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BATTLING COMPLIANCE – A WINNING STRATEGY

Even if you outsource your mail, you still need to ensure that your vendor is meeting the standards of security and compliance. By Mark M. Fallon

When a company decides to outsource customer communications to a service provider, that doesn’t mean the work is done. The vendor must be monitored and managed to ensure that they’re meeting the standards negotiated in the contract. Savvy customers take managing their vendors to the next step — by conducting periodic audits for quality control, best practices, and compliance with postal and industry regulations. United States Postal Service (USPS) regulations for service providers are similar to those for an in-plant operation. The correct class of mail must be used and reflected in the Service Type Identifier (STID) in the Intelligent Mail Barcode. If the mail is pre24

MAY-JUNE 2018 | MailingSystemsTechnology.com

sented at discounted rates, the addresses must meet the Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS) and Move Update standards. Consistent preparation and submission practices must be followed. These standards are all measured and reported in the Mailer Scorecard. Not covered in the Scorecard is compliance with the “By/For” requirements of the USPS. This means that the documentation submitted to the USPS must identify the mailing agent (by) and mail owner (for) for all Full-Service mailings. This can be difficult for service providers who use a third party to presort their mail. The USPS defines the mail owner as the person/company that:

} Makes business decisions regarding the mail piece content } Directly benefits from the mailing } Pays for postage on the mail piece directly or by way of a mailing agent The mailing agent or mail service provider (MSP): } Acts on behalf of one or more mail owners } Provides mailing service for which the mail owners compensate the mailing agent Mail owner and mailing agent data may be provided through a Mailer ID (MID), Customer Registration ID (CRID), Permit Number, or Publication Number. The USPS recommends providing only one of the fields for any mail owner in the mailing. If multiple fields are provided for a single mail owner or mail preparer, the USPS will follow an order of precedence, where the highest priority is given to MID, second priority to CRID, and third priority to Permit/Publication Number. For many industries — including financial services, insurance, and healthcare — compliance is based around protecting the privacy of the customer. Additionally, let-

Mailing Systems Technology May/June 2018  

Mailing Systems Technology May/June 2018

Mailing Systems Technology May/June 2018  

Mailing Systems Technology May/June 2018