1 Implementing the Intelligent Mail Barcode An Envelope Makers Guide
2 A Caution The contents of this presentation contain information provided by the United States Postal Service. Our source is The USPS remains the authoritative source for this information. We caution everyone to check with their local Mailpiece Design Analyst (MDA) when seeking any interpretation of mailpiece changes. The MDA s assessment is final. Avoid the penalties by checking first.
3 A Review of Automation Compatibility Characteristics the Basics
4 Categories of Mail Machinable Nonmachinable Automation Once a mailpeice has been determined to be a letter, flat, or parcel it must also be categorized as machinable, nonmachinable, or automation compatible. A mailpiece is machinable if it can be sorted on Postal Service processing equipment and meet specific standards, including size, shape, and weight. A mailpiece is nonmachinable if it cannot be sorted by Postal Service equipment. Higher postage prices may apply to mailpieces that do not meet machinable standards. Your customer s mailpiece meets automation standards and qualifies for automation prices if it meets the specific addressing, barcoding, and design standards established for your mailing service type and your level of sortation.
5 Envelope Shapes Matter Envelopes for automation must be rectangular, with four square corners and parallel opposite sides ONLY Exception: Letter-size pieces made of card stock may have Finished Corners that do not exceed a maximum radius of.125 inch (1/8 inch)
6 Automation Compatibility Characteristics Aspect Ratio The result of the length of a design being divided by it s height must fall between 1.3 to 2.5 (inclusive). ABC Company 1 Main St ABC Company 1 Main St Envelopes for discount must be more rectangle and not square
7 5 Dimensional Standards Min & Max Size - Thickness - Weight 11-1/2 Thickness 3-1/2 6-1/8 Minimum Maximum =.25 Minimum =.007 *If the design exceeds either 4-1/4 Height or 6 Length or both, must be minimum.009 Maximum Maximum Weight for Machinable Letters 3.3 oz. Maximum Weight for *3.5 oz. Automation Letters *Heavy letter mail weighing more than 3 ounces must have a barcode in the address block and be prepared in a sealed envelope
8 Avoid Plastic LAMINATION & OVERWRAP Poly bagged, poly wrapped or enclosed in any plastic material AMY JONES 4532 WEST DRIVE SAN ANTONIO TX *Some translucent envelopes (made of paper material) can be automation compatible. Check out DMM for all nonmachinable criteria for letter-size mail.
9 Paper Stock & Background Considerations Avoid These Types of Stock Glossy Porous Barcodes will Bleed Newsprint, Textured Stock, Uncoated Corrugated Mailers Thin paper stocks Image bleed thru from inserts or other pages Background Concerns Recycled Paper with Specks Security Paper Patterns
10 Paper Stock & Background Considerations White or light pastel colors work best for the background and Black ink works best for print color ABC Company 1 Main St ABC Company 1 Main St ABC Company 1 Main St ABC Company 1 Main St BOB SMITH XYZ COMPANY 9876 ELM ST STE 110 BOB SMITH XYZ COMPANY 9876 ELM ST STE 110 BOB SMITH XYZ COMPANY 9876 ELM ST STE 110 BOB SMITH XYZ COMPANY 9876 ELM ST STE 110 ABC Company 1 Main St ABC Company 1 Main St ABC Company 1 Main St ABC Company 1 Main St BOB SMITH XYZ COMPANY 9876 ELM ST STE 110 BOB SMITH XYZ COMPANY 9876 ELM ST STE 110 BOB SMITH XYZ COMPANY 9876 ELM ST STE 110 BOB SMITH XYZ COMPANY 9876 ELM ST STE 110 ABC Company 1 Main St ABC Company 1 Main St ABC Company 1 Main St ABC Company 1 Main St BOB SMITH XYZ COMPANY 9876 ELM ST STE 110 BOB SMITH XYZ COMPANY 9876 ELM ST STE 110 BOB SMITH XYZ COMPANY 9876 ELM ST STE 110 BOB SMITH XYZ COMPANY 9876 ELM ST STE 110 ABC Company 1 Main St ABC Company 1 Main St ABC Company 1 Main St BOB SMITH XYZ COMPANY 9876 ELM ST STE 110 BOB SMITH XYZ COMPANY 9876 ELM ST STE 110 BOB SMITH XYZ COMPANY 9876 ELM ST STE 110 *While other background and print color combinations are possible, consult with your local MDA for specific guidance
11 Barcode Positioning Options Barcode Clear Zone 5/8 from bottom 4 ¾ from right Address Block Barcode above or below address Within 4 from bottom ½ clearance right and left 5/8 from bottom Separation between the barcode and top line or bottom line of the address block must 1/2 (0.500 ) < 5/8 Leftmost bar < 10 1/2 from right edge of piece Leftmost edge of address block at 10 ½ ( ) max. from right edge of envelope 1/2 (0.500 ) 4 Address Block Barcode Read Area Conventional Lower Right Barcode Clear Zone 4 ¾ (4.750 ) 5/8 (0.625 )
12 MERLIN 2010
13 UNDERSTANDING MERLIN
14 What is the IMb The Intelligent Mail Barcode (formerly the 4 State Customer Barcode) is a new Postal Service barcode used to sort and track letters and flats. This barcode is now being deployed and will be required by the USPS because it extends the capability of the USPS to trace and track mailpieces and provides customers with greater visibility into the mailstream.
