1.18.5  National Distribution Center

1.18.5.1  (04-29-2011)
Mission of the National Distribution Center (NDC)

  1. The NDC provides order fulfillment services and distribution of published products to IRS internal and external customers. The NDC is located in Bloomington, IL and is organizationally assigned to the Distribution Director in Media and Publications (M&P).

1.18.5.2  (04-29-2011)
NDC Software Systems

  1. The NDC uses two software systems for operations:

    • Enterprise Logistics Information Technology (ELITE)

    • Computer Assisted Publishing System (CAPS)

  2. ELITE maintains NDC inventory, controls orders, manages account information, and provides warehouse management tools. ELITE also generates picking tickets which are used to fill orders. ELITE is a commercial-off-the shelf (COTS) application. It is comprised of the following modules:

    • Order Management System (OMS)

    • Warehouse Management System (WMS)

    • Distribution Management System (DMS)

    • Transportation Management System (TMS)

    • ELITE Reporting Facility

    • Forecast Management System (FMS)

    • Resource Management System, and

    • ELITE Warehouse Control System (EWCS).

  3. CAPS maintains product specification information. Orders for several specialty programs are entered in CAPS and downloaded into ELITE. Order Subscription Management System (OSMS) is an online ordering system for internal orders that operates with the CAPS System.

1.18.5.3  (04-29-2011)
Order Entry

  1. The Processing Section at the NDC receives public and internal requests for IRS products. Customers may order by phone, mail and through the IRS intranet and internet web sites.

    • Phone number for internal orders: 1-800-829-2765

    • Phone number for external orders: 1-800-829-3676

    • Web site for internal orders: http://caps-as.enterprise.irs.gov/osms/app

    • Web site for external orders: http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/page/0,,id=10768,00.html

1.18.5.3.1  (04-29-2011)
Telephone Operations

  1. Processing Clerks answer telephone calls from internal customers who place orders or request information about the status of products and orders.

1.18.5.3.2  (04-29-2011)
Quantity Limits Set For Printed Products

  1. Some products and quantities are restricted to particular customers or customer groups. ELITE flags orders that exceed the quantity limits and the system generates daily report of such orders. Analysts review the report each day and decide whether to override the limitations or reject the order.

  2. The following limitations for tax products must be considered when placing and receiving orders:

    Order Type Description Quantity Limits
    Taxpayer
    An individual ordering tax related materials.
    All Products:
    100 Forms
    5 Publications
    5 Instructions
    Employer
    A business ordering products to meet its tax reporting requirements.

    Forms W-2, W-3, W-4, W-4P and 1099 MISC: 10,000 copies each.
    Other employer and information returns:
    1,000 copies.
    Publications 15, 15A, 15B, 51, 213, 531, 919, 1244, 1494, 1544 and information return and employer instructions: 250 copies each.
    Post Office
    A post office acting as a third party distributor of tax materials, usually part of the Tax Forms Outlet Program (TFOP).

    The Program Manager determines the quantity limits of all items.
     
    A post office ordering products to meet its tax reporting requirements

    Forms W-2, W-2G, W-3, W-4, W-4P and 1099 MISC:
    10,000 copies each.
    Other employer and information returns:
    1,000 copies.
    Publications 15, 15A, 15B, 51, 213, 531, 919, 1244, 1494, 1544 and information return and employer instructions:
    250 copies each.
    Bank
    A financial institution ordering tax related products.

    100 Forms, 5 Publications, and 5 Instructions.
     
    A financial institution ordering products to meet its tax reporting requirements

    Forms W-2, W-2G, W-3, W-4, W-4P and 1099 MISC:
    10,000 copies each.
    Other employer, information returns, and currency transaction reporting forms:
    1,000 copies.
    Publications 15, 15A, 15B, 51, 213, 531, 919, 1244, 1494, 1544, and information return and employer instructions:
    250 copies each.
    Library
    A public library acting as a third party distributor of tax materials, usually part of TFOP.

    The Program Manager determines the quantity limits of all items.
     
    A library ordering products to meet its tax reporting requirements.

    Forms W-2, W-2G, W-3, W-4, W4P, and 1099 MISC:
    10,000 copies each.
    Other employer and information returns:
    1,000 copies.
    Publications 15, 15A, 15B, 51, 213 531, 919, 1244, 1494, 1544 and information return and employer instructions:
    250 copies each.
    Other Government Agencies
    A federal, state or local government or government-affiliated organization such as schools, universities and military installations, acting as third party distributor of tax materials to the public or their employees.

