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Monday, February 16, 2009

USPS & Mailing SCM Industry: Introduction

USPS & Mailing SCM Industry: Introduction

I was thinking about the rag’ra (pain) I had when I started learning about a domain that was entirely new me. United States mailing supply chain industry has a very complex business process. And it would take several years for a newbie to understanding the ups and downs by leaps and bounds of this industry, in specific United States Postal Services aka USPS.

Since I was hired to develop a solution that could ease the mailing industry business process, and help large and small mailers as well as consolidators. Software that would provide the ease of scheduling appointments with USPS with a click of a mouse; which I delivered gracefully.

The day I left Assurety Consulting, I decided to add my 5 pints and document all of my mailing industry knowledge that I learned while developing solution, so that it could be helpful to someone who is in need.

The reason business is so complex is its obscurity. You find almost no information how the mailing supply chain management business work in United States. You sure will need a seasoned “he” or “she” having more than 15 years of experience to guide you through the process; and wait, sometimes the seasoned-ones also stop and think and discuss and then reveals the business process. And when you get to learn these things, you find a lot of loops and holes along with a full throttle/burst of ideas/suggestions/fixes that sometimes are, again, bottle-necked by the process that this business industry follows for requesting a change.

Although the process followed by MTAC for the change request is not bad; but what lacks is the interaction with small mailers/consolidators. They could, I believe, play a vital role to ease the business process and their requirements.

I have been through the FAST Certification process several times; and we found a great deal of misleading in documentation and actual implementation while conducting USPS FAST CAT tests for TM v2.*. We even compiled a list of issues and non conformance and handed over the FAST.

I shall write more on the mailing industry as I get time and share more of my knowledge and experience with the industry.

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