Why Aren’t You Using eInduction?

The USPS program eInduction has been around since 2013, but we continue to see many mailers who are still not taking advantage of it. eInduction is intended to replace the old hard copy PS Forms 8125 and 8017 clearance documents used for drop shipments of origin and destination mail – part of the continuing effort by the USPS to convert hard copy postal documentation into eDoc. Since the program began, the USPS has equipped acceptance facilities with scanners, which scan the container barcodes to ascertain that the containers have been properly verified and paid for at the origin post office. eInduction may be used for any drop ship entry facility, even if they are not yet equipped with these scanners. Mailers can even use it for origin mail.

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

Mail Anywhere 101

The USPS® offers the Mail Anywhere program as an added benefit for Full-Service® customers, allowing them to use a single permit to present Full-Service or mixed Full-Service mailings at any Business Mail Acceptance site. Not only does this greatly simplify permit management, but it also saves permit application and renewal fees for customers who mail at numerous locations. We continue to receive a lot of questions regarding participation and mail preparation under this program, so thought it appropriate to provide a Mail Anywhere primer as this week’s e-Tip.

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

Following the PostalOne! Contingency Plan

Ack! The dreaded message comes in: PostalOne! is down! Do the people in your mailing operation know what to do? It has been a while since there has been an extended PostalOne! outage like there was earlier this week. As such, it is likely that this recent PostalOne! outage caught you off-guard. Were you wondering how you were going to process your mailings and not lose Full-Service discounts? Did you struggle trying to figure out how to properly process your mailings without being able to upload files to PostalOne!? If so, you are not alone.

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

Seamless Acceptance

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) recently re-opened the Seamless Acceptance program to new participants. Seamless Acceptance is designed to streamline the verification, acceptance, payment and induction of mail. This program has benefits for both mailers and the USPS. To participate in this program, mailers must have 90% or more of their mail volume submitted as Full-Service® mail. The mailpieces must be uniquely barcoded and submitted electronically (eDoc). If the mailer is preparing Detached Mail Unit (DMU) verified origin entry or destination entry drop shipments, participation in eInduction is also required. Prior to participating in Seamless Acceptance, mailers must participate in an intermediate step called Seamless Parallel. This is essentially a testing period, during which time the mailer works with the USPS to insure the volume and mail preparation and submission requirements are being met.

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

Improving Your Mailer Scorecard Results

By now you are probably tired of hearing about the assessments the USPS® plans to implement starting in July 2016 for Full-Service® mailings exceeding the published error thresholds. Tired of hearing about it, and probably more than a little bit nervous. How can you tell what the impact of these assessments will be for your company? Where do you get the information about how well your mailings are complying with the rules and thresholds? And, how do you go about improving areas where your mailings are exceeding the thresholds? Even if your files are successfully transmitted to PostalOne!®, that does not necessarily mean there aren’t still errors in your files. That’s right…errors can still exist, even if you don’t receive any error messages from PostalOne! How the heck are you supposed to find out what these errors are? That is where the Mailer Scorecard comes in.

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

Undocumented Mailpieces

As you are already well aware, the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) is planning to implement assessments starting in July 2016 for Full-Service errors over the published thresholds. As the USPS moves to reopen the Seamless Acceptance program this summer, more and more mailers will voluntarily (and eventually involuntarily) be mailing under that program. The Full-Service Assessment process will serve as the template for future Seamless Acceptance Assessment billing in the future. For many mailers the assessment for undocumented pieces could actually be the most expensive one they face because unlike some of the other assessments that are passed onto the respective mail owners, assessments for undocumented pieces will usually come right out the mail preparer’s pockets.
Read more: http://www.windowbook.com/Learning/Postal-Concierge-E-tips

Mail Anywhere FAQ’s

Since the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) began offering the Mail Anywhere program, which allows customers to use the same postage payment permit regardless of what mailing location they use to enter the mail, many mailers have taken advantage of its benefits. The Mail Anywhere program is an added benefit offered to Full-Service customers, allowing them to use a single permit to present Full-Service or mixed Full-Service mailings at any Business Mail Acceptance site. Not only does this greatly simplify permit management, but it also saves permit application and renewal fees for customers who mail at numerous locations.

As with any new program, mailers may have a lot of questions regarding participation and mail preparation under this program. This week’s e-Tip deals with some of the more Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s).

Q: What are the eligibility requirements to participate in Mail Anywhere?

