Part II: Decoding the Intelligent Mail Barcode
Reporting at an individual piece level arms vendors with more information to then provide clients with predictive analysis. "We can extrapolate the predicted results based on complete delivery, so you can get up-to-the-minute analysis of where you are and where we expect you should be after all the pieces get through," details Rio Longacre, co-founder and VP of operations with Indros Group, a software developer and reseller based in Brooklyn.
Research Available Software Solutions
The move from a paper-based to a digital environment is what Day calls the most critical and technically complex aspect of full-service IM. When the USPS was developing its systems, it was difficult to honor all of the requests and suggestions made by participating mailers. As a result, some USPS customers will have to modify their own systems to meet the specifications of the IM acceptance and reporting schemes. "We've got to build the system, be able to process the data and then provision the data back to those customers-and you can only accommodate so much variation," Day notes.
The situation opens some great opportunities for software vendors to get involved and bridge the gap between the Postal Service and those customers who need to comply with IMB. One example is Indros Group, which offers solutions from barcode generation onward through an entire multichannel campaign, including direct mail pURLS and triggered e-mails. "If they are already using POSTNET, we provide the mailer ID and the rest of the information. It's kind of plug and play; we can create the IMBs, and we've done the integration with the USPS. As long as they create the barcodes with our technology and print them on the pieces, everything is tracked automatically," Longacre says.
Be Careful When Coding
IMBs will open up some real estate in the address block for those who currently use two barcodes or other service-type identifiers. In addition to downloading the IMB coding and font software at www.ribbs.usps.gov/OneCodeSolution, there are changes to mail production and preparation to consider.