DOCUMENT Magazine - May/June 2009 - (Page 12)
imb: what does this mean for transactional documents? HEADS or TAILS IMB Will Rede ne Mail Processing IMB, with its associated electronic ﬁles, is the ﬁrst legitimate standard to describe mail and mailpiece content in the industry. It will become the language of mail in an industry with multiple standards, deﬁned by each equipment and software vendor. IMB now provides a common interface and backbone that will redeﬁne the automated document factory as we know it today. IMB, with its associated address quality standards, will deﬁne the workﬂow in mail operations at every step in the process, from data receipt and address management to mail submission, to the USPS and beyond. With unique identiﬁcation for not only the pieces but for trays and containers/pallets, we envision the capability to intelligently drive processes and commingling of mail to optimize postal cost. This will enable better utilization of ﬁnishing and sorting equipment, as well as more efﬁcient use of palletizing and shipping resources. Beyond these workﬂow beneﬁts, IMB can provide tracking for transpromotional solicitation and response to those solicitations. While IMB provides only modest discounts of $1 per 1,000 for Standard Mail and $3 per 1,000 for First Class Mail, it also provides the vehicle to accurately subtract spoilage in real time from the Mail.dat/Mail.XML ﬁles. IMB provides the mailpiece account, data and interface to enable presort companies to commingle mailings from customers with multiple CAPS accounts, enabling not only the lowest postage costs but the most effective utilization of cash. The IMB will become the stable platform from which mailers can adapt to the evolution and changes in postal requirements for both mailpiece and address quality. Change Is in the Air: Evaluate, Weigh and Bene t Based on the United States Postal Service website, the reasons for implementing the IMB are stated as: “The Intelligent Mail barcode is the result of the Postal Service’s efforts to develop more robust codes capable of encoding more information, while minimizing the space used on the mailpiece.” IMB beneﬁts may also increase in the future, as billers in the credit card and mortgage industry face new regulations for mail receipt tracking in conjunction with consumer late fees and penalties. May 2011, the USPS date for mandated implementation of the IMB, is fast approaching, and mailers should be evaluating options and weighing the costs and beneﬁts for changes required to their critical documents. Most major mailers are in the process of completing the work required for these changes. The task was not small and certainly has had associated costs that entailed modiﬁcations to document composition, workﬂows and infrastructures, not to mention existing conﬁrm processes for current mail tracking services. This is the time for billers to evaluate the changes needed for the implementation of IMB. In-house processors should assess the costs associated with such an implementation. There should be resources allocated to help you keep pace with the expected and continual adjustments, as the USPS reﬁnes requirements and continues to makes changes that drive efﬁciencies throughout their organization. Is it time to move to an outsourced model? Should you employ a presort house? Or should you invest to keep your document output in-house? These are questions that should be evaluated from an executive level because the investment to keep up with the everchanging landscape could be high in the years to come. 12 DOCUMENT may-june.09 DOCUMENTmedia.com MARK VAN GORP is vice president of business development at BÖWE BELL + HOWELL, a leading information solutions and service provider to industries worldwide. TODD HAYCOCK is director of Postal Affairs for Regulus, a transaction processing solution outsourcer provider. Mr. Haycock also serves as the vice president of Major Mailers Association (MMA).
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of DOCUMENT Magazine - May/June 2009
DOCUMENT Magazine - May/June 2009
The Hot 10
Heads or Tails
What Lies Behind the Paper
Can I Plead the Fifth?
The Print Impression
BPM: Improving the Way You Process
DOCUMENT Magazine - May/June 2009