Is Your Postal Distribution Mailing Data Up-to-Date?
Have you ever tried to go on a road trip using an old road map or outdated GPS system? Frustrating, isn't it? You probably had to re-route a few times and likely did not arrive at your destination when you planned to. Well, that is exactly what happens to your mail if you don't keep your postal distribution mailing data up-to-date.
Postal Distribution Data Defined
There are two basic types of postal mailing distribution data
: one type directs where containers and handling units of mail
should go, and the other type directs where shipments of these containers and handling units should be transported. The USPS Labeling Lists are essentially the "maps" that indicate where mail sacks
, trays, pallets and other mail containers
are destined. These destinations are shown in the first line of the printed sack tags, tray tags, and pallet placards. The USPS Drop Ship Database
is the "map" that indicates the postal facilities
to which the various handling units and containers are transported or drop shipped. These destinations are shown on the 8125 drop ship clearance documents. In both cases, the data
is specified by ranges of ZIP code prefixes.
Adapting to Change
The USPS makes frequent changes
to the Labeling List and Drop Ship Database data
. The changes
reflect modifications in the USPS processing and transportation network, which are often driven by changes
in the population centers, seasonality, mail volumes
, and in extreme cases weather or natural disasters. In the case of the Drop Ship Database
, these changes
can occur on a daily basis, such as when the USPS re-directs drop shipments from one facility to another due to processing equipment outages, local weather conditions, or other issues that necessitate mail processing
to be moved to an alternate location. No one wants to see their mail
delayed, so it is very critical that you keep up-to-date
with the frequent changes
to the postal distribution data
As it stands right now, all presort software
applications use the USPS Labeling List data
, and most of them use the Drop Ship data
, as well. However, since most presorts are run days, weeks and even months in advance of the actual mail date
, that data
can be very old and out-of-date by the time the mail
is ready to drop. This leaves your handling unit and container labels routing your mail
to, quite possibly, the wrong facilities, not to mention the havoc it can wreak with your 8125s.
Using post-presort software to generate these documents allows you to insure that any updates are included right before you mail. Robust post-presort software should provide quick, user-friendly means of updating this data, preferably in an automated fashion so that you don't have to remember to check for updates on a daily basis and spend time doing numerous manual downloads.
Automatic Postal Data Update System
Window Book offers a Scheduler utility, which enables users to schedule these postal distribution data updates
download on a predictable schedule (as frequently as daily). It also offers users an "on-demand" option that provides for updates
even between normally scheduled updates
. This utility works with both our DAT-MAIL and Postal Package Partner (PPP) software
. And, if you prefer the old-fashioned method of manually checking for and downloading updates
, we allow you to do that too. However, we strongly encourage mailers
to use our Automatic Postal Data Update System
, so you can just "set it and forget it!"