Tag Archives: Mail Solutions

How to optimise a hybrid mail solution to mail out information to your employees?

Employees communications

Any employee communication letter can be mailed using print-2-mail

Payroll departments are often besieged with paperwork managing and processing a variety of different employee document streams.

Auto-enrolment forms continue to be a headache for companies along with absence reporting documentation all of which can be manual intensive tasks. But there is a way of mailing out these documents at the fraction of the cost of a 2nd class postage stamp.

How do payroll departments manage to communicate the various bits of information that need to be sent to the employee?

Payslips are a great way of communicating important information to your employees but there are often limitations on space and the amount of detail that can be printed on your payslips.

Emailing information can be time consuming but what if employees don’t read it or the email is misplaced?

Then there is the need to update your employee database with new starters and leavers?

Having a cost effective hybrid mail solution that enables your payroll department to mail out employee communication letters at the touch of a button, without moving from your desk and cheaper than a 2nd class stamp including stationery, envelope, printing and mailing will save the department’s resources in time and money.

How does a hybrid mail solution work?

We are often asked ‘can we just mail out 25 pension statements, a few hundred employee communication letters and what about absence reporting documentation?’ 

The answer is very definitely YES, you can!

Using a hybrid mail solution an organisation is guaranteed to save money on postage, printing and processing.

Hybrid mail is a combination of printing and posting as a bundled service and by combining small mailings for many customers and by optimising DSA (Downstream Access ) pricing is guaranteed to save payroll departments time and money by cutting down on the mundane administrative tasks.

What can I use hybrid mail for?

Any payroll related employee interfacing document as mentioned above.

Variable pages and variable numbers of pages, single sided and double-sided pages, colour documents, any document you need to print and mail out.

There’s no limit to the number of pages so any communication letter that needs to go to employees can be done so with print-2-mail

How secure is it?

The process is very secure and documents are uploaded using an encrypted HTTPS connection (the same standard used for online banking). All your documents are printed in an APACS approved, ISO27001 security production facility.

Stacked MailHow can hybrid mail work for your payroll department?

Aside of the obvious cost savings on processing, printing, fulfilment and postage there are the invisible cost savings of energy, equipment, stationery and consumables.

You can send out from 1 to 1,000’s of letters daily, monthly or when you need to. There are no minimum volumes or minimum usage if you choose to use it for a month and then decide not to continue with the service there is no penalty for doing so!

By using your web browser you can access the print-2-mail web portal by clicking here  fill in your name and email address,  go to ‘branch’ and select “demo” and you will be emailed with your login details.

There’s no software to install and you can use it on a PC or Mac.

By downloading the print driver you don’t even need to create PDF’s. Selecting the print driver launches the application, uploads your documents and converts them to PDF’s.

That’s it, couldn’t be simpler or easier to use.

To read more about how print-2-mail can help your payroll department click here

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How to mail out your letters on a budget using a hybrid mail solution?

 

We are often asked can we just mail out 300 invoices or 300 of anything come to thing of it?

The answer is very definitely YES, you can!

Sometimes the volume might be more or less but by using a hybrid mail solution an SME is guaranteed to save money on postage, printing and processing.

Hybrid mail is a combination of printing and posting as a bundled service and we can combine small mailings for many customers and use DSA (Downstream Access ) pricing which saves you time and money on postage.

How?

Easy.

Using your web browser you can access our print-2-mail web portal and we provide you with a user name and password. There’s no software to install and you can use a PC or Mac.

If you have a document you want to print and send out, print-2-mail does the rest. The document needs to be converted to a PDF first.

By downloading the print driver you don’t even need to create PDF’s. Selecting the print driver launches the application, uploads your documents and converts them to PDF’s.

The print driver is easy to download as the interface provides a “print driver download”

What can I use hybrid mail for?

Pretty much any document you need to print and mail out.

