Best Practices Ensure Address QualityDocument Transcript
A Pitney Bowes Company
Best Practices to
Ensure Address Quality
A Pitney Bowes Company
Web Interactive Demo
The operational costs of poor address quality are well known –
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undeliverable-as-addressed (UAA) mail, lower response rates to
marketing campaigns, delayed payments and dissatisfied
Input Address Output Address
customers. Given the USPS® rate case announcement,
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companies are taking a look at all the ways they can reduce the
impact of the postal rate increase.
4200 Parl GROUP 1
20706 4200 PARLIAMENT PL - STE 600
This White Paper offers useful suggestions to optimize your
LANHAM MD 20706-1844
mailstream by keeping your company’s address data clean,
complete and deliverable.
Keystroke saving of 72.41%
On-line Address Correction
There are both hosted and in-house solutions. Web services or
API calls from your customer care, billing and other business
Currently, many mailers batch cleanse addresses with a CASS
systems enable real-time address validation and correction.
Certified™ software solution just prior to mailing. When
There also exists certified connectors that interface with the
customers are on the phone or they are browsing your web site,
most popular customer-facing applications, such as Microsoft
they are live and open to interaction. Companies that
incorporate address correction (including DPV™) into CRM, SAP, Siebel and Salesforce.com.
customer-facing systems are able to query the customer for
corrections or missing information.
Going Beyond CASSTM Certification
About 40 percent of address errors, (misspelled names, streets
and cities, truncated addresses, and abbreviated streets and cities Even if your company already cleans and validates its customer
that do not follow USPS standards) can be traced back to data address data and mailing lists using either a service bureau or a
entry. To address this problem, some companies have USPS CASS Certified solution, you may not be benefiting from
incorporated point-of-entry address “building” and validation all of the address correction options available. In a recent
routines to reduce address errors as well as the number of survey, Group 1® Software found that 67 percent of its
keystrokes required to update the data. In the screen shot at the customers were not taking advantage of DPV, even though the
top of the next column, keystrokes were reduced by about software is included “free” with their CASS software. It is
72 percent. important to note that beginning August 2007, DPV processing
will be required as part of the CASS process.
When DPV is run with a CASS engine, it enables mailers to August 1, 2006. Also note that NCOALinkTM Full Service Providers
confirm that an address is a delivery point for the USPS. The are required to offer the LACSLink service and process addresses
CASS process checks addresses against a range in a database. against the LACSLink database.
So for instance, in a new subdivision, 10 Birch Drive, 12 Birch
Drive and 14 Birch Drive are all “valid” addresses because they
fall within an acceptable range. However, 12 Birch Drive is an Exception Processing to Enhance
empty lot. DPV alerts the mailer that 12 Birch Drive is an
undeliverable address. DPV is also helpful for multi-dwelling
units and high rise buildings because it alerts the mailer that a
According to the address quality white paper published by the
suite or apartment number does not exist for that street address.
Mailers’ Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC), “There is no
widespread Industry best practice in place at a transactional or
RDI™ is another essential technology. RDI does not reduce
batch level for assignable addresses. It’s unknown what mailers do
your postage, but it can save money. This technology helps
to evaluate un-assignable addresses. It’s assumed that they mail at
parcel shippers reduce shipping costs by verifying whether an
full rate or pre-sort at the full rate or determine not to mail. Most
address is residential or business. It enables companies to
mailers don’t know what level of evaluation their company does to
eliminate the address correction surcharge ($5-15 per package,
identify root cause for un-assignable addresses. As a last resort, the
depending on the carrier) as well as the residential delivery
Mailer initiates customer contact to get resolution.”1
surcharges associated with shipping materials via a third party
such as FedEx or UPS.
Based on the benchmark data that Group 1 gathered from
customer files across various industries, addresses frequently
The USPS does not charge a residential surcharge because they
cannot be matched against the USPS database because either a key
are already set up for local last mile delivery through
piece of information is missing or there is conflicting data, such as
neighborhoods. However, third party carriers charge fees to help
a street address being outside the range for that ZIP Code™.
recover the extra handling costs incurred for making residential
deliveries (i.e. moving materials off of 18-wheelers to vans).
One option available to mailers is the USPS Address Element
Companies that maintain an RDI flag on the customer file and
Correction (AEC) program. Companies may submit up to
append it in real time when customers order goods over the Web
500,000 records a day at a cost of $15/1000 records. The AEC
let the shipper calculate and collect the residential surcharge
software will parse the address into its elements, match it
against their database and provide reports of the resolved and
unresolved data elements.
LACSLinkTM is another cost-saving tool. It is a database of converted
rural route addresses to their city-style addresses. The LACSLink
Most address hygiene tools in the market are limited to only
Product was initially implemented by the USPS to help emergency
using the United States Postal Service® data. The USPS is
responders find a physical address. Approximately 400,000 rural
responsible for delivering mail, however it does not track every
addresses have changed each year since the database was
physical address in the United States. For instance, there are
implemented in 1994. According to the USPS, approximately 40
millions of households that receive mail at a Post Office™ box
percent of rural route addresses cannot be delivery point validated.
in communities that do not offer city-style mail delivery, so the
To help improve delivery to rural route addresses, LACSLink
USPS has no record of these types of addresses in its database,
processing will be required to receive CASS certification effective
even though they exist.
MTAC Workgroup 97, Address Quality Methodologies, Best Practices in Address Quality.
