USPS Intelligent Mail Barcode With Dymo
Many years ago I lived at a military base in Japan and used to use Stamps.com with a Dymo LabelWriter. At that time you could add a USPS Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB) to your shipping label in the Dymo software. In theory your mail will travel faster because it gets sorted faster with the barcode on it.
Then one day Dymo just dropped the IMB capability from their software. And it remained gone for years. However, with the latest version of Dymo Connect Software, it has returned.
Dymo has this to say in their online manual about IMB:
Intelligent mail barcode (US only)
Starting with DYMO Connect 1.4.4 you now have the ability to create Intelligent Mail barcodes.
The Intelligent Mail barcode is USPS barcode technology used to sort and track letters and flats. Intelligent Mail barcode technology combines the capabilities of the POSTNET barcode and the PLANET Code barcode into one unique barcode. DYMO Connect allows you to add the Intelligent Mail barcodes in address fields or as a separate barcode IMail.
Also, the Address Fixer is back, although I think it returned in a previous version. FINALLY Dymo software is viable again in my opinion.
While it is nice to have the capability back the Dymo solution lacks a couple of things. With the USPS Encoder you have control over what is in the barcode. That includes your Mailer ID and any special service codes or Service Type Identifiers (STID).
With the Dymo software it just makes a barcode based on the zip code alone.
I personally am an exploiter of technology and being able to alter the STID could be beneficial.
In this blog post I indicate how to use the UPPS Encoder to generate a code and drop it into a label template. This is how it had to be done prior to Dymo adding the capability back into their software. Again, your mileage may vary here. You might need or want to use a specific code, or you may find that a generic zip code based IMB is adequate for your purposes.
Computer Generated Labels
If you make your shipping labels on a computer, you really should add the USPS Intelligent Mail Barcode to your label. Obviously, if you hand write the address you’re not going to do this. If you own a label maker, such as a Dymo, now is your chance to exploit some technology.