Postcode News: Accelerating into the future
AFD has been at the forefront of providing contact data validation solutions for the past 35 years. Maintaining that position requires a culture of continuous improvement throughout the organisation. This edition of Postcode News focuses on the latest exciting developments that further enhance our solutions and benefit our customers.
After record-breaking summer temperatures, climate change and its impacts have been more visible than ever. We look at the AFD Group’s commitment to improving its green credentials and helping reduce the carbon footprint of the organisation.
Recommended Major Upgrade Now Available
A new, upgraded version of AFD’s Postcode Evolution service (the server solution for accessing AFD’s datasets) has been completed by our Technical teams and is now ready for all AFD customers to benefit from.
“Performance Evolution” has taken the excellent foundation of the Postcode Evolution Service and added significant upgrades to three key areas, namely; Speed, Resilience, and Facilitating new features.
AFD’s Postcode Evolution engine is fast, as all current users will attest. Performance Evolution has seen the average lookup speed in a real-world environment increase by between 4 and 15 times! Your choice of deployment; Hosted (cloud service) or Installed (integrated on your own network) will determine the performance increase you enjoy.
Additional features usually slow things down, but the improvements in speed in AFD’s Performance Evolution further highlight just how effective the substantial work on the data engine has been.
AFD Software has invested heavily into resilience so that we maintain optimal service levels to all customers. Customers trust us to maintain reliable services 24/7/365 and we do just that.
To further advance our resilience, Performance Evolution is now set up as a cluster of services with built-in redundancy so that when a fault is detected it is resolved automatically and without impacting service levels. In short, detected issues are resolved faster – but service levels remain robust, reliable and fully available.
AFD’s FastFind functionality has been incorporated into our range of data validation solutions to help users find the correct address by spotting typing errors or missing characters in any address fragment entered, and still returning the best match.
With the latest version of FastFind, both its performance and relevance of results have been improved. As a result, multiple requests can be handled simultaneously and faster than ever before. Results are now displayed in the most relevant order based on the data entered, reverting back to postcode order if there is no relevant match
TypeAhead further improves our users’ experience using AFD’s data validation tools. As data is entered, the full address is predicted and narrowed down as more data is provided. This saves time, key strokes, and of course data errors!
How to benefit from Performance upgrades
These significant upgrades are now available Free of Charge to all Postcode Evolution customers. AFD is recommending all customers make the upgrade and benefit from both the enhanced performance and additional features. If you choose not to upgrade, nothing will break and your software will run as it always has – with excellence. Accessing Performance Evolution will depend on your choice of deployment: Installed or Hosted.
Hosted customers will already have seen the benefits to speed and resilience. To benefit from improvements in FastFind functionality follow the instructions at www.afd.co.uk/performance
Installed customers who wish to upgrade can visit www.afd.co.uk/performance to get access to the installed performance server for your relevant environment.
Customers using AFD’s automated batch address list cleaning product “AFD Refiner” with Postcode Evolution should seek advice from our Technical Support team on 01624 811712 before making the upgrade.
For any help in upgrading to Performance Evolution features within your AFD solutions and to upgrade your licence to include TypeAhead functionality, call Oliver Lenihan today on 01624 811711 or email email@example.com
Introducing Telephone Validation
Making the right call (or text!)
AFD Software’s new phone-validation feature can greatly reduce the number of errors (or invalid phone numbers) entered into your organisation’s records. You will have much more confidence in your data and customers will receive the communications you intended!
Just one incorrect digit can lead to your customer missing essential communications, order confirmations, delivery updates, appointment reminders and special offers.
AFD’s Telephone Validation solution validates UK landline, UK mobile and International telephone numbers at the point of entry. In addition, it shows whether the telephone number is currently “live” (but note that it does not verify that the number is correctly associated with a named individual or organisation).
On the rise
- 78% of adults (over 16) own a smartphone today, compared with 17% in 2008.