    The Program Manager determines the quantity limits of all items.
     
    A federal, state, or local government or government-affiliated organization such as schools, universities and military installations ordering products to meet its tax reporting requirements.

    Forms W-2, W-2G, W-3, W-4, W-4P and 1099 MISC:
    10,000 copies each.
    Other employer and information returns:
    1,000 copies.
    Publications 15, 15A, 15B, 51, 213, 531, 919,1244, 1494, 1544 and information return and employer instructions:
    250 copies each.
    Tax Professional
    A person or firm that prepares tax returns for compensation.

    100 Forms, 5 Publications, and 5 Instructions.
     
    A person or firm that prepares tax returns for compensation and is ordering products to meet its tax reporting requirements.

    Forms W-2, W-2G, W-3, W-4, W-4P and 1099 MISC:
    10,000 copies each.
    Other employer and information returns:
    1,000 copies.
    Publications 15, 15A, 15B, 51, 213, 531, 919, 1244, 1494, 1544 and information return and employer instructions:
    250 copies each.

1.18.5.3.3  (04-29-2011)
Mail Receipt

  1. NDC Processing Clerks open and sort incoming mail. They also forward incorrectly addressed mail to its correct destination.

1.18.5.3.4  (04-29-2011)
Order Entry Paper Orders

  1. NDC receives paper copies of order blanks by:

    • Mail from IRS offices, taxpayers, employers, tax professionals and other public customers.

    • Fax

    • E-mail

1.18.5.3.5  (04-29-2011)
Form 5753 – Action on Your Tax Form Order

  1. The NDC uses Form 5753, Action on Your Tax Form Order, to notify customers about changes in their orders. This notification includes referrals to other agencies or offices, and product information.

1.18.5.3.6  (04-29-2011)
Invalid Address

  1. All customer addresses must be compliant with the Postal System address requirements.

  2. ELITE verifies that addresses are valid postal addresses and generates a report of all orders with unacceptable addresses.

  3. NDC employees review the report and attempt to correct addresses by using reference materials and internet resources.

1.18.5.4  (04-29-2011)
Order Fulfillment

  1. Processing and Printing Clerks are responsible for processing and sorting orders for shipment. Order fulfillment activities include:

    1. Filling orders on lines containing one to hundreds of products

    2. Printing some low volume products on-demand

    3. Spraying addresses on some orders

    4. Using a folder and inserter to fill some orders

    5. Sorting orders for shipment by carrier

    6. Closing orders

    7. Generating mail and shipping manifests.

1.18.5.4.1  (04-29-2011)
Types of Orders

  1. The IRS has various methods of making tax forms and instructions available to the public. Processing Clerks fill orders for the programs listed below.

  2. The terms" order type" and "programs" can be used interchangeably. An order type indicates who is placing the order.

    Programs Users
    International Program Supplies American Embassies with tax forms to meet the needs of American overseas.
    Internal Management Document Distribution System (IMDDS) Program Manages and distributes internal documents to the IRS personnel.
    Community Based Outlet (CBOP) Program Provides reproducible products to outlets that enable taxpayers to get forms and information in convenient locations.
    Tax Forms Outlets (TFOP) Program Supplies Post Offices, Libraries and other outlets with tax materials to distribute to the public.
    Prior Year Program Supplies public and internal customers with tax products from previous years.
    Internal Program Provides IRS employees with forms and publications.
    Post of Duty Program Supplies Taxpayer Assistance Centers with products for re-distribution to the public.
    Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program Supplies customers with tax forms, instructions and publications.
    Employer Program Supplies businesses with employment tax products for employee and company use.

1.18.5.4.2  (04-29-2011)
Public Order Fulfillment

  1. A public order is a request for IRS printed product(s) from an individual taxpayer, employer, tax professional or other requestor.

1.18.5.4.2.1  (04-29-2011)
Receiving Public Orders

  1. The NDC receives initial orders by:

    • Order form

    • Correspondence

    • Internet

    .

1.18.5.4.2.2  (04-29-2011)
Picking Tickets

  1. A picking ticket lists the products to fill an order. It includes:

    1. Shipping container for the order

    2. Products and ordered quantity

    3. Product fulfillment line location

    4. Transportation for shipping the order

    5. Messages telling the customer some items may be back ordered or shipped separately.

  2. ELITE generates picking tickets. Processing Clerks fill orders from the picking tickets. ELITE may generate more than one picking ticket for an order on product availability, quantity or fulfillment line location. Each picking ticket and its associated products are shipped separately.

