Archive for the ‘MTAC’ tag

IMb Requirements Implementation Date Change for Business Reply Mail

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Per the Postal Bulletin 22266 today, the timeline for implementation of the Intelligent Mail barcode requirements for Business Reply Mail pieces has been postponed until May 2011.  The USPS had originally announced requirements for qualified QBRM letters and Cards and PRM pieces would be effective in May 2010.  This postponement gives users of these services more time to transition over, using up current printed stock supplies and enabling more time for planning for the future.

This change came about mainly from a recommendation made by MTAC Work Group #128, under the leadership of USPS Co-Chair Linda Stewart and Industry Co-Chair Jody Berenblatt from Bank of America.  This is a good example of how MTAC Work Groups can influence and accomplish changes that benefit both the USPS and the mailing industry at large.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

August 27th, 2009 at 11:18 am

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New MTAC WG #130 “Communicating Features and Benefits of Confirm Service”

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I am pleased to be the Industry Co-Chair, along with USPS Co-Chair Nykesha Kemp-Hirst, in leading a new MTAC work group that is currently forming, to consider Confirm Service.  We are currently putting together a roster, please contact me directly for more information, or if you would like to participate.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

August 3rd, 2009 at 10:00 am

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Intelligent Mail Barcode Read Tolerances

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Great news of a compromise between the USPS and mailer representatives from MTAC.  At the last round of MTAC Mailer’s Technical Advisory Committee meetings in May, the membership voted to push what is known as a Key Issue, regarding the Intelligent Mail Barcode Readability tolerances announced by the USPS.  The tolerances at the time required a readability rate of 90% or higher in order to avoid any penalties.  Our concern was mainly for Flats mailings, of which there is very little experience using the IMb out in the field.  Mailers felt that if the tolerance was set at the 90% level, the result would be a deterrent for mailers looking to migrate and adopt the Intelligent Mail barcode, for fear of financial ramifications as they ramp up their quality control processes during the learning curve.

We received notice yesterday that the USPS, after meeting at length with MTAC leadership, has compromised on a workable solution that relaxes the tolerances a bit – benefiting both mailers looking to transition to the IMb, and the Postal Service, who has a major stake in the success of the Intelligent Mail program.  Mailings with a barcode readability rate of 70% or higher will now pass verification without penalty, from now through November 28, 2009, giving mailers a window to ramp up and improve their readability rates without the thread of penalties hanging over their heads.   This is a major win-win for both sides of the issue.

Mailers have a great incentive now to get busy with Intelligent Mail.  Even if mailers are not currently planning to take advantage of Full Service benefits, this window is a tremendous opportunity to start replacing the POSTNET barcode with an Intelligent Mail barcode even for just routing purposes, using Basic Intelligent Mail Service, getting systems in place so that when the IMb becomes mandatory the transition will have already occurred for forward-thinking mailers.

Although this revised threshold is effective immediately, there are still a couple of details about Free Full Service ACS ramifications, watch for complete information and official notice from the USPS in a DMM Advisory slated to come out this Friday, July 10th.

What is your Intelligent Mail strategy?  Have you switched over from the POSTNET?  What is prohibiting you if you haven’t?  The time is NOW!

Written by Lisa.Bowes

July 7th, 2009 at 10:26 am

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Intelligent Mail Barcode Readability Tolerances

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At the business meeting that took place after the last MTAC general session in April, it was unanimously voted to press a Key Issue regarding the Postal Service plan for barcode tolerances on Intelligent Mail barcodes.  On Friday the USPS sent a response via the DMM Advisory:

June 5,2009
MTAC LEADERSHIP COMMITTEE
SUBJECT: Intelligent Mail® Barcode Readability Tolerances

This is in response to the MTAC Issues letter dated May 4,2009. After careful consideration of the needs and capabilities of both the Postal Service and its commercial mailers, we have made the following decision:

1) From now through September 6, 2009, the following readability thresholds for Intelligent Mail® barcodes applied to Letter and Flat automation-price pieces are in effect:
a. A mailing with a barcode readability verification result of 90 percent or higher passes verification.
b. A mailing with a barcode readability verification result of 70 percent to 89 percent will have additional postage prorated based on the percentage of error for the automation price pieces in the mailing.
c. A mailing with a barcode readability verification result of below 70 percent will have additional postage calculated based on 100 percent of the automation price pieces in the mailing.

