On the Scene at MTAC: Confirm program seeks ‘start the clock’ mailer data

Washington–In providing members of the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) on Feb. 6 with his update on the U.S. Postal Service’s Confirm bulk mail tracking program, USPS program manager Paul Bakshi said that the USPS is seeking from mailers additional information to enable the program to provide them with an accurate performance measurement system.

“Mailers have been asking the Postal Service to use Confirm to do performance measurement,” Bakshi said. “What was missing was the start-the-clock information. We didn’t know when we had accepted your mail. So with the launch of Confirm last October, we began asking mailers to print special barcodes on their mail pieces that tell us when we scan them where and when we accepted their mail in the system. This way, we can figure out how long it takes us to deliver the mail, and can compare our delivery times with our published delivery standards.”

The USPS’s plan is to take the performance measurement data and share them with mailers. “Then, if mailers have specific delivery issues,” Bakshi says, “they can can call postal plant people in those areas affected and will be able to look at the same reports together online to see what the issues are.”

The USPS plans to file for a special rate classification case with the Postal Rate Commission for its Confirm program this spring.