Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
May 15, 1998

The right address saves time

by Diana Pounds

Format A (for off-campus senders)

Jane Doe
Iowa State University
University Relations
219 Communications Building
Ames, IA 50011-3242

Format B (for on-campus senders)

Jane Doe
University Relations
219 Communications Building

When you put your office address on stationery and publications, Jim Ziebold, postal and parcel service manager, suggests that you use Format A above.

The use of this format speeds delivery by taking advantage of the U.S. Postal Service's automated equipment, Ziebold said. On all mail handled by the U.S. Postal Service, only the bottom two lines of the address are used to complete the delivery.

"The 50011 ZIP Code pinpoints the destination as Iowa State and the four digits following the zip specify the mail route, the building and the location in the building where the mail is delivered," Ziebold said.

Mail that doesn't follow the format above is likely to move more slowly through the U.S. Postal system because it requires manual sorting, Ziebold said. Among the slowest moving university mail is that addressed simply to: Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011. All such mail takes a detour through the Treasurer's Office, where it must be opened and rerouted.

For on-campus mail, Ziebold suggests Format B above.

"We are constantly working to improve the accuracy of our sorting," Ziebold said. "Mail that is not sorted correctly results in rework and delay of delivery to the recipient. We encourage faculty and staff to use the four-digit number on the last line of campus mail, because this code helps us sort correctly," Ziebold said.

Each faculty and staff member's four-digit number can be found on the second line of the printed phone directory or after the ZIP Code in the online directory.

The four-digit number is virtually all that's needed to get mail to the correct building mail delivery point, Ziebold said. However, a campus address that includes a building and room number is a good back-up. The room number, where available, can be very important for delivery within the building.

On both campus and U.S. mail, it is important to specify the building whenever the four-digit code isn't used, Ziebold added. Some departments span more than one building on campus.

"For example, mail addressed to "John Doe, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department" lacks a direct, deliverable address.

"We don't know if the item should be delivered to Coover Hall or the Durham Center," Ziebold said, "because the electrical and computer engineering department has faculty and staff in each building."

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