Bulk Mailing Manager manual

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Bulk Mailing Manager manual

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    Bulk Mailing Manager manual

    1. Login

    Launch “Bulk Mailing Manager (Client)” from the start menu folder “Swiss Post Bulk Mailing Manager”.

    Enter your username and password in the login dialogue box. After the initial installation, a user called “admin” with the password “admin” will have been created. This user has administrator rights. For security reasons, setting up user accounts after installation is recommended.

    With the “Server address” button, you can modify the connection settings for the Bulk Mailing Manager server. This is necessary only if the IP address of Bulk Mailing Manager (server) has changed.

    Login Client

    In the Bulk Mailing Manager client, required fields are written in bold.

    2. Homepage

    After successful login, the Bulk Mailing Manager homepage will appear. This will enable navigation to the various modules of Bulk Mailing Manager. As soon as you are in any required module, a button called “Homepage” will appear at the bottom right, with which you can return to the homepage at any time.

    Homepage MSM Client

    Work area

    • Orders: entry and management of orders
    • Customers: entry and management of customer data templates
    • Tools:
      Deduplication: running deduplication of an address file
      Column separation: separation of street and house number as well as postcode and town, if these are entered in a joint column in the address file
      Address update: updating of an address file by the Address Competence Center
    • User administration (administrator only): recording and management of Bulk Mailing Manager users
    • Settings (administrator only): recording and management of various settings for Bulk Mailing Manager

    Assistance area

    • Link to the online user manual and download option for the FAQs
    • Support contact details

    Information area

    Versions of Bulk Mailing Manager and street directory with sorting data

    3. Order management

    Order management gives an overview of all orders which have been entered. The table can be sorted and filtered, as described in section 8. The newest orders are shown at the top by default.

    Order overview
    Button Description
    New Create a new order
    Edit By double-clicking on an order or by selecting an order and then clicking on “Edit”, an existing order can be opened for further editing.
    Copy A marked order is copied (exclusive of the address file from the original order).
    Delete A marked order is deleted. Several orders can be marked and deleted by holding down the Shift key.
    Variants Opening the variant overview (also see section 3.4)
    Create template A template is created from a marked order and saved in the template overview for further processing
    Templates Open the template overview

    3.1 Letter products order process

    3.1.1 Product selection

    After clicking on the “New” button, select the product to be optimized in Bulk Mailing Manager.

    Product overview

    For certain products, the user will be forwarded to the Swiss Post portal. In this case, an order will not be created in Bulk Mailing Manager.

    3.1.2 Order header data

    The header data for an order will now be recorded. This is relevant for the calculation of a list price. In this screen, you can assign a “Personal order description” (this description will be used on the bundle and pallet labels and will be put at the start of the file name when saving) and record the necessary order parameters (individual weight of the consignment, format).

    Forwarding to Swiss Post portal

    Automatic deletion date: After the expiry of a retention period defined by the administrator (maximum of 150 days), the orders are deleted from order management in Bulk Mailing Manager. A different deletion date can be selected per order when creating the order. If you require access to the order documents for a longer period of time, we recommend downloading them during the “Summaries” step.

    Customer reference number: An additional alphanumeric order or customer identification can be entered here. This is then printed on the pallet slip.

    Bundle and pallet parameters: These are filled out with default values from Swiss Post. If necessary, these can be changed manually.

    Additionally, the sender and mailer data are recorded. These can be entered manually or inserted from a template from customer data management (see section 4). A template from customer data management can be loaded by clicking on the magnifying glass. The customer data is always copied, i.e. it can be modified at any time in the order without affecting other orders for which the same customer data was imported.

    Customer data which is entered can also be saved as a customer data template. To do so, click the disk icon for the appropriate customer (sender or mailer). If necessary, the user will be asked whether an existing template should be overwritten or a new template should be created.

    Returns processing: By activating this function, additional information on completing a Letter ID (data matrix code), and thus on regulating how returns or undeliverable items should be handled (letter products only), can be recorded and imported. More information on Letter ID can be found at www.swisspost.ch/letterid.

    Order header data

    3.1.3 Address import

    In this screen, address data is imported. Supported formats are CSV, TXT, XLS and XLSX.

