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Reducing Costs by Leveraging 3rd Party Postal Solutions

Postal mail remains a vibrant and vital communication tool. It was only relatively recently that commentators talked of email rapidly eliminating mail, but there is no pure substitution going on. Mail volumes have remained relatively constant, compared to tremendous growth in the number of email messages. Email has grown explosively, establishing a new market for itself — but mail and email have found a way to co-exist.

To digress, the need to reduce costs is a constant challenge and essential for any business in today’s competitive market. One of the most effective strategies for lowering expenses without sacrificing quality is leveraging business process outsourcing (BPO) postal solutions. By utilising the services of certified providers, businesses can enjoy reduced shipping and mailing costs while maintaining an adequate communication infrastructure. They can also take advantage of improved delivery times and greater scalability. 

In this blog post, we will discuss the key benefits of using third-party postal solutions, outline potential cost savings, and explain how to select the right provider for your needs to gain an efficient and reliable mailing system. Before that, we will also tackle other necessary details related to Postal outsourcing. 

What is Postal/Print and Mail Outsourcing?

Postal or Print and mail outsourcing is the process of hiring a BPO company to undertake the printing and distribution of documents. It is the conventional sub-segment of document process offshoring or the transfer of responsibility for document-intensive processes from a corporation to a BPO service provider. Print and mail outsourcing generally refers to the outsourced mailroom, printing, and scanning services instead of an outsourced process. In many cases, the entire document process is delegated, including design, scanning and capture, printing, reproduction, archiving, quality control and mailroom services. 

Two Categories of Postal/Print and Mail Outsourcing

You can categorise Postal or Print and Mail Outsourcing services into operational and promotional or marketing communications. 

Operational Print and Mail Services 

It supports an organisation’s internal activities. The materials include manuals, stationery, memos, and other business documents.

Promotional and Marketing Communications

On the other hand, promotional print and mail services support the company’s marketing communications campaign. Materials include posters, leaflets, banners, brochures, packaging, direct mail and other sales collaterals.

Key Benefits of Postal Solutions Outsourcing

Elimination of equipment expenses

Equipment is a prominent investment that comes with large yearly maintenance needs and expenses to be regularly updated. However, utilising the industry-best equipment enables you to take advantage of emerging and new technologies with no capital investment of your own.

Enhanced compliance and data security

Complying with new regulations may need significant infrastructure upgrades. Adding new security technologies is a burdensome and costly proposition for many businesses. Outsourcing places this burden on the vendor.

The management of supplies such as oils, inks, and toners revert to the BPO firm. When you delegate print and mail production, expenses no longer vary based on these consumables.

Energy cost reduction

Printing and mailing operations are expensive and energy intensive, and so are the backup systems needed to operate them. Outsourcing eliminates these costs. 

Increased efficiency

When you outsource your postal needs, you can be sure that the job will be quick and efficient. This is because the company you hire will have a team of experts skilled in handling all aspects of the mailing process. This means they will deliver your mail on time and without any mistakes.

Risk avoidance

Offshoring a printing and mailing service’s responsibilities for approval-driven SLAs (service-level agreements) shifts liability away from your company to your postal solutions outsourcing company. In addition, all-inclusive business continuity and backup planning related to printing and mailing also transfer to the outsourcing firm.

Postage savings

Outsourced experts stay on top of all of the latest technologies and postal regulations to help clients maximise savings. Using multiple levels of presort automation and address management, they analyse your mail to ensure the lowest postage rates possible. Also, when appropriate, they can propose solutions like duplex printing and optimising envelope size to reduce costs further.

Reporting improvements

Companies with internal departments often depend on manual reporting by employees. BPO provides a suite of sophisticated management reporting tools available online and round-the-clock through proprietary technology like track PCI. Real-time reporting gives you information about your job status and the in-depth data often required by accounting staff and managers.

How Outsourcing the Mailing Function Helps Achieve Postal Cost Optimisation

Sort to discount

An experienced BPO company will advise businesses on this choice of services and determine the best mail distribution options available to invest in today’s liberalised scene.

One prominent area of opportunity is in the sortation of mail. In simple terms, the finer the degree of sortation, the bigger the postal discount companies qualify for. The benefit of outsourcing such a process is that the BPO vendor can devote time to monitoring market developments and alerting the client to new pricing structures and services.

At the departmental level, digital franking metres can also make a crucial difference to the bottom line. For instance, a 2p discount for all mail sent via franking machine. Across an enterprise, such deals can quickly make a tangible difference. Digital franking also allows changes to postal legislation to be swiftly accommodated. One such example is the current requirement on the returned post. Businesses requiring direct mail to return to the sender must mark envelopes with a return address in case of failed delivery. Technology can significantly lower the administrative burden, automate the process, and sustain professional standards.

