Ramsey firm to help with Forces postage problem

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RAMSEY-based AFD Software has come to the assistance of the British Forces in overcoming a problem with postage.

If someone is serving overseas with Britain’s military or Embassy services, it has become nearly impossible to use the internet to buy a family member a gift for their birthday.

This problem has occurred because most modern businesses use Royal Mail postcodes to capture the mailing address details – using the ‘Postcode Address File’, which is a huge database of every address in Britain.

Using this file helps firms capture the address details speedily and accurately, so they can be sure the parcel quickly arrives at the right place.

AFD Software process this complex database on behalf of Royal Mail, and distribute it to every organisation who needs to use it, such as hospitals, banks, insurance firms, trade unions, universities and online retailers.

UK Forces use a different method of getting their post – the British Forces Post Office (BFPO) system, which is used to send materials wherever the forces are serving.

AFD has now worked with Royal Mail and BFPO to provide a new set of special Forces postcodes (they all begin ‘BF…’) for each BFPO address, in such a way that it will be easy for those who use postcodes in their computer systems to accept these new ones.

Former head of the British Army General, the Lord Dannatt, said: ‘Many thousands of men and women are sacrificially serving this country overseas.

‘I hope that by the simple act of adding the new Royal Mail/BFPO postcode data to your computer systems, you will support them and make it far easier for them to access products and services.’

AFD was commissioned by Royal Mail and the MOD to develop the new BF/BFPO data, and to incorporate it and make it easily available to users. The database engineers and system specialists based at AFD’s Ramsey headquarters undertook this project.

The company began as a home-based business in the West of Scotland in May 1983, and moved to Ramsey, Isle of Man, in 1997. The company employs 30 staff in Ramsey and a further nine staff in the UK.

AFD is the world’s leading postcode and address management software specialising in helping businesses manage computer-based names, addresses and mailing lists.

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