15 November 2010 Release Full Service edoc Verification Process Microstrategy Reports Improvements New Business Service: Verification Assessment Evaluator Business Service Agreement Re acceptance Full Service ACS Billing Account Management Low Balance Alert Fee Renewal Notice Release Update
16 When will the discount removal process begin? January 2011 edoc verification errors will result in loss of the Full Service discount PostalOne! Full Service Error Report will provide the edoc submitter with the functionality to make payment for the assessment / request reconciliation Process enabled to test out since Nov 7
17 Important Dates Important Dates November 29, 2009 USPS offers Full-Service option prices May 2011 Retirement of POSTNET and PLANET barcodes Outgoing and Reply mailpieces IMb required on all BRM, QBRM and PRM letters Proposed rule to require IMb on all BRM flats and barcoded CRM Transition to IMb complete Transition to the IMb will be required to continue receiving automation discounts. Optional for the non-automation portion of a mailing
18 Intelligent Mail Implementation Requirements for Basic Service Option Intelligent Mail barcodes on letter and flat mailpieces Requirements for Full Service Option Unique Intelligent Mail barcodes on letter and flat mailpieces. IMPORTANT NOTE: UNLIKE THE OLD POSTNET BARCODE (74210) IMB s ARE NOT HUMANLY DECODABLE
19 IMb Data Intelligent Mail Barcode for Letters and Flats: 6-Digit and 9-Digit Mailer IDs Barcode ID (2N) Service Type ID (3N) Mailer ID (6N) Serial Number (9N) Routing Code ( 0, 5, 9, or 11N ) Barcode ID (2N) Service Type ID (3N) Mailer ID (9N) Serial Number (6N) Routing Code ( 0, 5, 9, or 11N ) The Intelligent Mail barcode for mailpieces is a 5 field, maximum 31-digit string that converts into 65 bars of 4 different heights. The maximum 31-digit string contains a 20-digit Tracking Code representing the first 4 fields and a maximum 11-digit Routing Code. Unlike the POSTNET barcode the IMb is always 65 bars, regardless of ZIP Code length, and does not require a check-digit or frame bars. 9
20 Intelligent Mail Barcodes (IMb ) Data Fields in the IMb Select the Barcode ID Barcode ID Ex: 50 for Mixed AADC A 2-digit field reserved to encode the presort identification printed in human-readable form on the Optional Endorsement Line (OEL) Should be left as 00 if an OEL is not printed on the mailpiece For automation flat-size mail, it must be populated with OEL coding corresponding to sortation level. Use the Intelligent Mail Technical Resource Guide or the Intelligent Mail Barcode Specification to select the correct OEL code if producing auto flats. Service Type ID Ex: 300 for First-Class Mail Mailer ID Ex: USPS assigned Serial Number Ex: Mailer assigned Routing Code Ex: 6449 Amberview Ct., Memphis, TN PSIMB_Tech_Resource_Guide.pdf
21 Intelligent Mail Barcodes (IMb ) Data Fields in the IMb Select the STID Service Type Identifier (STID) Ex: 300 for First-Class Mail A 3-digit field used to identify the class of mail and any additional or special services requested for the piece such as OneCode ACS, OneCode Confirm, or no service Defines the mailpiece as Full-Service, Basic or Non-Automation Used to determine the disposition of Undeliverable-As-Addressed (UAA) mail and the form of address correction desired by the mailer Must use STID Chart for Correct Codes Barcode ID Ex: 50 for Mixed AADC Mailer ID Ex: USPS assigned Serial Number Ex: Mailer assigned Routing Code Ex: 6449 Amberview Ct., Memphis, TN
22 Intelligent Mail Barcodes (IMb ) Data Fields in the IMb Use the MID Used to identify the mail owner or mail preparer A 6-digit or 9-digit field that is assigned by the USPS Required in the Intelligent Mail Barcode Mailer ID (MID) Ex: USPS assigned Barcode ID Ex: 50 for Mixed AADC Service Type ID Ex: 300 for First-Class Mail Serial Number Ex: Mailer assigned Routing Code Ex: 6449 Amberview Ct., Memphis, TN
23 Intelligent Mail Barcodes (IMb ) Data Fields in the IMb Request a Mailer ID All postal business customers log on to the new Business Customer Gateway through a single sign on using Gateway usernames and passwords to access all online services.
