Fill envelopes quickly and accurately with intelligent folding and inserting
Neopost folder-inserters are a much used, but arguably under-appreciated, business tool to be found wherever there is a requirement to produce professional looking, multi-page or multi-insert mailings at high speed and with dependable accuracy.
They do exactly what their name suggests, folding letters and inserting them items into envelopes at speeds of up to 12,000 items per hour. Even the smallest entry-level machine can do this at least 13 times faster than by hand, saving businesses time and effort.
Inserters don’t just put letters into envelopes. They can also insert other items such as flyers, postcards, reply paid envelopes, even booklets and CDs. The more feed stations a folder-inserter has, the greater the range of items that can be sent out in the same envelope.
Of course, you don’t have to take an insert from every station. Easy job programming lets you specify which station inserts should be taken from.
Some customers will only ever use their folder-inserter in this fairly basic way, and this is fine as far as it goes. It will alllow you to save money by folding letters and avoiding Large Letter postal charges; speed up mail processing; present a more professional image with crsip folds and perfectly aligned mailings; and use transactional mail for marketing purposes, for example by sending out special offer flyers with bills or statements.
However, this only scratches the surface of what you can do. The addition of output management software specially developed for use with folder-inserters significantly expands their capabilities. In particular, it lets you apply machine readable optical marks to printed pages, containing folding-insertion instructions, such as which stations to take inserts from and how many pages should go to each recipient.
In this way you can customise insertions for each and every customer, automatically and on-the-fly. A shirt-maker, for example, could specify different inserts for male and female customers or vary insertions based on customers’ buying histories. This brings huge productivity benefits. More importantly, it lets you meet growing customer demand for personalisation, leading to stronger customer relationships, better response rates and less waste.
Neopost offers two output management solutions for its folder-inserters:
1 OMS-200, an entry-level solution designed exclusively for folding-inserting to ensure that you always send the right document with the right insert to the right customer; and
2 OMS-500, a much more powerful solution, covering the whole multi-channel communications process, including document design, production and distribution via digital and postal channels, including automated, intelligent folding-inserting.
Do more with OMS
Instead of producing a list of all OMS functions, here are ten reasons why you should expand the capabilities of your folder-inserter by buying output management software at the same time.
1 Contact customers via their choice of channel.
Today, more than ever, consumers expect to be contacted via their choice of communications channel. This could be the post, fax, telephone, email, social media, web-link or SMS – and it could change depending on the subject matter or even the time of day. Output management software simplifies the implementation of multi-channel communications by automatically distributing documents via each customer’s preferred communication channel, with significant benefits for customer satisfaction and loyalty.
2 Digitise your business – at your customers’ pace.
Digitisation is the Number One priority for businesses today. Everyone wants to be paper-free, but getting there can be difficult. In a new study by Xerox1, IT decision-makers confidently predict that within two years only 9% of key business processes will run on paper. However, more than half admit that their processes are still largely, or entirely, paper-based. About one in three says they still use paper, not email, to communicate with customers. This might not be in line with customer wishes and opportunities for cost saving could be missed. Output management software that supports multiple communication channels lets you make the transition from printed to digital communications seamlessly and at a pace that suits you and your customers.
3 Maintain visibility & control.
One of the difficulties in adopting multi-channel communications is keeping track of what was sent to whom, when and how. With integrated archiving, OMS software provides a consolidated view and record of all communications, irrespective of whether they were distributed electronically or printed and posted. Employees can see at a glance when and how something was sent, without having to switch between applications and/or filing systems.
4 Consult audit trails for proof of delivery.
Instead of having to rely on someone’s word, output management systems provide an audit trail of communications activity so that you can confirm and, if necessary, prove that something has been sent. Some systems provide digital certification of electronic documents to prove authenticity and proof of receipt. The result? Better customer service and faster dispute resolution. In the case of invoices, proof of receipt can even help you get paid faster.
5 Ensure Compliance.
Audit trails are just one example of how output management software aids compliance. By automating the preparation, production and despatch of customer communications generally, OMS software makes it easier to stick to relevant rules, regulations and standards, from the pre-sorting of mail to maximise Royal Mail discounts (see below) to the archiving of invoices to HMRC standards.
6 Personalise customer communications.
Increase response rates and build stronger customer relationships by personalising transactional and marketing communications. OMS software lets you do this in a number of ways, from changing greetings on letters to varying the offers, promotions and marketing material sent to each customer. One of the key functions of almost all OMS solutions is the generation of barcodes and/or optical marks containing processing instructions for folder-inserters. These are read by the folder-inserter, which modifies envelope insertions accordingly. In a recent survey by Ricoh Europe3, almost two thirds (64%) of consumers said brands could do more to tailor their communications to their needs – and 80% said they would be willing to share data to enable this. Automating insertions eliminates human error and ensures that each person receives the documents they are meant to. This is particularly beneficial for organisations that handle sensitive customer data, especially those in healthcare, social services, education and financial services. Figures from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)2 show that sending sensitive data to the wrong recipient is one of the three most common causes of data security breaches.
7 Boost productivity.
The above is just one example of how OMS (and folder-inserters) can increase productivity by reducing manual processing. In fact, output management software has a massive effect on staff productivity by automating almost every aspect of the communications process, from the use of templates for document creation to the automatic pre-sorting of mail. Neopost estimates that automatic mail processing saves 30-60 seconds per item. Claims management company Claim Eazy has reduced the amount of time it takes to process outbound mail by 80% since installing an intelligent Neopost DS-200 folder-inserter and output management software.
8 Save money.
Hand-in-hand with productivity enhancements are big cost savings. These come not just from increased efficiency, but also from the substitution of printed communications with digital messaging (where desired). Within a month of introducing output management software and giving customers a choice of receiving invoices in the post or by email, bakery products supplier Ransons had cut its postage and paper costs by 20%. Further cost savings come from a reduction in costly errors associated with manual processes; improved data accuracy (certified address management software is included with Neopost output management software); and sophisticated mail processing. For example, OMS can save postage costs by combining multiple letters to an individual in one envelope and by grouping and pre-sorting mail to maximise Royal Mail volume discounts.
9 Make better use of resources.
Enjoy economies of scale and simpler management by centralising document production and despatch. Organisations with multiple branch offices don’t have to install printing and mailing equipment in every office or put up with slower, less productive devices in satellite offices. With optional plug ins documents can be processed and despatched centrally. As well as reducing support requirements in branch offices and enabling organisations to make productive use of larger, more economical devices in the corporate print/mail-room, centralisation maximises possible Royal Mail volume discounts.
10 Maintain a consistent corporate identity.
The document design features included in many output management solutions let you centralise the creation of transactional and marketing communications for a more professional corporate image. Templates for invoices, sales orders, statements, forms and other documents let you apply a consistent design across your business, from typefaces, fonts and graphics to output choices, such as single- or double-sided printing. A multi-channel solution like GMC Inspire provides a single design platform for print, email, mobile and web.
Folder-inserters have been an office and mailroom staple for many years. New generation output management software bring them into the twenty-first century, making them a core part of organisations’ multi-channel customer communication and digitisation strategies.
1 Digitisation at Work, Xerox, 2016 www.xerox.com
2 Data Security Incident Trends Report, July-September 2015, Information Commissioner’s Office, 2016 www.ico.org.uk
3 Communication Crackdown, Ricoh Europe, 2016 www.ricoh-europe.com