1.18.5.4.2.2.1  (04-29-2011)
Forms Clerk Fulfillment Responsibilities

  1. The Clerk must check the work station and verify that it is stocked with the correct products and product revisions before filling orders.

  2. The Clerk must pull from the products stocked on the workstation.

  3. To complete an order, the Clerk must check to verify that all products are included in the correct container, that quantity included is accurate, that the stock is in good condition, and that the customer's address is visible on the container.

  4. When an order is completed, the Clerk places the container on the appropriate conveyor for transportation to the verification scales.

1.18.5.4.2.3  (04-29-2011)
Special Notices

  1. Sometimes the IRS includes items not requested by a customer in an order. For example, the organization may provide information about products in a shipment such as errata notices and Form 5753, Action On Your Tax Forms Order.

  2. IRS issues errata notices when printed products contain errors or late legislation minimally changes the content of material. The organization reprints products that contain critical errors.

  3. Form 5753 informs the customer about changes in the order.

1.18.5.4.3  (04-29-2011)
Internal Order Fulfillment

  1. An internal order is a request for IRS published products from an IRS employee. NDC Clerks fill orders for most internal use products from a stock carousal. The carousal is an automated storage and retrieval device consisting of a series of linked bins mounted on an oval track. NDC uses four linked carousals to fill orders for internal products. When the carousal is activated, the bins rotate to bring the required items to the operator. The software that controls the carousal combines similar orders, allowing the operator to pick up to 12 orders simultaneously. The operator places the product into a tub. When the order is completed, the operator pushes the tub onto a conveyor which takes it to a packing station.

1.18.5.4.4  (04-29-2011)
Stocking Order Fulfillment

  1. ELITE replenishes fulfillment stock using demand and minimum level parameters.

  2. Line resupply impacts productivity, quality, turnaround times, and safety.

1.18.5.4.5  (04-29-2011)
NDC Transportation Operations

  1. NDC Transportation Staff:

    1. Provides information for shipping orders at the Distribution Center, updates ELITE transportation tables and maintains a system of accountability for outgoing shipments.

    2. Provides guidance to NDC employees for determining and obtaining mail and transportation services so that materials arrive at destination timely and efficiently using the most cost effective method.

    3. Works with M&P/Distribution, Distribution Requirements, and Postal and Transport Policy Section to ensure that policies, standards, techniques, and procedures are followed when shipping printed materials.

    4. Acts as the Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (COTR) for the NDC mail pre-sort and expediter contracts.

1.18.5.5  (04-29-2011)
Logistics

  1. The NDC uses effective inventory management practices to:

    1. Distribute high quality products

    2. Maintain sufficient stock to meet customer needs

    3. Keep government costs low

    4. Use warehouse space efficiently

    5. Capture accurate data for forecasting

  2. Logistics Staff are responsible for:

    1. Following effective inventory management practices

    2. Maintaining inventory accuracy and reorder points

    3. Receiving inbound shipment of tax products and reviewing them on behalf the IRS

    4. Putting stock away using efficient warehousing practices

    5. Pulling stock from warehouse locations

    6. Replenishing fulfillment stock

    7. Filling bulk orders, and

    8. Loading and unloading trucks

    .

1.18.5.5.1  (04-29-2011)
Product Maintenance

  1. The NDC stores and distributes appropriate revisions of printed products. Designated M&P Division Analysts identify current, prior year, and obsolete revisions and product disposition.

1.18.5.5.2  (04-29-2011)
Disposals

  1. Throughout the year, NDC employees must dispose of obsolete, revised, damaged, or unusable products. NDC employees identify and dispose of products as directed by designated M&P Division Analysts.

1.18.5.5.3  (04-29-2011)
Inventory Accuracy (Cycle Counting)

  1. The NDC maintains accurate inventory records so that they are able to meet customer needs. The Distribution Center uses cycle counting to ensure their inventory records accurately reflect what is stored in the warehouse and fulfillment. Cycle counting is the process of verifying inventory accuracy by counting a few items every day, comparing the count to ELITE and reconciling differences.

1.18.5.5.4  (04-29-2011)
Reorder Points

  1. ELITE reorder points alert NDC and other Distribution employees that products inventory has fallen below specific quantity. A reorder point consists of a date range and quantity.

