Addressing the Bottom Line

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Published on March 19, 2008

Author: Dora

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Addressing The Bottom Line Understanding CASS™, DPV™, and LACSLink™:  Addressing The Bottom Line Understanding CASS™, DPV™, and LACSLink™ Chris Lien Director, Commercial Mail Marketing Challenges of Address Quality:  Challenges of Address Quality The address is the foundation of predictable mail deliverability Over 41 million changes of address are filed each year with the USPS® 147 million delivery points serviced by the USPS 2 million new delivery points added every year Postage automation discounts require complete and accurate addresses Postmaster General challenge to reduce Undeliverable As Addressed mail by 50% by 2010 Putting Move Update In Perspective:  Putting Move Update In Perspective How Many COAs Each Year? Over 41 Million – 2½ X the number of annual visitors to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom! Putting Move Update In Perspective:  Putting Move Update In Perspective Pennsylvania New Jersey New York What’s The UAA Cost to the USPS?:  Old address New Address Forward 21.3¢ / pc. 1.985 Billion pieces $421.9 Million Return 51.3¢ / pc. 1.60 Billion pieces $822.5 Million Address Accuracy Study Waste 4.4¢ / pc. 6.136 Billion pieces $269.8 Million x PRC LR-L-61 for R-2006-1 Rate Case (Christiansen UAA Study –Table 3.1) 9.724 Billion pieces $1.856 Billion What’s The UAA Cost to the USPS? Direct Mail Costs to the Industry:  DMA Statistical Fact Book 2005 Direct Mail Costs to the Industry Art & Preparation 9¢ Printing Production 31¢ Creative 10¢ Postage 21¢ Allocated Fees 12¢ Lettershop Production 4¢ Computer Processing 2¢ Mailing Lists 11¢ Major Contributors to the UAA Problem:  Common Address Quality Problems Major Contributors to the UAA Problem Missing Apt or Ste Number Incorrect Number Incorrect Recipient Missing Number Missing RR or Box Number Incorrect Street Name CARL SHULER 1414 LAKE ST APT CHICAGO IL 60614-1905 CARL SHULER 1914 LAKE ST APT 3A CHICAGO IL 60614-1910 CARL BROWN 1414 LAKE ST APT CHICAGO IL 60614-1910 CARL SHULER LAKE ST APT 3A CHICAGO IL 60614-1910 CARL SHULER PO BOX CHICAGO IL 60614-1910 CARL SHULER 1414 LARK ST APT 3A CHICAGO IL 60614-1910 398 226 134 56 48 47 Millions of Pieces The Answer: An Address Quality Foundation:  Standardize The Answer: An Address Quality Foundation Validate Update Understanding CASS™:  Understanding CASS™ A USPS address quality certification program Started in the late 1980’s to help reduce UAA mail CASS runs on an annual cycle August 1 through July 31 The USPS uses a letter to denote the current CASS cycle Cycle K runs from August 1, 2006 to July 31, 2007 Cycle L runs from August 1, 2007 to July 31, 2008 Cycle M runs from August 1, 2008 to July 31, 2009 Each year, CASS gets incrementally tougher on UAA Rules for the CASS cycles are posted on RIBBS Cycle M is already posted! Dispelling the CASS™ myths:  Dispelling the CASS™ myths Myth # 1 – CASS is software CASS is an annual certification process for software vendors Myth # 2 – All CASS Certified™ products produce the same results Not all facets of address-matching software’s functionality are tested The software is tested annually with a USPS® provided test file to verify that a sufficient overall percentage (98%) of the output addresses are coded correctly Parsing and matching capabilities of the various software products have a tremendous impact on the ability to correct and assign addresses Myth # 3 – CASS software will ensure 100% correctness of my addresses CASS only permits primary range validation It can only imply the existence of an address Myth # 4 – USPS ZIP lookup and MERLIN are always right The USPS ZIP Code lookup is not even CASS certified! MERLIN uses yet another CASS certified software product CASS™ Certified Software and the ZIP + 4 Code:  CASS™ Certified Software and the ZIP + 4 Code CASS certified software provides the ZIP + 4 Code Does so using range based verification of an address Ex. 123 Main St should exist because Main St runs from 100 to 130 The ZIP + 4 is required in order to use other USPS products CASS certified software uses USPS directories (data) Bi-monthly is the requirement, but monthly is preferred and available Addresses processed using CASS certified software can be mailed up to 180 days thereafter and still receive some level of discount Carrier route is only 90 days CASS certified software generates the PS 3553 Proof that the list has been processed using current software Includes the EWS (Early Warning System) file Helps prevent incorrect ZIP + 4 assignments for new addresses Understanding DPV™:  Understanding DPV™ DPV definitively