Post Presort and Mailing Operations

by Pete Mazzocchi

Post presort allows you to make changes on the fly after you've submitted docs to USPS

To preparing a large mailing to go to the USPS for delivery, it goes through a sequence of operations mandated by the UPS. These operations include ensuring that addresses are complete and in the correct format (address hygiene), processing the addresses through a change of address system (NCOA and Move Updates), sequencing and grouping of the individual mail pieces (presort), and finally barcode generation (Intelligent Mail barcode). These operations are standard throughout the industry, and anyone involved in a mailing operation should at least be partially familiar with them.

With the advent of Full-Service Intelligent Mail, post presort operations will become nearly as important to a mailing operation as the presort operations are currently. With the requirement that all presort paperwork be submitted electronically through PostalOne!, the ability to manage and modify presort Mail.dat files through post-presort and tracking will become increasingly important.

Post-presort software also gives mailers significant flexibility in dealing with how mailings are shipped. For example, after a mailshop or printer does the prep work on a mailing it may take several weeks to create the physical mail pieces. Any changes to the mailing list or logistical plan would then make the previously prepared presort documents useless. But with post-presort software, the mailer can open the Mail.dat files and make adjustments to ensure that the presort information is once again correct.

When a mailier delivers a mail shipment to a USPS acceptance facility, the proper postage documents must accompany the shipment. But if the production process takes too long, or the proper transportation isn’t available the mailer may be forced to break up a large mailing into several smaller mailings. Through the use of post-presort software a mailer can do this. This capability allows printers and mailshops to handle situations such as extended production schedules, shifting entry points, and transportation availability issues with maximum flexibility. By splitting the presort document into smaller documents, the mailer is able to meet the requirement to produce postage statements as the mail is delivered to the acceptance facility.

Mailers can also use post-presort software to combine several smaller mailings into one large mailing. Merged mailings, or co-palletization, are done to allow mailers to achieve higher levels of palletization and the associated discounts. Because the mailer is combining mail from several different presorts, it would be impossible to run the presort again for a combined mailing like this. So they must use post-presort software to create the required Mail.dat file for submission through PostalOne!

Post-presort software also allows mailers to manage spoilage and non-mailed pieces. So if any pieces in the shipment are damaged in the preparation process (i.e. spoilage), the mailer can use post-presort software to edit the Mail.dat files to account for the issue. The mailer can remove the pieces from the mailing, replace them with new pieces, or even add them to a future mailing. Additionally, if the mailshop decides to remove pieces from the shipment (because of spoilage, production issues, etc.) the post-presort software can adjust the eDoc to account for that as well.