Tag Archives: print and mail

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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How to transform your mailings using Hybrid Mail

Mailing solutions from your desktop designed to save you time and money!

It seems that direct mail is making a bit of a come back actually paper is making a come back; did it ever go away?

I’d like to go out on a limb here and state that people are probably getting fed up having their inboxes full with unsolicted emails from companies, individuals selling their services, expertise and skills from how to improve your SEO to how you must have the latest business management training and techniques.

Direct mail prospect opening rates have increased from 88% to 91% since 2006 and email acquisition open rates have fallen from 21% to 11% since 2007. (DMA)

In 2010 an average of 91% of prospect direct mail was opened including 96% for personal banking and 95% for stores mail. (Ebiquity Rapport 2010) Open rates for acquisition email 11% (DMA)

Social media and email campaigns are reducing marketers ROI “marketers are failing to maximise user engagement and the ROI of their social media and email campaigns by mis-timing the day and hours of their general release”(YesMail) The companies in this study included Banana Republic, Gap, Diesel, Abercrombie & Fitch and their social media activity was tracked over a three month period on facebook, twitter and YouTube.

If they cant get it right what hope for the rest of us?

SME’s are challenged with trying to attribute resources, time and money to fulfil a worthwhile social media campaign that generates enquiries for their business.

Is it psychological?

Organisations are becoming weary of sending email newsletters and are changing tactic by sending hard copy newsworthy items in the post.

There’s a tangible colourful product in your hand that you can glance through on the way to making a cup of coffee; theres also a sense of well being reading the written word rather than picking your way through an email and of course you can read it anywhere on the train, office, home and in the garden.

Increase in this type of activity is largely attributed to better targeting for example the percentage of mail where customers took action has increased from 4% in 2004 to 5% in 2010. (Royal Mail Consumer Panel 2010)

Enter hybrid mail. A combination of printing and posting as a bundled service. By combining mailings for lots of customers and by optimising downstream access, mailings just got a whole lot cheaper and easier to manage.

Using print-2-mail and effective personalisation can have a dramatic effect on your ROI – that is, good direct mail used in conjunction with intelligent e-commerce.

If you want to find out more about how to transform your mailings but not sure where to start then leave your details here and one of advisors will call you back.

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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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3 Ways to Reduce Postage Costs

Postage

If you still mail out letters and bills there are some options that will save time and money

Businesses rely heavily on the Royal Mail in spite of the internet and the availability of sending documents electronically.

The UK Royal Mail increased their charges from April 2013 and businesses who use a multi-distribution method for delivery of their customer letters such as post and electronic delivery will no doubt have felt the impact of the postage costs on their bottom-line.

Despite the increase and depending on what volumes you mail out in a month there are 3 ways that can help you reduce the expenditure.

Using a print and mailing service provider offers a number of tangible benefits that will save you time and money. You can read more about how the service works here.

Use DSA (downstream access)

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 in to local offices.

The cost savings per envelope depending on weight can be substantial and savings can be up to 13p per envelope using 2nd class mail. (Price will vary subject to weight)

Good Database Management

By ensuring that your data is current and reliable removes the issue of duplication.

Many companies over look the importance of recording their customers address and contact details and this results in duplicated addresses and most likely duplicated invoices arriving on the customers door step.

Maintaing your billing database (clicking on the link here will explain why data cleansing is important for your business) on a regular basis shows best practice and will save time and money and it doesn’t have to be a costly exercise.

A print and mailing service provider can check for errors and duplications using de-duping software.

envelopes

Address Inaccuracies

Sending invoices or statements to an incorrect address or defunct address can be costly!

Not only does the invoice go unpaid but the invoice then has to be re-printed and mailed out again effectively doubling your postage charge and increasing the processing and print time.

Incomplete addresses result in items being undelivered unless there is a return address on the envelope which will ensure the item is forwarded to the originator of the envelope.

But incorrectly or incomplete addresses means that the invoices have to be painstakingly checked and re-issued correctly. This takes up valuable company resources and slows cash collection too.

If you are faced with the challenge of getting your documents out on time there is an alternative solution called hybrid mail. If you click here you can find out more about what the service can do to speed up the mailing out process.

If you call Digital Print Management on 01234-271156 and ask for Caroline or drop us your email address here one of expert advisors will talk it through with you. What best suits your needs when it comes to mailing out your documents.

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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