Mailing Systems Technology - November/December 2009 - (Page 31)

APPLICATION ARTICLE MAIL VERIFIER PLUS OFFERS TOTAL ADDRESS-BLOCK QUALITY CONTROL Editor’s Note: In the vein of providing you with the information necessary to do your jobs, Mailing Systems Technology has partnered with some of our top vendors to showcase the products you need to help run your mail center effectively. The following six pages feature some of the best solutions in the industry. Check them out! While mailers across the industry are still deciding at what pace to adopt the Intelligent Mail barcode (now slated to become mandatory in 2011 for discount-rate mailings), the United States Postal Service continues to move forward in the transition from POSTNET to this next-generation barcode technology. New pricing incentives have been announced to encourage Intelligent Mail adoption, and barcode tolerance levels have been revised to help ensure the quality of the new IM barcode will satisfy the needs of an increasingly efficiency-minded Postal Service. Regardless of whether Intelligent Mail has already been brought into a mailing operation, address-block quality control is a prime consideration for any company looking to produce mailings with peak deliverability and optimal postage discounts, says Chris Lien, Executive Vice President of BCC Software. “Even in a pre-Intelligent Mail workflow, everything a mailer can do today to improve their barcode quality will pay off handsomely for them — not just in the long run, but with every mailing that leaves their shop. ” The recently launched Flats Sequencing System — which allows large mailpieces to be sequenced in delivery point order, to streamline route preparation and improve delivery times — is another sign of the new emphasis being placed on total address quality. “It’s not just about the barcode, Lien says. “The USPS is refining ” everything about the address block, right down to the spacing between words. And all of these initiatives are predicated upon having an address block that’s readable by postal automation equipment, he adds. ” “Without a reliable tool at your disposal to assess the quality and compliance, before the mailing is completed and submitted to a postal facility, you’re really taking a tremendous risk of time and money. ” Increasingly, mailers are turning to offline verification as an essential quality-control workflow stage. “Once an inline QC device is examining your mailpieces, it’s really too late for some mailers; you’re already running the mailing, Lien says. “It can’t be ” used for testing in all circumstances. Using an offline solution, there’s still time to react and make the proactive changes that can make a big difference in turnaround times and ultimate ROI for that job. ” BCC’s Mail Verifier Plus is an offline solution that helps mailers assess barcode quality as well as other address block details before the mailing job has been submitted to the Post Office — and even before the job has begun processing. Slightly larger than a shoebox and powered by standard household current, the Mail Verifier Plus uses a high-resolution digital camera to capture the image of a supplied mailpiece and GUI software (easily installed on any Windows-equipped PC) to find and read postal barcodes within the image field, while also analyzing the print-versus-mailpiece contrast ratios that must fall within specific ranges in order to pass a MERLIN inspection. (Envelope reflectance and physical barcode characteristics — the distance between the bars and their printed angles on the piece, for example — are also electronically inspected for compliance.) Data from each mailpiece scanned is preserved in individual reports which, along with the images themselves, may be saved to the host PC for future reference or printed and deleted. “The MVP is a validation tool for the entire address block, not just the barcode, Lien ” says. “It’s like having a Mailpiece Design Analyst on site at your disposal. (In fact, ” the device is the commercial version of technology developed for USPS analysts by BÖWE BELL + HOWELL, BCC’s parent company.) The IM barcode — which is already offering value-added services to early adopters — makes in-house quality control even more essential. “The encoding technology that gives the Intelligent Mail barcode its mailpiece-transforming power also makes it unreadable to the human eye, he says. ” “You’re not going to want IMB-enhanced mailings to leave your shop without checking them out first. The Mail Verifier Plus can do that — and much more. ” Contact Chris Lien at ChrisL@bccsoftware. com. For more information about the Mail Verifier Plus, please visit a NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Mailing Systems Technology - November/December 2009

Mailing Systems Technology - November/December 2009
Editor’s Note
Real-Life Management
Software Byte
Employing Technology
Everything IMB
Ship It
Best Practices
What You Think
From the Source
Mail Managers React to Economic Times
Cost Comparisons
The Intelligent Mail Challenge
Special Product Profile Section
Reality Check
Pushing the Envelope

Mailing Systems Technology - November/December 2009