Processing shortage or spoilage in eDoc

A frequent question we receive from mailers regards how to properly report spoilage or shortage when submitting files to PostalOne!® There are a multitude of reasons why mailers need to report spoilage or shortage: perhaps some of the mailpieces get damaged during processing, or you may run out of some of the mailpiece components before the job is finished. We’ve all heard the saying “stuff happens” (paraphrased here of course!). Mailpiece production and mailing processes are essentially manufacturing processes, and regardless of the quality assurance procedures you have in place, it is almost inevitable that some pieces need to get removed from the mailing. Whatever term you use to call these pieces…pulls, deletes, mutes, rejects, spoils, shorts…these are pieces that get pulled from your mailings for any number of reasons. Mailers likely already have procedures in place to handle this from a manufacturing perspective, but what about making the adjustments to report these types of spoilages or shortages in your eDoc submissions to PostalOne!?

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

Don’t Forget – PostalOne!® Mandatory Software Update This Weekend

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) is issuing a mandatory software update for the PostalOne! production system this weekend. This update will be implemented on Sunday, March 26, 2017. The PostalOne! Production (PROD) system will not be available during this update process, on Sunday morning March 26, 2017 between 2:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. CT. PostalOne! will then be updating the Test Environment for Mailers (TEM) on Monday, March 27, 2017 and TEM will be unavailable during that update period.

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

Elimination of FTP Package Shipment Transmissions Delayed

As we mentioned earlier, the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) is eliminating the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) method for transmitting package shipment files. FTP is currently one of the acceptable transmission methods for submitting shipment files to the Product Tracking and Reporting (PTR) and Electronic Verification System (eVS) systems. However, the USPS is eliminating this FTP option to comply with recent audit findings, and to provide more secure data transmissions. The planned effective date for this change was January 31, 2017, but the USPS has now postponed this to May 31, 2017 in order to give shippers more time to make the transition.

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

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.

 

USPS announces sweeping changes to processing facility network

During a press conference on September 15, 2011, the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) announced plans to greatly reduce its current network of processing facilities. The number of processing facilities could be cut by as much as half, which equates to approximately 250 facilities. This would result in a 50% reduction of mail processing equipment and a possible reduction in workforce of up to 35,000 employees.

This move would save the USPS approximately $3 billion per year. The USPS is experiencing substantial drops in mail volume and revenue, and has been implementing a number of cost-cutting measures. Postmaster General Pat Donahoe cited in the September 15, 2011 press release, “Since 2006, we have closed 186 facilities, removed more than 1,500 pieces of mail processing equipment, decreased employee complement by more than 110,000 through attrition and reduced costs by $12 billion.”

Making these types of reductions would obviously have an impact on the level of service, so the USPS is also proposing to adjust the First-Class Mail® delivery standards from the current 1-3 day range to 2 to 3 days. The USPS published a Federal Register Notice on September 15, 2011, detailing the plans for the adjustment in the delivery standards.

Donahoe also noted during the press conference that this move is based strictly on the need to cut costs in the current financially challenging period the USPS is facing, and has no reflection on the dedicated USPS employees commitment to service.

Stay tuned for further developments regarding this announcement. This process will require a great deal of study and will undoubtedly become politically charged as members of Congress try to save postal facilities (and jobs!) located in their districts.

For all the details, visit the new USPS web page  introduced just for this topic.

PMG Potter to Retire

From the October 26, 2010 DMM Advisory:

Postmaster General John E. Potter to Retire

To Be Succeeded by Deputy Postmaster General Donahoe

            

WASHINGTON — After nearly 10 years as U.S. Postmaster General and CEO of the U.S. Postal Service, John E. Potter today announced that he will retire on Dec. 3, after 32 years of service.

The Governors of the Postal Service named Patrick R. Donahoe, currently Deputy Postmaster General and Chief Operating Officer, to succeed Potter.

A New York City native, Potter is credited with modernizing management, introducing long-term, strategic thinking necessary in a complex and changing marketplace, and transforming the Postal Service into a service-driven customer-focused and cost-sensitive organization.

Potter’s accomplishments include:

  • Eliminating more than $20 billion in costs during the last 10 years, with cumulative savings of more than $50 billion.
  • Building a leaner, more flexible workforce and increasing efficiency and productivity through technology and the expansion of automation in mail processing and delivery.
  • Reducing career employment from 787,000 positions in 2001 to about 584,000 today through attrition, using strong and focused management practices.
  • Leading the Postal Service and the nation through the anthrax terrorist attack following 9/11.
  • Creating a 10-year action plan that is a blueprint for necessary operational, legislative and regulatory changes to the current business model to ensure a viable Postal Service for decades to come.

 

Potter expressed his pride in the performance of the men and women of the Postal Service, saying its accomplishments resulted from the thousands of employees who dedicated themselves to meeting customer needs in a rapidly changing technological and communications environment.

“I fully appreciate their support in maintaining the tradition of trust that dates back to Benjamin Franklin and the founding of our nation,” Potter said. “It is our people that define our organization and it is their dedication and sense of purpose that drives our business.”

Louis J. Giuliano, Board of Governors chair, noted Potter’s many accomplishments in thanking the Postmaster General for his years of service.

“You have been a steadying and far-sighted leader throughout a period of dynamic change in America’s use of the mail and during times of economic uncertainty,” Giuliano said. “The hallmark of your success was your ability to build respectful relationships with all stakeholders, customers and employees that built a trusted level of credibility. We unreservedly regard your tenure as one of great accomplishment.”

Donahoe, currently Deputy Postmaster General, will become the 73rd Postmaster General in December. Potter credits Donahoe and his entire service team with regularly exceeding demanding performance goals and setting new records for on-time delivery and operational efficiency.

Donahoe began his career as a clerk in Pittsburgh in 1975, and in 2001, became responsible for all facets of mail operations, including processing delivery, retail, engineering, transportation and facilities. He has served in a variety of senior management positions in operations and human resources before becoming Deputy Postmaster General in 2005.

Giuliano cited Donahoe’s outstanding performance as one of the main reasons the Board chose Donahoe to build on the Postal Service’s achievements and lead the organization through a changing business environment.

“Pat and Jack have been a very effective team,” Giuliano said. “We’re very sorry to see Jack leave, but we’re grateful for the significant contributions his transformative approach to our organization and the nation it serves. We wish him nothing but the best in the future.”

Donahoe said he appreciated the confidence of the governors in naming him the next Postmaster General.

“It’s been an honor to serve with Jack,” Donahoe said. “Our challenge going forward is to implement the ambitious plan now in place to assure the continued viability of the Postal Service in fulfilling its mission of providing reliable, self-supporting, universal mail service to our nation. While we are confronted by challenges, I am confident we will succeed.”

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of products and services to fund its operations.

 Monica Lundquist

Postal Affairs Manager

Window Book, Inc.

617-395-4570

mlundquist@windowbook.com

PRC Rejects USPS Exigency Rate Case!!

The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) just announced it has unanimously rejected the USPS request for an exigency rate increase. 

Woohoo!

Check out these links for full details:

http://www.prc.gov/prc-docs/Newsroom/PressReleases/R2010-4%20Press%20Release_1394.pdf

http://www.prc.gov/prc-docs/Newsroom/PressReleases/Chairman’s%20Statement%20R2010-4%20decision_1395.pdf

 

Wallace Vingelis

Director, Postal Industry Practice

Window Book, Inc.                

Phone:  (617) 395-4569

email:    wvingelis@windowbook.com