  2. NDC employees establish a reorder point for all center products (with the exception of On Demand and Prior Year), and update them on annual basis to avoid stock outages and back orders, increased transportation costs and potential work stoppages.

1.18.5.5.5  (04-29-2011)
Planned Shipments

  1. Specialty program customers place annual orders for products they will need during the filing season. The Distribution Center ships groups of products to these customers as these orders and products are received. These shipments are called Planned Shipments.

  2. Contractors fill some of these orders and ship them directly to the customer. These shipments are called Contractor Planned Shipments .

1.18.5.5.6  (04-29-2011)
Bulk Order Fulfillment

  1. The NDC fills public and internal orders for full cartons of published products directly from the warehouse. Full carton orders are also called bulk orders.

1.18.5.6  (04-29-2011)
Specialty Programs

  1. Specialty Programs are distribution programs and products distributed to a specific audience with special requirements. These programs include:

    • The International Program

    • The Community Based Outlet Program

    • The Tax Forms Outlets Program

    • The Training Publication Distribution System

    • The Internal Management Document Distribution System

    • Security Products

    • Prior Year Tax Products

    • The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program

    • The Small Business Program

1.18.5.6.1  (04-29-2011)
The International Program

  1. The International program supplies the American Embassies, Consulates, and various military legal assistance offices worldwide with sufficient tax products to meet the needs of Americans overseas. Each summer, these customers receive a survey listing the items and quantities they used in the prior year from program Analysts through electronic mail. The customers place orders for the subsequent year and return them to a designated electronic form mailbox.

1.18.5.6.2  (04-29-2011)
Community Based Outlet Program (CBOP)

  1. The IRS partners with corporations and businesses to make reproducible tax forms and tax information available. This program is called the Community Based Outlet Program. Each year the CBOP program Analysts send IRS self mailer return post card order form to customers. The customers complete the order forms and return them to NDC where employees enter the order into ELITE. Some of the orders are filled and shipped to the customers by contractors, while the rest of the orders including ones received at later dates are filled and shipped by NDC employees.

  2. The IRS provides reproducible tax products to:

    • Copy Centers and Office Supply Stores

    • Grocery Stores and Pharmacies

    • Credit Unions

    • Corporations (of 100 or more employees)

    • City/County Government

    .

1.18.5.6.3  (04-29-2011)
Tax Forms Outlets Program (TFOP)

  1. The IRS distributes tax materials to outlets that are readily accessible to the public. The NDC distributes some of the tax materials while Contractors deliver the bulk of the orders. Most program participants are libraries or post offices, however, selected other organizations also distribute forms through the program.

1.18.5.6.4  (04-29-2011)
Training Publication Distribution System (TPDS)

  1. Training Publication Distribution System (TPDS) provides training materials to IRS operating divisions worldwide. Training instructors use over 3000 TPDS products in over 500 courses. End users may be at IRS offices or off-site locations. Orders for training materials originate in the field offices. IRS employees order materials by phone, electronic mail or fax to the National Distribution Center (NDC).

1.18.5.6.5  (04-29-2011)
Internal Management Document Distribution System (IMDDS)

  1. The IMDDS Program maintains IRS office mailing addresses and distributes various published products to IRS audience. The author(s) of the products and the IMDDS Coordinator identify the targeted audience, and establish automatic distribution quantities for each location.

1.18.5.6.6  (04-29-2011)
Security Products

  1. Some IRS published products contain protected information (or are serially numbered). These security products require specific measures for receiving, storage, shipping, and disposal. Management authorizes and designates employees within certain Order Points to order security products. Management identifies and authorizes which products a designated employee may order.

1.18.5.6.7  (04-29-2011)
Prior Year

  1. The NDC will enter and fill orders for prior year tax forms and instructions, and may elect to use on-demand printing to fill prior year orders.

1.18.5.6.8  (04-29-2011)
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program

  1. The VITA program ordering process is electronically based. The order information is electronically sent to CAPS for Stakeholder Partnerships, Education, and Communications (SPEC's) review and approval. Once the orders are approved, they are downloaded into ELITE for fulfillment.

1.18.5.6.9  (04-29-2011)
The Small Business Program

  1. The small business program is an established partnership with stakeholder organizations to conduct Small Business Tax Workshops (SBTWs) on behalf of the IRS to provide resource materials for the organizations' clients and members.


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