Outsource Solutions: Production
• Match Mailing. With the paper market tightening, you may be asked (or forced) to substitute stock because of availability conflicts. The last-minute substitution of a matte stock for a coated stock for your buckslip might not seem like a big deal. The problem comes when the vendor producing the other three inserts in your package tells you it was able to get coated stock, but the job already has shipped.
It’s also important to make sure color is consistent across vendors. When doing multiple press checks, bring samples of printed pieces to make sure the ensuing pieces match, especially if you had to make compromises on the first piece. Provide printed envelope samples to your form printer, and provide envelope and form samples to your brochure printer.
• Transparency of Costs. Are you paying multiple vendors to manage the same processes? Can you save freight costs by using an integrated supplier to provide multiple components of your program? Are you mailing First class to reduce cycle time rather than working with a supplier that has the logistics and distribution services to move mail almost as fast at Standard rates?
Debora Haskel is vice president of marketing at IWCO Direct, an integrated direct mail services company in Chanhassen, Minn. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.