What if you shifted all of the efforts and resources to your core business and outsourced the rest? What kind of impact could that kind of focus make on your business results? It could be huge, not only on driving performance but also saving you time and money. By focusing on what you do best and outsourcing areas that aren’t part of your core competency, you could reap multiple benefits.
While you may currently outsource some processes, one process you possibly haven’t considered is outsourcing print and mail of your customer communications. While you may look at printed and mailed customer communications as nothing but a commodity—just paper and ink—there’s a lot more that goes into ensuring the right communication is sent to the right person each and every time.
There are also compliance protocols, postal rules, and regulations to keep up with. This complex ecosystem shouldn’t be your headache anymore. Find a partner that specializes in this field to take advantage of all the benefits of outsourcing.
The Real Cost of Printed and Mailed Customer Communications — How You Can Save in Every Way
According to an Aberdeen Group study, “Category Spend Management: Print and Print Services,” printing costs represent 3-5% of a company’s operating budget. It could be more when all of the hidden costs are included like warehousing, security, and other non-direct costs of keeping an internal system running. Outsourcing will reduce this strain on your budget, freeing up dollars that can go toward core competencies.
Even the most sophisticated in-plants are losing money on print and mail. On average, for every $14 spent on printing, $96 is spent on ancillary services.
With all these factors impacting the bottom line and efficiency, outsourcing is a proven way to manage printed and mailed communications better.
As you’ve seen, the bottom line cost of running your own printed and mailed customer communications is significant and dependent on so many aspects of the process. From leasing equipment to inventory storage to manual labor, to repair costs, these can all be eliminated when you outsource. When you compare the true total costs, direct and indirect, against the cost of outsourcing, you can expect 20-30% in savings.
Savings areas include:
- Paper and ink
The expertise of outside providers in managing large-scale, national print supply chain is invaluable in its ability to curtail costs. In the competitive landscape of your industry, this cost savings and redistribution of budgets open up opportunities for your business. Take advantage of this competitive advantage.
Utilize your Staff for Core Business Competencies, Not Ancillary Areas
In your current in-plant set-up, you probably have some part of your labor performing manual tasks. These are time-consuming and add no value to the process. Even if you have the most advanced machines, your staff still must engage in repetitive actions, not to mention the maintenance and upkeep of the equipment.
Beyond those working directly on the printing and mailing of communications, you most likely have ancillary roles, too. These could include compliance roles, procurement, and other positions that are involved in purchasing or processing supplies.
When you outsource, you can shift these positions to your core competencies. Ask yourself, couldn’t this money be better spent taking care of our customers?
No More Equipment Leases or Maintenance
The type of equipment needed to run an efficient print and mailing process is extremely expensive. Some machines can cost up to and over $1 million. That’s a large investment for any company to make on one piece of equipment. In addition to your lease payments, there is the cost of maintenance and servicing. You may also find that the equipment can quickly become obsolete as the next model is rolled out.
On the other hand, older equipment may be at the end of their life, often needing new parts. If your machines are down then your production schedule is off, you could find yourself with some challenges getting communications out on time.
Do you really want to spend the time and money to keep up with equipment?
Why Accuracy Matters
How accurate is your in-plant? How do you know that the right letters go to the right customers? Without technology tools, you may have no idea of your actual accuracy.
Outsourcing providers have better tools. Advanced equipment has the ability to scan based on barcodes as well as take pictures through every step, documenting what materials go into which envelope. If your in-plant accuracy is less than 99.99999% then there is an opportunity to improve.
When outsourcing, you’ll have peace of mind that your mailings are correct and that you have evidence to support this, which might help you avoid lawsuits or compliance violation fines.
A Strategic Approach to Print and Mail
How strategic is your print and mailed communications process? Is it keeping up with the innovation in the industry? Is it allowing you to better communicate with your customers or holding you back?
Outsource providers are continuously working on improving their capabilities. They do this with top of the line equipment that tracks each letter on the individual basis. Outsourcers are always looking to reduce their costs, too, especially around materials and postal rates. A print and mail service provider can negotiate better rates due to supplier specialization—it’s their bread and butter, so they’ve got the advantage of relationships and volume. Every time your outsource partner improves a process through a strategic vision, you benefit either with reduced rates or better efficiencies.
Visibility is Better with an Outsource Specialist
Can outsourcing really offer more visibility than an in-plant? You may think because something is internal, the data, costs, and other information are readily available. Yet, that’s not true unless you have dedicated staff focusing on analysis and tracking of the process.
If needed, could you find a specific letter right now that was mailed on a day when hundreds of thousands were printed? If you can’t, then you don’t have a true tracking solution. Those that outsource with the right partner will have this kind of visibility. The power to track each individual piece from print to mail delivery offers yet another advantage of outsourcing.
These are only a few reasons why you should consider outsourcing printed and mailed customer communications. You have the ability to focus back on what you do best while allowing experts in the field to facilitate your printing and mailing. Save money, eliminate equipment, enhance accuracy, leverage your partner’s strategic approach, and gain visibility.
If you’re ready to take advantage of all these benefits, then it’s time to talk to PCI Group. We’ve been a leader in the industry since 1970, serving customers across the country. Find out why so many rely on us as their outsourcing partner.