A year has passed since we opened up our new mail house. The months have flown by—but at the same time, we’ve learned so much that it feels like we’ve been doing this for ages. I know there’s a big trend in print shops taking on mailing services, and while some of the larger players and forward thinkers have been successful, a lot have struggled. For us though, it seems to be working just fine.
Why? I chalk it up to the strength of our team.
We’ve discovered that running a mail house requires a higher level of teamwork than we’ve had before. And there are a few areas in particular where cooperation has really made a difference:
Inside-out machine knowledge.
Marty, Bob and Jim have done a bang-up job learning and operating our mail prep machines. Between them, they have decades of print shop experience in making difficult machines run, so they naturally developed a deep understanding of the new machines in no time. It helps to know that important print jobs won’t be derailed by errors or inefficiencies—and that we’re using our equipment to its fullest.
Coordination across the shop.
More than ever, our mail capabilities mean the front and back of our shop need to work in sync. We have to plan production timelines that include design, printing, mail preparation, and delivery to the post office. We have to understand complicated and often-changing postal regulations. We have to make sure all jobs in progress fit in to our closely scheduled workflow. And we have to do all of this while maintaining our regular print operations and delivering great quality. Summer, our Creative Services Manager, has become an expert liaison with the local post office, while Mike, our Operations Manager, sees the big picture and keeps everything running smoothly.
Mailing services allow us to handle jobs from start to finish—meaning that for many of our customers, we’re a one-stop shop. Rather than having to drive to one side of town for a graphic designer, another for printing, and yet another for mailing, folks can get everything done in one place—without having to pay rush fees or worry about failing to meet postal regulations.
We can still help with the individual steps of design, printing, and mailing, of course—but we’re finding that jobs are more effective when we handle everything at once. (It’s worth noting that we’ve yet to have a piece of mail we’ve designed and printed ourselves get rejected by the post office. We can’t say the same for pieces that have been designed elsewhere.) Seeing jobs from concept to completion requires the input and effort of everyone on the team.
The main thing we’ve learned: running a successful mail house is all about staying on task and organized. At Oregon, our whole team is instrumental in making sure this happens. We all take responsibility for success, no matter how many projects we have moving through the shop. It’s been a great first year, and we’re looking forward to many more to come.
Need a mail campaign sent—stat? Oregon Printing Communications can help.