From The NNA
The U.S. Postal Service is moving to implement Full-Service Intelligent Mail barcodes (IMb) on Periodicals by Jan. 26. Brad Hill, president of Interlink, a newspaper postal software company, provided information that publishers will need for this transition.
Hill, who is also one of the National Newspaper Association’s representatives on the Mailer’s Technical Advisory Committee, provided the information during a webinar hosted by the Iowa Newspaper Association and the Southern Newspapers Publishers Association.
“Full-Service IMb covers a wide selection of options and technicalities,” Hill said, “some of them specifically for newspapers.”
Not all newspapers will opt for using IMb, he added, but in order to qualify for postage automation discounts, newspapers must use the IMb.
The USPS said it wanted to implement IMb in order to better track mail through its system, from origin to destination. The USPS says it believes it can reduce costs and improve delivery consistency with IMb, which would provide nearly 100 percent visibility of the mail stream. Many newspapers started using the Basic version of IMb at the beginning of 2013 when the older barcode was phased out.
“The Postal Service is not using IMb to improve its delivery timeliness; not the service levels, but just the consistency,” Hill said. By implementing Full-Service, he added, USPS would shift the labor of digital entry of postal information to the mailer.
USPS also wants to speed things up on mail acceptance at post offices through this electronic process, Hill noted. Once a barcode is scanned, all the mailer’s information will come up on the Postal Service employee’s computer screen.