Chapter II      Postal Operations go to the 2001 Comprehensive Statement on Postal Operations front page go to the table of contents go to the previous page go to the next page
M. Marketing Technology and Channel Management

Throughout 2001, Marketing Technology and Channel Management stayed the course of its commitment to improving the way the Postal Service does business with its customers, and to the development and implementation of new and innovative uses of technology in meeting the business mailer communityís needs.

On this front, Marketing Technology and Channel Management realized two critically significant accomplishments in the Business Mail Acceptance area. Automated verification, made possible with MERLIN (Mailing Evaluation, Readability Lookup INstrument), enables Acceptance Units to more effectively accept and verify discounted mailings. MERLIN is an automated system that simultaneously verifies presort mailings makeup, barcode readability, tray label accuracy, meter identification, piece counts and mailpiece characteristics. During 2001, MERLIN began Phase I deployment of 200 machines, 70 of which were deployed throughout the Southeast and Southwest Areas. The completion of MERLINís Phase I deployment is scheduled for March 2002. Funding for Phase II, approved October 2001, includes the commitment of an additional 1,003 machines to be deployed beginning March 2002 throughout the rest of the Areas.

Funding was approved in 2001 for e-VS, electronic Manifest Verification of parcels to validate postage. Using e-VS, barcodes placed on each parcel by the mailer give exact mailpiece characteristics and details. The information captured by the barcode is then sent to our San Mateo Processing & Distribution Center via electronic manifest file and electronically compared to its mail counterpart which is verified by a Postal Service scanner and scale. A 30-day sampling of the two is then electronically reconciled to validate postage. With e-VS, mailers can bypass the Business Mail Entry Unit/DMU, saving time without sacrificing accuracy.

We made tremendous progress with the Transportation Management capability of PostalOne! Designed to integrate customer and Postal Service business processes, PostalOne! uses information technology and supply chain management techniques to align processes and systems to reduce costs and improve service to customers. Through PostalOne!, mailing acceptance occurs at the customerís plant using electronic transportation assignment of mail and the use of a Fully Automated Scan-Where-You-Band system or desktop version. Transportation Management results in substantial savings from diversion of scheduled air transportation of mail into the surface transportation network. Currently, 48 systems have been installed with an additional 35 systems identified for deployment during FY 2002.

Yet, our commitment to improving services through technology can only be ensured by the commitment made to the training provided to BMEU employees. In 2001, for the third year in a row, BMEU employees reached their Proficiency Index Improvement Goals, scoring 10 percent higher than in the previous year. The Business Mail Academy, located in Norman, Oklahoma provides a 10-day extensive training course in the rules, regulations, and courtesy skills of business mail acceptance. During the year, 645 new BMEU employees successfully completed this training.

Greetings from Mississippi

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