- In 2018, the average phone user checks their phone once every 12 minutes
- In 2017 the UK had 92 million mobile subscriptions compared with 26.4 million residential landlines
GDPR (article 5.1) requires that “Personal data shall be: (d) accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date”. AFD’s new service can help you meet the obligation to enter and maintain accurate, reliable information.
Call Joel Miller today on 01624 811 709 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to upgrade to AFD’s phone validation solution today.
A Hive of Environmental Activity
This summer has seen recording-breaking temperatures across the UK and climate change has been more visible than ever.
AFD Software is leading the field amongst technology companies in the British Isles to reduce its carbon footprint as it actively seeks ways to become greener as an organisation.
Since AFD moved its HQ to the Mountain View Innovation Centre (MVIC) in 2015, over 3000 trees have been planted on site. The environmental importance of trees is hugely significant as they trap carbon dioxide and provide oxygen in return. Per year, a mature tree is able to absorb 22 kg of CO2 on average. The new trees are already providing additional habitats to a whole variety of birds and wildlife, which will only increase as they mature.
The largest solar array on the Isle of Man now occupies one of the roofs at MVIC. Two years in the making, its launch couldn’t have been planned any better: the panels came online in June, and were able to make good use of the island’s record 290 hours of sunshine that month! In the first four months of operation, AFD has been self-generating all the electricity used on site, saving over 12,558 kg in CO2 emissions.
Jonathan Sutherland - Properties Manager
Having looked at all the environmental advancements AFD Software has implemented it only seemed right to interview our Properties Manager for this edition’s hotspot!
Jon is from Edinburgh originally and moved to the Isle of Man 11 years ago. Jon has the huge responsibility with his team of ensuring all of the AFD group’s properties are maintained to the highest standards, creating first-class working and living environments.
His journey with AFD started as the post room supervisor but soon his talents for property maintenance were spotted and harnessed. AFD is committed to growing all staff to reach their potential and Jonathan is another example of success in this area. As the company’s property portfolio grew his role became more properties-focused.
When asked what he most enjoys about his role Jon answered “Firstly the people, we all help each other, at work and outside work. I like the freedom to explore new ideas and technologies. I’m given the time and space to learn about these. I’m a big fan of lowering our energy footprint (I’m Scottish: let’s be honest I like to save money), and introducing these technologies which automate and optimise our energy usage across the MVIC site.”
Some examples of these new ideas and technologies include; the largest solar array on the Isle of Man (by far!), super-fast EV car chargers, automated gates which work by a GSM dialler, and a timer and LED lights across the whole site with PIR detectors.
Jon has been married to wife Charli for two years and he has two boys, Josh and Ronan. The wedding took place in MVIC’s extensive landscaped grounds with a marquee and bouncy castle lending a hand. Jon enjoys football (playing and watching when time permits) and falling asleep listening to documentaries (probably about solar panels).
Data News - Q. 4/18
Between July and September 2018 there were significant updates to data on The Royal Mail Postcode Address File (PAF). These included 17 new localities; 9,298 new postcodes; 134,896 new delivery points and 21,794 delivery point changes.
|Postcode||Double Dependant Locality||Dependant Locality||Post Town|
|BA2 3||SPRING WHARF||BATH|
|BT93 7||EAST TULLYNADALL||DERRYGONNELLY||ENNISKILLEN|
|EH16 4||EDINBURGH BIOQUARTER||EDINBURGH|
|EX15 1||GOONVEAN BUSINESS PARK||CULLOMPTON|
|NE20 0||WOODLANDS MANOR||MEDBURN||NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE|
|PE31 8||CHOSELEY||DOCKING||KING’S LYNN|
|PE34 4||EAU BRINK||TILNEY ALL SAINTS||KING’S LYNN|
|RH18 5||WEIR WOOD||FOREST ROW|
|SA73 2||THORNTON INDUSTRIAL ESTATE||MILFORD HAVEN|
|SG8 5||ROYSTON GATEWAY||ROYSTON|
The most up-to-date PAF data is available now in our latest Q.4/18 update. You can order updates for any AFD Software solution by calling 01624 811711 or email (mailto:email@example.com)