Tangent Automates Address Changes

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Tangent Systems Inc., Hoffman Estates, IL, has added a change of name and address module to its Docutran II software that detects customer markings on high-volume pieces of mail such as order entry forms, account statements and warranty cards.

Imaging systems automatically open mail and transfer the contents into digital form for further processing. An intelligent computer or transport then determines if a transaction is complete by scanning the areas of the document that normally would be marked, such as amount of payment.

The module adds the ability to read changes of address by scanning the mailing address, address change zone and blank areas for markings that would indicate the revision or addition of information. Documents with such markings are routed to customer service representatives who identify and process the type of change specified. Changes of address then are linked to the U.S. Postal Service's national address and ZIP code database to verify that the new address actually exists.

Tangent is positioning its software as a complement to other mail hygiene products that improve deliverability and is targeting businesses that require high-volume paper processing such as large banks, insurance and healthcare firms. Service bureaus such as CAS Inc., Omaha, NE, scan some documents but haven't applied the practice to mail fulfillment.

Tangent president Steve Mack said imaging can reduce costs by eliminating personnel required for manual sorting. Mack also pointed to imaging as a viable alternative when firms are unable to hire people to perform manual fulfillment. Imaging also allows firms to capture document images at one site and transport them to another for processing.

Steve Constantino, vice president of sales and marketing for fulfillment house Fosdick, Wallingford, CT, said although the decision on imaging would be made by a mailer not a service bureau, imaging software could be useful if easily attached to an existing production line for a low cost. To take advantage of the technology, however, requires an investment of $75,000-$100,000 for a system that processes 40 pages per minute to well over $1 million for ones that can process up to 1,700 pages per minute.

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