    Address import

    By clicking on the “Load” button, an address file can be loaded into Bulk Mailing Manager. A preview with the first five records will follow. Once imported, the loaded address file can also be fully opened by clicking on the "Open loaded address file" button in Excel or a text editor. The "Standard apps" Windows function is used to select the program that is used to open the file.

    If you wish to subsequently check which file has been loaded, the file name already imported will be shown and you will also have the option to open a preview of 5 lines.

    In the case of CSV and TXT files, loading the address file will trigger an attempt to detect encoding. This is displayed under “Select file encoding” and can be modified by the user. ASCII is not supported as encoding. Please convert before import, e.g. into UTF-8. This is not possible with Excel files. In this case, we recommend ensuring that the Excel files used are present on codepage 1252.

    You also have the option of selecting the separators used in the file. Semicolons, tabulators and commas are supported.

    In the section “Column mapping”, the user instructs Bulk Mailing Manager as to which data can be found in which column. Bulk Mailing Manager may suggest the mapping, as long as the column descriptions are clear enough (e.g. the column description “PLZ” will be recognized as “Postcode”, from the German “Postleitzahl”).

    If the address file also contains international addresses, these must be assigned the country code according to ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 standard. International addresses are output in a separate production file on the results page. Consignments to international addresses must be declared and posted in accordance with the applicable regulations.

    For use of the address data, the street and house number must be in separate columns. Should your address file display a joint column for street and house number, you can use the column separation tool to separate them (section 6.2). Column mapping may also be used for separation. If, for example, the house number is in the same field as the street, then select "Included in street" when selecting the house number. To trigger the separation, select “Separate” at the bottom right. If the “Separate” button is not visible, then please scroll to the very bottom of the page. Save the generated file for subsequent review or later use. The sorting process continues with the separated file.

    Mapping of the “P.O. Box” column is optional and can be used if pure P.O. Box information is included in a separate column. If text has been entered in this column for an address, this address will be treated as a P.O. Box address.

    By clicking on “Next”, the import into Bulk Mailing Manager will begin. Depending on the size of the address file, this may take some time. Next, you will receive statistics about the quality of the address data. The user will be informed if the quality is below a certain threshold and will be required to confirm that they agree to the ongoing processing of the data. There is an option to export the address file with the quality marked/labelled.

    Address verifcation

    3.1.4 Address verification

    You also have the option of carrying out a person-related address comparison with the Swiss Post reference data. The address file is sent to Swiss Post for this purpose. Once the check has been carried out, you will be notified by e-mail. You can download an offer and have the option of using the fee-based update service.

    • If you do not use the service: no costs are incurred, and the data originally read in will be used for further processing.
    • If you do choose this service: the updated addresses will be used for mailing, and you may download a correction file for management of your address database. Based on the invoice reference number, the costs for the update will appear on the sender's monthly invoice.

    You can choose whether you wish to have all addresses checked or just those that are "not correctly addressed". We recommend checking the entire file.

    You can also have the address file checked for duplicates. Duplicates are deleted from the mailing file for further processing and highlighted in the correction file.

    The e-mail address for the notification can be stored in the user administration (see section 5) or entered directly on the Address verification page.

    In order to be able to carry out the address verification, the checkbox for consent to the “Address Maintenance” GTC must be marked.

    To make it easier to reimport the corrections into the database, we recommend that you include a customer-specific characteristic (e.g. a customer number).

    address comparison
    Result address comparison

    3.1.5 Order finalization

    In this screen, product-specific details can be entered. These may influence the price, which is why the list price could change.

    Order finalization

    Acceptance and collection point: you can select the acceptance and collection point from a product-specific list when activating the location discount. The acceptance and collection point can be entered as free text without activating the location discount. In this case, no location discount is shown and no automated notification e-mail is sent when booking the order.

    Production file control symbol: in this step, a symbol for the production file can be entered. This is then automatically inserted when starting an order.

    Control symbol positioning in the production file: the symbol can be placed at the start or end of a bundle/pallet in this step.

    Bundle information only in the 1st record: by default, the bundle and pallet information will be issued in the production file for each record. You can use this to create “Bundles without bundle labels”, for example. Activating this option will issue this additional information but only in the first record per bundle.

