Add Value, Gain Prestige
THESE ARE challenging times for in-plants, as cost cutting, downsizing, department justifications and threats to outsource permeate daily business. Now is the time to strengthen your customer relationships and provide value-added services beyond conventional and digital printing.
According to Printing Industries of America (PIA), printers' ancillary services account for approximately $18 billion, or 11 percent of total industry annual shipments. By 2020 ancillary services may grow by $2 billion to $5 billion in additional shipments per year.¹ Business growth through value-added services represents a tremendous opportunity for in-plant printers—one that can help them secure their future.
Even though the economy is tough, this is a great time to upgrade or change hardware and software, as well as to make investments that enable business growth. PIA also reports growth in personalization, shorter runs and versioning. Analyze your client base for opportunities in these areas. If you have invested in personalization software or Web-to-print but feel constrained by the types of jobs and services you can offer, consider adding another solution for an immediate marketplace boost.
Becoming more proficient in direct mail marketing can be profitable for your in-plant. If you are currently outsourcing mailing services, look at the workflow and consider elements you can implement yourself.
Post Office Collaboration
The local post office can support your transition to becoming a proficient mailer. For instance, the post office will support you with mail piece design to help provide clients with more effective direct mail.
Basic services that you can also include are NCOA (national change of address), to ensure that mailing lists are up to date, thereby increasing the deliverability of the mailing. You can use Google to find many software packages on the market—such as Melissa Data's Mailer's + 4 (www.melissadata.com)—to help you prepare mailings at the lowest mailing rates and ensure deliverability for your clients. If this is already an area of success for you, consider upgrading your software services and offering more robust savings through intelligent mail for your clients.