REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

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1 REQUEST FOR INFORMATION AGENCY: Office of Information Technology RFI NO.: D F1 TITLE: Countywide Mailing and Fulfillment Services CONTACT: Name: John A. Kunzman Address: 115 So. Andrews Avenue, Rm. 212, Fort Lauderdale, FL Telephone: Fax: Due Date / Time: March 31, 2014 before or until 5:00 P.M. This Request for Information (RFI) is intended to ascertain whether the services specified below are currently available from more than one source. This is not a request for pricing or a commitment to purchase. This description of contractual services intended for purchase will remain posted on the Purchasing Division website at for a period of seven (7) calendar days and response is due at the date and time indicated above. It is the intent for Broward County to issue a formal solicitation should it be determined that there is potentially more than one source for these services. Please indicate by a yes or no if your firm is able to provide the services listed below: Item No. Description Comply Comments Yes No 1. Daily Mail Services 1.1. Letter Mail Barcoding (1-3 oz) 1.2. Letter Mail Encoding 1.3. Flat Mail Presort (3-5 oz) 1

2 Item No. Description Comply Comments Yes No 1.4. Heavies & Parcel 1.5. Fast Forward 1.6. Metering (all mail types) 1.7. International (including postage) 1.8. Certified Mail 1.9. E-certified 2. Direct Mail/Fulfillment 2.1. Setups 2.2. Metering 2.3. Hand Sort rd Class Presort 2.5. MLORC Preparation & Sorting Sort 3-5 Digit Sorting RVE 2.8. MLORC 2.9. Tab Tab Folding Additional Fold Inserts Additional Insert 2

3 Item No. Description Comply Comments Yes No Inkjet 3. Data Services 3.1. Setups 3.2. Load Convert Format 3.3. Cass Certify 3.4. Mail Stream 3.5. De-Duping 4. Postage Quantity or Term: Five-year contract with the possibility of two one-year renewals. Purpose In this bid, the County will contract with a mail fulfillment vendor to process all outgoing mail. This entails daily mail pickups from one location, twice a day and approximately 200 special mailings each year which require special handling and pickup, as determined by the requesting agency. The vendor will pick-up, sort, commingle, and bar-code the mail. Staff estimates annual mailings of approximately 1,500,000 pieces. Scope of Work Overview: Service Provider shall comingle Broward County s mail with other client s mail in order to receive a maximum postage discount based on the volume of mail to each zip code. Vendor to be located in Broward County so that the County s indicia will reflect accurately and not require cross-county post offices. Provide mail pickup and delivery services during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding County holidays. Comply with all USPS rules, regulations, policies and procedures that apply in handling customer s mail. Continually monitor performance and meet with representatives to ensure Customer is receiving optimal service levels. Specifications: Delivery/Pick-up Services: o Provide delivery/pick-up twice daily from and to designated areas and mail stops serviced in each location. Average monthly mailings are 125,000 pieces, not 3

4 o o including Special Mailings. The last afternoon pick-up should be made in time to meet the USPS last outbound mail processing Same-day delivery of all Customer s first class letters, business reply, flats, mail and packages from overnight mailbags, boxes, publications, accountable mail (certified, registered and insured) and express mail. Delivery shall be made on the next scheduled mail run after receipt and processing, as described above. Implement a computer-based tracking to manifest accountable mail Additional Outbound Mail Services: o Perform pickups from Customer s offices, in sorted bulk, outgoing correspondence and prepare it for dispatch. Outbound preparation shall include, but not be limited to, selection of appropriate mailing envelope, association of applicable inserts and enclosures, insertion into the envelope, processing by count/weight, bar-coding and sorting by postal (ZIP) code, postage metering and timely delivery to the appropriate outbound carrier port. o Process (sort and meter) to the appropriate carrier all outbound domestic and international mail received by the last mail run o Separate all mail to be metered, weighted and postage applied by the budget code (index number) and class of mail o Process and record all certified, registered and express outbound mail on a daily basis o Meter all first class letter mail at the lowest appropriate postal rate, in order to achieve the highest possible discount (or the lowest possible rate). o Ensure that the best possible class selection is chosen for all out-going mail based on cost, policy, timeliness and delivery requirements. o Ensure that all postal administrative and security requirements are met. o Process outbound mail that requires inserting (automated and manual) and folding. Receive material from the Customer, verify job, fold and insert, meter, and pre-sort all production mail on automated inserting equipment; perform quality checks according to schedule and meet all required time frames. o Ensure that outbound mail operations are completed in time to meet postal outbound times for the working day o Provide auxiliary services, including but not limited to mailing list management, barcoding, date-stamping, hole-punching, addressing services and internal messenger services. Such additional services may be requested by the Customer in the Scope of Work contained in a Special Mailing Reporting Requirements o Provide management of data collection and provide informal and, as a deliverable, formal monthly reports to the Customer on incoming/outgoing mail volume by type and postage usage by location. Additional reporting may be required by the Customer for Special Mailings or on an ad hoc basis o Serve as the liaison for Customer with USPS. Provide a monthly report of any meetings and the results of the meetings to the Customer contract manager. Logistical Services o Furnish all off-site office space for incoming and outgoing mail processing o Provide all management, staffing, and training of full-time company employees. o Provide all business processes and implementation plan for mail services 4

