February 24, 2011
If you're in a panic about losing your automation discount due to the May 2011 deadline to switch to the IMb, you can relax. The Post Office is delaying the implementation until further notice. Last month the US Postmaster General, Pat Donahoe, announced the USPS has decided to "scrap the May 2011 deadline for mailers to switch to the IMb system."
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What does this mean for you? You can continue to use the POSTNET barcode and receive automation discounts. Originally the USPS proposed that all mailers must use the Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) to receive a postage discount. The Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) was developed to simplify the automated process of scanning and tracking mail in the postal stream for mailers, as well as to cut costs on undeliverable mail for the USPS.
Many mailers have already made the switch to IMb and are benefiting from the tracking feature and address change services (ACS). A Basic IMb with the ACS and tracking options provides a simple and robust solution for handling address changes and undeliverable mail. The USPS captures the information about address changes and undeliverable mail electronically, and provides this to the mailer so their database can be updated. According to the USPS, more than 41 billion pieces of mail have been processed using the IMb.