By Jeffery Peoples
CEO & Founder, Window Book, Inc.
Do you ever wonder how your mailings measure up to all the latest United States Postal Service® (USPS®) requirements?
How can you be sure if you are meeting all the requirements or barely meeting the thresholds set by the USPS?
Did you know that the USPS will implement financial penalties as early as July 2014 for Full-Service mailings not meeting the requirements?
Now the USPS has a new reporting system called the “Mailer Scorecard.” That’s right. You get scored on how well or badly you are performing when processing mailings using USPS programs. The Mailer Scorecard is a report that tracks your mailing performance trends across months and years for various USPS programs.
The Scorecard provides a complete summary of performance for Full-Service Electronic, eInduction, Seamless Acceptance, Mail Anywhere™ and SingleSource ACS™. You can easily view the metrics in numbers and percentages on a dashboard by logging in through the USPS Business Customer Gateway: https://gateway.usps.com/eAdmin/view/signin. Once logged in, select Mailing Reports and then Mailer Scorecard.
Use it to your advantage
Each month your mailings will be aggregated to create your scores, and the areas which need attention will be highlighted in Green, Red, and Yellow:
Percent metric value has improved by more than 5% from previous month
Percent metric value has declined by more than 5% from the previous month
Exceeds threshold established by USPS
Different USPS programs may have different evaluation periods. For example, Full-Service and Seamless Acceptance look at data for a calendar month while SingleSource ACS looks at data for the prior quarter.
Visit RIBBS Mailer Scorecard User Guide for more information.
Review your Scorecard on a regular basis since the results can give you an idea of where to concentrate your efforts. If your mailings consistently see complications in a specific area, you can use the time before July to address those issues. You also get to see the results of manual sampling and entry point verifications that have been done.
USPS to assess and bill for errors
Submitting mailing documentation in the form of electronic documentation (eDoc) is one of the major requirements for Full-Service. eDoc allows the Postal Service™ to easily determine if Full-Service requirements are being met by the mailers, and they will be using the Mailer Scorecard to assess and bill for errors starting in July 2014.
Each month, the Postal Service will be using your Scorecard to examine the total Full-Service volume from the previous calendar month to evaluate if the established mail quality thresholds are met.
The threshold varies as follows:
Service Type ID (STID): 2%
Mailer ID (MID): 2%
Unique IMb/IMtb/IMcb: 2%
Entry Facility: 5%
If mail quality thresholds are exceeded, an invoice will be generated 10 days after the end of the month. This means when mail quality errors exceed USPS threshold, Full-Service discounts (.001 or .003 cents per piece) will be forfeited as a penalty. Mailers will have the opportunity to review the invoicing reports and request a review if they feel any of the penalties are in error.
If your pieces are not documented in your eDoc, it will raise another red flag for a fine. If the USPS finds mail pieces with barcodes that are not included in your eDoc, it makes it difficult for the Postal Service to decipher whether the pieces were actually paid for. Invoice reports for any penalties will be sent to the Verification Assessment Evaluator (VAE) 10 days after the end of each month. Mailers will need to designate their VAE for each CRID using the Business Customer Gateway.
Check your eDoc data and make sure it is accurate
Avoid these common Full-Service errors:
• The STID in the IMb on the mail piece is appropriate for the class of mail and service level of the piece
• The MID in your barcodes must be valid
• The barcodes must be unique
• Mailings that have eDoc submitted for copalletized mail have had pallet data submitted by the consolidator for third party copal or the mailer for internal copal
• Entry facility locations listed in the eDoc are correct.
• By/For information should correctly identify the appropriate Mail Owner and Mailing Agent
Do Not Wait Until July
Full-Service verification results are already available in the MicroStrategy reports you can access on the Business Customer Gateway. Mailers are urged to check for errors the USPS detects in your eDoc so you can take corrective action long before July 1st arrives. Keep track of your Scorecard to view mailing trends and identify specific mail preparation errors. The Scorecard is available for any company that submits electronic documentation.
To view your MicroStrategy reports, visit USPS Business Customer Gateway: https://gateway.usps.com/eAdmin/view/signin. Select Mailing Reports, Mailing Reports, and Full Service:
Track your Scorecard
Besides maintaining or losing the Full-Service discounts that you claimed, having a By/For failure rate that is above the allowed threshold will also prevent you from participating in programs like Mail Anywhere. The Scorecard will also provide insights into your mailing operations and dataflow that, if problematic, may eventually be very costly under Seamless Acceptance. For example, if you have a lot of undocumented pieces because of the way you reprint spoils, this could be very costly without a process change. Duplicate piece, tray or pallet barcodes reveal serious data issues that will have to be resolved. The Scorecard will show Full-Service percent across all jobs for the past month, and this is an important benchmark for a number of USPS programs like Seamless Acceptance and the ongoing Promotions and Incentives.
Just as a Report Card did in school, your Mailer Scorecard grades how well you’re doing as a mailer. Use it to learn and grow. Or use it to validate you’re doing everything you can to be a good and efficient mailer. Either way, use it!
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About Jeffery Peoples
As Founder and CEO of Window Book, Jeffery Peoples has created many innovations since 1989 that make using the Postal Service easier and more profitable for mailers and shippers, including the first-ever: electronic Domestic Mail Manual, MAC Gold shipping system, commercial postal statement management system that supports both Mail.dat & non-Mail.dat presort data, and the first Priority Mail Open and Distribute system that goes from analysis to printing PMOD labels for tracking mailings.
He is continually educating and enabling mailers on Intelligent Mail; developing systems to help mailers benefit by utilizing Full Service Intelligent Mail including eDoc with PostalOne!, Mail.dat, Post-Presort software, and FAST. He is frequently invited to speak at industry events such as GraphExpo, MAILCOM, the National Postal Forum, Postal Customer Council meetings, and other industry and direct marketing events.
About Window Book, Inc.
Window Book is currently celebrating its 26th year helping clients manage their operations more profitably. Why should you talk to Window Book? Because we help you to: Streamline mail processes to reduce operational costs! Implement Full-Service and Seamless Acceptance to minimize the risk of downstream quality issues and be in a better position to defend your preparation processes. Grow with Emerging Technologies. Automate Your PostalOne! Submissions. Move to the Cloud to Optimize Your Operations. Use Your Data to Make More Money. Are you Keeping Up With Your Competition? Learn the KEY Shifts You Can Make… We Can Help YOU in Ways No Other Company Can! Call 1-800-524-0380 and talk with a Postal Expert Now. www.windowbook.com
Window Book, Inc.
300 Franklin Street
Cambridge, MA 02139-3781