BACKGROUND: A customer-driven service bureau, Phoenix Data Processing has served the direct marketing community since 1981. Offering a full range of services, Phoenix's current volume of processing ranges from single projects of 500,000 records to over 90 million records. Through a team-oriented approach to project management, Phoenix serves a variety of industries, including publishers, insurance companies, advertising agencies, fundraisers and catalogers. As of July 1, 1997, United States Postal Service (USPS) requirements for obtaining postal discounts on first-class mail dictate that all presorted mail must have an updated change of address. Prior to this occurrence, change of address was available only through a select group of vendors and the USPS.
PLATFORMS: MOVEforward runs on Windows NT.
PROBLEM SOLVED: We are not one of the select few service bureaus that is certified by the USPS to provide move updating through NCOA. Not being a certified NCOA vendor, we were forced to outsource jobs for any client that wished to track customer moves and comply with the USPS Move Update Requirement. We were outsourcing jobs nightly and were paying our workers overtime to facilitate this process. We were surrendering control over our projects; and with outsourcing delays, many of our clients opted not to do move updating. In addition to enabling us to provide USPS-certified move updating information in house, MOVEforward, most importantly, has significantly increased the effectiveness of our client's mailings. Group 1's MOVEforward, introduced in 1997, is a USPS-certified hardware/software interface that helps businesses track customer moves and comply with the USPS Move Update Requirement. Prior to using Group 1's USPS-approved solution, anywhere from 30,000 to 60,000 mail pieces of an 8.5 million piece mailing would end up being trashed because the recipient had moved. With the cost of postage on a standard- A mail piece, this represented a significant loss. MOVEforward has also increased the number of duplicates we have been able to identify.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: We have achieved significant cost and operational savings by using MOVEforward, as we have eliminated the need for a middleman to obtain move updating via NCOA. By substantially increasing the deliverability of our mailings, we have been able to help our clients communicate more effectively with their customers while providing them with a greater return on their investment. The product is functioning extremely well for us. It is very easy to use. We get weekly updates from the USPS on CD-ROM and monthly updates from Group 1. New users have no trouble getting up to speed quickly with MOVEforward. Very little time is spent to run updates and maintain the software.
STRENGTHS: The product is very user friendly. It provides significant operational efficiency for us and increases the effectiveness of our clients' mailings. It is incredibly fast with MOVEforward we can process up to 700,000 records an hour.
WEAKNESSES: Our clients often have difficulty understanding the output records generated by MOVEforward.
SELECTION CRITERIA: When we decided to purchase a move updating solution in early 1997, there were other vendors besides Group 1 in this market space. However, no product was nearly as powerful or robust as MOVEforward. Contributing to this decision was our positive experience with Group 1 in connection with some of their other products. We also benefited from a very good relationship with our sales representative.
DELIVERABLES: For every input record, MOVEforward returns the original record or the corresponding name and address record if there is a change of address on file with the Postal Service.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Prior to the implementation, we had no experience whatsoever with Windows. Group 1 provided us with exceptional support and worked closely with us on the implementation of MOVEforward. They have addressed any concerns we have had with the product, and Group 1's training and support have been most beneficial. The few issues we have had with the product have been addressed to our satisfaction.
DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is quite user friendly. We certainly could run the product based solely on the documentation. In fact, we trained two MOVEforward product operators, each of whom had no PC experience, in an hour.
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