PostalOne! Contingency Plan Due to Hurricane Sandy

Attention PostalOne!® Mailers and Users

Hurricane Sandy is expected to hit the East Coast on Monday, October 29, 2012.  There may be major flooding, high winds and power outages throughout the East Coast.  If PostalOne!® is unavailable in hurricane impacted areas, or mailers are unable to produce their mailing documentation, the BMEUs, DMUs and Post Offices will operate under the PostalOne!® Contingency Plan. 

This plan will allow mailings to continue to be accepted with as little impact to mailer as possible and ensure all fees and postage is collect during this period.

Below is a brief summary of the PostalOne! Contingency Plan:

  • Acceptance units will move to a manual process when necessary to record all mailings presented  if the PostalOne!®  system is unavailable.
  • A Record of Mailings log will be created for each permit holder that presents a mailing if the PostalOne!® system is unavailable.
  • Each mailing accepted will be recorded on the Record of Mailings log .
  • Each postage statement, will be retained with, and numerically assigned to, the Records of Mailing Log.
  • Mailers who normally submit their postage statements electronically, either through the Postal Wizard or through Mail.dat or Mail.XML,  may submit hardcopy postage statements or provide a hardcopy Daily Log of Mailings (if you need a copy, please call me at 617-395-4569 or email at wvingelis@windowbook.com)  or facsimile. 
  • If a mailer is unable to upload files and PostalOne! is operational, the Full-service discount will be allowed pending outcome of problem.
  • Mailers will need to submit their Full-Service electronic documentation once the systems are restored.

Mailers who are entering Plant Verified Drop Shipment (PVDS) mailings and cannot reach the intended destinating facility may deposit the mailings at the nearest open Postal facility that can accommodate the mailing(s).  Mailers will be required to submit the appropriate PS Form 8125 with the mailing to show postage has been paid.

If you have any questions please call the PostalOne! Help Desk at 800-522-9085. You can also call Window Book at 1-800-524-0380.

Postal Service Publishes Revised “Guide to Move Update”

And now for something you’ve all been waiting for… or not.  A revised “Guide to Move Update”.

According to the USPS, “the Move Update standard is a means of reducing the number of mailpieces in a commercial mailing that require forwarding, returning, or treating as waste by periodically matching a mailer’s address records with change-of-address orders maintained by the Postal Service™.”

The new version of the Guide to Move Update is now postaed on the USPS RIBBS website and can be accessed by clicking on this link:  https://ribbs.usps.gov/index.cfm?page=moveupdate.

Some of the updates include the following new subsections:

  • Overview of the Change of Address Process
  • What is a PAF and Why is It Required?
  • Non-US Mailers and NCOALink
  • NCOALink MPE

The Quick Start Guide at the beginning of the Guide has also been reworked to emulate the DMM Quick Service Guide – and the Move Update Questions and Answers section was revised and clarified.

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.

IMb Services Update from the DMM Advisory

For those of you who do not get the DMM Advisory, here is today’s IMb Service Update:

IMb™ Services Update

Reminder: PostalOne!® Outage:  A major Oracle® database technology upgrade will be completed during an extended maintenance window from 6 p.m. Saturday, July 14, 2012, through 8 a.m. CDT Sunday, July 15, 2012. During this outage, PostalOne!, Mail.dat ® and Mail.XML® will be unavailable, including FAST® and eDOC Web Services.

Reminder: PostalOne! TEM Major Upgrade Outage:  The major database technology upgrade will be completed on the Test Environment for Mailers (TEM) during an extended maintenance window from 6 p.m. Saturday, July 14, 2012, through 8 a.m. CDT Sunday, July 15, 2012.

PostalOne! Database Maintenance Maintenance on PostalOne! servers is scheduled between 4 a.m. CDT to 8 a.m. CDT on Sunday, July 22, 2012. This will be done in a rolling fashion with no expected outage.  Users may experience brief connectivity interruptions but should be able to immediately log back into the system.  Web Services will remain available for FAST and eDoc processing.

FAST® Deployment – Oracle 11 Migration:  FAST Oracle 11 Migration will be deployed to the Production environment effective Sunday, July 29, 2012.  Please be advised that the FAST Online Application and Web Services messaging will not be available during the 2:00 a.m. CDT to 8:00 a.m. CDT deployment window on Sunday, July 29, 2012.  All FAST Web Services messages received during this timeframe will be queued and processed after deployment is completed.  Questions or requests for additional information should be directed to the FAST Help Desk (FAST@usps.gov or 1-877-569-6614).

 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

Just Announced: USPS 2012 Holiday Mobile Shopping Promotion

On Wednesday June 27, 2012, the Postal Service sent a notice to the PRC requesting approval for a “Holiday Mobile Shopping Promotion” that they proposed to run from November 7, 2012 through November 21, 2012. The promotion will be available for First-Class and Standard Mail letters, flats, and cards (presort and automation) that include a mobile barcode – or other print/mobile technology – on or inside the mailpiece. The incentive is a two percent (2%) up-front discount on mail containing the mobile barcodes. Additionally, mailers may qualify for an extra one percent (1%) rebate if a portion of the orders stemming from the promotional mail pieces are fulfilled using Priority Mail between November 9, 2012 and December 31, 2012.

