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c. Address Quality Improvement
Improving address quality reduces the amount of UAA mail and improves the effectiveness of automated mail-processing operations. The Postal Service provides products and services that assist mailers in attaining and maintaining 100 percent deliverable address lists. Mailers who use the resources detailed below are able to produce more deliverable mailpieces and gain access to worksharing discounts.
1. Coding Accuracy Support System
Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS) software is available to all mailers, service bureaus, and software vendors who want to evaluate their address-matching software and improve the quality of their ZIP+4, carrier route, and 5-digit coding accuracy. The NCSC grades this process and the results are returned to mailers to provide useful diagnostics for correcting deficiencies. CASS software enables evaluation of the accuracy of address-matching software programs in three areas: ZIP+4 delivery point coding, carrier route coding, and 5-digit coding. After achieving a minimum percentage of accuracy, address-matching software packages are certified by the Postal Service.
2. Delivery Point Validation
Delivery Point Validation (DPV) provides the highest level of address accuracy checking. In a DPV process, the address is checked against the AMS data file to ensure that it exists as an active delivery point.
3. Address Element Correction
Address Element Correction (AEC) service corrects addresses that could not be matched to the national ZIP+4 code file using Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS) certified address-matching software. AEC corrects deficient addresses and identifies those that do not exist. It also produces a diagnostic report about the mailer's list management practices. The current electronic service resolves, on average, 31 percent of the previously unmatched addresses. More than 12.5 million addresses were processed in 2004 with 3.9 million addresses resolved.
4. Multiline Accuracy Support System
The Multiline Accuracy Support System (MASS) technology is an extension of CASS software. That tests the quality of address matching occurring on MLOCR equipment and direct-view encoding stations. MASS technology allows vendors and mailers to test their machines and, after achieving a minimum percentage of accuracy, be certified by the Postal Service.
5. Locatable Address Conversion System
The Locatable Address Conversion System (LACS) technology enables business mailers to update their rural-style addresses electronically with new, locatable city-style addresses in areas that are experiencing 911 emergency response address conversions. There are currently more than 5 million converted addresses in the LACS file. The Postal Service licensed 13 firms to assist mailers in updating their address records or to perform the matching service for business mailers. LACSLink was introduced in September 2004 to provide more secure technology for providing LACS service.
6. Electronic Address Sequencing
Centralized electronic address sequencing service eliminates field workhours in the handling of manual address sequence cards and improves the consistency of the service provided. With average processing times of less than five days, the electronic service assists walk sequence mailers in updating their address lists in an efficient and time-saving fashion. In 2004 more than 12 million addresses were processed for 310 customers.
d. Change of Address Service
1. Internet Change of Address
Internet Change of Address (ICOA) service, available through www.usps.com, offers customers the ability to change their address via the Internet. For security, customers must use a credit card to authenticate their identity; they are charged a $1.00 credit card verification fee. The application standardizes and adds ZIP+4 codes to the old and new address using the Postal Service database and Delivery Point Validation (DPV). In 2004 the site introduced special offers on move related products and services through view and print coupons. It offers moving tips and information on government services. This initiative, also known as MoversGuide Online, is a part of the Strategic Alliance with Imagitas. In 2004 some 2.7 million change of addresses were changed electronically using ICOA.
2. Telephone Change of Address
Telephone Change of Address (TCOA) service, which was deployed in 2004, allows customers to change their addresses and have their mail forwarded via the Postal Service call centers. For security, customers must use a credit card to authenticate their identity; they are charged a $1.00 credit card verification fee. The TCOA function, a part of the call center application, standardizes and adds ZIP+4 Codes to the old and new address using the Postal Service database and DPV.