    CSV separators for the production file and bundles/pallets: select the required separator per file type.

    Pallet discounts

    Swiss Post will grant discounts for consignments which are sorted into district, P.O. Box and locality bundles, provided that they are also sent on locality and routing area pallets and adhere to certain conditions. The discounts will be displayed in Bulk Mailing Manager. The decision about whether or not the discount will be granted is the responsibility of the acceptance points.

    More information can be found at www.swisspost.ch/upstream-services.

    3.1.6 Pallet assignment (Expert Mail only)

    With the Expert Mail product, the user has the option of setting the mailing location separately, depending on the pallet. Several pallets can be selected using the Ctrl and Shift keys. By then clicking on the desired mailing location, this location is assigned to the marked pallets. The table can be sorted and filtered, as described in section 8.

    Pallet assignment

    3.1.7 Summaries

    The documents relevant to the order are generated on the summaries page and the order is “booked and binding”. As part of this, a declaration will be sent to Swiss Post and advance notice will be sent to the mailing location if necessary. This may take several minutes.

    A delivery note will also be offered for download as a result.

    Summaries

    Order reminder: If you do not want to finalize a created order, you can be notified by e-mail any number of days before the delivery date.

    Cancellations: You have the option to cancel orders that have already been placed before posting (letter products only). If you need to make changes to an order that has already been entered, a new delivery note can only be created once the note already submitted has been cancelled. The same applies to partial orders of a variant or for entire variants.

    Important note

    If you want to process the order as part of a variant, close the order without entering it definitively. It is entered at a later point as part of the variant processing. More information can be found in section 3.4.

    The documents relevant to the order can be generated when generating the documents in the lower section. The selection depends on the parameters which have been set on the finalization page. The documents can also be created without a definitive book entry being made. If the “Returns processing” option is activated in the “Order header data” step, the production file cannot be created until after booking. This is due to technical reasons.

    The files to be saved can be selected individually or collectively using the checkboxes and clicking the button “Save selected”.

    Note on bundle labels

    Before bundle labels are generated, the desired format needs to be selected. The A5 and A6 formats are available. Several A5 or A6 bundle labels can be printed on an A4 page. The sequence for this runs from left to right and from top to bottom.

    For this printing process, there is also an option for “Printing optimization”. This will change the sequence of the bundles on the A4 pages, with the effect that the printed parcel can be cut and then appropriately stacked. Stack top left, stack top right, stack bottom left and stack bottom right.

    3.2 Notes on newspaper products

    In Bulk Mailing Manager, you can process the following newspaper products: newspapers which are published weekly to fortnightly (AZA), monthly to quarterly (AZB), and international newspaper products (Press Economy and Priority, Press Plus Economy and Priority).

    When importing address lists for newspaper products, additional columns may be provided.

    Address import newspaper products

    Country: required to import international and domestic consignments. If there is no column information, all consignments will be treated as “Domestic”. If there is column information, the Bulk Mailing Manager will behave as follows:

    1. Empty cells will be treated as “Domestic” (CH)
    2. Filled cells will be verified for validity of the country codes (ISO 3166-ALPHA-2)
    3. Liechtenstein and Switzerland are treated as domestic consignments
    4. Unknown country codes will result in an invalid international consignment that prevents further processing.

    Speed: is required for specifying the required transport speed for international consignments (Economy or Priority). If there is no column information, all international consignments will be treated as Economy. If there is column information, the Bulk Mailing Manager will behave as follows:

    1. Empty cells are treated as “Economy”
    2. “Economy”, “Eco”, “E” and “0” will be treated as Economy (these values are not case-sensitive)
    3. “Priority”, “Prio”, “P” and “1” will be treated as Priority (these values are not case-sensitive)
    4. Unknown speeds will result in an invalid international consignment that prevents further processing.

    Item count: is required to be able to process domestic collective items. The column should contain the number of items in the consignment for the relevant recipient. Bulk Mailing Manager will behave as follows:

    1. Empty cells will not be treated as a collective item (1 item)
    2. An item count larger than 1 will be treated as a collective item
    3. An item count smaller than 1 or an alphanumeric item number count will be treated as invalid input. Further processing is not possible in this case.
    4. International consignments are not intended to be sent as collective items, which is why no further processing is possible in this case.

