Mailers likely will have a much easier time this year receiving updated address-matching software by the U.S. Postal Service's July 31 deadline, according to software vendors.
The reason, vendors say, is that the postal service made few changes last summer to its Coding Accuracy Support System, which vendors must comply with before their address-matching software can be certified by the USPS.
The USPS requires mailers to use the latest CASS-certified versions of address-matching software by July 31 of each year. The cycle begins the summer before for vendors, however, when the postal service announces any changes or new rules. Vendors make the required rule changes in the fall, then begin testing with the USPS in February and March. The goal is to get CASS-certified software to customers by April or May.
Chris Lein, postal market manager at La Crosse, WI-based Firstlogic, said the lack of changes let Firstlogic spend more time working with Delivery Point Validation, the postal service's new addressing tool. As a result, he said, Firstlogic got its Business Edition postal software with the DPV option to customers last month instead of this spring.
“We could work on our own schedule as opposed to the postal service's schedule,” Lein said.
Group 1, Lanham, MD, had a similar situation.
“Every year there are things we don't get to address because of CASS,” said Tim King, vice president of postal affairs, “and this year we had an opportunity to do things that we normally wouldn't have been able to do during our CASS cycle, such as long-term development projects.”
The updating process could go smoothly for mailers and vendors in future years as well, according to the postal service.
“The reason there have been changes in the past is because there was a recognition that something needed to be fixed [with the program],” said Janice E. Caldwell, manager, address management, USPS. “The program has just evolved over time to a point where it is pretty clean now.”