AS/400s Go Postal with PER/ZIP4

WorksRight Software Inc. (Madison, Miss.) recently issued the latest release of its PER/ZIP4 postal coding software for the IBM AS/400. PER/ZIP4 is CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System) certified for 5-digit, CRRT, ZIP+4, and delivery point coding. After mailing addresses have been CASS certified, outgoing mail can be labeled with the POSTNET barcode for further postage savings and faster delivery. Automated mail is delivered faster and at less cost to the mailer and to the Postal Service. With proper mail preparation, users can qualify for significant postal discounts.

“PER/ZIP is a native AS/400 package that lets people do CASS coding in-house. This means the data files don’t need to be sent to an outsourcing agency or downloaded to a PC, then uploaded back to an AS/400—neither of which is very efficient,” says Leon F. Stewart, president of WorksRight. “Addressing mail correctly is a very time-consuming process. Our product is available to all users, all day long, all the time, without any kind of download or preparation. The advantage of using PER/ZIP is that users don’t have to freeze their files for a week and wait for the tape to come back from an outside source.”

This newest release complies with all U.S. Postal Service requirements relating to properly assigning ZIP codes and standardizing mailing addresses.

PER/ZIP4 also includes ZIPMOVE processing, a feature which identifies addresses that have moved to another ZIP code where delivery responsibility has been transferred from one post office to another, but the actual street address has not changed. The program uses sophisticated address matching routines to match addresses from a user’s customer file to the U.S. Postal Service’s national ZIP+4 database. Based on the match, a ZIP code, ZIP+4, delivery point and carrier route are assigned.

Any mail files with a mailing address, city and state can be processed with PER/ZIP4. The product can be used with SYSTEM/36 environment or native AS/400 files. PER/ZIP4 can be used in batch mode, interactively, or with callable programs. Sample source code is provided to aid in the implementation of PER/ZIP4 within user written applications. Files are updated in place without the need to create a special work file.

Although the original purpose of PER/ZIP4 was to provide CASS certification for postage discounts, it also provides a significant benefit in address verification. Addresses that can’t be matched to the postal database are potentially undeliverable and therefore, very costly. Using PER/ZIP4 to identify undeliverable addresses reduces costs by decreasing the volume of returned mail, and allows users to save money on the original postage, printing, or handling costs.

PER/ZIP is targeted towards any AS/400 installation with mail volumes of at least 5,000 pieces per month. Stewart says businesses that have saved significant expense with PER/ZIP over using full-fair postage include insurance companies, hospitals, independent phone companies, local utilities, city governments, fund raisers, labor unions and fraternal organizations.

Barry Kline, the director of IS with Valley Rural Electric (Huntindon, Pa.) claims to have saved about $25,000 to $30,000 a year using PER/ZIP. His company uses the product for semimonthly, bimonthly and monthly mailings of bills and magazines, which total about 18,000 to 36,000 pieces a month. “We have been using the WorksRight product for about two years,” he comments. “It was not worth the time to develop an in-house solution when there is a product readily available. I feel it’s an excellent value for the price.”

In July, PER/ZIP users will be receiving bimonthly updates of the national ZIP+4 database from the Postal Service via CD-ROMs. Previous versions were updated quarterly.

PER/ZIP4 is available for a 30-day, free trial. The password protected trial version is a full product, which can be used to clean up data files or process mailings. PER/ZIP4 is licensed on a yearly subscription basis. The cost is $3,000 for the first year’s subscription. Subsequent years cost $1,500 per year, which includes bimonthly updates and unlimited support. Discounts are available for multiple AS/400’s.

Related Information:

  • WorksRight Software Inc. (new window)
  • PER/ZIP4 Overview (new window)