The eligibility requirements for Mail Anywhere are:
• The Mail Anywhere service is available to customers who mail at 90% or higher Full-Service levels for the customer’s given business location and meet the electronic Full-Service verification criteria during the month prior to their request to participate in Mail Anywhere.
• Mail Anywhere is available for Full-Service First-Class Mail® (Cards, Letters and Flats only); Standard Mail® (Letters and Flats only, including Nonprofit); Bound Printed Matter (Flats only); and Periodicals (Letters and Flats only).
• Permit types that are eligible include Permit Imprint; Pre-canceled Stamps and Metered. A variety of postage statement types are also supported in Mail Anywhere, including Single Permit; Combined Mail; Comail; Mixed-Class Comail, and Copal.
• Mailers may submit their electronic data via Mail.dat®, Mail.XML™, Postal Wizard (First-Class and Standard Mail only, Full-Service only); or IMsb (First-Class and Standard Mail Only).

Q: Do I have to make an application to the USPS to use Mail Anywhere?

A: Yes, participation in this program does require an application process. This process applies to the individual that is preparing the mail. For example, if a Mail Owner wishes to participate, but employs a Mail Service Provider (MSP) to prepare their mailings, the Mail Owner needs to request their MSP contact the PostalOne!® Help Desk to go through the authorization process.

The first step is to verify that the participants meet all of the eligibility requirements. The best way to do that is to access the Mailer Scorecard data to review both the Full-Service mail volumes for the previous month, as well as to verify that none of the error thresholds for the electronic verification have been exceeded during that time.

Once eligibility is verified, the application email should be sent to the PostalOne! Help Desk at postalone@usps.gov. Included in the email should be:
• Request for Mail Anywhere participation
• Preparer’s Customer Registration ID (CRID) for the location where the mail is prepared (if multiple preparation locations will be used, the CRID for each location must be provided)
• Preparer’s Contact Name, Company Name, Business Address, City, State and ZIP code
• Mail Owner’s permit numbers and BMEU’s City, State and ZIP code where the permit was opened
• Postal Facilities where you plan on dropping your mail
• Permit numbers that you wish to be consolidated

Q: Do I get a new permit number once approved for Mail Anywhere?

A: No, participation in this program does not require that mailers establish a new permit. Mailers may use already existing permits. Most participants in this program eventually consolidate the multiple permits at multiple locations that they currently have and are able to use just a few permits for all of their mailings. Keep in mind, mailers must still maintain the different permit types for the different postage payment methods, such as permit imprint, meter, stamp, or reply mail. For example, let’s say that Mailer A, headquartered in Chicago IL, has permit imprint permits in Chicago, Boston, Tampa, and Los Angeles. Under this program, Mailer A can consolidate all of these permit imprint permits into a single permit at their Chicago headquarters location, closing the other permits in Boston, Tampa and Los Angeles. Using Mail Anywhere, Mailer A is able to use that single permit to mail at all of those locations, and more.

Q: Do I need to change the way my mail or Mail.dat® files are prepared?

A: Participation in this program means that Mail Owners or Mail Service Providers may need to adjust some of the data that is submitted electronically to PostalOne! via the Mail.dat files.

The PostalOne! Help Desk can provide more detailed instructions on how to correctly populate the Mail.dat files for mailings that participate in Mail Anywhere. We strongly encourage people to test submitting these types of mailings using the Test Environment for Mailers (TEM) prior to submitting them for live production.

Two very critical pieces of information for these jobs are:

1) The Payment Account Number in the Mailer Postage Accounting (MPA) file, field MPA-1127. This number is different than the postage permit number, and is assigned by the USPS when the application for Mail Anywhere is submitted. Typically, there is a Payment Account Number assigned for each postage permit that is participating in the Mail Anywhere program.

Note: The Payment Account Number is different than the CAPS account number and the USPS Finance Number. USPS Finance Numbers are not supported in the Mail.dat file specification: these numbers are looked up by PostalOne! in the USPS database, based upon the permit numbers and payment account numbers provided in the Mail.dat file.

2) The Verification Post Office. Since the postage payment permit in this program may be located anywhere, the post office where the mail is verified and accepted may be different than the post office where the postage payment permit is held. The verification post office data is populated in the Segment (SEG) file of the Mail.dat file (fields SEG-1118 and SEG 1119).

If you encounter issues uploading Mail.dat files to PostalOne! for Mail Anywhere jobs, we suggest you open a help desk ticket with PostalOne! by sending an email to postalone@usps.gov. Include a description of the issue, and attach the Mail.dat file that you are working with, along with screen shots of the errors you are getting.

Mailers should not need to change anything with regard to the indicias (permit imprints) printed on their mailpieces or their metering information – unless some permits have been closed out or consolidated as part of this application process. Mailers should work with the PostalOne! Help Desk or their local District Business Mail Entry office for guidance on any changes in these areas.

Q: What happens if a Mail Owner switches to a different Mail Service Provider?
A: It is important to note that the application for participation in Mail Anywhere is done by the entity preparing the mail, which in most cases is the Mail Service Provider. The application includes a listing of the clients and permits that the MSP wants to get approved for Mail Anywhere. The approval is based at the MSP level, so if the Mail Owner switches to a new MSP, the new MSP will need to apply for Mail Anywhere approval if they have not already done so, including the new Mail Owner’s name and permit information. If the new MSP has already been approved for Mail Anywhere, they would need to notify PostalOne! of any new Mail Owner clients (and their permit information) in order for those Mail Owners to continue to participate in Mail Anywhere at the new MSP.

