The Power of Batching: Print and Mail Processes Can Be Spared Big Costs
11 Jul 2018
And optimisation is where we start the Power of Batching conversation…especially for those using inkjet equipment. The larger your batches of jobs, the more you create a better operating condition in order to maximise the utilisation of your printer. Companies, like yours, often deal with hundreds and sometimes thousands of small batch orders (or jobs) every day. That’s a lot to track, and SLAs can become extremely costly when missed. Batching begins to solve many of these problems by automating processes and reporting when orders are at risk of missing SLAs.
But let’s take a small step back. Sometimes it is helpful to define what we mean by batching. The word “batch” is often defined as a quantity or consignment of goods produced at one time. From a printing perspective, when we talk about a batch of print jobs, we mean a collection of print jobs all being produced at one time. Overlay that with our new batching feature within SOLitrack, a module of our Chemistry platform, and what you have is an assisted way of gaining more productivity.
Why is this important?
Our Batching capability creates rolling-queues based on mail piece aggregations that dynamically schedules jobs, a capability that can be effectively used by direct mailers and transactional printers. It combines multiple jobs into a single, larger one to achieve operational efficiency and reduced postage. By utilising the Batching feature, anyone with many small or medium jobs can combine them for production and mailing while recognising like product formats, such as using the same stock, envelopes, finishing requirements, etc.
Automated job scheduling allows work to be held as long as possible and digitally commingled with like work to optimise householding, postal optimisation, production and distribution. Work can be combined and released into production completely based upon rules. These rules are used to set up an automated batching process. Batches can then be reshuffled as new work is submitted.
And to add-value for our clients, there is an additional feature that allows for manual batching, which provides a flexible, interactive user interface that allows operations personnel to build batches to optimise operational efficiency on-the-fly. Operations can fine-tune work by size, SLA, product type and more. Users can also manually release automated batches, or the batches can be set to auto-release.
With the SOLitrack Batching feature it is possible to tackle persisting complications in the print and digital communications production process. Consider what would happen if you had the ability to leverage the following:
- The ability to easily track and monitor orders helps to eliminate costly missed SLAs. Stiff penalties can occur when mail has missed a deadline by even one day. The alerts and automated processing can eliminate that problem. When there is unused production time available, Batching can even reach forward and select batches due in the future by criteria of what can be mailed early, which helps even out production time. This benefits the mailer with reduced costs by using labor more efficiently.
- Household mailings together into one envelope. Matching based on business rules allows content going to the same address to be mailed together, which saves not only the cost of envelopes but more importantly the cost of postage on multiple pieces. Dramatic savings can be made.
- Digitally commingling the mail together can bring a greater geographic concentration to each new total batch of mail. This may also be referred to as pre-sorting and there are savings to be made from postal providers. This process allows mailers to skip using either mechanical sorting machines or sending their mail out to pre-sort companies which don’t allow the mailer to benefit from the total postage savings. Combining batches of mail will provide greater concentration within postal geographic areas, which in turn can provide greater postal discounts.
At this point, many want to know what the real impact of this type of batching capability will be in their print, mail and digital communication delivery environment. A key component is the reduction of manual processes so that your staff can focus on doing more productive activities to drive your department and organisation. On the cost savings side of the equation, our team’s R&D makes achieving a 5% reduction in costs possible for many clients. While 5% may not strike people as a large number, companies like AT&T, according to KeyPoint Intelligence presentations, have saved over a million dollars with that type of percentage saving on mailings to their customer base.
We are here to not only provide software solutions but help you navigate through the complexities of your environment to find the right modular solution for your environment—bringing Chemistry to print and mail to Empower communications.