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CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  Membership  |  Topic: How long does it take to get replacement ID cards
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jfkspotting
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« on: October 31, 2017, 07:02:45 AM »

I ordered two new ID cards 2 weeks ago. How much longer should I expect them?
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NIN
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« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2017, 09:18:36 AM »

I ordered two new ID cards 2 weeks ago. How much longer should I expect them?

Awesome, a topic I can address! :)

The ID cards are produced by a third party vendor for CAP on basically a weekly basis.  At a high level, the process involves creating a batch file with all the ID card requests for the previous week (new members, requested new cards) and sending that file to the vendor. The produce the cards, batch them up for mailing (non-profit bulk rate, you need to do this in volume to gain cost efficiency), and by the end of the week they go out.

Now, all this is affected by a number of things, like holidays, people being out, etc. If the person who batches the ID requests is out sick on the Monday that the batches are normally created, then maybe that week's requests wind up getting produced in the following week's run, for example (I'm not precisely sure thats exactly how it works, but that's an example. Maybe that batch can go to the vendor on a Tuesday and its no factor. Not real sure there). 

Year or two back, we had a situation where a member asked about a replacement ID card taking a long time.  In looking at the situation, the sequence was this weird pefect storm of timing, a holiday, and bulk-mailing:

  • He'd requested the new ID card on a Monday afternoon (literally a couple hours after that week's batch was created).
  • The ID card request was included in the next week's batch the following Monday (7 days after requested).
  • That particular week there was a Federal holiday on Friday. So the vendor didn't get the card batch completed and over to the bulk-mailing place because they were closed. (11 days after requested)
  • The previous week's mailing didn't wind up going to the bulk-mailing place until the following Friday (19 days after requested)
  • The non-profit bulk rate mailings are essentially the "steerage class" of mailings. USPS might even prioritize the junk mail you get ahead of the bulk mail for non-profits. (could be 7-10 more days enroute)

Now that was an extreme case (and I'm not entirely sure that the previous week's mailing didn't go over on Monday, but they probably only send their mailings over once a week or something).

Patience, my young padawan.

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Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
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CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  Membership  |  Topic: How long does it take to get replacement ID cards
 


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