    Invalid international consignments or collective items

    If invalid international consignments or collective items are present, no further processing is possible. In this case, an address file with validation remarks can be exported. This should be interpreted as follows:

    1. The first columns correspond to the imported address file
    2. The following columns affect domestic consignments only (except collective items):
      a. Postcode_found: 1 – postcode valid, 0 – postcode invalid
      b. Town_name_found: only if Postcode_found = 0. 1 – town name valid, 0 – locality name invalid
      c. Town_valid: combines the result from the first two columns
      d. Street_valid: 1 – street found, 0 – street not found
      e. Street_ratio: percentage match with street name
      f.
      House_number_valid: only if street valid. 1 – house number found, 0 – house number not found g. House_number_ratio: percentage match of the house number
      House_number_valid: combines street and house number validity
      i. Mail_carrier_found: 1 – mail carrier with route sequence found, 0 – mail carrier not found
      j. Mail_carrier_estimated: 1 – mail carrier without route sequence found, 0 – mail carrier not found
      k. Is_P.O._Box: 1 – P.O. Box address, 0 – domicile address
      l. Domestic_valid: combines all columns for domestic validation
    3. International_valid: only if country code has been imported, 1 – valid international consignment, 0 – invalid international consignment
    4. Collective_item_valid: only if count of items has been imported, 1 – valid collective item, 0 – invalid collective item

    Production selection for domestic and international newspaper products

    In the newspapers product, domestic and international consignments as well as domestic collective items can be entered. The selection of the relevant product takes place in the process step “Newspaper info”.

    After selecting the newspaper products, the imported addresses are verified for their validity for the relevant products.

    Creation of bundles for international newspaper products and collective items

    For the international consignments “Press” and collective items, no bundles and pallets are calculated by Bulk Mailing Manager. The details are displayed in a separate production file.

    For international “Press Plus” consignments, bundles are calculated by Bulk Mailing Manager and are also displayed in a separate production file.

    For international consignments and collective items, no bundle and pallet slips are generated by Bulk Mailing Manager.

    3.3 Unsorted orders

    Unsorted orders can also be entered and recorded with Swiss Post using Bulk Mailing Manager. This may make sense when the required minimum quantity for sorting is not met, for example.

    To enter unsorted consignments, deactivate the “Sorting upstream service” option in the “Finalize” step. In the “Summaries” step, you can then generate the delivery note, pallet address, cost breakdown and the production file.

    More information can be found at www.swisspost.ch/upstream-services.

    3.4 Working with templates

    Bulk Mailing Manager enables you to create templates for orders which contain recurring parameter values. This means partially pre-filled orders can be generated. You can access the template overview from the overview of orders by using the “Templates” button.

    Template overview

    You have the following options:

    • Create new based on existing order: Select an order in the Order overview and choose the “Create template” function. This will then appear in the Template overview.
    • New: Create a completely new template.
    • Edit: Edit a template.
    • Copy: Copy and edit an existing template.
    • Delete: Delete a template permanently.
    • Create order from template: Use the selected template to create an order. This will then be displayed in the order list.

    The content of a template is entered in a similar way to orders. However, the content is not validated in the process (neither mandatory fields nor formats). This takes place only when using the template in an order.

    3.5 Working with variants

    Subject to certain prerequisites, several orders can be combined and subsequently booked together. For this, the individual partial orders / variants must be identical with respect to the following points:

    • Sender and mailer details
    • Product, format and price category (e.g. OnTime Mail, large letter, 1−500 g)
    • Acceptance point
    • Posting and delivery day (only for OnTime Mail and Expert Mail)
    • Deletion date
    • Additional requirements for newspapers: newspaper number, issue from-to, subsequent delivery

    Procedure: create the corresponding “partial orders” up until the “Summaries” step. Next, select the “Variants” button in the order overview and generate a new variant. You can then compile the previously created orders within this using “Add”. The procedure is described in detail in the following.

