As the clock on 2016 ticks down, there might some outstanding “to-dos” on your list. Automation? Streamlining? Taking advantage of discounts? Update your direct mail software? There’s still time left to end 2016 on a high note and get 2017 off to a good start. But where do you start? It can feel overwhelming. Keep calm and read on.
Here are three areas to focus on in the next three months:
- Prepare for better mailing automation. Many of the printers and mailing service providers we speak to don’t realize all of the automation opportunities available. Some think their jobs are specialized, or others of their projects are one-off to invest in examining automatable processes. However, automation opportunities abound when you take a step back and analyze the larger workflow process. Automating tasks can free up hours on the production floor, reduce overtime, and eliminate human error. Earlier this year, we featured Jerry Eiler of Ripon Printers and his experience using TaskMaster, one of the mailing automation options within BCC Software’s Mail Manager presort software program.
“What we’d be doing without TaskMaster is extremely manual and it would be so easy to screw up a job. TaskMaster not only provides us with a huge time saving, but also a level of accuracy that we’d never have in a manual mode,” said Eiler. “In list management, accuracy is more important than productivity. If you make a mistake, you can wreck half a year’s worth of profits. So accuracy is our number one priority and TaskMaster helps us with that, as well as productivity.”
Eiler and his team started small when they examined their mail processing workflow. By approaching the project this way, their eyes were opened to seeing new possibilities.
“We were so impressed with it that we made all kinds of other uses for it,” Eiler said. “We are looking for every opportunity we can to use it. Even for a job that’s different each time, there’s still steps that are repetitive, such as printing forms or outputting files. More and more, we’re automating jobs that are not routine. That’s where we’ve gone.”
- Talk with your document composition partner. Taking advantage of the postal promotions calendar can add up and is definitely worth testing. For example a transactional mailer doing 100,000 pieces per day can put $200,000 per year back on their bottom line, with the right help. Paul Abdool, Vice President of Enterprise Solutions at Solimar Systems, who is a member of the Mailers' Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) work group focused on postal promotions, stresses collaboration to execute the promotion.
“The challenges (of the promotion) fell into four categories: time to execute, lack of internal collaboration, inflexible processes and lack of know-how and tools,” Abdool said.
Overcome these obstacles by talking with your document composition partner about what opportunities exist and incorporate promotional ideas into your 2017 planning. There’s thousands in savings available to your business – achievable with coordination and planning.
- Learn about Address Resolution. Think about all the steps that go into creating a direct mailpiece. From a brainstorming to execution to the costs for the service provider – all that just for a piece to end up in the garbage at a local Post Office because it had an undeliverable address seems like such a waste. Using data correction tools, like BCC Software’s Address Resolution Service (ARS), also known as address correction service, not only ensure that your efforts aren’t wasted, but that the mailer’s intended audience receives the offer.
The purpose of ARS is to attempt to resolve addresses that cannot be DPV®-confirmed through CASS™ processing and encoding, due to incomplete or incorrect data. ARS will try to correct both primary and secondary address information, allowing more addresses to eligible for ZIP + 4® discounts.
BCC Software created a calculator, free to anyone, that helps mailing service providers explain the value of reaching every address in the database. Learn more at https://bccsoftware.com/arstool.
Optimizing long-running processes can seem daunting. In today’s direct communication ecosystem, there are financial rewards for driving more results from existing, tangible resources. For a free consultation of your mailing process workflow, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.