The View from the Weeds – MTAC, Informed Visibility, and You
July 22, 2020   Dave Lewis

One important function we perform at SnailWorks is serving on the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC), a Postal/Industry partnership that helps set policy and priorities for the Postal Service.  A variety of work groups and user groups address virtually any postal issue you can imagine, sometimes in frightening detail.  Want to know how to barcode that live duckling you’re mailing?  OK, maybe MTAC doesn’t have a workgroup for that (at least not that I know of), so stop imagining that.  But most other issues are there. The MTAC group that rules our world at SnailWorks is User Group 4 – Informed Visibility.  Our president, Dave Lewis, serves as the industry co-chair.  If that’s not exciting enough, he is also co-chair of the UG 4 Subgroup on Flats Visibility.  UG 4 meetings are done as monthly phone meetings.  The subgroup as well.  Want to join the calls?  Seriously?  You can always contact Dave and he’ll get you in. In UG 4 we can get a look at the priorities of the Postal Service as to what their plans are for Informed Visibility, as well as raising issues that may arise.  Here are some of the hot topics of late:
  • Transportation tracking – New scan events that may be able to show us tracking results while mail is still enroute in a truck to a facility;
  • New scan event logic that may increase flats tracking reliability, by assigning Logical Delivery Events (LDE) from other container handling events;
  • A review of steps USPS is taking to identify, quantify, and address possible visibility gaps in flats tracking;
  • Discussions of the performance of other data being shared through the Informed Visibility platform, including:
    • EPS data;
    • Mail Quality date;
    • Informed Delivery post-campaign data.
  • Future possible enhancements to Informed Visibility:
    • Package tracking;
    • Certified mail tracking;
    • Predictive tracking;
    • Enhanced API’s for easier access to real-time data.
Trust us – these calls are a rockin’ time!  We are always active on the calls working with the Postal Service to make mail visibility better. One of the benefits of working with SnailWorks is getting these unique insights into where the Postal Service might be headed next – and we always have an eye on how mailers can turn new postal innovations into a valuable service for their customers. So you stay safe and dry, wherever you may be…we’ll stay here in the weeds for you!