If you ship, you probably mail which means you already know the value and benefits of quality contact information and address accuracy. Address correction alone ensures that your address information is formatted to USPS standards to take advantage of postal automation discounts and to speed processing. Furthermore, CASS processing, which now includes DPV (delivery point validation), eliminates undeliverable returns, reduces waste and additional charges and minimizes your time, material and postage expenses.

For parcel shippers, a delivery-type indicator that uses the 9-digit ZIP Code or an 11-digit ZIP+4 Delivery Point Code can take your package shipping to the highest possible level of efficiency and reduce your costs to the lowest possible rates available across a wide range of delivery options.

But how do you choose your delivery carrier? Whichever one is going to charge the least to get your package delivered promptly and efficiently, right? Right. But what is the least cost in this day of accessorial charges? Carriers charge clients surcharges based on the characteristics of the package. Many include a surcharge for delivery to a residential address or for a Saturday delivery. Surcharges can be as costly as $15 per address or a residential delivery surcharge of about $1.40.

Identify Fees When Addresses Are Input

However, with todays technologies, these accessorial fees can be recognized and captured at the time of data entry and address coding, long before the need to ship a package. The residential-business delivery-type indicator provides you with information to help determine the best way to ship your packages in order to keep your shipping costs at a minimum for both you and your customers.

When you consider that 91% of the 140 million delivery points in the United States are classified as residential, and 87% of new US delivery points are also residential, the ability to identify residential deliveries upfront could add up to substantial savings throughout the year.

How One Company Uses the Technology

The ability to understand true shipping costs upfront is exactly why Kaplan Early Learning Company, based in Lewisville, North Carolina, recently added address verification with the delivery-type indicator to its mailing and shipping operations. According to Connie Ellis, IT Systems Analyst at Kaplan, the delivery-type indicator will be used for rate shopping between UPS and USPS parcels in the future. Kaplan currently ships UPS for most of its packages but has a need to rate shop to determine if the USPS will provide savings for Kaplan on the smaller packages.

Currently, Kaplan runs the Address Object on its main computer to rate shop between UPS and LTL. It is now gathering rates to run comparisons and hope it can save money on shipping if it can use both UPS and USPS. Ellis adds that the company currently uses Address Object on its consumer website to format and validate addresses entered for orders and will soon have it up and running on its business site as well. Were excited about the large percentage of our addresses that validate, she adds.

Ellis says she also works closely with the order-entry/customer-setup at Kaplan. Im working with them to evaluate all this great information and how Kaplan can make the best use of it [delivery-type indicator] for the billing and shipping side also.

Kaplan Early Learning Company, founded in 1951 in Greensboro, North Carolina, specializes in providing unique toys and gifts that promote learning as well as help children prepare for life-long success. One of their goals, says Ellis, is to reduce returned mail mostly catalogs and postcards and to have the ability to use USPS as a shipping option once the address is verified to AABB standards.

Technology Makes It Simple

A delivery-type indicator tool is only available as an add-on component to existing mailing and shipping applications, whether you are using a software program, an API or a web service. It is most effective when the delivery address has been validated through CASS with DPV. The tool will identify the type of delivery as residential or business/commercial at the same time the address is being verified and postal encoded, so there is no extra downtime identifying the type of property. You can use the indicator tool for batch processing an entire list or apply it to single address, point-of-entry applications used on web forms or in call centers.

By adding an address verification feature with a delivery-type indicator to web forms, you can provide consumers the same rate-shopping service you use internally. This allows them to compare parcel shipping rates and delivery options to their addresses.

Whether you need to improve your shipping operation or empower customers to choose the most appropriate shipping option for their purchases, using a delivery-type indicator just makes sense and cents. It provides the information you and your customers need to make informed shipping
decisions, rate shop for the lowest carrier fees and save money over the long haul.

Greg Brown is Marketing Director at Melissa Data, a data quality software and services provider based in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA. Teri Dimon is a Marketing Specialist at Melissa Data. You can reach them at 949-589-5200 or by email at greg@melissadata.com or teri@melissadata.com.