You can print virtually any type of A4 document, single or double-sided, colour or black on white only. There’s no limit to the number of pages so reports, dissertations even and customer letters are fine.

You can load variable length documents so invoices and statements are no problem. You simply create the document before you load them to the system.

 What do I need?

An internet connection and the most up to date web browser – Internet Explorer 8 for Windows XP or 9 for Windows Vista or Windows 7, Mozilla Firefox 12 or Google Chrome.

When the application opens you have the option to print single and multiple page letters, in black or colour with the option of uploading your company logos.

Simply add your logo to the document as an image and we can print it along with the letter.

The wizard (there are seven steps) has been set up so you can walk through it and process your document quickly and efficiently.

The mailing wizard takes care of incomplete addresses by providing suggestions and it tidies your addresses as well. This is done using the Royal Mail’s PAF database (Postcode Authentication Finder) On completion of the address validation the wizard can create an accurate address file that can be downloaded as a PDF so you can make sure your customer addresses are accurate and complete.

How quickly will my mailing be posted out?

You have two options ‘Same Day” and “Next Day”. For same day all orders placed by 4PM are printed and mailed the same day. For next day, any orders placed up to midnight day 1 are printed and mailed out the next day. 

How secure is it?

The system is very secure and documents are uploaded using an encrypted HTTPS connection (the same standard used for on line banking). All your documents are printed in an APACS approved, ISO27001 security print factory.

How much does it cost?

Until you’ve completed the wizard and finalised your print options, the summary page will summarise the total cost of your mailing at the end of the process so before you print you will know exactly what you will pay. Suffice to say it will be less than the cost of a 2nd class stamp and it includes, the paper, printing, folding, inserting and mailing out!

There is no contractual obligation so if you choose to use it only once then that’s up to you. But we are so confident that you’ll love it that you will wonder why how you managed before.

Now for the really good news…

Apart from calling us initially for a demo that’ll be the last time you’ll need to talk to us so that really is good news!

Which means that you can just get on and print and mail whenever you need to you’ll have control over what you print, when and where you post out.

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Hybrid Mail Solutions. How to save money when you post out anything!

Invoices, Statements, Letters, Customer Letters, Emergency Mailings, Debt Collection Letters, Holiday Greetings, Birthday invitations. Hybrid Mail Solutions.

Our Print-2-Mail solution straight from your desk top.

Our Print-2-Mail solution straight from your desk top.

As an organisation you will be posting out customer letters, mailshots, invoices and statements but the problem is COST and TIME.

The recent increases in postage have meant that companies have had to get smarter and more inventive when it comes to sending out customer letters.

E-billing, e-mailshots all have a very important place in the hierarchical scheme of things.

Certain documents such as legislative financial documents which are required to be paper; or customers who specifically request a paper document mean that you still need to have some kind of in-house print and mail solution.

Our desk top mailing solution

Using our Print-2-Mail service posting out the aforementioned documents just got a whole lot easier!

How?

Because with print-2-mail you can still mail out the same documents to your customers. It’s cheap,  it’s quick and you still retain control.

Why?

Using hybrid mail which is a combination of printing and posting as a bundled service. By combining small mailings for lots of customers and by utilising DSA (Downstream Access) pricing the process is very cost effective.

How do I save money? 

Print-2-Mail can reduce your mailing costs!

  • Increased staff productivity – staff no longer have to load and manage printers or stuff envelopes
  • Reduced postage costs – we sort your mail, consolidate it so you benefit from significant postal discounts
  • Reduced in-house equipment costs – general office printer usage goes down, cost of consumables is reduced because you are not using so much
  • Reduced stationery and consumable costs
  • Reduced paper wastage – using our postal validation system you can amend missing or incorrect addresses; alternatively you can download a PDF and ensure your customer database is up to date with the current postal address
  • Pay as you go – with no set up fee or software installation, print-2-mail enables you to send letters quickly and conveniently in the UK (Airmail coming soon)
  • Improved customer interaction – because the process is so quick and easy to use, your customers will benefit from your latest news; invoices will be printed when you need them
  • 1st and 2nd class mailings options are available to you and where letters exceed 15 pages they will go into a C4 envelope; pages exceeding 80 will be packaged accordingly

How do I control what is being mailed?

