Creating “Intelligent” Mail
You’ve probably heard a lot the past few years about the Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) and the need to become IMb compliant by January 2013 in order to receive automation discount postage for your mail.
But in this instance, your vendor is referring to something else entirely.
There are two kinds of inserting equipment – “dumb” inserters and “intelligent” inserters. Intelligent inserters have scanning eyes that read a barcode or glyph to determine number of pages for that record, record number of that production mailing, etc.
At Strahm, our intelligent inserters have two electronic eyes.
The first reads a 3 of 9 barcode, which is placed in either the left, right or bottom margin. This barcode tells the inserter how many pages to expect to insert for this envelope. It also identifies first and last page of a set. This barcode includes a human readable number for accuracy. In the case of a jam or misfeed, the machine operator can use that number to correct the page count/set count.
The second eye reads a glyph which is placed in the address block. This is a 2D glyph (also known as a 2D Data Matrix) that tells us the record number of that group of letters – for instance record 29 of 200 records. Again there is a human readable number for quality control purposes; it allows our QC team to confirm that we have the correct number of inserted envelopes at the end of the production run. It also makes it easier to pull a letter from the mailing at the customer’s request.
What does this mean for your mail? Adding intelligence to your mailed documents gives you increased peace of mind that your mail is being folded/inserted correctly; a reduced risk of Customer A receiving a page of Customer B’s statement, HIPAA compliance and more precise Quality Control by your print/mail vendor.
If you are not already taking advantage of all mailing technology available to you, please feel free to give us a call. We are more than happy to explain options which will enhance your mail.
To see our inserters at work view our “Tour of Strahm” video below!