    Overview of variants

    When creating or editing a variant, several orders can be merged together under a common name on the primary page. Orders which have been added can be opened for editing by double-clicking on them.

    Creating a variant

    By clicking on “Next”, a validation process is performed to see whether the partial orders can be merged and whether the partial orders have the appropriate status. Partial orders must be at the “Summaries” stage and cannot be declared.

    On the results page of the variants order, a joint consignment declaration can be launched under the name of the variants order.

    Document generation takes place as with normal orders. A summary of all partial orders, related documents and higher-level documents is shown.

    Summaries variant

    Recommendation for creating partial orders

    As certain parameters for partial orders must be identical (e.g. various customer data, consignment format, mailing date etc.), it is recommended to create one template first and to complete this through to order finalization. After this, the individual partial orders can be created from the template. This means that the parameters are pre-defined and there will be significantly fewer validation messages during merging.

    4. Customer management

    Customer management allows the management of re-usable templates for customer data. These can be used in orders or created from orders. The table can be sorted and filtered, as described in section 8.

    Customer data can also be imported and exported. For imports, the CSV, XLS, XLSX and TXT formats are supported; for exports, the CSV format is supported (Windows code page 1252). The import screen enables you to perform allocation between the import file columns and the MSM customer management fields.

    We recommend using a unique customer number since this is used during the import process to control whether a customer is being created for the first time or whether an existing customer is being updated.

    Customer management

    5. User management

    A list of all created users can be viewed in user management.

    Users with the “administrator” role can create new users (using the “New” button) and can delete existing users (“Delete” button). Additionally, administrators can reset the passwords of any users.

    Users who do not have an “administrator” role can change their password in this module (“Change my password” button).

    User management

    6. Tools

    6.1 Deduplication

    Bulk Mailing Manager offers the option of checking a domestic address file which is in the CSV, TXT, XLS or XSLX formats for duplicates. The importing of the address file follows a similar procedure to the one described in section 3.1.3. International address files cannot be processed with the “Deduplication” tool.

    Additionally, however, the first name and last name columns need to be assigned. By clicking on the “Execute” button, deduplication begins. Depending on the address file, this may take some time.

    The user then receives the result of the deduplication and has the option of downloading the address file again.

    Deduplication

    Original address file with duplicate information:

    A CSV file is downloaded which contains an additional “Duplicate” column, which allows duplicates to be identified. The filter function, e.g. in Microsoft Excel, can be used for this.

    CSV file duplicates

    Cleaned address file:

    A CSV file is downloaded in which duplicates have been automatically cleaned. This means that the first appearance of an address is used.

    6.2 Separation of streets/house numbers

    With this tool, it is possible to run an automated separation of street and house number, as well as postcode and town, if these are entered in a joint column.

    Load the desired address file by clicking on “Load”. The first records are shown as examples. Choose the corresponding column of the address file under “Street/house number”.

    Under “Name of the new column for street” and “Name of the new column for house numbers”, you can enter the corresponding column descriptions for the output file.

    By clicking on “Execute”, the separation is performed and a file (file path will be requested) will be saved.

    Column separation

    6.3 Address update

    With the “Address update” tool, you can request an address update from the Address Competence Center without linking the request to a sorting order.

    In "Order management", you will see an overview of the address update orders entered. Select "New" to create a new order.

    Actualisation d’adresses

    Give the order a name and select the invoice recipient (sender) and the service provider (mailer). There is no need to enter any consignment parameters.

    Address update: create order

    The following steps are the same as those described in section 3.1.4 Address verification.

    7. Settings

    In the “Configuration” module, various global settings for Bulk Mailing Manager can be set.

    Presetting the production file control symbol: in this step, a symbol for the production file can be entered, which is automatically inserted when starting an order. This symbol can be changed in the order.

    Presetting the sender or mailer: customer data templates can be selected here, which are then automatically inserted when starting an order. They can be modified as usual in the order.

    Settings

    8. Tables in the Bulk Mailing Manager client

    All tables offer the following functions:

    Filtering: directly under the column heading, there is a filter cell for each column. In the filter cell, a filter operator and a filter value can be set. Figure 1 shows an example of a filter which leads to all values being shown which begin with “from” (upper/lower case is not relevant). Figure 2 shows a filter which leads to all values being shown which contain the word “chemin”.