Resources
The USPS offers a Fact Sheet and a Customer Participation Guide for Mail Anywhere, both of which are available on the USPS RIBBS web site. Window Book’s DAT-MAIL software fully supports Mail Anywhere mailings. Window Book also offers a free educational webinar on Mail Anywhere.

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Window Book can help you implement Mail Anywhere in your mailing operation and automate your processes using our software and service solutions.
Window Book offers a free Mailing Optimization Analysis.

Call us at 1-800-524-0380 for more details or to sign up for your FREE Mailing Optimization Analysis!

Top Ten Reasons to Use eDoc

The value and benefits of using eDoc with the USPS have been both documented and proven now for quite a while. Amazingly enough, however, there are still a lot of mailers who only use it for their Full-Service mailings. Even worse, there are just as many – or more – who don’t use it at all!

It is very clear that the USPS intends to eliminate hard copy postage statements and other documentation. In recent postal and industry meetings, the USPS already indicated that this will become a reality in the not-too-distant future. If you are delaying implementation of eDoc, or implemented it only for Full-Service mailings, you need to gear up and make the transition. Read more: http://www.windowbook.com/Learning/Postal-Concierge-E-tips

Are you working harder or smarter?

If you’re submitting electronic files to PostalOne!® for just the Full-Service mailings you process, chances are you’re working a lot harder than you really need to be. Oh, you say, “but sending files to PostalOne! is a lot more work than submitting hard copies.” On the surface, that may appear to be the case, especially if you do not do electronic submissions very often. The fact is, though, if you have two different process flows, one for Full-Service mailings and one for everything else, you ARE working harder than necessary. And, who wants to work harder than they need to? Any workflow is easier if all the jobs are processed in the same manner, and submitting jobs to PostalOne! is no exception.

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

Preparing Pallets for Full-Service®

We frequently receive questions on this topic because mailers are often confused about when (or if), trays and sacks need to be placed onto pallets or other containers such as APC’s or Gaylords for Full-Service mail. Luckily, the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) has recently updated a fact sheet intended to offer guidance to mailers on Full-Service palletization.

Is palletization required for Full-Service?
The short answer is NO. Mailings of loose sacks and trays may be submitted at Full-Service prices as long as all the requirements for Full-Service participation are met. However, if these loose handling units are placed on or into any type of container, that container does need to have pallet placards affixed to the outside of the container, and that placard must be printed with a unique Intelligent Mail® Container barcode. The updated fact sheet from the USPS provides more detail regarding when these loose handling units MUST be placed on or in a container and placarded. These requirements vary by class and processing category of mail.

First-Class Mail®
Pallet preparation and placarding is required for First-Class mail in these scenarios:
• There is 72 feet of tray mail or 24 flat tubs of mail or more
• The mail within the container is prepared according to a labeling list destination and there is at least 48 feet of letter trays or 16 flat tubs or more
• The mailer has an active Customer Supplier Agreement (CSA) in place
• The pallet is flagged in your eDoc as participating in the eInduction program

Pallet preparation and placarding is NOT required – although it is preferred – in these scenarios:
• There is less than 72 feet of trays or 24 flat tubs of mail
• The mail within the container is NOT prepared according to a labeling list destination and there is at least 48 feet of letter trays or 16 flat tubs or more
• The pallet is NOT flagged in your eDoc as participating in the eInduction program

Periodicals, Standard Mail® and Bound Printed Matter

Pallet preparation and placarding is required in these scenarios:
• The mail is equal to or greater than 500 pounds of bundles/sacks or 72 feet of tray mail or 24 flat tubs of mail
• The pallet is flagged in your eDoc as participating in the eInduction program

OR

• The pallet is prepared according to a labeling list destination and is:
-Under 500 pounds of flats entered directly at a DDU
-Between 100 and 249 pounds of bundles/sacks or 12 feet of trays entered at a destination NDC, ASF, ADC or SCF
-Between 250 and 499 pounds of bundles/sacks or 36 feet of trays
-Flagged in eDoc as participating in the eInduction program

Pallet preparation and placarding is NOT required – although it is preferred – in these scenarios:
• The mail is less than 500 pounds of bundles/sacks or 72 feet of trays or 24 flat tubs AND mail within the pallet is not prepared according to a labeling list destination
• The pallet is NOT flagged in your eDoc as participating in the eInduction program

Resources
The updated fact sheet from the USPS is available on the RIBBS web site. Window Book has many utilities available to assist mailers with palletization, including barcoded placards, such as our DAT-MAIL™ software.

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