Answering entry point specific questions using MailStream Plus

Product Affected:  MailStream Plus™
Question- When you specify an entry point zip code that MailStream Plus™ (MSP) deems to be invalid, what basis/heuristic does it use to assign an alternative, or does it?
Answer- No, MSP will not assign an alternative ZIP Code.  If the job receives an error on the ENT PT parameter for the entry point zip code, you will have to manually correct the invalid zip code in position 22-26 of the ENT PT parameter and rerun the job:
ENT PT     D         00009 PBS - LANHAM MD                     S       Y
                     #####                                    1002: Invalid Value ENT PT in Position(s) (ZIP) 

Question- Is there any advantages to using the SCF PT, NDC PT or ADC PT parameters over the ENT PT parameter?
Answer- Yes, there are:

1)  By using an xxx PT (SCF PT and/or NDC PT and/or ADC PT parameters), MSP will generate the ENT PT’s for the job automatically for all of the SCFs, NDCs, or ADCs that exist in the USPS, instead of manually typing each ENT PT needed for the job.  
2)  MSP will automatically assign each Name-Address record to the correct entry facility based on the record's ZIP Code. 
As the USPS closes facilities and moves 3-digits to the service areas of different SCFs, NDCs, and ADCs, MSP will always assign the records to the correct facility.

Question- If *all* the flags for the various discount options (SCF, NDC, ADC, DDU, etc.) in positions 58 thru 62 are set to Y on the ENT PT or the other xxx PTs, will MailStream Plus determine the ‘best’ discount possible?
Answer- Yes, MailStream Plus will determine the best discount the piece qualifies for a particular entry point as it is set up on the parameter.  
But selecting all of the discounts is telling MSP that mailpieces will be physically entered at each of the correct facilities where it is entitled to the best discount.  
So MSP will prepare the presort and discounts as though the mailer is taking each mailpiece to the entry facility where it's entitled to that discount - be it the SCF, the NDC, a DDU, etc, or even to more than one facility for the same xxx PT parameter.
That is why it is best and more correct to only request the discount that applies to the actual entry point(s) the mail will be entered at.  
For example, if the presort is intended for just entering the mail at an NDC facility(s) and so requests the NDC discount, then the job should not also request SCF and/or DDU discounts, unless the mailer will also be entering mailpieces at any separate SCF and/or DDU facilities
 determined by the presort to make them eligible for the better discounts. 
Question- Does MailStream Plus have a feature whereby the job will give an output of the optimal entry point for a range of subscriber addresses (zips)?
Answer- No, there is no such a feature.

Question- Does MailStream Plus have a feature whereby the job will give an output of the optimal entry point for a range of subscriber addresses (zips) and the print site address from where the entry point will be serviced?
Answer- No, MailStream Plus determines rates per job setup and the input file that is run.  You would have to run the job and setup the parameters to determine the outcome of each presort.

Question- Does MailStream Plus offer an updated list of current SCF, ADC etc. entry points that we could use to keep our database updated?
Answer- The USPS Postal Reference monthly files are used by the software to run your presort.  If you want to see lists of these values, you would have to go to the USPS site: PE.USPS.Gov.
Also- you could run a test job containing the xxx PT parameters you are interested in, and look at the RPT output file to see the ENT PTs that MSP generated. 
On Windows and UNIX/Linux, by default the file will be <YourJobname>.rpt, or check the DD MSRPRPT in the job file.
On Mainframe check the JCL's DD MSRPRPT variable to see where the RPT file is written to.
On IBMi, it is in the PRNTRPT spool file.
UPDATED:  August 28, 2018