Mail Service Provider (MSP) Terminology

The following vocabulary provided by the Office of the Inspector General details terms and definitions use by Mail Service Providers (MSPs):

Sales Executive/Account Management: manages the relationship with the customer; works with the customer to plan mailing and integrated-marketing campaigns; helps establish campaign goals; conveys information and updates related to rates and promotions offered by USPS; reviews preliminary design of a mail piece to meet postal specifications for machinable requirements; attends USPS industry meeting.

Estimating: provides cost estimates to customers for potential printing and mailing projects; researches prices for paper, outsourcing data processing cost, ink, online services (for digital integration) and any additional supplies needed to produce a mailing.

Customer Service: serves as the liaison between the customer, sales rep and production team; responsible for creating a job ticket and scheduling a mailing for production; assigns MID and CRID; requests advancement for postage due; monitors the delivery of customer materials; provides quality-control proofs and samples to customers and to production/quality control departments; updates customers on status of a job throughout production cycle; understands postal regulations; takes USPS certification courses.

Data Processing and Variable Data Print: processes customer and prospect data files for production which includes data hygiene, Move Update and labeling list compliance; splits data into lots for versioning or testing; prepares addresses for optimal postal discounts; creates coding scheme for tracking responses; lays out proofs showing personalized and variable text and images; follows quality control processes to ensure lists and images are correctly matched; preps files for USPS Informed Delivery campaigns; uploads files to PostalOne!; tracks both delivery time of the mail and responses; provides account management/sales with reports measuring and analyzing success of a campaign.

Digital and Laser Imaging: pulls correct paper stock (blank or pre-printed shells) for job; calibrates printer (black and white laser up to duplex digital color) and checks on toner or ink supplies; runs proofs to confirm accurate color, correct files, proper personalization and barcode quality and position (if job calls for window envelope); manages production time needed to print job.

Ink-jet Addressing: requests stock pull from warehouse; sets-up postal supplies needed to prepare job properly for USPS requirements; checks toner cartridges and cleans ink-jet heads; calibrates machinery; run proofs to confirm stock pull and any variable text is correct; measures length and placement of barcode; tests that ink adheres well to paper stock and coating choice; tray and palletize mail for pre-sorting.

Inserting: requests stock pull from warehouse; inserts mail into envelope; moisten flap, seal, tray and palletize mail for pre-sorting (newer inserters have imaging inline to print the address on the outside of an envelope); monitors technology being used to insert matching inserts; quality-control pulls made and documented; apply USPS rules for acceptance with tap test and measuring barcode clear areas.

Custom Hand Work: sets up materials on work tables; collates materials per job specs for inserting into envelopes, folders, binders or boxes; affix address label and prep for pre-sorting or shipping.

Quality Assurance: monitors production at predetermined company specified or client requested intervals; pulls live samples verifying production correct; logs results of QA.

Bindery/Folding/Finishing: folds materials to specs supplied; cuts reply slips or mailers; tips-on cards; trims, drills, staples, stitches, laminates, perforates stock as required by production.

Fulfillment: uses pick list to pull items by inventory number from skid locations; packs, weighs, generates label and ships; maintains tracking report.

Warehouse: receives client materials; assigns inventory number to product and logs into inventory system; stores material in skid locations; works with production to pull materials as needed for jobs; ships items as requested; maintains inventory of postal equipment; receives and counts all overstock before returning it to inventory.

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