Secure destruction? — Yes Please!
To those of you who have ever managed a return mail operation at your company, you understand the monumental time squandered and costs incurred. The mail is sorted by type, distributed to a few different departments, opened, keyed in, and then disposed of with your recycling or shredding service. Besides time and costs, the other major disadvantages of physical mail returns is the delay in getting them back, often up to 45 days. By the time most companies have processed return mail and updated their databases, it is over 60 days from the initial send.
Each year USPS® returns over 1.2 billion pieces of Undeliverable As Addressed (UAA) First-Class Mail® to mailers. Today’s advanced USPS services eliminate the need for physical mail to be returned to you. Address Correction Services (ACS) will provide similar address information to you including new addresses or reasons they were unable to deliver in an electronic format. Better yet the data is provided to you daily allowing you the ability to build processes to automatically update databases.
If you choose to receive updates electronically, you are probably wondering what happens to the physical mail pieces no longer being returned. And what about the confidential personally identifiable information they contain? Until recently the only avenue was to dispose of them in the garbage. Fast forward to Nov 2014, The USPS introduces a program called Secure Destruction and they now can recycle these mail pieces. Better yet, it’s FREE. USPS gains income from the recycled paper and consequently is able to make money from this process to pay for the extra service available through electronic ACS.
Here is how it works:
- Mailer completes registration process to be allowed into Secure Destruct program.
- Mailer applies a certain Service Type ID (STID) to the Intelligent Mail Barcode on the mailpiece.
- If there is a Move or this piece is identified as a Nixie on the barcode sorters at the USPS it is diverted to a certain bin destined for Secure Destruction.
- ACS data record is created and directed to the Data Designee for that Mailer ID.
- Physical mail pieces process on the CIOSS and get their yellow label and Secure Destruction label.
- Pieces are sent to the secure shredder and manually verified by the operator.
- Secure Destruct file created confirming the piece has been disposed of and data file forwarded to the Data Designee for that Mailer ID.
- This completes the chain of custody for the mail piece.
- Shredded paper sent to recycling plant.
Below are some additional resources. Drop me an email with any questions you may have and let me help you get registered.
Secure Destruction Fact Sheet
Secure Destruction Service Overview
Secure Destruction Frequently Asked Questions