confirms existence of an address Provides flags and statistics that evaluate the data quality A ‘Y’ or ‘N’ flag is provided that is associated to the address DPV is able to identify a Commercial Mail Receiving Agency Such as The UPS Store DPV can improve address assignments For example, 123 Elm may be North or South Main Street By querying both, we can eliminate the one the DPV returns as ‘N’ DPV can aid in fraud detection Coupon-redemption houses can use DPV to detect when people play games with house or apartment numbers to get around “one per household” offers Can aid in correcting secondary address information Example: tells you if an apartment number is wrong or missing Understanding LACSLink™:  Understanding LACSLink™ LACSLink™ is a process that converts addresses as changed by local governments Rural route to street style conversion Renumbering changes Street name changes Old Style New Style SuiteLink™ - A New Solution for Address Quality:  SuiteLink™ - A New Solution for Address Quality Provides secondary address information for businesses Example: This is actually an incomplete address With SuiteLink, we would be able to code this as: Business Objects 10255 W Higgins Rd Rosemont, IL 60018 BUSINESS OBJECTS 10255 W HIGGINS RD STE 120 ROSEMONT, IL 60018-5608 Understanding NCOALink™:  Understanding NCOALink™ USPS® program to provide change of address information Data delivery Straight from USPS to certified user Delivered on two DVDs 18 months of data – 7 gig 48 months of data – 19 gig Three levels of usage for certified licensees End User Mailer (18 months of data updated monthly) Limited Service Provider (18 months of data updated weekly) Full Service Provider (48 months of data updated weekly) NCOALink™ Certification process:  NCOALink™ Certification process Developer must be certified Developer must become a certified distributor if they wish to sell their solution User must become certified (http://ribbs.usps.gov) Step 1 – Application and Self-Certification Statement Approval USPS® issues authorization code Step 2 – Software Acquisition Authorization code required Step 3 – NCOALink™ Testing and Certification Step 4 – Execution of License Agreement Questions? Call Move Update Support Department at 800.589.5766 Understanding ANKLink™:  Understanding ANKLink™ A valuable add-on to NCOALink™ Limited Service Providers and End User Mailers Supercharges your NCOALink™ solution Provides an indicator that a move has occurred in months 19 through 48 Does not contain the actual new address Get more value out of Move Update processing Only the flagged addresses need to be sent to a 48-month NCOALink Full Service Provider AEC Is Your Last Resort to Reduce UAA:  AEC Is Your Last Resort to Reduce UAA You must first run the addresses through CASS™ certified software This will also include DPV™ and LACSLink™ after August 1, 2007 If you still cannot assign a ZIP + 4® Code, then you can consider AEC or AEC II AEC is a service provided by the USPS® National Customer Support Center in Memphis Price for AEC is $15 per thousand (1.5 cents per address) Minimum of $15 fee AEC Versus CASS™ Certified Software:  AEC Versus CASS™ Certified Software More robust handling of abbreviations Contracts a full spelling to abbreviations or initials State names to abbreviations or names (e.g., VA becomes Virginia or Virginia becomes VA) Corrects misspellings, fractional primary number variations (e.g., 123 12 becomes 123 1/2), and road designator spellings (e.g., HGY becomes HIGHWAY) Converts digits to alphabetic characters (e.g., 21 becomes twenty-one) or vice versa (e.g., twenty-one becomes 21) Converts addresses using LACSLink™ data AEC Uses Historical Data:  AEC Uses Historical Data AEC can leverage historical data and unique address assignment routines that are not available to CASS™ certified software providers AEC takes a considerable amount of time to process compared to industry CASS certified solutions 100,000 or less per hour processing Turn around time can be 1 week or more AEC can provide on average 30.5% correction AEC II Leverages Carrier Force Knowledge:  AEC II Leverages Carrier Force Knowledge Enhances AEC by using Delivery Force Knowledge™ from USPS® carriers Addresses that cannot be corrected using AEC are electronically sent to delivery units for correction On average, 80% of these records can be corrected Price for AEC II is $0.25 per record resolved in addition to the AEC price Minimum of $25 with a minimum list of 15,000 records Only 1 file per day may be submitted Return time can be 30, 60, or 90 days AEC and AEC II Process Flow:  AEC and AEC II Process Flow CASS™ Cycle L Requirements:  CASS™ Cycle L Requirements Effective August 1, 2007 The primary address must DPV™ confirm