The Print-2-mail shop is so easy to use; every step of the way you can see what your total spend is, decide on colour or black and white, choose your postal service, it even manages documents that have variable pages for example you might have customers that receive single pages and others that may have extra sheets; our software  identifies those pages and manages the process seamlessly. From the dashboard you are able to manage your users and set budget levels. You can set up user permissions and monitor your print and mailing spend. You may want only the marketing department to have the option of printing in colour and other departments black and white documents. You can set a spend limit, determine which postage service is selected and  ensure corporate branding is maintained.

How can print-2-mail work for you?

Print-2-mail enables you to process your documents in a matter of minutes mailings can include mail shots, debt collection letters, emergency letter mailings, invoices, statements and general communication letters.

Aside of the obvious cost savings on print, fulfilment and postage there are the invisible cost savings of energy, equipment, stationery and consumables.

You can send out from 1 to 1,000’s of letters you can do this daily, monthly or; as and when you need to; there are no minimum volumes or minimum usage if you choose to use it for a month and then decide not to continue with the service there is no penalty for doing so!

That’s it, couldn’t be simpler or easier to use. If you want to see the benefits of our print-2-mail solution then request a demo now by filling in the form below or calling us: 01234-271156.

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Outsourcing – The Pros and Cons!

In my last blog I talked about why outsourcing can be good for organisations and the benefits that can be derived from outsourcing.

Outsourcing is not a four letter word (11 to be precise but who is counting)

What is often overlooked or never written about are the disadvantages or pitfalls that companies fall into when considering outsourcing!

It is important to point out that these pitfalls can be avoided if you plan and manage the process. When it does go wrong and believe you me it can, outsourcing is then tarred with a brush such as ‘it doesn’t work’, ‘we tried it, it failed’, ‘it was a disaster, never again’.

If there isn’t a clearly defined set of objectives then don’t be surprised when it fails.

Think of it as inviting a domestic goddess into your house to help with your cleaning, if you don’t give her clear instructions on what it is specifically you want doing she will most likely assume what you think you need and both of you then wonder why you are disappointed with the results.

The concerns about outsourcing anything from your payroll printing to a whole department are based on trust and whether the incumbent supplier will deliver the intended outcomes.

It’s pyschological! Outsourcing 

Considerations are “does the cost outweigh any benefit after all, you could/should be doing it!”

A compelling argument but imagine the time you gain by finding the right partner to manage the outsourcing process for you? TIME is money and if a part of the business process or function is broken then in reality it’s probably costing the business a whole lot more!

Its true that businesses are wary of outsourcing and recent figures from research conducted by the National Outsourcing Association revealed that “80% of the general public do not believe that outsourcing helps the British economy, with only 19% believing that outsourcing can help get the UK out of recession.

An alarming 22% of people dislike the process of outsourcing despite us paying £21 billion in income tax every year.

Perceptions of outsourcing centre on cost-cutting, job losses and offshoring and onshore outsourcing.

There is huge concern for the organisation that is handing over a primary business process(es) and/or functions to a third party perpetuating the myth you feel out of control of the process and bereft of what is going on.

The purpose of outsourcing is to allow the proper use of internal resources. For example if you are printing and fulfilling orders in house, your employees are doing busy work not business. Imagine how the business focus would change when it has more time to think up new ideas, invest in creativity freeing up employees for more meaningful mission driven work all of which help fuel those ideas to fruition.

But what do organisations concern themselves with when they think of outsourcing?

