D&R Mailing System

Situation

The USPS needed a system to streamline mail delivery for major mailers. This system allowed major mailers to print on-line D&R (Destination & Routing) Tags for mail trays. The D&R Tag acts as an “airline ticket” for mail trays. The USPS could forward mail trays with D&R tags directly to the air carrier without further handling or sorting.

Companies

This D&R system was initially written for Intermec Corporation. It was later rewritten and sold by MSI (Mail Systems Inc.) and EDP System Services. End users included:

  • Commercial Mail Systems (Miami, FL)
  • Cushman & Wakefield (Farmer’s Branch, TX)
  • DDD (Indianapolis, IN)
  • Denver Presort (Denver, CO)
  • PSI (Seattle, WA; Omaha, NE; Phoenix, AZ)
  • Skymail (Salt Lake City, UT)
  • NOVUS/Discover Card (Salt Lake City, UT)
  • Salt Lake Presort (SLC, UT)
  • Systematics (North Little Rock, AK)
  • TSYS – Total System Services (Columbus, GA)
  • WAMS – Wolverine Automated Mailing Services (Detroit, MI)

Action(s)

The first version of the system was provided by Intermec and Litton Software Systems (Litton had recently purchased Intermec). I wrote the documentation, Litton wrote the software, and a junior Litton analyst installed the software. System performance was poor and after several weeks the first customer threatened to return the system. I completely refactored the code both at Intermec and later onsite at the customer’s headquarters in Columbus, Georgia. After nearly rewriting the software the customer was left with a dramatically improved system.

The second version of the system was a complete rewrite and was sold by MSI and EDP. Tasks included application design, implementation, marketing material (data sheets, trade journal articles, etc.), user manual and installation guides, and knowledgebase. The knowledgebase included sections on use, installation, configuration, troubleshooting, and repair. Installing the system required coordinating with field analysts and USPS employees, staging the equipment, remote testing, and providing or supervising user training.

Outcome

The system was used by a number of major mailers across the country. This product drove sales of printers and media to high-volume mailers.

Benefits

  • Possible next day delivery of some first class mail
  • Improved mail tracking including detailed logs
  • Consistent high-volume media sales
  • Substantially reduced mail handling at local USPS facilities

Product Details

  • PC computer
  • Mettler-Toledo scale
  • Bar code printer (Intermec, Monarch, Zebra)
  • Bar code laser or CCD scanner
  • Digital switch (to allow multiple systems on single phone line)

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