Delivering information when you need it most.

Volume 2 - Summer 1999
Page 9

Everything You Wanted To Know About Scanners
But Were Afraid To Ask

ED NOTE: Beginning in April 1999 the Postal Service will begin implementing Delivery Confirmation Scanners nationwide.
This is a list of questions pared down from 25 pages.

Q. What is Delivery Confirmation?

A. Delivery Confirmation is a service which provides customers with easy-to-access information about the date and time of delivery. This service is currently being tested with high volume Priority Mail shippers. When the new rates are implemented in mid-1998, the service will be available for Priority Mail and Standard B shipments, including those mailed at our retail counters.

Q. Are delivery personnel required to put the name and address of the recipient on the 3849 or log sheet along with the bar-code?

A. No. Delivery personnel must attach the bar-code to the PS Form 3849 or PS Form 2 (log sheet) and record the date and ZIP Code. The name and address of the recipient is not required. These procedures will change after the deployment of the Delivery Confirmation scanners.

Q. Will the Delivery Confirmation labels still be peel-off after the new scanners are deployed?

A. Until the new scanners are fully deployed, mailers will be required to use peel-off labels. However, mailers will have the option to use non peel-off labels for those 3-digit areas where the scanners have been deployed prior to full implementation. We will provide customers a list of completed 3-digit areas throughout the implementation phase.

Q. If the peel off portion of the bar-code is ripped or missing what should the delivery personnel do when attempting or delivering Delivery Confirmation items?

A. The 16 digit Delivery Confirmation label ID as well as the event should be recorded on a 3849 or Form 2 log for manual entry.

Q. If the items can be left securely within the customer's mail receptacle, can the carrier leave the shipment without an attempt to the door?

A. Yes. If the piece fits in the mail receptacle, the carrier will not make a special trip to the door. A signature is not required for Delivery Confirmation.

Q. Will Delivery Confirmation have the carrier release endorsement?

A. If the customer is participating in the carrier release program, the proper endorsement will be printed on the piece of mail. If the endorsement is used, follow the carrier release procedures.

Q. A carrier attempts to deliver a piece of Delivery Confirmation. The customer is not home and the carrier cannot leave the piece in a safe location. What does the carrier do?

A. Currently, the carrier endorses the piece as he normally does and leaves a 3849 notifying the customer of the attempted delivery. When returning to the office, the Delivery Confirmation mail piece is scanned as 'Attempted' and is placed in a designated location in the office. The Delivery Confirmation bar-code will remain attached to the item until it is delivered. If the office does not have a CTT scanner, the carrier should record the attempt on a 3849 to be sent to the designated scan location. When delivery confirmation scanners are available, the only thing that will change will be that the carrier will scan the piece as 'Notice Left' and the bar-code will not be removed upon delivery.

Q. How will delivery personnel identify Delivery Confirmation mail pieces?

A. Currently, items with Delivery Confirmation have EITHER a Postal Service supplied red, white and blue bar-coded label with the USPS logo that reads "PRIORITY MAIL DELIVERY CONFIRMATION" or they have a mailer printed bar-coded label that reads "USPS DELIVERY CONFIRMATION". Label designs are under review and the field will be notified when changes occur.

Q. How will Delivery Confirmation and Signature Confirmation work?

A. Delivery Confirmation will be available for Priority Mail and Standard B. It does not require a signature. If the piece fits in the mail receptacle or post office box, it is scanned, the "delivered" event code is entered, and the piece is delivered. The scanners will automatically add the date and time of delivery. If the piece cannot be delivered, the piece will be scanned and the "notice left" event code will be entered. The pieces will also be scanned if they are forwarded or returned. We are also planning to offer a Signature Confirmation service for Delivery Confirmation. We will continue to use 3849's to capture signatures. These 3849 forms will be sent to CFS for optical scanning. Copies/images of signatures will be maintained. Any inquiries about delivery can be done electronically by querying the database. Our goal is to eliminate the need to file and store paper copies of 3849's.