    Several columns can also be filtered at the same time.

    To determine how many lines are currently being shown, you can navigate using the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl+End” to the bottom end of the table and read the line number from the last line.

    Tables: “Begins with” filter

    Example of a “Begins with” filter

    Tables: “Contains” filter

    Example of a “Contains” filter

    Sorting: by clicking on the column heading, the column is sorted in ascending order. With another click on the column heading, the column is sorted in descending order. With a third click on the column heading, the sorting is removed again. Active sorting is indicated by a small triangle on the right-hand side of the column heading.

    Several columns can be sorted at the same time by clicking on the desired column headings while keeping the Ctrl key pressed.

    Grouping: If you drag the desired column into the grey bar above, the blue “Group field” will open. The summary changes and the results are grouped (see figure below). For even more detailed groupings, further columns can be added to the selection. To remove them, slide the selection upwards from the blue area.

    Tables: Grouping

    Example for grouping according to the creation date

    9. Release notes

    Changes to version 2.2.0 (04.04.2022)

    • Improved palletization: the Bulk Mailing Manager already offers extremely high sorting quality. We have now been able to make yet another improvement in the putting together of pallets, allowing sender customers to benefit from additional discounts.
    • Input screen for consignment thickness: until now, the consignment thickness could only be entered in whole numbers in the Bulk Mailing Manager. There has repeatedly been demand for the option to define the thickness to one decimal place. We have now included this feature.
    • Allow document language to be selected: documents can already be generated and saved in multiple languages by opening the MSM Client in another language and re-generating the document. The sorting log and the delivery note were excluded from this process. The delivery note can still only be generated once. The sorting log, which is created in the language of the respective acceptance point, can now also be generated in other languages.
    • Technical update: We have updated the List & Label component used to generate PDF files.

    You will be notified directly by the software once the new version is available. This can then be downloaded and installed by the administrator in the configuration tool (WebService access tab).

    Changes to version 2.1.0 (07.02.2022)

    A change to newspaper products was introduced on 1st of January 2022. However, it was not possible to include this in the autumn release of Bulk Mailing Manager. For this reason, we’ve decided to make the changes available to you in a feature release. As of version 2.1.0, the following changes apply to newspaper preparation:

    • Consignment weight: Please enter the bulk weight including third-party inserts in the consignment weight (currently excludes third-party inserts).
    • Number of third-party inserts: The number of inserts must not differ from the number of newspapers. If this is the case, please create another order in which you can enter a different combination of newspapers and inserts. You can then declare these “partial orders” as one order as usual, using Bulk Mailing Manager’s “Variant function”.

    You can find more information on newspapers and inserts in the “Newspapers Switzerland” (PDF, 1.4 MB) brochure (German version) and the accompanying price overview (PDF, 128.1 KB) (German version). Your Print Media Competence Center will also be happy to help you with any questions you may have (for contact details, see “Newspapers Switzerland” brochure, page 29).

    Changes to version 2.0.0 (02.11.2021)

    • No more e-mail configuration: you no longer have to spend time configuring an e-mail service. Bulk Mailing Manager performs this task for you completely.
    • Creating new orders: the wizard for creating new orders has been removed. This ensures that the full range of functions of the Bulk Mailing Manager can be used for all orders, including, for example, the creation of the data matrix code.
    • Order header data security check: certain parameters for creating bundles may result in only other bundles being created, and not mail carrier district and locality bundles. We now draw your attention to this directly in the “Order header data” step with a warning message.
    • More flexibility for pallet notes: pallet slips can now contain an optional customer or order number. A folded edge is now also displayed, for instance if you want to insert the slips between two layers. There is also space for printing a customer-specific barcode, should you wish to do so. Please note: the barcode must not contain any postal information.
    • Paper colour for bundle and pallet slips: it is not difficult to unintentionally print the bundle and pallet slips on the wrong colour of paper! We have now made this easier for you to check by printing the colour to be used on the slips.
    • User manual: the “Bulk Mailing Manager” user manual is now available as an online version. You can find answers to your questions even faster, and use the feedback function to let us know where there is room for improvement.