The Power of Combining Print with Technology
From a printing perspective, “Going Green” seems like a no-brainer – it’s better for the environment and a lower production investment for your business.
Many of our clients have found success in becoming more environmentally and fiscally responsible when it comes to print production:
- choose a printer who uses quality recycled papers
- create more targeted print and kit assembly campaigns to reach a more specific audience; enabling the production of higher quality pieces than could have been budgeted on a larger scale campaign
- print “only what’s needed, only when it’s needed” (on demand printing)
- streamline marketing and communication efforts by coming up with creative ways to get a message out electronically (email marketing, micro websites, etc) in combination with print or without (multi-channels)
Of course, such efforts can take time to completely implement within an organization’s culture and marketing materials. You may find that as you begin the process of identifying what can be done differently, some challenges you never thought about can emerge.
One example is transactional printing – like monthly account statements or invoices. A lot of companies are transitioning to a paperless model when it comes to delivery of these documents. But a change like this can seem pretty big if you are consistently producing large amounts to be mailed every month. You would need a way to deliver these documents electronically instead of printing them. You would need a mechanism to allow your recipients to opt into a paperless document delivery process. And for invoices, you may want to develop a way to not only deliver the electronic document, but also enable your consumers to pay their bills online. All of this, of course, need to be archived for auditing, regulatory, and customer service purposes.
There is a solution – and it’s not as difficult to set up as you might think. It just takes a combination of being able to filter your data through a single source, allow consumer access to define their preferences, and create a process to print what you need to print and electronically deliver what you don’t. In the steps below, we’ll use invoice delivery as our example.
Work with a technology partner who can:
- Analyze your business and help you determine the best methodology for your specific needs
- Create a data flow for your accounting department to securely and systematically provide your invoice information on a regular basis
- Develop a website for your consumers to access their invoice information 24/7 and make their payments online (via credit card or e-Check); as well as indicate whether they want to receive invoices electronically or in the mail
- Create an automated process to email your consumers who wish to go “paperless” when new invoices are available for viewing
- Route data to your print production / mail delivery partner for those consumers who want to receive paper invoices
We have found that many of our clients can enjoy significant savings within the first year, in fact many can pay for the new system with as little as 10% of their invoice recipients opting into “paperless” invoice delivery. Any more than that and you have a surplus in your budget to do more with.