In-house digital print

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In-house digital print for a financial services company

A financial services company approached us, asking if we were able to find ways to strip costs out of their marcomms operation.

The problem

The client needs daily mail packs produced, with varying degrees of content, across a variety of different paper stocks. Their previous supplier carried this out with a manual process – holding numerous paper stocks, printing packs off individually and then hand-matching the individual mail pack components and enclosing them. This resulted in long lead times and potential for error. As the client is regulated by the FCA, 100% accuracy needed to be guaranteed.

The solution

Our solution was to firstly remove the physical paper stocks. These buffer stocks had an upfront cost as well as an ongoing storage cost. We chose to digitise these assets and use variables within the data sets to call in the correct assets and text, as required.

This sounds perhaps straightforward, but with each mail pack getting anywhere between 2 and 100 items enclosed, we needed to be able to not only produce all collateral in one print run, but enclose the mail packs securely, by machine, guaranteeing 100% accuracy. The client also needed to maximise their postal discounts, so segmenting the mail packs according to weight was also a must.

We built them a custom workflow, which first sorted their data according to the number of inserts in each pack, i.e. 5000 recipients receiving 3 enclosures, 800 recipients receiving 30 enclosures etc. These segments are then sorted to achieve the best postal service and discount. Once this is done, the print run commences using our digital printers, producing a seamless run of high-quality letters, printed on the relevant digital asset, driven by the data.

All items are barcoded, so that when they are put on our enclosing lines, the machines can identify exactly how many inserts are supposed to be in each mail pack. The machine collates and matches all the relevant inserts together and using read-in and read-out technology, the machine provides a full audit of what has been enclosed, which is then sent to the client, daily.

The benefits

Whilst digital print carries a slightly higher unit cost than traditional litho print methods, the client no longer has cash tied up in stock and any cost differential is reduced tenfold by the move from hand enclosing to machine enclosing. Lead times have reduced from 5 days, with the client’s original supplier, to a next-day turnaround under our tenure.

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