The upside of CASS Cycle L

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Mailers haveáspent many months preparing for the August 1 deadline for CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System) Cycle L implementation and the accompanying Delivery Point Validation (DPV) requirements. For some businesses, incorporating DPV in order to be CASS-certified and receive automation discounts has been a burden. However, forward-looking companies see the introduction of DPV as an effective way to gain visibility of bad addresses, tighten business practices, minimize mailing costs, and allow for more efficient targeting of customers and prospects.

The US Postal Service is now requiring mailers to validate addresses with DPV to receive automation discounts. This new mandate comes as the USPS endeavors to reduce undeliverable-as-addressed mail by 50 percent over the next three years. But, the USPS won't be the only entity that can make money from these new regulations.

Most customers have found that primary address validation using DPV will cause as much as 3 percent "DPV non-confirms" and this mail will no longer qualify for deeper postal discounts.

With a three- to seven-cent postage increase on each piece of First Class mail that no longer receives a discount, this can add up to a significant new expense. Furthermore, when an enterprise considers the cost of returned mail, the expense gets even greater. Many companies may see total enterprise costs in excess of $5 per returned mail piece when including lost customer communication costs.

While this may seem to some like a postal requirement that imposes additional mailing costs, we view DPV as a business opportunity. Visibility of, and resolution for, bad addresses allow for more accurate customer data, better enabling connections with customers or prospects, minimizing waste and growing revenue.

It is important to note that DPV processing is simply a "yes" or "no" check for validity. Customers can gain competitive advantages by deploying exception processing technologies and processes to resolve these DPV non-confirmed addresses. Pitney Bowes' Group 1 Software has embarked on extensive analysis, development and deployment of exception processing technology that restores postal qualification and maximizes your connection to your customer.

In fact, several customers, including one of the nation's largest newspapers, prepared to meet the DPV requirements two months ahead of the deadline. This was because they saw the benefit of improved levels of validation.

CASS Cycle L is just the beginning point of a higher standard for address quality. We expect to see even more changes in the coming years as the USPS increases mail delivery efficiency, especially in the area of secondary addresses such as suite and apartment numbers.

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