Address standardization has the potential to improve many phases of the business–to–business mail process — from merge/purge to delivery. The following are specific problem areas these standards can address.
It is hard to identify and eliminate duplicate addresses when address data is presented in varying formats, i.e., when abbreviation and compression tactics are applied randomly or multiple data element combinations are used.
Businesses often prefer to use “prestige” or “vanity” addresses and occasionally use multiple versions of their firm name, depending on their market needs. They also apply differing abbreviation and compression tactics. As a result, match rates against Postal Service address improvement products, i.e., NCOA, Address Change Service (ACS), and ZIP+4, are low.
Because of inconsistencies in business address formats, business addresses often do not match against ZIP+4 data used to produce a barcode. Business–to–business mailers find it harder to take full advantage of new automation and barcoding discounts.
Inconsistent addressing tactics or missing address elements due to varying compression methods often result in undeliverable mail. Delivery of mail within an organization may also be impaired if internal mailstops are not part of the address. In this context mailstop refers to a unique routing code used by a company for internal mail delivery. It does not include the traditional information, such as Accounts Payable Branch, or Attn To:. Example: Mailstop ABC 456.