24 Intelligent Mail Barcodes (IMb ) Data Fields in the IMb Select the Serial Numbers A 6 or 9-digit field defined by the mailer Can be populated with a number that uniquely identifies each mailpiece becoming a unique Mailpiece ID May be populated with a number that is unique to a mailing, becoming a unique Mailing ID Not required to be unique when qualifying for Basic automation prices Serial Number Ex: Mailer assigned Barcode ID Ex: 50 for Mixed AADC Service Type ID Ex: 260 for First-Class Mail Mailer ID Ex: USPS assigned Routing Code Ex: 6449 Amberview Ct., Memphis, TN
25 Intelligent Mail Barcodes (IMb ) Data Fields in the IMb Select the Routing Code 5-digit, 9-digit, or 11-digit field that identifies the delivery ZIP Code data in the address (same routing information currently used in the POSTNET barcode) Routes the mailpiece during processing When used on automation-price eligible letters and flats, the routing code must contain an 11-digit delivery point code 11-digit delivery point routing codes are not permitted on Business Reply Mail Routing Code Ex: 6449 Amberview Ct., Memphis, TN Barcode ID Service Type ID Mailer ID Serial Number Ex: 50 for Mixed AADC Ex: 300 for First-Class Mail Ex: USPS assigned Ex: Mailer assigned
26 Intelligent Mail Barcodes (IMb ) Key IM Barcode Checklist Barcode ID must be 00 if an OEL is not printed on the piece. Service Type ID is required for processing. At a minimum provide Mail Class; do not use 000! Mailer ID is required for everyone. OneCode ACS, OneCode Confirm, Basic and Full-Service options (can be yours or your mail preparer s) Do not populate with fictitious number or zeroes. Serial Number For the Basic service, the Serial number does not need to be unique and can be the same on all mailpieces. Routing Code, MUST be a valid ZIP Code. Derived from CASS-certified software that accurately matches the delivery address Must never be padded with zeroes, spaces or nulls; same as POSTNET
27 Implementing the IMb Intelligent Mail Barcode Encoding Created by downloading and installing the encoder and font The encoder converts the 20-digit tracking code and routing code, a maximum of 11-digit into a combined 65-character string representing the ADFT characters. A special font is required to convert 65 ADFT character string into the IMb. Height-modulated barcode and uses 4-state symbology: Full bar, Ascender, Tracker, and Descender IMb example: DADTATFFAFFTTTAFTAFDADFDDDDDTAFFDAAFFDAFDDFFTADFTFTTFDAAFTFTADTTT
28 How it works The Intelligent Mail barcode combines the data of the existing POSTNET and the Planet Code barcodes as well as other data into a single barcode. The Intelligent Mail Barcode a type of height modulated barcode that uses four distinct vertical bar types (Full, Tracker, Ascender and Descender.)