PiP

PiP Technology is also assisting with adaptation to the recent PiP legislation. The PiP pricing structure targets three formats of post — letter, large letter and packet, with the price of postage reliant on the size, thickness and weight of the posted item. The latest technology will automatically assess a mail piece’s width, length, and thickness to identify which PiP format it belongs to. Corporations able to adapt this way could realise savings of up to 40 per cent on postage expenses.

So, there are obvious and immediate postal savings to look at — savings that an outsourcing solutions provider can determine, track and refine as needed. However, looking purely at postal cost is something of a false economy. Actual savings only begin when the entire document production process is automated and integrated. 

Postal ‘factories’

Today, the most sophisticated mailroom operations are adopting processes usually found in manufacturing environments to attain excellence and efficiency. These sites are known as Automated Document Factories (ADF). Just as process optimisation can change the world of manufacturing, it can be a tremendous differentiator in the world of high-volume document production.

An ADF is a document manufacturing model that applies factory production techniques to reduce costs and enhance process efficiency. An ADF helps handle the end-to-end digital production of transactional documents such as insurance policies, direct mail, statements and cheques. It combines process management software and computer-controlled devices with high levels of data collection, automation, and in-line finishing, with minimal manual intervention. The result transforms a time-consuming, labour-intensive manual process into an efficient, technology-driven production model.

An ADF renders a single point of control for the entire document production process, from data creation, print job acquisition and input through printing, assembly and mailing, which enables a real-time view of the different stages of production and the ability to intervene when necessary quickly. In addition, by automating manual steps, the ADF workflow lowers the likelihood of delays or errors. For example, you can assure the mail operators that the appropriate contents are inserted in the correct envelope and mailed to all of the right recipients, which is a crucial consideration for transactional mailers and, increasingly, marketers.

Print and mail operations may migrate to ADFs for several reasons. With an ADF, printing and mailing operations may choose from preexisting assets, enhance legacy applications, support multi-vendor systems, and operate multi-platform services to improve operational capabilities and control. In addition, with the onslaught of regulatory and privacy legislation and the customer’s desire to maintain a level of privacy with their data, an ADF can be leveraged to meet and exceed legislative, audit and privacy mandates.

Top Challenges in the Postal Industry

The postal industry has been facing a range of challenges in recent years. These include:

  1. Declining mail volumes: In the United States, total mail volume has declined by around 20% since 2006. This trend is driven by the shift to electronic communications, with more people using email and social media instead of sending physical letters. This decline in demand is putting pressure on postal operators to cut costs and find new sources of revenue.
  2. Increasing competition: The postal industry faces increasing competition from private-sector courier and logistics companies. These companies often offer a more efficient and reliable service than postal operators, which need more up-to-date infrastructure and regulations.
  3. eCommerce: The growth of eCommerce is both an opportunity and a challenge for the postal industry. On the one hand, online retailers rely on postal services to deliver their products to customers. On the other hand, eCommerce is eating into traditional mail volumes, as people increasingly order goods and services online instead of through the mail.
  4. Economic recession: The global economic downturn of 2008-2009 significantly impacted the postal industry, with many countries seeing a decline in mail volumes as businesses and consumers cut back on spending. This trend has begun to reverse in recent years, but postal operators still feel the downturn’s effects.

These factors put pressure on postal operators to find new ways to stay afloat. Many have turned to increasing prices, while others are looking at new revenue streams, such as parcel delivery and financial services.

The postal industry is facing some severe challenges in the 21st century. However, if postal operators can adapt to the changing landscape, there is still a future for mail.

How to Outsource in the Postal Industry

Outsourcing in the postal industry can be a great way to save money and time. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind when outsourcing your postal needs:

  1. Make sure you use a reputable company. The last thing you want is to end up with lost or damaged mail. Do some research and read reviews before selecting a company.
  2. Compare prices between different external firms to get the best deal possible. Don’t just go with the first service provider you find. Take the time to compare prices and services.
  3. Be clear about your expectations. When outsourcing your postal needs, make sure you’re clear about what you expect from the company. This will help them understand your needs and provide better service.

Outsourcing your postal needs can be a great way to save money and time. Keep these tips in mind to ensure you have a positive experience.

Conclusion

In retrospect, leveraging third-party postal solutions is an effective way to reduce costs and streamline operations. By taking advantage of the services of an external service provider, your company can save resources in terms of time and money, increase efficiency, and focus on other areas of your business. Likewise, it also simplifies your logistics and ensures the secure delivery of your packages. Additionally, these services are usually customisable and have many options that fit into any business budget. However, it is important to remember that any 3rd party solution’s success lies in finding a provider that best meets the needs of your business.

Get an efficient and cost-effective way to manage your postal services with The Lead Enquiry. Enjoy flexible shipping options, reliable delivery, and peace of mind knowing that the job will be done right. Contact us today.

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