These challenges tend to centre on:-

  • service levels not meeting expectations
  • data integrity and confidentiality worries
  • the contract being too inflexible to allow for change in growth patterns of the company
  • management changes at the outsource company creating friction and uncertainty
  • the outsourcing company going out of business or changing/discontinuing the provision of the services originally hired for
  • failure to provide the necessary resource in your company to manage the success of the outsourced business process
  • can the process be shared by 2-3 partners rather than giving it to one supplier

When considering outsourcing it is always worth having a contingency plan should a problem arise for example could you bring it back in-house for a short period, do you have an alternate service vendor? This is a double-edged sword because outsourcing by its very nature assumes that the company you choose to partner with will never give you cause for worry.

However, outsourcing should include extensive research, selection and recruitment of the right provider for your proposed business function. But things do happen, events intervene, companies change management, companies get bought out, companies go bust!

Unforeseen problems can arise when “force majeure” intervenes or you have not planned and managed the process as outlined here!

How do you avoid the pitfalls!

Let me start by saying “outsourcing is about creating a successful partnership” much like a marriage as I have previously alluded. In 90% of failed outsourcing processes this was the fundamental component missing! (Based on DPM statistics) It is no good you choosing to make a commercial decision to outsource a component and handing it lock stock and barrel with no active involvement or development of the relationship.

Regular communication is pivotal to any business relationship, an example of that is marriage if you don’t communicate it can quickly break down leading to misunderstandings and mistrust!

How do you find the right partner/supplier?

Ask yourself the following:

  • Does the service provider have a track record of service?
  • How does it manage service levels and expectations?
  • Is the business expanding?
  • How good are the service level agreements it provides?
  • How will the relationship be managed?
  • Will there will an account manager?
  • Who are the providers existing customers?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the provider?
  • How do they manage problems?
  • Visit each supplier and ask questions about the processes
  • How secure are their IT systems? Is data integrity (if relevant) conform to UK standards i.e. Data Protection, ISO 27001
  • Can they demonstrate good quality assurance management systems?
  • Are they financially stable? How long have they been trading? (Don’t be mesmerised by the scale of the turnover its more important they have a proven track record in delivery)
  • Ask the service provider if they plan to subcontract the work out and carry out the same checks
  • Do they really know and understand their industry sector?

Finally?Outsourcing

Question your assumptions about outsourcing, this can be a good thing for the business and the employees it also means you are thinking through the process logically. Trusting someone else to manage the process doesn’t mean you have to let staff go it is simply a matter of redistributing human resources.

You can do all the necessary checking, set up a tender process and visit the select few. But there is nothing like good old fashioned gut instinct if it feels right it probably is.

Don’t be afraid to ask if you can trial the service for 1-3 months to get the “experience” (subject to type of business function) although there may be some initial setting up/running charges for the trial it’s worth asking for. If the service is of high value over a long period you may even be able to trial the process free before you make your final decision!

One more thing, whether the value of the process you are outsourcing is £5K or £50,000,000 the above steps still apply!

What do you think? Can you share an outsourcing story that went horribly wrong or was it the best thing you ever did?

 

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Printing mailing services. How to benefit from cheaper print and mailing solutions

Postage charges increased last April 2012 with a 1st class stamp costing 60p and a second class stamp 50p. In spite of these increases many businesses mail out a constant stream of marketing letters, invoices, direct mail and obligatory customer letters and printing mailing services have never seemed more expensive.

If your company or organisation cannot reclaim VAT, your postage costs can only go one way – UP.

Businesses that rely on bulk mailings and use the royal mail’s bulk mailing services such as mailsort, presstream, walksort, cleanmail, packetpost, advertising mail, sustainable mail and standard tariff will have experienced rising mailing costs.

Irrespective of escalating postage and mailing costs there are a number of measures that an organisation can undertake to ensure the cost of print and mailing is kept at a reasonable cost level.

How?

By optimising all or some of the following.

