If you think there is plenty of time before the mandatory Seamless Acceptance deadlines, think again.
Back in June 2020, the United States Postal Service (USPS) activated all Detached Mail Unit (DMU) CRIDs to Seamless Parallel if they were not already in Seamless Acceptance. Starting in May 2021, the USPS will move all remaining Seamless Parallel CRIDs to full Seamless. Then in July 2021, the USPS will perform Seamless Acceptance verifications for all Full-Service mailings.
While these deadlines may seem far away, in reality they are just months away, and many mailers have yet to even take a look at their Mailer Scorecard data. In conjunction with the 2021 USPS price changes, the USPS introduced a financial incentive of $1.00 per thousand for qualifying mailings submitted under Full Seamless Acceptance. There are other benefits to mailers of embracing Seamless Acceptance, so there is no better time than now to move forward.
What Should You Do?
If you are already participating in Full Seamless and your processes are working smoothly, great, keep up the great work!
If you are in Seamless Parallel:
· Monitor your Mailer Scorecard daily!
· Access the Informed Visibility Mail Quality Data (IV-MTR) (https://postalpro.usps.com/informedvisibility) for your operation. This can be accessed through the Business Customer Gateway.
o Set up the IV-MTR data feeds now; don’t wait until May or June!
o Set up internal processes to download and save this data using internal databases so you have the data you need to research issues or dispute assessments.
· Research any issues that show up, even if they are below the thresholds. Use this information proactively to improve your processes.
· Work with your Mail.dat file providers, presort software vendors, and internal teams to pinpoint areas where your processes need improvement.
o Many vendors have solutions that can help you manage your Seamless Acceptance processes and data.
· Document procedures and implement routine audits to ensure procedures are being followed and improved when necessary.
· Put a process into place to research and provide documentation to the USPS in case you need to dispute assessments.
· Keep in mind that this will be an ongoing process – it won’t stop when the Seamless deadlines have passed. Any mailer can have errors at any time, so you need to plan to continue these efforts.
· Mail Service Providers should enroll for the Seamless Acceptance Incentive. This enrollment can be done on the Business Customer Gateway.
If you have not yet looked at your Mailer Scorecard, you need to start doing this as soon as possible! Contact the PostalOne! ®Help Desk (https://www.usps.com/postalone/contact.htm) to ask for help in accessing and understanding your Mailer Scorecard.
The USPS has numerous resources available on the PostalPro web site (https://postalpro.usps.com/mailing/seamless-acceptance), including the Seamless Acceptance Mailer Fact Sheet (https://postalpro.usps.com/seamlessacceptactfactsheet), Seamless Acceptance Incentive (https://postalpro.usps.com/seamless-incentive), and Publication for Streamlined Acceptance for Letter and Flats (https://postalpro.usps.com/node/581). Your mailing software providers are also good resources for tools and information, as are the various mailing industry associations. Take advantage of the expertise available from those providers and associations. And most of all – don’t wait until the last minute!
Jeff Peoples is founder, president, and CEO at Window Book. With over 30 years of innovative postal solutions that make using the Postal Service easier and more profitable for mailers and shippers, he has done presentations at industry events, GraphExpo, MAILCOM, the National Postal Forum, Postal Customer Council meetings, Harvard Business Expert Forum, and other industry and direct marketing events.
This article originally appeared in the March/April, 2021 issue of Mailing Systems Technology.