A Few Highlights form August Mailers’ Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC )
Below are some of the highlights from the August MTAC meetings. As a Direct Marketing Association (DMA) MTAC Representative, I’m actively involved in MTAC and several MTAC Workgroups and User Groups.
After each MTAC, the USPS publishes notes and presentation from the various meetings. Below are a few highlights I thought I’d share.
If you have any questions on MTAC or how to get involved, let me know.
During MTAC the USPS shared their Roadmap for Mail Entry. The Mail Entry Roadmap is now posted. It covers timelines and direction for Full Service IMb, eInduction and Seamless Acceptance. Below are a few highlights from the document.
Full Service IMb – There are several fixes that will be released on August 24 for PostalOne! leading to improvements in the Mailers Scorecard. Some of the information will be rearranged. Starting in October the error postage assessment will be available for review. The information will be for review only. In January, the assessment process will go live at which point any needed adjustments made will be for the December mailing period. The key point is that mailers should be reviewing their scorecards and utilizing the information to improve mail quality.
eInduction – Just over 30% of dropsihp containers are currently eInduction. Starting in September, the USPS will begin a pilot at some non-Surface Visibility sites to improve the process for these facilities. While eInduction is not required, the USPS is working to move more mailers to eInduction in efforts to continue to reduce costs.
Seamless Acceptance – Seamless Acceptance leverages electronic documentation and Intelligent Mail barcodes on mailpieces, trays and sacks, and containers to automate acceptance and verification processes. Mailpiece scans collected from mail processing equipment (MPE) and hand held scanning devices are reconciled to the mailer electronic documentation (eDoc) to confirm proper mail preparation for the discounts claimed and postage paid. Seamless is not required, but many mailers are moving into Seamless Parallel as a test process to understand the impact to their business.
Business Mail Support (BMS) and Business Mail Entry (BME) personnel are available to help mailers understand these initiatives. As a Direct Marketing Association (DMA) MTAC Representative, I’ve been actively involved in conversations with postal headquarters on these topics and the review of the roadmap. I am available for questions – let me know how I can help.
Flat Strategy Document
The USPS is preparing to publish the 2014 Strategic Guide for Flat Planning. It provides the Postal Service’s over-arching vision for its flat products. The purpose of the document is to communicate the strategies they are pursuing to support the profitability of flats, as well as those it is exploring for the future. The document highlights initiatives such as CoMail and Co-Palletization as methods that support the lowest combines cost.
Mail Design Analyst (MDA)
The USPS recently communicated through an Industry Alert that they are streamlining the helpdesk approach to reach MDAs.
Per the communication “Get directly connected with an MDA by calling 1-855-593-6093 or send an email to MDA@usps.gov. The MDA Customer Service Help Desk is available to all customers, internal and external, Monday through Friday between the hours of 7:00AM and 5:00PM Central Time, excluding holidays.”
The USPS provided clarification at MTAC that for mailers that directly interact with their MDA in a walk-up process can continue to use the walk-in process, noting that not all MDAs are located in a facility that accommodates this approach.
An MTAC group is forming to review industry concerns regarding the availability of MDAs. Let us know if you are interested and we will assist with getting you involved.
Postmaster General Pat Donahoe briefly addressed MTAC members. The top concern of the group was the need for pricing signals as mailers create their budgets. Due to pending litigation on the exigent price roll-back, the USPS indicated they do not know the approach that will be used for price increased, but the PMG did indicate we will probably see no changes in January. He also indicated that the USPS plans to move ahead with consolidation will continue as announced.