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Postal Discount Optimization Across Different Automated Mail Sort Groups in an ADF

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000213164D
Publication Date: 2011-Dec-06
Document File: 2 page(s) / 17K

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The IP.com Prior Art Database

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Postal Discount Optimization across Different Automated Mail

Sort Groups in an ADF

Advanced ADF solutions frequently include the ability to qualify and correct addresses as well as to electronically sort the mailpieces they process using CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System) and PAVE (Presort Accuracy Validation and Evaluation) components. The outcome of this processing determines postage for the mailpieces and the order in which they should be placed in trays and presented to the USPS based on weight, thickness, and many other parameters. This process typically realizes significant cost savings in the form of postage discounts and these savings increase in relation to the size of the sort groups processed by PAVE and to address quality. The best discounts are available for mail with 11 digit zip codes and accurate addresses; these are classified as "Automated" by PAVE.

Users of ADF solutions are strongly motivation to combine as much mail as possible into large sort groups, to drive postage savings as high as possible. However the typical ADF environment has factors that limit the combining of mail which are imposed by physical aspects of statement production, primarily the fact that all mail in a sort group typically is produced on a single printer and single inserter.

This article discloses a method for increasing postal discounts for Automated mail by optimizing zip code density across these separate sort groups. This method was implemented for a Ricoh Production Print Solutions customer in 2008. This method is related to U.S. Patent Application 13/224,836, which describes sorting techniques for blended sets of mail that include both Automated and non-Automated mail pieces.

The approach involves an algorithm that works on incoming document groups composed of only Automated mail pieces. The algorithm is given two or more distinct sort groups of Automated mail after CASS but before PAVE. The algorithm optimizes zip code densities across the groups of Automated mail by leveraging the fact that mailpieces nominally assigned to one sort group may actually be compatible with other sort groups. Specifically, mailpieces that have no inserts...