USPS Debuts NCOALink Flat File Format

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The U.S. Postal Service introduced the NCOALink Flat File format yesterday in an effort to decrease processing times and increase access.


The NCOALink Flat File format is more user friendly on mainframe systems, where it helped reduce processing times as much as 40 percent during testing, the USPS said. This format is now available to NCOALink licensees at no extra charge.


NCOALink is a data set of address changes from the USPS. It lets companies update name and address mailing lists with new addresses from individuals, families and businesses that moved so mailers can qualify for First-Class automation and presort discounts.


NCOALink replaced the National Change of Address and FASTforward products with one system that lets address information be released in a mathematical, 11-digit representation of the new address. The postal service discontinued support for the 18-year-old NCOA service Sept. 30. FASTforward Mailing List Correction ends Sept. 30, 2005.


The postal service said it forwards 2 billion pieces of mail a year. Mailers have updated 5 billion address records so far this year.


Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters

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