PMG tells mailers Full-Service IMb on track for January implementation

From USPS News Link:

Mailers who want to continue taking advantage of automation prices for First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, Periodicals and Bound Printed Matter will have to use the Full-Service Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) starting Jan. 26, 2014.

The final rule for the implementation of the Full-Service Intelligent Mail requirements for automation prices appears in the April 18 issue of the Federal Register.

The rulemaking includes information to help mailers prepare for the transition to Full-Service IMb. USPS is encouraging mailers to contact their mail service providers and software vendors for the latest updates on how to get the best value for automation mailings under the new rule.

Additional information can be found at the RIBBS website. The “Latest News” tab under the Intelligent Mail Services has the most recent information on Full-Service IMb — including the Intelligent Mail barcode, Electronic Documentation and the simplified approval process.

IMb offers several benefits to USPS and mailers, including:

  • Accurate tracking of mail as it moves through the postal network.
  • Improved tools to monitor service performance.
  • Scan data on containers, trays, and mailpieces to measure the number of hours and minutes between operations.

Simplified mail acceptance that will increase productivity and reduce costs.

In addition to the Federal Register notice, the USPS released the following letter from the PMG to the mailing industry:

MAILING INDUSTRY
SUBJECT: Intelligent Mail Barcode

On January 26, 2014, an Intelligent Mail® barcode and the full-service option will be required for mailers to receive automation price discounts. Our intent is to create 100 percent visibility in the mailstream by providing mailers with near real-time data on their mail and packages from origin to final delivery.

In an effort to assist the mailing community in the conversion to full-service Intelligent Mail, we have worked during the past two years to develop several important initiatives. In June we will begin offering a Full-Service Technology Credit to help defray some of the costs associated with conversion to full-service. In addition, we are working to make it easier for mailers to adopt full-service including certifying and promoting vendors’ full-service software.

Despite these and other steps, it has come to my attention that some businesses remain skeptical about the Postal Service’s resolve to meet the January implementation date. I want to assure everyone that our full-service requirement will go into effect in January 2014. The benefits of full-service to the mailing industry compel us to meet this time line.

I look forward to continuing our work together to make full visibility of the mail a reality and to grow our industry.

Patrick R. Donahoe

PMG letter to Industry 4-19-13.pdf.