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Mailflow is a powerful addition to the features of Postalsoft Presort.  This article will help explain Mailflow in more detail and how to set Mailflow to create a new output sequence.

A Presort Overview

First off, let’s see where Mailflow fits in the grand scheme things.  When a Presort job is run the following things happen:

  1. Input records are read into Presort and verified.
  2. Presort sorts these records according to job settings and USPS Domestic Mail rules.  This means that Presort puts similar records together into various “groups” such as packages, containers, and pallets.  But what I’m calling groups doesn’t end there.  Presort also groups records by entry points, segments, versions, and more.
  3. {A miracle occurs!}  This is where Mailflow does its thing.  While not breaking apart the “groups” that presort put together, Mailflow gives you the ability to reorder these groups before they are output.
  4. Finally the groups of records are used to create reports, labels, and USPS forms which are in turn output to file or printer.

The Natural Output Order of Groups

A Presort job is comprised of many different job blocks.  You’ll see these on the left-hand side in Presort Views or in the Presort Job file with BEGIN and END lines.  If no Mailflow is done, then for groups like entry point, segment, version or presort scheme, the order of the job blocks will be the natural order that the groups are output for labels or reports.  The natural order of packages, containers and pallets will be the order in which they were created during presort (typically the least to greatest ZIP Code order within the same sortation level).  The best place to see this natural output order is by looking through the Mail Sort Listing report.  The first entry point in the report will be the first entry point block in the job, the first presort scheme in the report, the first scheme in the job, etc.  Here’s an example:

                Natural output order for…

The New Mailflow Order of Groups

The purpose of Mailflow is to change the natural order of groups to a new order.  Mailflow is not doing presorting, that’s already been done.  It’s just rearranging the already sorted groups to a new order for output.  For example, you can control which entry point mail is output first, maybe to send trucks to the more distant entry points first so that the mail for all the entry points will arrive at about the same time.

New Mailflow to reorder output of entry points:

 

 

How to Set Up the Job

To set up the new Mailflow to reorder output of entry points you’ll need to add something like this in the Presort job file either by using Presort Views or by editing the job file yourself in a text editor.

This will override the natural output order of entry points.  The natural order says that the “Entry Point 1” job block comes before the “Entry Point 2” job block in the job file, so “Entry Point 1” will be output on reports and have labels printed first.  However, because we have overridden that output order here, now “Entry Point 2” will be output before “Entry Point 1”. 

Mailflow Job Block and Associated Job Blocks

Leave all the Mailflow options turned off with “n” unless you plan to use them to change the output order of segments, presort schemes, etc., for your job.  Each of the Mailflow options that start with the term “Use …” has another job block of settings associated with it.  So if you set any of the “Use …” options to ‘y’ for yes, then you will need to have another job block present to set the details of how you want the output order to change.  Here are the associated job blocks.

 

Conclusion

Mailflow can be an easy way to change how your presorted “groups” of records are output on reports and for labels and posting files.  See the documentation included with your product for more details.

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