Cal State Chico: a Certified Mail Service Provider
California State University, Chico, offers more than 100 undergraduate majors, with a total enrollment of over 17,500 students. To service the printing and mailing needs of such an organization, the University has a seven -person, full-service operation known as Print and Mail Services.
Formally two separate departments, Print and Mail combined operations to maximize their efficiency and become a one-stop shop for the entire university. It also transformed into a digital print shop, slowly replacing older offset equipment with digital machines that provide a wider variety of services more efficiently, and with faster turnaround times.
Chico State is the first (and to this date, the only) university in the nation to be a Mail Service Provider (MSP) certified by the United States Postal Service (USPS). This certification is awarded to those who meet established USPS quality standards, with annual audits to ensure standards are being maintained. In exchange, Print and Mail enjoys greater postal discounts from USPS for its mailings, a reward for the “work-sharing” aspect of validating addresses for greater delivery rates, presorting mailings, and preparing and submitting postal documentation electronically to the post office.
As a longtime customer of SmartSoft DQ’s mailing and address verification software, Chico State used the all-in-one postal software solution SmartAddresser throughout the process of becoming an MSP. Both Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS), and Presort Accuracy, Validation, and Evaluation (PAVE) certified by USPS, SmartAddresser not only provides address correction and postal presorting capabilities, it also offers features such as NCOALink, custom dupe detection, merge/purge, and intelligent casing.
According to Chris Mendoza, Mail Services Supervisor for Print and Mail, his part of the transition consisted of TEM Testing and Mail.dat implementation. “The design of the software and the support staff at SmartSoft led to this being a simple process. The instructions provided makes it easy for us to meet the established error thresholds set by USPS.”
The new age of efficiency
Kathleen Huber, the Customer Service Representative for Print and Mail, uses the software daily. “I process the mailing lists and do the actual work within SmartAddresser, and I couldn’t be happier with the support I get from SmartSoft,” she says.
The team has been thankful for how the process has become standardized, noting that one of the most helpful features of SmartAddresser is the NCOA updates, because it helps ensure customers with at least 99% accuracy. “By using SmartAddresser for our full-service mailings—and consistently performing above the required thresholds—we have been able to take advantage of the deferred permit fee payment program offered, and avoid the annual fees,” Mendoza explains. “The greatest benefit of your software, in my opinion, is that it has proven to just work and allowed us to achieve our goals. We can’t ask for more than that.”