Increase Efficiency & Reduce Postage Costs By Sorting Addresses by USPS Carrier Route

carrier_routes

ZIP-CARRIERROUTE

Context

Businesses often must mail advertisements, educational material, and other documents to a large number of clients.  To qualify for lower “carrier route prices”, these pieces of mail must be sorted by carrier route within a 5 digit zip code according to United States Post Office (USPS) rules.

Often, however, knowing which address exists on which carrier route is difficult.  Being able to view on a map which addresses assigned to specific carrier routes would help to identify addresses in specific geographical areas to target with direct mail.

Further, the process of preparing the mailing labels and sorting the mail prior to delivery to the post office would be made to be more efficient if the mailing list could be standardized and addresses could be sorted by carrier route so that labels and envelopes could be printed in batches according to carrier route.

The client’s objective was to increase employee efficiency and to reduce postage costs by automating the process of printing addresses and then sorting mail into USPS carrier routes.  The customer wanted to use a map to visualize which customer addresses were associated with specific carrier routes.

Question

How can we visualize which addresses are located on which USPS carrier route and increase the efficiency of preparing mailings that are sorted by USPS carrier route?

Results

An automated process was designed to standardize customer addresses and merge customer addressees with the respective USPS carrier route designation.  Next, customer’s addresses were sorted into groups by carrier route assignment and each group of addresses was output to individual worksheets of an Excel spreadsheet that could be used to print address labels in batches according to carrier route.

The system eliminated all manual sorting of addressed mailed into carrier routes because addresses were printed in batches according to carrier route assignment.  The system also eliminated manual standardizing of customer addresses.

To allow visualization of carrier routes, an online, zoom-able, digital map of addresses that were color-coded by carrier route was prepared and shared remotely with the client.  The customer used the map to help to identify customers in specific geographical areas to target with direct mail.

Recommendations

The process was designed to be reproducible and automated if new customers accrued or changes in carrier routes occurred.  The system allowed both the combined address-carrier route list and the online map to updated quickly and at low recurring cost.