29 Implementing the IMb Print Step 1 Step 2 USPS Technical Resource Guide Encoder Library Form 31-digit Payload Apply Encoding Algorithm Mailing List DB Step 3 DADTATFFAFFTTTAFTAFDADFDDDDDTAFFDAAFFDAFDDFFTADFTFTTFDAA FTFTADTTT USPS or Vendor Developed Font Package Print Intelligent Mail Barcode Printer-Specific Fonts
30 USE THE ENCODING TOOL AT You have reached the Intelligent Mail barcode encoder page. Using this tool you generate Intelligent Mail barcode based on tracking and delivery point ZIP information. Please enter numeric data in the fields below and then press the Encode button to generate Intelligent Mail barcode. The Mailer ID is a 6 digit or 9 digit number that uniquely identifies the mail owner or mailing agent. Click on the following links to choose the length of your mailer ID: 6 digit or 9 digitbarcode ID:1st digit: 0 9; 2nd digit: 0 4. All Fields Are Required *** Type in Barcode ID, Special Services, Mailer ID, Serial Number, and Delivery Point ZIP Code (Routing Info) and press the Encode button to generate Intelligent Mail barcode. The resulting barcode will consist of [T]racker, [F]ull, [A]scender, and [D]escender bars. Special Services:Range: Mailer ID:Range: Serial Number:Range: Delivery Point ZIP Code:0, 5, 9, or 11 digit ZIP Code.
31 Basic online decoder tool is available at: Resources
32 Resources Test & Validate Ensure the test plan has pre-established results. Know the CORRECT results and use available tools to ensure outcomes match them. Validate input Ensure all data elements for barcode content match either yours or your customer s specifications. Validate output Print samples from each piece of equipment that could be used in actual production. Provide samples to USPS MDA / service providers.
33 Resources Automation Barcode Gauge Item 04A Automation Barcode Gauge Template (Item #04A) Measures barcode length skew, pitch, clear zones, and bar parameters of the POSTNET and Intelligent Mail barcodes Latest version produced June 2008, Revision E Provided to mailers at no charge
34 Resources Optical Comparator Eyepiece Reticle Optical Comparator 6X (Eye Gauge) by Gage- Line Technology Complements Item 04A with ability to measure bar parameters, bar skew, bar pitch, etc. Mailers can purchase from vendor
35 Intelligent Mail Barcode Specification: Bar Parameters
36 Intelligent Mail Barcode Specification: Clearance/Voids A minimum clear zone of inch between the left and right edges of the barcode is required. Maximum dot matrix spacing must not exceed inch. A minimum clear zone of inch above and below the barcode is required.
37 Reply Mail May IMb Requirements for Reply Mail Business Reply Mail All BRM letters and cards that mailers distribute, regardless of method, must bear an IMb. Qualified Business Reply Mail Any new QBRM letters and cards that mailers distribute must include an IMb. QBRM is only a postcard and letter product. Courtesy Reply Mail All CRM letters and cards included in any automation mailings will be required to have an IMb. This is not a requirement for CRM flats. Permit Reply Mail Any PRM letters and flats that mailers distribute, regardless of method, must bear an IMb.
38 Intelligent Mail Barcode & Reply Mail BRM s and CRM s BRM/QBRM letters and cards distributed in/after May 2011 must bear an IMb PRM letters and flats distributed in/after May (2011) must bear an IMb CRM letters and cards enclosed in an automation mailing in/after May must bear an IMb IMb uniqueness is not required. You can use basic IMb Mailers may use existing 6 or 9 digit MID Reply pieces with Origin Confirm Service do not require a MID
39 What is Origin Confirm? Origin Confirm is for incoming mail. This service notifies the subscribing mailer of various movements of individual reply pieces, such as business reply mail being returned by customers, before delivery to the Confirm subscriber.
