How Would You Describe Your Mail Center?
The term "Mail Center" means different things to different people. And how you organize your Mail Center will depend on the volume of mail and parcels you process, and your industry sector.
A Bare Bones Mail Center
Mailing experts often talk about the differences between a barebones mail center and a major mail center. A bare bones mail center is one that manages small volumes of mail. It may only operate within a single facility and maybe it only handles simple outgoing and incoming mail jobs. Bare bones mail centers don’t have a dedicated Mail Center Manager. They probably have some level of equipment in a centralized location to handle basic jobs such as postage metering for outgoing mail.
A Major Mail Center
On the other hand, a major mail center is one that manages a full suite of mailing and shipping processes both for incoming and outgoing mail and parcels. A major mail center probably has a dedicated Manager and mail center staff to manage the mailing and shipping operations. These are typically high volume mail and shipping operations. “Major mail centers have multiple solutions to help them with the productivity and efficiency of both sending and receiving mail and parcels.” confirms Kevin O’Connor, Vice President, Marketing, Neopost USA. The term “high volume” means different things for different types of industries. For many organizations, sending more than 10,000 mail pieces a year places their mailing activity in the higher volume range.
Automated Solutions for Transactional Mail and Parcels
Companies that send transactional mail, such as invoices, like to have dedicated operations with automated solutions because they handle recurring operations. In addition, following the growth in e-commerce, more and more parcels are being sent via a range of carriers. And organizations that send a lot of parcels like to have a large mail center in order to centralize this activity.
Germany : Four Different Types of Mail Center
In Germany there tends to be four different groups of mail centers. Firstly there are large centers that handle standardized mass mailings in their millions. Secondly there are middle-sized companies for correspondingly smaller mailing volumes. As a rule, both types of mail centers handle all standard mail formats: enveloped mailings, card mailings, brochures, catalogues, and more. In addition, there are specialist mail service providers, for example for card processing or brochure distribution experts. And lastly there is a smaller type of service provider who deals with jobs that other service providers cannot take on. This could include detailed manual work for which the human eye is required.
According to Thomas Stutenbäumer, Head of Direct Mailing Solutions at Neopost Germany: “The use of intelligent equipment in mail centers can save up to 30% of postal costs. And software for multi-channel communications makes it very easy to control which recipient is targeted and via which channel: such as physical mail, e mail or social media.”
Key Figures: Parcel Delivery
U.S. Postal Service Shipping and Packages Services1 (in millions of units indicated, unaudited)
In 2015 TNS Infratest surveyed 2,727 marketing decision makers about their 2014 advertising and budgets for the Dialog Marketing Monitor2:
- Fully addressed mailings have experienced steady growth.
- The retail sector saw an increase in the use of advertising mailings, and budgets in this area rose by 0.2 billion to around 5.2 billion euros.
- Growth in online marketing was weaker compared with previous years.
- Only social media marketing (+10%) and mobile display advertising (+14%) recorded double-digit growth.
1United States Postal Service 2015 Annual Report to Congress
2Deutsche Post DHL Group : Dialog Marketing Monitor 2015: Volladressierte Werbesendung ist stärkste Kraft im Dialogmarketing
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