In January 2014 mailers of letters and flats must meet Intelligent Mail Full Service requirements in order to retain their automation discounts. Many mailers think they know what that entails: upgrading their presort software to generate Mail.dat files, assigning unique barcode numbers and possibly using a post-presort software program to help make sure their PostalOne! submissions reflect what they are actually mailing.

What many mailers and mail service providers are not considering is that moving to Full Service may involve other changes both in the way mail is actually produced and even how mailers interact with others in the mailing supply chain.

With Full Service Intelligent Mail sometimes the most simple challenges are no longer so simple. For example, how would you replace a lost or damaged tray or sack tag? You cannot just randomly pick reprint one, even if it has the correct ZIP Code and content identifier. Some mailers will be forced to build pallets based on a presort plan instead of just throwing trays onto a pallet based on its entry point. Others will be dealing with PostalOne! eDocs for the first time.

Electronic documentation (eDocs) involves submitting your data electronically to the USPS and will be required for all mailings over 10,000 pieces. This electronic documentation provides the USPS with far more visibility into the make-up of a mailing than paper documentation ever did. If a mailer is not producing their mail so it matches this documentation or is not able to alter this documentation to accurately reflect what is being mailed, mailers can expect to see problems with their mail verification process. This may require them to revisit their production practices to improve their accuracy.

Timing of various processes is also very important. If you are deducting spoilage from a mailing, you must do so before you pay postage with your eDocs. If your current spoilage reporting process does not provide this information quickly enough, you will not be able to make postage adjustments to your mailings.

The good news is that Full Service Intelligent Mail is not just something the Postal Service can benefit from. When properly leveraged during mail production, Full Service Intelligent Mail can also help improve a mailer's internal production processes. Rather than being a big expense without a return on investment, it can be the best thing that ever happens to some mailers.

Mail Service Providers that have been providing copies of postage statements to clients as "proof of mailing" may find that their clients don't want to access these from PostalOne!'s web site or don't like PostalOne!'s statement format which is much different from the statements they are used to getting. There are some interesting ways of dealing with this issue that many mailers are not aware of.

Some challenges of implementing Full Service are common to all mailers both others are very specific to high volume or low volume mailers. There are no "one size fits all" solutions to these either.

To help mailers understand what they will have to do to implement Full Service and how that can be a benefit, the Postal Experts at Window Book are offering a complimentary Diagnostic Analysis. In this review and analysis, Window Book Postal Experts will examine mail production practices and provide recommendations on what may be needed to get ready for Full Service Intelligent Mail. It will also show how these steps may benefit the mailer.

To take advantage of this offer click on This offer expires 1/31/13.