outsource printing FAQs

Many business decisions require due diligence and asking lots of questions. In the case of outsource printing of transactional communications, the list can be long and specific. You should certainly be investigating all the facets of migrating to an outsource model and how that will impact operations, compliance, security, accuracy, quality, and costs.

Because we are experts in outsource printing, we’ve compiled a list of questions we hear the most. Use this FAQ discussion as your starting point for transitioning to an outsource model.

What are the cost savings for outsourcing transactional print and mail?

The desire to reduce expenses is one of the lead drivers in entertaining outsourcing. Running an in-house program is expensive and will only increase. Right now, you’re tying budget dollars up in equipment, technology, labor, materials, and overhead. Further, you probably aren’t getting the most discounted rates on postage because of a lack of volume and automation capabilities.

If you outsource, you can clear all those off your books in the state they are in now. You’ll pay per-piece pricing to your outsourcing provider along with any setup fees, postage, and materials. Since these shops only produce print and mail, they get the best deals on paper and ink. They’re also experts in postage optimization, using high-volume presorting, commingling, and sorting and comingling with the USPS IMb barcode. They also use address hygiene tools to reduce duplicate or undeliverable mailings.

The difference could be in the range of five to six digits of savings. You can then reinvest that into helping your business grow.

Video: https://pcigroup.com/ask-the-experts-cost-savings-in-plant-transition/


Can outsource printing really be as compliant as it is under your current processes?

Transactional print and mail, whether it’s invoices, statements, healthcare communications, or collection letters, all have compliant requirements. Data security is the priority, along with ensuring you meet timelines.

Your current workflows are under the watchful eyes of your team. They understand the risk and do many things to prevent non-compliance. The same care and focus are what to expect from an outsourcing partner.

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If you are looking to streamline your print and mailing operations, partner with PCI Group to save! Our team will conduct a thorough analysis of your current setup and cost of ownership, then present you with options to help optimize efficiency and reduce your current expenses.

You can feel confident about this IF the company only produces transactional mail. Once you establish this, you have to ask more questions about how they remain in compliance. First, they need to have certifications for all major regulations. Second, they should have compliance-dedicated employees. Those are the foundations. What matters most is their processes, which should include:

Leveraging technology, processes, and people to create a reliable standard of accuracy

  • Exceeding the minimum data security best practices to include proactive tactics like penetration testing, data encryption, secure file transmission protocols, and more
  • Employing strategies like Lean Manufacturing to develop standard works so that jobs are consistent regardless of operator, shift, or location
  • Regular auditing of workflows to root out any root causes of potential errors

Video: https://pcigroup.com/outsourcing-transactional-communications-reduce-risk-ask-the-experts/

Does outsource printing reduce an organization’s visibility into operations?

In many outsourcing scenarios, businesses don’t have views into production. For many processes, this would be fine. That’s not the case with transactional communications. You want to have as much oversight as you always have. The best way to attain this is with a secure, web-based document management platform.

You would be able to log into this system and view every detail of jobs, from confirmation of delivery to daily reports on completions. Monitoring jobs is only one functionality. You should also be able to pull reports on any metric, view postage totals, track letters through the mail stream, and request changes to documents. You can access it anytime from anywhere with real-time data at your fingertips.

Do transactional print and mail companies allow for customized communications?

Every letter or statement has unique information about the recipient and account. You already have this capability of dynamic printing. Outsourcing printing can take this to the next level with the White Paper Factory (WPF) framework.

The WPF enables custom messaging directly on the communication, eliminating the need for inserts or pre-printed templates. It marries fully digitally composed files with in-line print production and intelligent insertion. The WPF has more advantages. It reduces waste, supports compliance, and enhances accuracy.

Video: https://pcigroup.com/ask-the-experts-what-is-a-white-paper-factory/

How hard is the migration from in-house production to print outsourcing?

Any type of transition will require work and cooperation. However, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming or disruptive. It all depends on how proficient your partner is. You want to make sure they have experience doing this, as you don’t want to be the first test case.

Those who excel at this have proven implementation steps, dedicated resources for your team, and ongoing onboarding support. You can ask about how they work with new customers to get a full understanding of their abilities. If you see red flags, it’s not the right provider for you.

Video: https://pcigroup.com/ask-the-experts-in-plant-operations-transitioning-best-practices/

Are service level agreements part of the outsourcing partnership?

SLAs (service level agreements) are critical to the terms you reach with your print and mail company. With transactional mailings, compliance often mandates specific turnaround times. In the case of statements, you need them to be in the customer’s hands so there’s no delay in payments.

It’s a metric to investigate when evaluating options. They should have metrics to relay their SLA performance and accountability if they fail to meet them.

Those companies with a culture based on accuracy, quality, and compliance will have the guardrails to deliver timely communications.


Ask Us Any Questions About Outsource Printing

As a company dedicated to transactional work, we’re an extension of your business. You can count on us to be accurate, compliant, and secure. We’re here to answer any questions about the process as you determine if it’s the right move for you. Get started with a discovery session.

Want to learn more about how PCI Group can help you improve your customer transactional print communications?

We offer a free 30-minute consultation.

If you’re ready to improve the productivity and efficiency of your communications and drive better customer engagement
contact us today.

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