Friday, May 6, 2011

ADDRESS CHECKING 101 – Getting it right to get it delivered

ADDRESS CHECKING 101 – Getting it right to get it delivered
A CPS shipping software user told me about her frustration with the number of her customers who do not appear to know where they live. I asked for details and she explained that, on a regular basis, her company pays address correction charges or even has packages returned for bad addresses even though the address exactly matches the address the customer gave. Address correction charges are bad for profits, returned packages are bad for customer service, and she wanted to avoid both if at all possible. She researched the address checking option for her order system but considered it too costly. Then she called to ask if her CPS™ shipping system could help. We discussed her issues for a while and we determined how CPS could help.

For CPS, there is an Address Verification Module (AVM) designed to solve several address issues. As each package is shipped, the AVM checks each address against the US Postal Service CASS-certified database. The AVM tells you when an address doesn't exist, lets you know that the address exists but is missing some key information such as suite number apt #, etc. and standardizes the address format.

Undelivered packages cause unhappy customers. Use the AVM to check the address when a package is shipped and reduce (or even eliminate) address correction charges and packages that cannot be delivered due to a bad address. At just $199.99 she considered the AVM very affordable and chose it for her CPS shipping system. Did it catch any errors? In a follow up call, she told me their address correction fees dropped from $120 per week to “nothing” after they started verifying ship-to addresses with the AVM. Returned packages were virtually eliminated, too. That type of improvement to their shipping business process is significant.

The AVM can be set to provide various levels of messages about what it’s doing, from notifications every step of the way to virtually invisible operation. She ended up setting the AVM so that it notifies the shipper only when it needs to make a change. She also described one more way the AVM made a significant difference in her shipping and I’ll talk about that next time.

It's obvious that the shipping system is the link in getting the package out the door and on the way. Use the shipping system to verify that actual "ship to" address and you've done everything you can to make delivery as quick and efficient as possible (at the least cost to you), and that makes seller and buyer happy.

CPS is not the only shipping system that has this available, although the CPS AVM is definitely one of the least costly. Address checking in your shipping system is another way a good shipping system helps your company add money to the bottom line and solves the shipping problem of bad addresses. For more information about CPS and the AVM, visit

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