A DPV return code of “N” requires the software to suppress the ZIP + 4® code All other DPV return codes (“Y”, “S”, or “D”) may still provide a ZIP + 4 code LACSLink™ must be used to update the address information Rural route to street style address conversions Street renaming and renumbering In other words… DPV and LACSLink are required if you want to continue to receive a ZIP + 4 code and generate a PS 3553 Carrier Route codes can still be returned for a non-DPV confirmed address However, no eLOT (line of travel) codes can be returned CASS™ Cycle L Assignment Flow Chart:  CASS™ Cycle L Assignment Flow Chart Note: This is the flowchart from the CASS Cycle L 2007-2008 meeting minutes. Some Examples of CASS™ Cycle L In Action:  Some Examples of CASS™ Cycle L In Action 6750 WEST LOOP S STE 410 BELLAIRE TX 77401 6750 WEST LOOP S STE 410 BELLAIRE TX 77401-4197 (All components DPV™ confirmed) Input Address Output Address 462 RUSSELL ST LAKESIDE TX 76108-1619 462 RUSSELL ST LAKESIDE TX 76108 462 is not a valid primary, and thus the ZIP + 4® must be suppressed. However! The carrier route code of C008 can be returned. Input Address Output Address DPV™ Provides Additional Information:  DPV™ Provides Additional Information DPV Footnote Codes CASS™ Cycle L Issues:  CASS™ Cycle L Issues Fulfillment of the data USPS recently clarified that bi-monthly directories are the minimum requirement for ZIP + 4™, DPV™, and LACSLink™ Monthly directories, however, are your best practice in address quality Performance considerations Results vary considerably across vendors and implementation Anywhere from 0% to 30% or even higher are being reported Make sure you have plenty or RAM (4 gig) for caching options Space concerns Total of 2.136 gigabytes for all related directories International issues DPV and LACSLink data cannot be shipped outside the boundaries of the United States of America It can, however, be accessed from outside as long as the data resides in the US Other CASS™ Cycle L Issues:  Other CASS™ Cycle L Issues Address assignment rates This is varying widely from .5% to 2% to even 5% or higher This is likely the result of the age of the list NCOALink™ is going to be impacted as well as it requires a ZIP + 4™ Investment costs Vendors and mailers all have to make some level of investment in both software and hardware MLOCR impact Many challenges here including performance and stop processing Stop processing for DPV and LACSLink Hitting a “false positive” address will now require shutting down all address assignment immediately Except for MLOCR and Full Service Providers The software vendor can provide you with a restart code Rate Case 2006-1 Addressing Notice:  Rate Case 2006-1 Addressing Notice What it says Effective July 2009, mailers of all discount letters, flats, and parcels must properly code and match their address lists using one of the CASS-certified address matching methods in 708.3.0 and use the correct ZIP+4 code on each mailpiece. What it implies If you do not have a ZIP+4 and have it presented on the mail piece along with an Intelligent Mail Barcode, then you will not receive any discount (i.e. mailing at First Class full rate) What it doesn’t say What will CASS Cycle N look like in 2009? Will SuiteLink be required for end users? Will the data be shipped monthly? What about 5 digit only addresses? Rate Case and Address Correction Services:  Rate Case and Address Correction Services *OneCodeACS is currently for letter mail only The USPS Takes Another Move Toward Reducing UAA:  The USPS Takes Another Move Toward Reducing UAA Move Update changes are coming to First Class and Standard Class mail Frequency will increase to every 95 days Standard Mail will have to use some form of approved Move Update method NCOALink™ and OneCodeACS will likely be the preferred methods FRN will be posted soon outlining the rules Will likely have a 30 day commentary period Final implementation will be 18 months after the FRN This puts the final implementation date closely aligned with the new Intelligent Mail Barcode mandatory usage date of January 2009 Sources for More Information:  Sources for More Information National Customer Support Center 1-800-238-3150 Information on NCOALink™ http://ribbs.usps.gov/files/ncoalink Information on LACSLink™ http://ribbs.usps.gov/files/lacslink Address Quality Methodologies – Best Practices MTAC Workgroup 97 Report http://ribbs.usps.gov/mtac.htm Quality Address Management White Paper Created by Association of Mailers for Electronic EnhancementsLocated at http://ribbs.usps.gov/files/amee/ Questions?:  Questions? Chris Lien Director, Commercial Mail Marketing Business Objects chris.lien@businessobjects.com

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