40 Populating IMb Fields for Reply Mail With Origin Confirm Barcode ID Service Type Identifier Mailer ID Serial Number Routing Code BRM CRM PRM Open digits to uniquely ID each mailpiece Mailer ID is not required with Origin CONFIRM* 9-Digit ZIP + 4 Code Assigned to BRM 9 or 11-Digit Delivery Point Code 40
41 Populating IMb Fields for Reply Mail Without Origin Confirm Barcode ID Service Type Identifier Mailer ID Serial Number Routing Code BRM CRM PRM or 9 Digit Unique # Optional 6 or 9 Zeros Default 9-Digit ZIP + 4 Code Assigned to BRM 11-Digit Delivery Point Code* *9 or 5 Digit may be used if unique 41
42 IMb for Reply Mail Implementation All BRM, PRM and CRM pieces will continue to be delivered after May 2011 QBRM mailers must re submit envelopes & cards w/imb for approval to obtain QBRM prices Once the mailpieces w/imb are approved, old mailpieces returned by the permit holder s customers without IMb will still be eligible for QBRM prices Qualified Business Reply Mail (QBRM) For Qualified Business Reply Mail (QBRM), the mailer must use the unique ZIP+4 Code assigned to them by the Postal Service for use with BRM. The mailer must print the ZIP+4 Code in the address, and place the corresponding ZIP+4 barcode on the mailpiece. The ZIP+4 Code assigned by the Postal Service is unique for that category of letter-size BRM. The ZIP+4 barcode provides for sortation on postal automated equipment by specific size and rate categories (i.e., cards, 1 oz. letters, 2 oz. letters, etc.). In return for following the relevant standards, the mailer receives a discount not only on their per-piece handling fees, but also in actual First-Class Mail postage rates. This is possible because of the efficiency of the Postal Service's high-speed barcode sorters. For postage rates and fees for regular BRM and QBRM rates, see the Quick Service Guide 507a - Business Reply Mail PDF or HTML. 42
43 BUSINESS REPLY MAIL (BRM) VS. QUALIFIED BUSINESS REPLY MAIL (QBRM) Business Reply Mail High Volume Basic Annual permit fee $ $ Annual account maintenance fee $ None 1-ounce letter price + per piece ounce flat price + per piece ounce parcel price + per piece Card price + per piece Qualified Business Reply Mail High Volume Basic Annual permit fee $ $ Annual account maintenance fee $ $ Quarterly fee $1, None 1-ounce letter price + per piece Card price + per piece
44 Reply Mail IMb Artwork Offered by USPS Available for: Courtesy Reply Mail (CRM) Business Reply Mail (BRM) Qualified Business Reply Mail (QBRM) Artwork offered at no charge. Requested through the Mailpiece Design Analyst (MDA) Software used by USPS Envelope Manager and Dazzle Available for purchase by contacting manufacturer at Endicia.com USPS will supply online artwork capabilities in December 2010.
45 In Summary Step 1 Talk to Suppliers and Vendors that Generate Barcodes Step 2 Talk to USPS Representatives About Barcode Requirements To find your local Business Mail Entry (BME) Manager, go to: To find your local Mailpiece Design Analyst (MDA), go to: For PostalOne! and Intelligent Mail support call the Help Desk at: Step 3 Review Guides and Specifications Online at: - A Resource Map to Intelligent Mail Documents - A Beginner s Overview to Intelligent Mail Services
46 In Summary Step 4 To Apply for a Mailer ID using the Business Customer Gateway Go To: Step 5 To Download Windows and Mainframe Encoder Software and Fonts Go To: - Step 6 Create a Migration Plan to Your Production Environment Step 7 To Plan and Construct Your Barcode - Review the Intelligent Mail Barcode Specification at: - h_guides/spusps-b-3200e001.pdf - Review the Steps to Create the Intelligent Mail Barcode at: Review Barcoding Regulations in the Domestic Mail Manual -
47 In Summary Step 8 Populate the Barcode Fields To Select the Barcode ID Field Go To: The Intelligent Mail Technical Resource Guide, Table B1, Page uides/uspsimb_tech_resource_guide.pdf To Select the Service Type ID Go To: A Guide to Intelligent Mail for Letters and Flats, Appendix A, Page /GuidetoIntelligentMailLettersandFlats.pdf Use Your Mailer ID or Your Mail Preparer s Mailer ID Select the Serial Numbers Create a Data Management Plan for Full-Service Uniqueness, or Use the Same Number for all the Pieces in the Mailing for Basic Service Select the Routing Code (same as the POSTNET) Use CASS-Certified Software
48 In Summary Step 9 Validate Your Barcodes & Submit for Testing to Local MDA Use the Online Encoder / Decoder Review the List of Resources at: - To find your local Mailpiece Design Analyst (MDA), go to: - For Additional Assistance Contact the National Customer Support Center at (877) For PostalOne! Information: To Review the Latest Proposal & News Go To: - Federal Register Notices -
49 The RIBBS Website provides extensive resources on Intelligent Mail Resources
50 Your Questions Lunch and Learn September 10, 010
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