Special Section Mailing & Fulfillment -- Leveraging Your Maili
In 2005, if the mailing industry is going to lengthen its leg of the stool, it must add mailing software into its "postal point of view," and much earlier on in the mailing process. Mailing lists must be processed through CASS-certified (Coding Accuracy Support System) software to receive ZIP+4's and the ability to generate delivery point barcodes. The use of PAVE-certified (Presort Accuracy Validation and Evaluation) software is required to achieve many of the lowest postage rates and to generate barcoded sack/tray tags.
Using CASS software can provide the mailing industry with many more benefits than just identifying a ZIP+4. CASS-certified software is really the cornerstone of barcode discounts. The process of ZIP+4 encoding a database can result in reduced costs of printing, processing and postage; increased response rates; and improved deliverability of mailings by identifying addresses in your database that—according to the USPS—are undeliverable as addressed.
Many software packages also provide demographic information as part of the encoding process like identifying the county name for the address, building type (single family, etc.) and Congressional district. All of this information is a result of the, now-commonplace act of ZIP+4 encoding an address. It is up to the mailer to be fully informed of the myriad of information that they may be receiving from their software vendor.
Using PAVE-certified software to meet USPS sortation requirements also provides mailers with a significant number of benefits of which you may not be aware. Many software developers that have successfully achieved PAVE certification (the number has dwindled significantly since 1997) also provide their users with features and capabilities that allow them to operate their mailroom with ultimate efficiency.
Machine readable bundle markings, options for generating mail in reverse sequence to accommodate finishing processes, writing presort information to an electronic file for custom processing by other mailroom equipment (high-speed lasers, intelligent inserters, etc.) are a few examples of capabilities that exist in some mailing software packages.