January 2011

USPS Eases Intelligent Mail Barcode Requirement

We recently posted that The Intelligent Mail barcode will be required by the USPS beginning in May 2011.  On Jan 13, 2011 the Postmaster General made a surprise move to delay the mandatory deadline of May 2011 for implementation of the new Intelligent Mail Barcode.

The reason for the delay was justified in this statement, “Recognizing ongoing concerns about mailers’ readiness for broader adoption of the Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb®), the USPS® has decided that automation discounts for mail with POSTNET barcodes will continue to be offered beyond May 2011.”

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Two BMS Employees Selected for Bullet Proof Manager Training

BMS Direct has purchased two Corporate Scholarships in Crestcom International’s 48 hour management training program, the Bullet Proof Manager. Crestcom’s Bullet Proof Manager contains 24 topics taught in (2) two-hour classes in Lynchburg each month over a 12 month period.  The BMS Direct team members who attend this extensive training will be taught to be more effective in 24 key skills critical to the success of our business.

Stacy Barber and Donna Lipphard

Some of these topics include:

  • Managing Change
  • Negotiation Skills
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Customer Service
  • Strategic Planning
  • Team Building
  • Hiring Skills
  • Motivation

Our management team was polled to help select two of our managers/supervisors to attend the training who demonstrate the willingness and potential to be great leaders within this organization.  I am pleased to announce that along with your input, Leif and I have selected Donna Lipphard and Stacy Barber to attend this management training program.  Stacy and Donna will attend a 30 minute orientation on Monday January 31st here at BMS and the training program will start on Tuesday February 8th at the Hilton Garden Inn on Wards Road.

I am very exciting about the great opportunity for Stacy, Donna and the BMS Direct organization.  Please take a minute to congratulate both of these team members.

James E. LaPrade, Sr.


BMS Direct

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Intelligent Mail Barcode Required May 2011

The Intelligent Mail barcode will be required by the USPS beginning in May 2011

May 2011 is the date set by the United States Postal Services requiring Intelligent Mail barcodes for automation discounts, business reply mail and confirm service.  Combining the capabilities of the Postnet and Planet barcodes into one unique barcode  makes the Intelligent Mail barcode a much more efficient process for all parties involved.

What is an Intelligent Mail Barcode?

The Intelligent Mail barcode, formerly referred to as the 4-State Customer barcode, is a new Postal Service barcode used to sort and track letters and flats. The Postal Service is promoting use of the Intelligent Mail barcode because it expands the ability to track individual mailpieces and provides customers with greater visibility into the mailstream.

How does it work?

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 is a type of height-modulated barcode, that uses four distinct vertical bar types (Full, Tracker, Ascender and Descender).

How do mailers benefit from the Intelligent Mail barcode?

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. The Intelligent Mail barcode:

  • Has a greater overall data capacity than existing barcodes.
  • Provides mailers with more digits for their use, allowing for unique identification of up to a billion mailpieces per mailing.
  • Provides more accurate and detailed information about mailings which can enable better decision making.
  • Increases mailpiece “real estate” by eliminating the need for multiple barcodes.
  • Allows for participation in multiple USPS service programs with a single barcode.

Am I required to use the Intelligent Mail barcode in lieu of POSTNET and PLANET codes?

Currently, use of Intelligent Mail barcode is optional; however, because it offers significant advantages over POSTNET and PLANET Code barcodes (including using less mailpiece “real estate” and offering more overall data capacity), most customers have found it makes good business sense to adopt this new format, today. The Postal Service will require use of the Intelligent Mail barcode to qualify for automation prices beginning May 2011.

For more Q & A regarding Intelligent Mail Barcodes download USPSIMB_QandA Fact Sheet.

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Simplified Addressing Changes Effective 01-02-11

The USPS has eased the rules on simplified addressing effective Jan. 2, 2011. These changes are expected to help small businesses who have not used direct mail because of the cost. Simplified addressing enables business mailers to use mail delivery route information, instead of exact names and addresses, to reach target customer groups in specific geographic areas. …

Simplified Addressing Changes Effective 01-02-11 Read More »

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