Q. Will Delivery Confirmation make us more competitive?

A. Delivery Confirmation is part of our overall strategy to increase the competitiveness of our expedited and package products. The overall strategy includes maintaining a good price, improving service, offering the features that our customers need (delivery confirmation), and improving our image with both senders and receivers of packages. Delivery Confirmation will not only give our customers information about their shipments, it will also give operations information about service performance. Delivery Confirmation is also designed to help us maintain Priority Mail's position as the best value in the market place.

Q. How much does Delivery Confirmation cost?

A. During the Priority Mail Delivery Confirmation test, there is no fee for test participants. The rates proposed in the current rate filing are: Priority Mail: Electronic Access -- No charge; Retail Entry -- $0.35. Standard B: Electronic Access -- $0.25; Retail Entry -- $0.60.

Q. Will Express Mail still be scanned separately at mail processing units?

A. There will be no changes in Express Mail scanning requirements. The new Delivery Confirmation scanner will replace the current CTT scanners.

Q. Will the new scanners be used to scan Express Mail?

A. Yes, employees will use the new scanners to scan Express Mail.

Q. Is Delivery Confirmation or Signature Confirmation going to be an accountable item?

A. No. Delivery Confirmation and Signature Confirmation items should be handled just like numbered insured items.

Q. What are the components of the new Delivery Confirmation system?

A. 1) The hand-held Delivery Confirmation Scanner (MDCD) is used to record delivery information. 2) MDCD cradles are used to transmit data to the Delivery Confirmation computer, which, in turn, will transmit data to the Product Tracking System (PTS). The cradles are also used to recharge the batteries in the MDCDs. 3)POS/IRT terminals are used to capture the Delivery Confirmation acceptance information. 4) The Product Tracking System (PTS) is used to store manifest and retail acceptance data, en-route information from Priority Mail Processing Centers, and list delivery information on labels. The PTS is also used to run reports and queries.

Q. Will the scanners function in adverse weather conditions?

A. Yes, the scanners were tested in extreme cold, heat, and in wet conditions.

Q. Will scanners be an accountable item?

A. No. Employees are required to use proper care when assigned a scanner, but signature accountability is not required.

Q. How will the carriers carry the scanners?

A. Each carrier will have a holster that clips on the belt. The scanner may also be carried in a pocket or satchel.

Q. How is the scanner data transmitted and how often is it transmitted?

A. When the scanner is put in its cradle, the data is transmitted automatically to the central database. Large configurations will dial in when a scanner with data is placed in a cradle. Small configurations that share a telephone line have transmission windows which are determined by operating needs. These windows will normally occur after the office is closed.

Q. What happens if a scanner stops working on the street?

A. The carrier will write the barcode number on a 3849 if the piece is delivered. The information will be manually entered using another scanner when the carrier returns to the office. If the piece is not delivered, the endorsed piece is returned to the office and the data is entered using another scanner. The carrier must bring the malfunctioning device to the attention of a supervisor.

Q. What will the process for collection carriers initializing Delivery Confirmation be?

A. We do not anticipate collection carriers performing acceptance scans.

Q. How big is the scanner and how much does it weigh?

A. The scanner is 6-1/2" long by 2-1/2"wide by 1-3/4" thick. It weighs 12 ounces.

Q. What if the carrier drops the scanner?

A. Scanners are designed to withstand multiple drops. Accidental drops should not affect the scanner's performance.

Q. What are the temperature ranges the scanners will work in?

A. They will operate from minus 18 degrees Fahrenheit to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.

Q. Does an employee use the same scanner each day?

A. A scanner is provided for every delivery assignment. In most cases, regular carriers will use the same scanner. Retail and box clerks will share scanners.

Q. How will the new signature process work?

A. The new PS Form 3849 will be barcoded. When a USPS employee delivers a signature piece, they will scan the barcode on the package or letter and the barcode on the PS Form 3849. This information will be forwarded to a national database by the Delivery Confirmation scanner. All PS Form 3849's will be forwarded to Computerized Forwarding System (CFS) sites. There they will be optically scanned and transmitted to the national database. An electronic delivery record will be maintained within the current retention periods established.

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