A Pitney Bowes Company
Many Group 1 customers are benefiting from a unique Pre-mailing Move Update Solutions
object-oriented database that conflates the USPS address data Pre-mailing Move Update solutions include:
with non-USPS street network data. By combining the two data
sources, this technology achieves much higher match rates. In ■ In-house (Group 1’s VeriMove™ solution)
addition, the quality of the match results has been consistently ■ Outsource (service provider)
proven to further increase the accuracy of address data. ■ MLOCR (post-print)
In addition, Group 1 can augment address information by In the pre-mailing processes, when MLOCR and service
matching addresses against a consumer credit data file using providers are used, companies neglect to update their databases
FineTune Data™. When FineTune Data finds a match, it can with the new address. Best practices to ensure address quality
append new address information as well as demographic and would be for mailers, regardless of which update method used,
other lifestyle data. These updated addresses are then processed to update their customer data with change-of-address
again through a CASS engine, where they receive a higher information immediately upon receipt.
ZIP + 4® match rate – sometimes coding an additional 25-30
percent of the exception file. These results not only qualify Post-mailing USPS Provided Move Update Methods
mailers for additional postal discounts but reduce costly UAA Post-mailing Move Update methods provided by the USPS
mail as well. include:
■ Ancillary Service Endorsements (ASE)
Complying with Move Update ■ ACS™
Over 17 percent of Americans change their residence each year In the post-mailing process, mailers include an ACS
and nearly 20 percent of all businesses change locations. endorsement line on the mail piece, the USPS forwards the mail
Identifying address changes quickly is vital to your business. pieces and charges a fee for the service, then returns a file of
Each old address could represent a “lost” customer. Keeping corrected addresses to the mailer. There are companies that do
contact with your customers and their revenue stream can easily not update their mailing list with these addresses and are
be automated with a Move Update solution so you never lose a therefore out of compliance and subject to USPS penalties.
customer or a sale needlessly.
The NCOALink database contains more than 160 million permanent
address changes, is updated weekly, and covers (on a constantly
rolling basis) the past 48 months of change-of-address
information. In order for First-Class™ mailers to take advantage
of postage discounts, they must be in compliance with Move
Update requirements. Currently there are different approaches to
compliance – pre-mailing and post-mailing.
Best Practices Process Flow
A Pitney Bowes Company
What’s on the Horizon for Address products and services in order to enhance customer value and
expand the use of these products and services for mutual
The USPS has a $2 billion UAA mail problem and a stated goal
The “Address Quality Methodologies” white paper is available
of reducing undeliverable mail by 50 percent. Group 1
for download from the Group 1 web site at www.g1.com. If you
anticipates that the USPS will continue to announce rule
have any questions regarding your company’s specific address
changes to CASS engines to enhance address quality, such as
quality, contact Group 1 Software directly at 888.413.6763.
the new rule that CASS engines cannot apply a ZIP + 4 to an
address without validating both the street and the house number;
that is, comparing the address to the DPV database. This rule
goes into effect August 1, 2007.
About Group 1 Software
Group 1 Software, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Pitney
In addition, in the Federal Register Notice (August 28, 2003),
Bowes, develops software that provides a comprehensive
the following Move Update changes were proposed:
Customer Communication Management (CCM) solution, which
helps maximize the value of customer data and improves the
■ 95 day processing of Move Update
efficiency and effectiveness of customer communications.
■ 95 day processing of CASS
Group 1 Software’s solutions are an essential component of
■ Use of monthly directory updates for
enterprise applications, serving to consolidate, cleanse and
enrich corporate data, and generate personalized business
■ Disallow Ancillary Service Endorsements as a
documents for multi-channel delivery, customer care and
standalone Move Update method
efficient business processing. The company’s solutions are
■ Move Update for other classes of mail (First-Class
utilized by over 3,500 organizations worldwide in the utilities,
represents only 50 percent of total mail volume)
financial services/banking, GIS/mapping, retail,
telecommunications, insurance and other industries, including
Entergy, L.L. Bean, Microsoft, QVC, Siemens, Wal-Mart and
Summary Wells Fargo.
Group 1 Software is uniquely qualified to assess your address
quality processes and evaluate them against what is considered
the industry standard. Group 1 and Pitney Bowes representatives
About Pitney Bowes
participate in the MTAC work group which published the
Pitney Bowes provides the world’s most comprehensive suite of
“Address Quality Methodologies” white paper in February 2006.
mailstream software, hardware, services and solutions to help
companies manage their flow of mail, documents and packages
This MTAC work group focuses on address quality issues and
to improve communication. Pitney Bowes, with $5.6 billion in
supports MTAC’s purpose which is to be “a venue for the
annual revenue, takes an all-inclusive view of its customers’
United States Postal Service (the Postal Service) to share
operations, helping organizations of all sizes enjoy the
technical information with mailers and to receive advice and
competitive advantage that comes from an optimized
recommendations from mailers on matters concerning mail-related
MTAC Work Group Guidelines, USPS RIBBS, January 20, 2006.
mailstream. The company’s 86 years of technological leadership
have produced many major mailstream innovations, and it is
consistently on the Intellectual Property Owners Association’s
list of top U.S. patent holders. With approximately 34,000
employees worldwide, Pitney Bowes serves more than 2 million
businesses through direct and dealer operations. More
information about the company can be found at www.pb.com.