As with the upcoming Mobile Commerce and Personalization Promotion incentive, to be eligible for the 2% mobile barcode discount, customers must register on the USPS Business Customer Gateway at gateway.usps.com, and specify which permits and CRIDs will participate in the promotion. Mailers also need to identify a Mailing Payment Account to which the USPS may credit the one percent rebate – if they do what’s necessary to be eligible for that. Registration is planned to open around September 15, 2012 and must be completed at least 2 hours prior to the first mailing date. Other requirements include:

  • Eligible mailings must submit eDoc. Mailings that are prepared by an entity other than the mail owner must indicate the identity of the owner in the eDoc. The eDoc must also identify the mail owner and mail preparer in the “By/For” fields for all mailings, either by Customer Registration ID (CRID), Mailer ID (MID) or other account type that is assigned by USPS.
  • Mailings of automation letters or flats must have Intelligent Mailbarcodes. Mailpieces with POSTNET barcodes will not be eligible for the price reduction.
  • The promotion discount does not apply to single-piece First-Class Mail pieces including residual single-piece First-Class Mail pieces on a postage statement for Presorted and automation mailings.
  • Mailers must provide the USPS acceptance unit with an unaddressed sample of the mailpiece that contains a mobile barcode. Mailers must retain a sample of each mailpiece claiming a discount until January 15, 2013.
  • Participants must agree to participate in a survey conducted during or after the promotional period.
  • Commingled, co-mailed and combined mailings are allowed, but a separate postage statement is required for mailpieces with Mobile Barcodes.

Mailers participating in the promotion may receive an additional 1% rebate on the pre-discount postage for their qualifying mailings, if they send a certain number of Priority Mail packages with a unique trackable barcode (delivery confirmation barcode or Intelligent Mail Package barcode) between November 9, 2012 and December 31, 2012. In order to claim the rebate, mailers need to demonstrate that during the fulfillment period, the number of Priority Mail packages delivered to customers exceeded .05 percent of the total number of qualifying mailpieces sent during the promotion period.

More detailed information and requirements for the Holiday Mobile Commerce Promotion will be published in future Federal Register notices and Postal Bulletins. You may also access the USPS RIBBS web site dedicated to promotions and incentive programs.

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

FASTforward License Extension Information

In February 2009, the USPS announced that the FASTforward method for move update processing would be “retired” as of June 30, 2012.  In February 2011, that June 2012 date was extended to October 1, 2012, and licensees were told they would continue to receive weekly data fulfillment through September 28, 2012.

On June 18, 2012, the USPS National Customer Support Center in Memphis, TN sent out a letter to all FASTforward licensees.  In the letter was information about the extension and the License Agreements.  Below is an extract from that letter:

“Current licensees will have their FASTforward License Agreement extended to September 30, 2012, per section 3.0 of the license, which states ‘The term of this shall be one (1) year, which shall begin on the date this agreement is executed by the Postal Service Contracting Officer, plus any extensions made pursuant to this Paragraph 3…’  Therefore, you will NOT be invoiced or charged for an annual renewal of your current FASTforward license.  Your current license will be extended to expire on September 30, 2012 at 11:59 a.m.  Be advised that any mailings processed under this license after the expiration date will not qualify for Move Update compliance.

The letter goes on to provide some information about FASTforward licensees switching to become NCOALink Mail Processing Equipment (MPE) Data User Licensees or using the NCOALink MPE WAN (Wide Area Network) method.

If you are a FASTforward licensee and have questions about the information in the letter – or you did not receive a copy of this letter – you can contact the USPS NCSC Licensing and Certification Department via email at ncoalink@usps.gov or by calling them at 1-800-589-5766.

 

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.

USPS IMsb Tool Creates Controversy

From the moment the Postal Service announced their new Intelligent Mail Small Business (IMsb) tool at the National Postal Forum, members of the mailing industry have been pushing back.  And hard.  Their belief is that the USPS has no business creating a competitive offering and entering into the world of direct marketing data processing services.  Leading the way is the Mailing Software Developers Group (MSDG) from IDEAlliance.  First off was a letter from IDEAlliance to Post Master General Pat Donahue.  Then MSDG began a series of meetings with high-ranking executives from the Postal Service – the latest one earlier today – but, so far, nothing has changed.  The latest outcome from today’s meeting was another promise from the USPS to look into things by creating an internal briefing sheet to discuss the industry’s cares and concerns – with the guess that it could take up to 2 weeks to process that. 

Check back tomorrow for a description of IMsb and more details on the mailing industry’s concerns.

 

Window Book Publishes eDoc White Paper

Well, it was a long time coming, but the time is, indeed, here.  The publication of our 4th white paper – “eDoc and PostalOne! They’re What’s Best for You and the USPS.” 

This paper explores the world of electronic documentation (eDoc) and the USPS PostalOne! system.  It looks at why the Postal Service is really pushing for mailers to switch to eDoc, what PostalOne! is and how using it benefits you, the 3 ways to particpate in eDoc, the benefits of eDoc and why you should begin implementing eDoc right now.  It also discusses the very latest information and instructions for getting started using eDoc and PostalOne! – including the new TEM procedures detailed in the latest eDoc and Full-Service Authorization Guide for Mail.dat.

And – just as with all of our previous white papers – this brand new 21-page paper is available at no cost. 

Please click here to access and download this incredible new white paper from the postal experts here at Window Book.

– Wallace Vingelis

Vice President, Business Development & Marketing

617-395-4569

wvingelis@windowbook.com