Archive for the ‘Intelligent Mail’ Category

How Intelligent is Your Mail?

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How Intelligent is Your Mail? | Paperspecs.

Good basics primer on the USPS Intelligent Mail barcode, for those just getting started.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 28th, 2009 at 9:49 am

Posted in Intelligent Mail,USPS

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DMM Advisory – Shipping Prices

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I think it is interesting that the USPS refers to these price changes as “adjustemnets” instead of increases, since the prices never go down.  DMM Advisory today covering the changes for shipping services effective tomorrow.  Visit usps.com/prices for details on these changes, as there are some new requirements as well.

The notice also mentions that the USPS will be announcing price changes for mailing services, including stamp prices, in February.  Those changes will take effect in May, along with Phase 1 of Intelligent Mail.  We will be waiting and watching for the publication of the mailing services changes with great anticipation.

Stay tuned!

Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 18th, 2009 at 5:56 pm

Full Service Intelligent Mail Pallet Placard Requirements

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One of the Full Service Intelligent Mail requirements that will force mailers to change how they currently handle mail pallets is the requirement for pallet placards to be affixed to the outside of any shrink wrap used to securee the pallet product.  It had been previously reported that this requirement would go into effect in May of 2009, however, the USPS has indicated that they are willing to push the requirement back until the Fall of 09.  This issue was raised and addressed on last week’s MTAC WG 122 Intelligent Mail Implementation teleconference.  I will keep you posted to any further clarifications on this requirement.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 12th, 2009 at 11:27 am

Five Ways to Mail Smarter and Save

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Five Ways to Mail Smarter and Save.

The 5th way mentioned here is use of the Intelligent Mail barcode.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

December 21st, 2008 at 11:48 am

USPS Server Meltdown – Shipping API Web Services

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I have seen numerous articles and posts on the web the past couple of days regarding USPS Shipping Web Services outtages.  According to this post, Slashdot | USPS Server Meltdown. the Shipping API web services has been down for at least an entire day.  Two weeks before the Christmas holiday is about the worst timing possbile for sellers who rely on USPS shipping to service their customers.

Although most of my readers are into more Mailing than Shipping Services, I have to tell you, this situation does not forbode well for the “paperless” future envisioned with Intelligent Mail.  One of the major unresolved topics coming up in MTAC circles and workgroups is “what happens if when everything crashes”?

There is an alert posted today on the main USPS site www.usps.com that says “ALERT:  Online Systems Interruptions” – better late than never, although most anyone using these systems knew that there was a problem long before it was posted.  Updates to the situation are being posted here:
http:’//www.usps.com/homearea/onlinesysteminterruptions.htm

If the delay in communication and the inability of the Postal Service to resolve these issues quickly is any indication of what we can expect when Intelligent Mail goes online next May, I am more than worried at this point. It is going to be an interesting ride, that is certain.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

December 10th, 2008 at 11:02 am

DMM Advisory – USPS Technical Guides

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There is a DMM Advisory out today regarding the Technical Guides that were posted – but you guys already knew about that, because it was posted here yesterday.  Scroll down for the post.

Now that you may have had a chance to look at the Tech Guides, comments?  Comment this blog!

Written by Lisa.Bowes

December 9th, 2008 at 3:05 pm

Posted in Intelligent Mail,USPS

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Intelligent Mail Glossary – PostCom

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Though the graciousness of Mr. Gene Del Polito and the Association for Postal Commerce, I have been given permission to share with you this Glossary of Intelligent Mail terms:

http://www.intelisent/com/uploads/IMGLOSSARY.pdf

This glossary is a great reference for both IMb novices and IMb experts – in the world of postal, having us all speak the same “language” can be invaluable, especially in the new and rapidly-developing world of Intelligent Mail.  This document is but one small example of the type of benefits that Association members enjoy on a regular basis.  At the PostCom website, look to the links bar on the right and scroll down to see a list of Members-Only items.  The Postal Operations Library, for example, has numerous papers, articles, and interpreted explanations of some of the most complex and intricate postal items, available when you need them, right on the website.

As an Association member, I can tell you for cetain that we get a great deal of value from our membership.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

December 9th, 2008 at 8:00 am

Posted in Intelligent Mail,USPS

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Intelligent Mail Guides

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New Guides have been posted to the RIBBS site – http://ribbs.usps.gov

The Guide to Intelligent Mail for Letters and Flats is here:
http://ribbs.usps.gov/files/fullserviceguides/GuidetoIntelligentMailv4.doc

There is a new PostalOne! Technical Guide for Mail.XML here:
http://ribbs.usps.gov/files/fullserviceguides/PostalOneTechnicalGuideforMailXML.doc

One of the major flaws in the USPS RIBBS site is that you cannot tell when something has been updated.   can tell that the Intelligent Mail Guide is new only after downloading it and looking at the Version and date (Version 4, December 2008.

I will be reviewing the guides this morning, look for an update on what I find in the content later today.

Here are a list of changes in Version 4 of the Guide to Intelligent Mail for Letters and Flats:

>Clarification of Uniqueness between Basic and Full Service
>Add Agency scenario to Cast of Characters
>Wording change to section 3.4 (IMb Lower repeated)
>Add Appendix D “Future Capabilities and Development Resource Mapping”
>Replace Mail.XML 5.0 with Mail.XML 6.0
>Clarifications made to the Spoilage section
>Update to Feedback Methods
>Update to reflect IMR
>Better define non-automation
>Add FAST Joint Scheduling details
>Update Mail.XML message names
>Update to reflect Release 1
>Cast of Characters timing

Written by Lisa.Bowes

December 8th, 2008 at 10:19 am

Posted in Intelligent Mail,USPS

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Intelligent Mail Timeline

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MTAC presentation “Intelligent Mail Barcode Update and Timeline”, presented by Pritha Mehra, VP Business Mail Entry and Payment Technologies, and John Edgar, Mgr. Corporate IT Portfolios

http://ribbs.usps.gov/files/mtac/MTAC1108/MTACPostalOneReadiness081119v5.ppt

Be sure to check out slide #4, a look at the Full Service Infrastructure.  Slides #13 & 14 have detailed specification release dates for planning purposes.

There is a lot to do, and not much time to do it in.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

December 1st, 2008 at 9:23 am

Intelligent Mail Implementation in 3 Phases

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More notes from MTAC, some dates and details regarding Intelligent Mail implementation plans for next year:

Release I – MAY 09 (5//11/09)
Support for Start-the-Clock for Mail.dat users
Support for address information data for Mail.dat users
Support for electronic documentation exchange via Mail.dat ver 09-1 and Postal Wizard
Support for Customer-Supplier Agreements
Will support range records
Will not support all of Mail.XML, will support FAST Appointment Scheduling and Data Distribution
Will not support Manifest Mailings

Mailers using Mail.dat today to submit electronic documentation will be the first to test the system.

Pre-production testing will between 3/31/09 & 4/24/09
Release 1 production environment 5/11/09
Test environment for customers 5/18/09 – USPS is building a separate test environment to mirror the production environment.

Release II – SEPTEMBER 09
Service performance measurement
Mail.dat 09-1 Manifest Mailings
Mail.XML 6.0
Support for start-the-clock for Mail.dat/Mail.XML users
Support for address information data for Mail.dat/Mail.XML users
Pre-production testing of the USPS system 8/1-8/7/09
Production environment 9/6/09
Testing for new mailers 9/13/09

Release III – LATE FALL 09
Support for lower IMb pricing for Full Service
Support for ACS charges for non-compliance
No dates yet

Written by Lisa.Bowes

November 25th, 2008 at 10:56 am