Is there still value in Intelligent Mail Full Service?

On April 19, 2013, the USPS® Postmaster General wrote a letter to the mailing industry stating the Postal Services™ determination to create 100% visibility in the mailstream. In this letter, two promises were made that influenced business decisions throughout the postal industry:

  1. A technology credit would be offered to help defray some of the costs associated with mailers adopting Intelligent Mail® Full-Service.
  2. An Intelligent Mail® barcode and Full-Service preparation would be required for mailers to receive automation price discounts in January 2014.

On June 24, 2013 the USPS® pulled back from the first promise (Full-Service technology credit) after the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) ruled that it would allow the tech credit, but would not accept a price increase to offset the cost of the credit. DMMAdvisory062413.htm

On November 29, 2013 the USPS® backed away from their second promise after the PRC ruled that it would not permit the USPS® to require Full-Service IMb™ for automation compatibility without reducing the CPI increase for 2014. DMMAdvisory112913.htm

These broken promises will certainly slow mailers move to use Intelligent Mail® Full-Service, even though there are some clear benefits, including:

  • Full-Service discount ($1 per thousand for Standard Mail® and $3 per thousand for First-Class Mail®)
  • Free Address Change Service (Full-Service ACS™)
  • Mailpiece, tray, and container tracking data
  • Permit Fee waiver when 90% of mail is Full-Service
  • Participation in future incentive programs including those in 2014: USPS 2014 Incentives

I believe that tying the physical mailpiece to the digital world is the right direction for the Postal Industry. However, I question if there is enough value in Intelligent Mail® Full-Service today, to continue to drive the industry in the right direction. What do you think?