approximately reduced the rate of undeliverable mail
countries offering address validation, correction and standardization
and package delivery services in Morocco
In some parts of the world, postal service is taken for granted. In other areas, mail delivery is more challenging. In Morocco, numerous housing development projects, the lack of address standardization and language complexity increase the challenge. Poste Maroc, a company that distributes letters and packages throughout Morocco, was using a long and tedious manual method to reduce mail that could not be delivered to customers. With the help of Precisely Spectrum, the company deployed an automated solution that streamlined address validation and has reduced the rate of undeliverable mail by approximately 90 percent.
As more and more new housing developments are emerging in Morocco, Poste Maroc finds that addresses are often incomplete or imprecise. “People might use ‘road’ instead of ‘avenue,’ or they might use a nickname in the address,” explains Said Bellaouchou, Poste Maroc’s head of addressing. Plus, addresses may appear in French or Arabic, or they may be mistranslated from one language to another.
Most of the mail distributed by Poste Maroc’s B2B service comes from a small number of customers: banks, telecommunications companies and public bodies. Undeliverable rates sometimes reached 12 to 15 percent. “Our customers might not get paid if mailed notices could not be delivered,” Bellaouchou says. “We had to ensure addresses were accurate.”
Bellaouchou hired 30 address operators to manually compare envelopes against a Poste Maroc database of address information. “We needed to streamline the process of confirming that addresses were correct, all the more so because currently all deposits of large customers are captured and processed by automated sorting systems,” Bellaouchou says.
- Public limited company wholly-owned by the Moroccan government
- Provides mail and package delivery services in Morocco
- Part of Poste Maroc Group, which also includes express courier and digital banking services
“This was an exemplary project. We have already achieved payback on the solution with our first customer.”Said Bellaouchou Head of Addressing, Poste Maroc Group
Poste Maroc released a public tender, to which Casablanca-based integrator Finatech and Precisely responded by proposing the Spectrum Technology Platform solution. Finatech assisted with implementation of Spectrum Data Quality modules including Universal Address, which offers address validation, correction and standardization in more than 220 countries; Spectrum Data Normalization, which standardizes address variations; and Spectrum Quality Connectors for connecting with client systems. “They were extremely professional and helped us understand what was feasible with this project,” Bellaouchou says. “The Precisely and Finatech team did outstanding work for us, going the extra mile to succeed where another firm had failed twice before.”
Now, Poste Maroc offers a premier, add-on service that uses Spectrum to compare a customer’s address file against the Poste Maroc database. When an address is imprecise, the solution returns multiple standardized addresses, rating each on the likelihood that it is the address the customer intended. The solution can also use optical character recognition (OCR) technology on the sorting platform to read addresses printed on envelopes, then compare those addresses against the Poste Maroc database.
A large government agency is one customer that has signed up for this service. Anytime it is preparing to send a mailing, the agency sends Poste Maroc a list of addresses. “We cleanse the addresses with Spectrum to ensure they’re in a good state before the mailing,” Bellaouchou says.
For customers using this new service, the proportion of undeliverable mail dropped from 15 percent to just 1.5 percent. This saves time for Poste Maroc delivery personnel, and it vastly improves customer service. Poste Maroc has also reduced the time spent on address validation by around 80 percent. The automated address validation and cleaning technology enabled Poste Maroc to implement a large knowledge base in the software, consolidating information that was previously disseminated across teams.
”This was an exemplary project,” Bellaouchou says. Precisely did a great job in adapting their solution to the Moroccan market. We have already achieved payback on the solution with our first customer.”
He believes this type of solution has implications for his entire continent. “Ecommerce can take off only when deliveries reach their destination,” Bellaouchou says. “Poste Maroc is poised to support ecommerce in Africa.”