mobile Shopping Promotion, which is scheduled to run from November 7 to November 21, 2012, with registration beginning September 15. The holiday promotion is designed to spur mobile purchasing by putting mobile-optimized promotional offers, coupons and catalogs into customers’ hands in time for “Black Friday/Cyber Monday” shopping sprees.

 The Holiday Mobile Shopping Promotion will provide business mailers with an upfront 2 percent postage discount on Standard Mail® and First-Class Mail® letters, flats and cards (presort and automation) that include a mobile barcode or print/mobile technology that can be read or scanned by a mobile device. The technology must lead the recipient to a mobile-optimized shopping website that allows him or her to purchase an advertised product on the mobile device (the sale of services does not qualify).

 Mailers may also qualify for an additional 1 percent rebate on the postage of their qualifying mailings if a portion of their orders are fulfilled via Priority Mail® between November 9 and December 31, 2012. 

 The Holiday Mobile Shopping Promotion Program Requirements describe the rules in further detail and can be downloaded from RIBBS at: https://ribbs.usps.gov/index.cfm?page=mobilebarcode.

 Contact mobilebarcode@usps.gov with any further questions about this program.

 

MSP Registration Now Open for Mobile Commerce Promo

This summer’s USPS Mobile Commerce and Personalization Promotion provides business mailers with an upfront 2% postage discount on qualifying First-Class and Standard Mail letters, flats, and cards with a 2-dimensional barcode that can be read or scanned with a mobile device. The mobile barcode must direct the recipient to either a mobile-optimized purchasing site or a mobile- optimized and personalized web page/URL (PURL) that is tailored to an individual. For program information, go to https://www.usps.com/mobile-barcode.htm.

Registration began May 1 for mailers and started June 10 for mail service providers (MSPs). If you are an MSP and registered prior to June 10, but wish to use the eDoc enrollment feature, you will need to log on to the Business Customer Gateway (BCG)/Incentive Programs before the promotion start date of July 1, 2012 to identify yourself as a Mail Service Provider. If you are an MSP and will submit your own mailings (in addition to mailings for other customers) you must also select the MSP designation after June 10.

The promotion runs July 1 through August 31, 2012. Registration will remain open through August 30 and must be completed in advance of mailing.

An MSP Incentive Programs Guide is available for download on RIBBS using the following link: https://ribbs.usps.gov/mobilebarcode/documents/tech_guides/MSPIncentiveProgramsEnrollmentGuideV2.pdf

PostalOne! Release Information

Reminder: PostalOne!® Release 31.0.0 Deployment — will require an extended maintenance window to complete all software updates. There will be a PostalOne!® outage from 8 p.m., Saturday, June 9, 2012, through 9 a.m. CDT, Sunday, June 10, 2012. A mandatory Mail.dat® client download will be available immediately following the software update.

 Reminder: PostalOne! Release 31.0 Deployment to Test Environment for Mailers (TEM) — will occur on Monday, June 11, 2012, and PostalOne! TEM will be unavailable from 4 a.m. through 4 p.m. CDT.

  FAST® Release 21.0 Deployment: The FAST® production system will not be available on Sunday, June 10, 2012, from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m. CDT. During this time, theFAST On-line application andFAST Web Services will not be available.

 FASTRelease 21.0 will deploy to TEM on Monday, June 11, 2012, from 8 a.m. to 12 noon CDT. During this time, theFASTOn-Line application andFASTWeb Services will not be available.