Level Plains working toward creation of postal code – The Southeast Sun: NewsBy
Here is one of the most complex issues the USPS zipcode, and the USPS, indeed any post with a postcode system, faces.
The zipcode was established so the USPS could run its business more efficiently, and thus more economically. The zipcode wasn’t directly intended to serve as a template for categorization and planning of retail locations or business operations or business decisions by American businesses in general and mail customers in particular. It was not intended to be a business/residential zone discrimination device, or a marketing categories allocation tool, or a map-making tool or a categorization/geolocation tool for anyone, much less for accounting software programs.
But the zipcode has become all those things, generally for the enormous economic benefit of both the Post and the businesses and governments who use it for location purposes and many other purposes, sometimes unfortunately with an “imperfect fit”.
Level Plains Alabama has a whole lot of problems because of the zipcode divisions in its area, which this writer sets out with great clarity. Anyone involved with postal code creation for the first time in foreign countries would do well to keep these concerns in mind.
Obviously, they can’t all be accommodated. Many of them can be solved by perhaps special codes, or by being very frank about some of the issues. For example, the software designers can be told very frankly that they’ll just have to come up with a few lines of code for the nonconforming businesses. For some problems, they’re not the postal service’s responsibility, so they will just have to fix their programs for the exceptions.
Post code developers in countries now adopting them, please don’t let relatively small exceptions and objections made to your system stall progress. If you want to design a true geolocation postcode system, you will have to do that, but remember the problem which that willingness caused for An Post in Ireland as homeowners screamed about the possible impact on sales values of their homes. Business database creators can wait for you to finish, and make adjustments in their data-keeping. They will be important customers regardless.
Build in work-arounds for these exceptions? Well, complexity costs money. Hold your hands out to the politicians and businesses demanding it. A postcode is designed to make your business more efficient. If the others insist on accommodation, insist on funding.