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SLA Tracking in an ADF to Manage Timely Production of Mail

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000225599D
Publication Date: 2013-Feb-20
Document File: 2 page(s) / 31K

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The IP.com Prior Art Database

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SLA Tracking in an ADF to Manage Timely Production of Mail

Authors: David Stokes, Ned Otey, Brent Winters

This method accommodates fixed mail-by dates when tracking service level agreements (SLAs) in the processing of mail in an automated document factory (ADF) workflow solution. It is a refinement to prior methods that are limited to tracking SLAs based on the receive time of new work.

SLA tracking in an ADF involves establishing a manufacturing itinerary for jobs in terms of timestamps for key processing steps, called milestones. The primary objective of employing SLA functionality is to have the ability to manage work to a defined schedule and measure that work gets completed on time. Intermediate SLA milestones (e.g. for printing and inserting) provide the means to ensure that work is moving through the production process timely enough to complete the final dispatch milestone, which corresponds to the transfer of completed mail to the USPS.

As with prior methods, this method includes the following elements:

 Establishing planned milestones for the completion of key phases in the processing of jobs, such as print, insert, and dispatch.

 Adjusting planned milestones to account for holidays, scheduled down time, or other events that impact the production of statements.

 Recording actual milestones when these phases are completed.

This following are aspects of this method:

 Establishing a mail-by date for each job which becomes the date component of the planned dispatch complete milestone. This, not the receive time plus some fixed offset, serves as the anchor for building the SLA itinerary.

 Establishing a site specific dispatch time which becomes the time component of the planned dispatch complete milestone. This is the time of day by which statement production must be complete for the USPS to accept the mail on that day.

 E...