Printing is a competitive business. Although buyers are always seeking a good price, they are also looking for ways to add value to the messages they communicate. Transactional print buyers are working to differentiate themselves with more colors, better papers, and even unique envelopes and self-mailers. Purchasers of direct mail marketing collateral are interested in these same differentiators, but they are also exploring other options—the addition of interesting folds and cuts, embossing, lamination, and spot varnishes.
Since its introduction over a decade ago, color inkjet technology has provided the transactional print industry with numerous improvements, including better output quality, faster print speeds, greater flexibility in print jobs and increased productivity. Transactional communications are business-to-consumer (B2C) communications, such as statements, bills and customer letters, which span a variety of verticals including financial services, insurance, healthcare and utilities.
In the course of day-to-day business practices, procurement’s growing influence has made request for proposal (RFP) engagements a fact of life. Procurement representatives are intent on using RFPs to standardize providers’ proposals, so they can better compare bidder prices. Unfortunately, procurement departments often have a limited perspective on the intricacies of creating, managing, and delivering transactional communications as well as a desire to keep prospective vendors at arm’s length from internal business owners.
PCI Group has nearly tripled its number of pages printed over the past two years. According to Christian Kropac, President and Co-Owner, this astonishing growth is “100% because of our investment in inkjet.” Before the company invested in inkjet in 2015, PCI was printing about 300 million pages per year. Today the company produces over 1.2 billion pages per year on its inkjet presses.
Today’s consumers are bombarded with thousands of promotional messages on a daily basis, from television or radio ads to out-of-home advertising, social media, e-mails, and Internet ads. Marketers face the challenge of getting their messages out in a way that cuts through this clutter and encourages desired behaviors in recipients. Marketers are increasingly leveraging statements and other transactional documents as a marketing platform, so these documents are becoming an integral part of the overall customer experience.
One of the greatest selling points that Access Direct Systems of Farmingdale, N.Y., has to offer is its acute sense of – and proficiency in handling – data, as well as the potential value it offers direct mail clients. That is not very surprising to hear, as the 550-employee firm produces more than one billion direct marketing and transactional mail pieces per year from three production facilities on Long Island.
When it came time to make a decision on the digital printing path it needed to take — toner or inkjet — the executives at direct mail and transactional specialist Impact of Minneapolis followed a simple business axiom: If you don’t take care of your customers, someone else will.
As viable candidates for production inkjet printing technology go, one would be hard-pressed to find a firm with a greater need than Pinnacle Data Systems of Suwanee, Ga. This poster child status has been replaced by a solution that provided relief to numerous pain points. The company debuted in 1999 as an accounting software company that marketed and customized ERP solutions. Pinnacle added print-and-mail document output services two years later, essentially as an add-on service for its existing software client base.
One of the challenges with selecting a workflow solution for print is that specific tasks and processes that have to be managed and ideally, automated for different segments of the print industry are strikingly different. Jobs flow differently in commercial print shops than they do in high-volume transactional operations, direct mail houses, service bureaus or CRDs/copy shops in enterprise environments. The work is different, the flow is different and that means the workflow solution must be different as well, doesn’t it?