The U.S. Postal Service announces the new Full Service Certification (FSC) Program which recognizes those mailers who are able to implement the full service mailing process and consistently meet all full service mailing criteria.
At this time there are two levels of certification being offered:
- Standard Certification – Awarded to those mailers who meet or exceed Full Service Verification thresholds.
- Platinum Certification – In addition to meeting the Full Service Verification thresholds, those mailers wishing to receive the Platinum Certification must pass an additional external quality audit completed by a Certified Quality Auditor (CQA).
Click this link for more information about the Standard and Platinum Certification. Both certifications will be featured prominently on the USPS RIBBS website for all potential clients to see.
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.
One of the more intriguing uses of Post-Presort software with Mail.dat is to pass postage information from a presort program to another system that manages lettershop operations and performs business management. Ideally, your Post-Presort software should provide the link between your presort software and the business management software that you use for project, production, and warehouse management. For example, your Post-Presort software should generate the data to update the final postage to your postage accounting system. Although postage information is not usually stored directly in the Mail.dat® file itself, postage is implied and can be calculated by good Post-Presort software in compiling, completing and printing the postage statements for any given job while at the same time updating your postage accounting system.
Regardless of whether your internal applications are home-grown or commercially available products, your Post-Presort software should be able to output the final postage information, saving you time on data entry and increasing the overall accuracy of the postage statements you present to the USPS®. Post-Presort software should also ‘verify’ postage statements as they are returned from the PostalOne!® system. This prevents accidental changes and deletions, and triggers the output of the final postage statement data.
Your Post-Presort software should also help you keep track of everything you mail – from both Mail.dat and non-Mail.dat presort data. Your software should store your postage data and make it easy for you to print reports and export that data for use in other internal systems, or to share with other partners in the mailing supply chain. Direct mail customers who are spending millions of dollars on postage per month need to know exactly what was mailed on their behalf, and on which postage permits for a particular date range. In order to be competitive in today’s market, direct mail production houses should be able to report this data to their customers in both print (PDF) and electronic (CSV or XML) format, allowing the mail owner to reconcile their postage accounts to make sure that the Postal Service™ is withdrawing the right amounts from their permit accounts. The electronic format is essential because it allows customers to import their postage usage data into their accounting systems for postage reconciliation, thereby avoiding re-entering data from the postage statement PDF’s or hard copies, and saving time and becoming more efficient.