5 o Meet all of the County s requirements for individual employee security, information security and facility physical security o Provide management of postage inventory, internal charge back accounts and penalty mail, including but not limited to, business reply and postage due accounts. Service Provider shall be responsible for ensuring all postal accounts are maintained. The Customer may pay directly for postage, as determined by Customer, including any postage payment required for the private carriage of mail due to the USPS. The Service Provider may pay postage costs and receive reimbursement, for special mailings if Service Provider applied postage is specified by Customer, or other circumstances as approved by the Contract Administrator or designee Special Mailings o Special Mailings may be ordered independently or may be combined with standard mail services. Customers should discuss these structures with the Service Provider representatives during the creation and negotiation of a particular Special Mailing Deliverables and Services o Service Provider warrants that the services will be delivered in a high quality manner in accordance with the requirements of the contract. o Service Provider is responsible for the acts and omissions of any subcontractors used by the Service Provider in the performance of services during the contract term. o Customer will accept each deliverable when it meets the requirements of this contract. The Customer will have a maximum period of twenty (20) business days after delivery of a deliverable to verify that the deliverable meets the contract s requirements. o Customer reserves the right to inspect operations and/or test any services that have been tendered for acceptance. o Time is of the essence in performing this contract. The Service Provider acknowledges that untimely performance or other material non-compliance will result in significant loss or damage to the Customer s operations. Service Descriptions include, but are not limited to, the following categories: o First Class Mail (1-2 oz) encode/presort (500,000) o First Class Mail (3-5 oz.) encode/presort (80,000) o Encode/Pre-sore/Zip plus 4 barcode (320,000) o Pre-barcoded mail pickup and delivery (30,000) o Bulk Mail (15,000) a. Set-up b. Barcoding c. Handling Charge d. Carrier Route e. Encode/pre-sort o Flats/First Class (encode/presort) o Optional Services a. Metering/Sealing/Weighing (1,500,000) b. Labeling c. Ink Jet (200,000) 5

6 d. Inserting (200,000) 1 item 2 items 3 items e. Folding (20,000) Tri Quad f. Tabbing (40,000) 1 2 g. Fast Forward (820,000) h. Mailing List i. Mailing List De-dupe j. MIS (250,000) Data Processing Load, Convert, Format Data Processing DPV Data Processing Mailstream Data Processing CASS Certification Data & Document Management Clean File Data Processing De-dupe k. Certified Mail Processing (32,000) Daily Mail Services: o Letter Mail Barcoding (1-3 oz) o Letter Mail Encoding o Flat Mail Presort (3-5 oz) o Letter Mail Barcoding (1-3 oz) o Heavies & Parcel o Fast Forward o Metering (All Mail Types) o International (including postage) o Certified Mail o e-certified Direct Mail/Fulfillment: o Setups o Metering o Hand Sort o 3 rd Class Presort o MLORC Preparation & Sorting o Sort 3-5 Digit o Sorting RVE o MLORC o Tab 1 o Tab 2 o Folding 1-2 o Additional Fold o Inserts o Additional Insert 6

