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ISM Article

Signs for Future Savings

31 Dec, 1969 By: Editorial Staff imageSource

Signs for Future Savings

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A decade of
investment in Optical Character Recognition (OCR) systems applied to

mail sorting equipment resulted in success in the speeding up of mail

the increase of OCR reading quality, and the reduction of manual data entry

costs. The cost of processing the mail dropped from an estimated $55 per

letters manually to less than $5 per 1,000 letters with automated sorting.

Another achievement is that technology has enabled the automation of formats

that were difficult to automate 10 years ago, so that magazines, parcels and

even larger items can be automatically sorted by machine. This situation

the bar in performance and efficiency standards at all stages of mail


Recognition technology has come close to the point where further improvement

depends on reading more than just address data. Mail-pieces contain other

of information, which, if automatically processed, can further improve the

efficiency of Postal services. The capability to read addressee names not

helps to improve the final depth of sort, but also allows companies to

better and expanded services to customers. In particular, OCR technology is

in the provision of mail redirection service to customers.

Redirection is a cost-effective and convenient way for a customer to
continue to

receive mail when the home or business is relocated, even if the move is

temporary, or to receive mail at an overseas address. About 17 percent of
the US

population moves each year, resulting in approximately 43 million

change-of-address cards and over 5 billion pieces of mail that must be

forwarded, returned to sender, or alternatively handled with an annual cost

more than $ 1 billion.

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