Multi-channel distribution 

Multi-channel distribution of business documents – your data file is broken down into those letters that are required to be printed and mailed, electronically sent or documents that need to be printed and then returned to a head office or delivered to regional offices all from one data file. Providing you with a complete printing and mailing service.

How can this work for my business? print-2-mail desktop to door mat

Working with a mailing solutions partner who will advise you what the alternatives are and provide guidance on the best method to ensure your mailing is a success.

Whether it is getting those invoices out to your customers on time or a direct mail piece, a print and mailing solutions provider will take your data file containing names and addresses, extract the letters that are required to be printed and mailed, electronically send documents to those recipients and return those documents that are required to be internally distributed back to head office and regional locations.

To find out how to choose the right mailing solutions provider click here

print-2-mail from desktop to doormat mail solutions

DSA 

DSA is the term used to describe mail which has been collected and distributed by a competitor of the Royal Mail but is delivered into the Royal Mail centres for final processing onto local offices. The cost savings per envelope depending on weight can be substantial saving companies as much as 0.24p per envelope.

Electronic

Not quite as straightforward to get your customers to accept the fact that you will be communicating with them solely via email and not everyone of your customers will want to receive an electronic bill, statement or letter for all sorts of different reasons but as long as you follow the process I’ve outlined here you can see your postage costs reduce substantially.

Beware, your customers perception may be a negative one.

If you are wanting to drive your mailing costs down by moving to an electronic system of sending out your documents you need to be aware that some customers will view that you have effectively passed the costs of processing and in many cases, printing to your customer.

If they don’t have an effective accounts payable/invoice processing system then there is the manual processing of your document at the customers end resulting in additional work.

Aside of the print and mailing solutions there are also known desktop mailing solutions.

How does this work?

Easy really if you click here there’s more information on how the system can help you reduce your mailing costs or click here to find out how mailing on a budget can make a difference to your organisation.

Finally…

Avoid the use of C4 envelopes

Avoid having to use 1st class Royal Mail

Maximise your discounts by using downstream access mailing

Use a hybrid mail solution like the one described above.

For more information on hybrid mailing solutions click here

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Invoice Processing. How to automate the process

Invoice processing and printing.

There are many companies still choosing to print these time critical documents in-house.

Choosing an end to end invoice processing and scanning solution will speed up the accounts payable process.

Choosing an end to end invoice processing and scanning solution will speed up the accounts payable process.

Why?

Here are some well documented reasons…

Because its too expensive to outsource.
Because we don’t want to give up control.
I want our envelopes post marked with our address details.
Because the Directors want to retain control of the print and despatch of our statements/invoices

If it’s taking you and your company too much time to process and generate your invoices and statements then you really should think about automating the processing by opting for a print services provider.

A printing mailing service provider specialises in the process, printing and inserting of invoices and statements.

Let’s look at the above points in more detail.

Twenty years ago outsourcing this onerous task would have been cost effective for the for high volume generators of statements and invoices.

Today, technology has changed and improved to such a degree that any company generating a few hundred invoices will benefit from tangible cost savings in postage and processing especially when this is weighted against the costs of doing it in-house factor in over ordering of stationery, consumables, maintenance fees, inserting machines and employees who are involved in the process too.

Retaining control – The question that needs to be addressed is do you trust your billing software to output the correct data? Are you painstakingly checking certain customer invoices for errors or omissions prior to actually sending them out?

Even if you have specific customers that require you to check prior to sending most, if not all mailing services will have a medium with which you can isolate those documents view and approve prior to print or sending electronically.

Envelope details – this is given as most print companies will suggest that the outer envelopes will be pre-printed with a return address, company logo and postage indicia in the corporate colours.

Company Directors are insistent in keeping the process in house – Next time the accounts department process the monthly, weekly invoice or statement run ask the Directors to spend time in the department just to see what’s involved in the process.

Present them with a time V cost analysis report that you’ve done in advance, costs both visible and invisible should be shown then see what response you get? I’d be very surprised if they didn’t exhale sharply and respond with “really it costs that much!”