7 o Inkjet Data Services: o Setups o Load Convert Format o Cass Certify o Mail Stream o De-duping Additional Scope: Metering: The Service Provider will process metered mail, metered at the 5-digit Automation Presort rate, with first class permit mail. Staging of Incoming Mail: Check-in employees with the assistance of Quality Control personnel will be responsible for separation of machine-operated versus manually-processed mail. The employee must check to ensure the client has segregated permit mail and pre-cancelled stamped mail based on the postage value affixed by the Customer. A random sampling, by Customer, of all incoming mail must be made to determine the quality. An Incoming Mail Quality Control Record will be completed. The control checks will include, but not be limited to: Verification of tray counts and other information from the Pickup Record Form Check mail for correct meter date and postage amount Estimated piece counts Mail is properly endorsed for postage rate and slug identification. Meter impressions are legible. Sample weights to ensure correct postage amounts are affixed on envelopes. Mail Processing: During processing, the OCR Machine Operator and Quality Control Supervisor will be required to routinely check the barcodes and acceptability of mail for verification of accuracy, clarity and barcode placement. Barcode placement will be verified by utilizing the USPS template for Automation Compatible Mail. The Machine Operator will be responsible for and must: Load all mail in the proper direction Use ink wipers as necessary (recommended every 1,000 pieces) Check barcode quality on mail pieces check for irregular or smudged bars Watch indicator lights on the control panel monitor to ensure all sensors are functioning Process rejects back through equipment while equipment is in RE FEED mode RE FEEDS which are still rejected after several attempts will be processed under one of the following categories: a. Rejects returned to Customer due to incomplete or improper addresses b. Taken to Remote Video Encoding (RVE) equipment for placement of barcode, then re-fed through OCR equipment c. Placed in residual trays and processed with the residual count 100 Traying of Mail: The Machine Operator and Quality Control personnel will be responsible for ensuring: Mail is trayed properly and the trays bear the correct tray label 7

8 Tray labels conform to be the correct labeling lists found in the USPS Domestic Mail Manual All trays are placed in containers with the tray labels facing outward All USPS equipment is properly checked prior to use to ensure its proper condition. Equipment which is unsafe should be marked Bad Equipment and staged in the Shipping Area PROCESSING OF DOCUMENTS AND MAILING STATEMENTS: The Machine Operator will generate from the equipment specified, detailed documents which pertain to each Client s mail. These documents consist of: 1. Zip+4 Report 2. Departmental Report 3. Combined mail Report 4. Postage Summary Report The aforementioned documents contain: A detailed tray listing for Zip code tray sortation level by postage payment Number of pieces claimed by each postage rate Number of permit imprinted pieces by 1, 2, and 3-ounce increments Number of metered pieces by the amount of postage affixed for the first ounce Cumulative postage due and cumulative postage affixed Upon producing these reports the Machine Operator will complete the proper mailing statements, based on the figure from these reports. A comparison should be made by Quality Control personnel to ensure the reports are compatible with the figures presented on the Pickup Record Form. If the figures are not compatible, an in-depth check must be conducted to determine the discrepancy. The Machine Operator will forward copies of the Documents, Mailing Statements, and Combined Mailing Postage Payment Worksheet along with the Pickup Record Form, Incoming Mail Control Record, and any other important information to the front office. These documents will be used for invoicing clients and will be held in Job Customer files for the retention period required by the Agreement. Permit mail rejects will be handled in the following manner: All permit mail rejects will be re-fed through the barcoder to attempt to barcode as many pieces as possible. The Computer Operator signals the computer to re-feed rejects. All rejects are then brought to Remote Video Encoding (RVE) department, where they are run under a separate job identifier. During this process, images of the mail pieces are transmitted to the vendor, Postalsoft. Postalsoft has manual encoders that RVE the image. Then, the data is transmitted back to the Service Provider who re-runs the mail pieces to print the barcode. The pieces are then brought back to the barcoders and read on the barcodes. Process rejects back through equipment while equipment is in RE FEED mode. RE FEEDS still rejected after several attempts will be processed under one of the following categories: o Rejects returned to Customer due to incomplete or improper addresses 8

