Group 1 Addresses Change in USPS Postage Discount Rules
February 20, 2007 Alex Woodie
Group 1 Software recently launched Address Quality Hub, a new address-cleansing product that will help users get the maximum allowable postal discounts from the U.S. Postal Service. Group 1 says the new product will be good to have this summer, when the USPS is scheduled to impose stricter postage discount rules.
This August, the USPS will implement more stringent postage discount rules designed to reduce undeliverable-as-addressed, or UAA, mail. The USPS fails to deliver about 350 million pieces of mail every year due to address-related errors, costing the government about $60 million annually.
The USPS hopes to improve address accuracy by changing its Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS). Starting in August, software vendors that seek CASS certification for their address verification software must perform a new step, called Delivery Point Validation (DPV), that identifies addresses that may be in a valid ZIP+4 range, but are not valid addresses. The shift to DPV is expected to improve address accuracy and cut waste at the USPS.
However, the change could also cost companies with large mail volumes. “It has been estimated that the new CASS requirement will cause ZIP + 4 coding rates to drop approximately two percent,” says Christopher Baker, president of Group 1, which is a subsidiary of business equipment giant Pitney Bowes. “The implications of this drop in discount-eligible mail, combined with increased postage rates, are huge, especially for large-volume mailers–potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.”
Group 1 introduced the new Address Quality Hub to help users of both of its CASS products, including CODE-1 Plus, which runs on OS/400, and Finalist, which runs on mainframe, Unix, and Windows, comply with the new requirements.
Algorithms and programming logic in Address Quality Hub helps existing CODE-1 Plus and Finalist users to cleanse and code up to 35 percent of address records that would have previously been rejected during CASS processing, Group 1 says. The new software also includes a Delivering Point Correction Module that corrects the primary house number required for automation discounts by automatically matching a name against a street address and correcting bad addresses.
Baker claims Address Quality Hub is the first solution in the industry to address the new DPV requirement in CASS. “The fact that this solution works seamlessly with our existing coding software also means that they can realize these benefits without burdensome IT time and costs,” he says.