What are the benefits of automating the process?

e-billing...If your company regularly sends out invoices and statements in a paper format as well as providing electronic billing then you will benefit from having this process automated.

The outsourcing of invoice and statement printing is not as complicated as you think.

By understanding a company’s billing cycle, how the information (data) is extracted out of the accounts system and how to send the data are taken care of by the mailing partner.

If managed correctly by the printing services company the cost savings will be evident.

For example by speeding up the processing time i.e reducing the time taken to despatch bills or statements, receipt of a datafile on day 1 can result in despatch the same day, which can have a dramatic impact on the DSO (days outstanding).

There is minimal time spent by the company once the data file has been emailed because the mail service provider does all the work.

Pre-sorting your bills and statements specifically for Royal Mail or DSA (downstream access) will offer huge savings on postage.

Outsourcing this non core business activity enables you to have the option of sending paper based items and an electronic version as well – multi channel distribution.

The data file can be pre-sorted for bills and statements that are required to be printed and posted or to be electronically sent.

In effect, your only concern is ensuring the upload of the information file. This is the only part of the process that your business truly gets involved in.

The biggest advantage of outsource bill and statement printing is that your outsource provider does all the work associated with printing and prepping of your invoices and statements for mailing.

You also have the flexibility to change the layout and format of your documents because most outsource printers can print in colour at the same time as printing the statement or invoice information therefore implementing a form change becomes effortless!

Most customers have come to expect paperless billing and it is cheaper than sending a paper version.

There is also a compelling argument to outsource the processing of your electronic bills and statements.

Of course there is always the option of implementing a complete end to end invoice processing scanning solution.

For more information about how invoice processing and scanning solutions can streamline your company process then click here for more information.

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 What do you do, how do you manage the process of billing your clients? Let us know your thoughts so we can share it.

 

Print and mail service. What to look out for in a print and mail services company.

print and mail service

Many companies manage a steady stream of mail including marketing letters, bills, promotional items you name it, none of us are immune from receiving them!

But processing, printing, folding and sending these items is a costly and time consuming exercise. Factor in higher UK postage prices which came into force in April 2013 with a standard first class stamp for letters weighing up to 100g now at 60p and a second class stamp at 50p making it even more costly for companies to stay in touch with their customers.

The personnel involved in these processes would be better served in being re-deployed into other business activities which are revenue orientated.

Optimising the skills of a print and mail services company will improve and manage your paper flow more efficiently and ensure that the envelopes actually reach either the consumer or the customer.

In the present economic climate, this is one area companies should be evaluating to look at reducing their print and mailing costs by working with a managed outsource print provider.

Despite growth in paperless solutions, companies still require a reliable way of ensuring that their critical documents reach their intended destination! Using a managed service provider, organisations are likely to reduce the hidden costs associated with actually processing an invoice or statement.

Big postage cost savings can be made using DSA (downstream access) rather than the  traditional route of the Royal Mail these savings can make a huge difference to companies who rely on a steady stream of invoices, statements and marketing material being posted out each month.

A Print and Mail services provider has the technological resources, investment in mailing kit, hi-speed printers and the technology infrastructure in place to manage volume mailings.

Coupled with account management your print and mail service now becomes a manageable and structured process with the print and mail of invoices and statements at month end or the posting of a promotional mailing campaign designed at attracting new customers.

The process is organised, planned and represents effective management of a companies resources and time.

Quite simply an organisation can spend a lot of effort trying to keep up with the demand with requests for copy documents or marketing information if they do not make use of an established managed print and mail service provider.

By outsourcing, the company can transfer these chores to an organisation that is expert in delivering mailings every day.

A managed print and mail service will in the long run ensure your paper flow is manageable, timely, effective and delivered to the right person at a cost that you will find surprisingly inexpensive! print and mail service

For more information or to get a quote click here

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