9 o o Taken to Remote Video equipment for placement of barcode, then re-fed through OCR equipment Metered up to full postage Quality Control Procedure Quality Control begins at the Customer site when mail is picked up by the Service Vendor s couriers. The Customer completes a Service Vendor count slip. This count slip identifies the Customer, the date the mail is received, the type of mail received, i.e. letter/flats, the number of pieces of mail received and the mail class. The courier initiates a cursory inspection of the mail verifying meter date, indicia legibility, and postage affixed. When mail arrives at the Service Vendor s facility, their Verification and Distribution Supervisor (VDS) verifies that all mail picked up by the courier is, in fact, received by the Service Vendor. The count slip is dated and time stamped, and the VDS Supervisor initiates a second quality control check. The trays are counted, the date on the mail pieces are checked for correctness, and the class of mail is verified. Any problems found are documented and brought to the immediate attention of the Service Vendor s Customer Service Personnel and the Customer. Problem mail is removed from the mainstream until the problem has been corrected and/or resolved. The mail is then routed to the appropriate processing area. Handwritten mail is sent to the RVE process, mail without postage is forwarded to the Service Vendor s Metering Department and machine generated mail is forwarded to the Automated Sorting Area. a. The Service Vendor performs weighing, sealing and metering services for some Customers. To ensure that the correct postage is applied to each mail piece, the current Service Vendor uses Pitney Bowes Paragon equipment. This equipment provides weighing and metering, as well as monitoring and tracking postage through its mail management software. b. Handwritten mail is checked by RVE personnel to ensure legibility of indicia and correct date and postage affixed to the mail piece. Any problem that cannot be resolved by the encoders are brought to the attention of the Presort Supervisor and removed from the mailstream. Problems detected in this area are also documented and forwarded to the customer service personnel for Customer notification. All remote video encoded mail is joined into the automated mailstream. c. Currently, automated mail is sorted using Postal Technologies Barcoders, periodically certified by USPS Prior to placing mail onto the OCR, PCI s Sort Operators check the mail for the correct date, indicia legibility and postage. The Service Provider s OCR optically reads the addresses and sprays the appropriate eleven digit barcode on the mail pieces. The sorter is equipped with a barcode verified to ensure that barcodes sprayed on the pieces are accurate. In addition to mechanical verification, the Service Provider s Barcode Verification Supervisor (BVS) and Line personnel also check for barcode accuracy. 9

10 After mail has been processed, the Service Vendor s BVS verifies the sorting accuracy, packaging and tray labeling in both areas. Problems found are corrected and brought to the attention of the OCR Line, Metering and/or the Manual Sorting personnel who were involved in the initial processing. Errors detected by postal personnel when the Service Vendor delivers mail to the Post Office are handled in the following manner: o If the error is minor, the mail may be corrected at the Post Office o If the error is major, the mail is returned to the Service Vendor for re-processing. If there is no time to re-submit the corrected mail, it is returned to the Post Office. If the error is detected after the Service Vendor s drop time, the mailing is returned to the Service Vendor for re-processing and re-dating. A Quality Control Exception Report is generated for all major errors that are detected by the VDS and BVS Supervisors and forwarded to the Service Vendor s Production General Manager and Customer Service Manager. The General Manager ensures that all problems regarding customer mail processing are resolved and notifies the remainder of the Service Vendor s management team of problems and resolutions. Requester Office of Information Technology Fort Lauderdale, FL POTENTIAL BIDDERS QUESTIONNAIRE: How many years has your firm been in business while providing the aforementioned services? Does your firm have any existing or previous term contracts with other governmental entities for these services? Please check applicable box No Yes If yes, please indicate name of entity and dollar value of each contract below: Name of Entity/Contract No. Estimated Annual Expenditure 1. $ 2. $ Prospective vendors are requested to provide information regarding their ability to supply the commodities described. All vendor responses will be evaluated by Broward County which will be the sole determinate power in establishing the approved equal County, after reviewing any information received from prospective vendors, that the required commodities are available only from more than one sole source, the agency shall: (Continued on next page.) 10

11 1. Issue a Request for Quotation review and recommendation for award to the appropriate award authority. Company Name: (Print) Company Address: Contact Name: Phone Number: (Print) (Print) Fax Number: Address: 11

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