2) From September 7 through November 28, 2009, the following thresholds will be in effect:
a. A mailing with a barcode readability verification result of 90 percent or higher passes verification.
b. A mailing with a barcode readability verification result of 80 percent to 89 percent will have additional postage prorated based on the percentage of error for the automation price pieces in the mailing.
c. A mailing with a barcode readability verification result of below 80 percent will have additional postage calculated based on 100 percent of the automation price pieces in the mailing.

3) We will make a decision to either suspend or extend the 80 percent threshold beyond November 29, 2009 based on results of mailings accepted and verified in this timeframe taking into account the following criteria:
a. Number and volume of mailings verified;
b. Performance by shape characteristics (Letter vs. Flat);
c. Percentage achieving 90 percent or better;
d. The pattern of performance below 90 percent; and
e. Performance of IMb in relation to POSTNET.

Also in response to the MTAC issues letter, we will support the formation of a work group that will focus on best practices required to produce quality barcodes. The work group will rely upon both USPS and mailer experience with print technology, work methods, and quality control/quality assurance in the print production process. The final issue statement will be reviewed and approved by the co-chairs of the Intelligent Mail® Focus Area of MTAC.

During this time frame of relaxed tolerances, we strongly encourage mailers to prepare mailings using the Intelligent Mail® barcode. To the extent a mailer is not ready for Full-Service Intelligent Mail®; they are encouraged to migrate to the Basic option using the Intelligent Mail® barcode.  As we progress through the next six months, we will achieve a result that is beneficial to both the Postal Service and its commercial customers. We must work together to improve the quality of mail to include addresses, barcodes, and preparation. Over time we must raise the thresholds to achieve the cost control and service improvement envisioned in the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. We will continue to work with MTAC to achieve this objective.

Thank you for bringing this important issue to our attention.

THOMAS G. DAY
Senior Vice President
Intelligent Mail and Address Quality

Written by Lisa.Bowes

June 7th, 2009 at 8:19 pm

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April USPS MTAC

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The USPS Mailer’s Technical Advisory Committee Meeting agenda has been posted at the RIBBS website, you can access it here.  The meetings will take place April 28-30, I will be in Washington DC at Postal HQ for these sessions.  Watch for some live blogging that week as information breaks.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

April 16th, 2009 at 4:40 pm

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New MTAC Workgroup

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A new MTAC workgroup is forming, WG #129, “Eliminating Obstacles to Mail Growth”.  The Issue Statement for this group is “Facilitate mail volume growth by identifying regulations or requirements that add no postal and/or customer value hence hindering mail growth, and proposing modifications or elimination of those barriers as practical.”

I will be participating on behalf of my sponsoring Association, NASML.  I will report back as the work gets going.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

March 25th, 2009 at 2:28 pm

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MTAC – New Workgroup #128 – IMb for Reply Mail

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While at MTAC last week, I had the opportunity to attend the inagural meeting of WG #128, Intelligent Mail barcodes for Reply Mail (both Courtesy Reply Mail CRM and Business Reply Mail BRM.  We are tasked with identifying barriers unique to Reply Mail, as far as transitioning to the IMb, and how to overcome these barriers.

If you have any questions/comments/ideas regarding IMb for Reply Mail, please contact me directly at Lisa.Bowes@intelisent.com

Written by Lisa.Bowes

February 24th, 2009 at 7:50 am

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MTAC Week

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I will be in Washington DC through Thursday at the Mailer’s Technical Advisory Committee meetings.  Look for information to come regarding Intelligent Mail, Move Update, and anything else of note.

Learn more about MTAC, and access the General Sessions agenda here:
http://ribbs.usps.gov/index.cfm?page=mtac

Written by Lisa.Bowes

February 15th, 2009 at 4:20 pm

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The Perfect Mailstream – From a Mailer’s Perspective

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IN SEARCH OF…THE PERFECT MAILSTREAM: A POSTAL PERSPECTIVE

Association for Postal Commerce.

This is an excellent opinion piece, one which I agree with wholeheartedly.  An explaination of why the USPS and their customers are worlds apart when it comes to the subject of “the perfect mailstream”.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 31st, 2009 at 11:41 pm

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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