Actually, zip code 99999 doesn’t even exist. In fact, the highest real zip code is 99950, for Ketchikan, Alaska. Still, if you scour your database, there’s a good chance you’ll find more than a few 99999 zip codes.
Most organizations find that it’s been entered as a placeholder in their shipment database. If shipments go as planned, what’s the problem? If your strategy calls for automating your processes, you’ll encounter serious challenges created by a lack of address data accuracy. Let’s talk about how address data becomes inaccurate and what you can do about it.
Dirty Data Drives Supply Chain Inefficiency
Depending on the solutions in use, a database may fill in 99999 if no zip code is entered, or 99999 may have been entered rather than taking the time to look up the correct number. Why does this happen so often? It’s because many shippers do not have the technology to validate address data that’s been provided by customers, and this lack of inaccurate mailing address data quickly becomes a very expensive problem.
Without accurate mailing address data, packages to your customers will be delayed or returned to you, very likely resulting in lost customers. According to a survey conducted by Ipsos, 85 percent of customers are unlikely to do business with an online retailer again after a poor delivery experience. Dirty data will also drive significant additional costs due address correction and service level correction fees.
Even more, while individual address data problems lead to negative customer experiences and increased costs, they also prevent shippers from making accurate strategic decisions. If you’re looking at adding or repositioning distribution centers, rationalizing your product lines, or a myriad other initiatives, clean data makes all the difference.
Solving the Dirty Data Problem
How do you correct the zip code 99999 problem in your company?
The key is to implement a comprehensive and reliable address verification API into your system. With automated technology to verify your customer’s mailing addresses, you will be equipped to provide a better customer experience, improve time in transit, and incur substantial savings. On top of this, the address data repository that you develop with this technology will power your parcel strategy with valuable data, as well as provide you with a tool that you can leverage in contract negotiations with carriers.
To find out more about how you can equip your organization with accurate mailing address data, click here.