outsourcing utility bill printing faqs

Organizations are constantly seeking ways to reduce costs and limit expenses. Utility companies must continuously manage their budgets while also delivering on customer expectations. One of your most important areas of interaction is the statements you send each month. They must be compliant, high quality, on time, and accurate. The ability to do this is becoming more expensive, making it a key reason for outsourcing utility bill printing.

For those still doing this in-house, you likely have lots of questions. Keep reading for answers to those from our utility transactional printing experts. Play the videos under questions for more details.

Can You Outsource Utility Bill Printing and Mailing?

Some utility companies question if it’s even possible due to the personal and confidential nature of the documents. You can outsource; just make sure your provider is a transactional communications company. They specialize in utility statements and have the processes and technology to assure compliance, security, accuracy, and quality.


How Does Outsourcing Save Utility Companies Money?

There are several areas where you can realize savings. First, you’ll eliminate all the in-house production costs—machinery, technology, space overhead, labor, etc. These expenses are no longer your responsibility.

Second, you’ll pay less for postage, paper, ink, and other materials because you benefit from the large volume of transactional print and company. When you transition, print and mail is an operating expense.

How Does Outsourcing Improve Customer Engagement with Bills?

Statements are the only thing you can be sure your customers read. They’ll often ignore other promotional mailings by tossing them into the recycle bin. The engagement you crave is possible when it’s part of the statement. So, how does this work?

Utility bill experts can help you redesign statements to be modern and easy to read. Adding lines and boxes can highlight important information, and you can add graphs to highlight usage. You’ll also be able to add color in any section to call attention to areas and remain consistent with your branding.

Learn More About Outsourcing Print and Mail Communications

Download 5 Reasons to Outsource Print and Mail

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Working with a professional printer that leverages a White Paper Factory (WPF) framework enables personalized messaging. The WPF marries fully digitally composed files with in-line production and intelligent insertion. As a result, dynamic printing allows you to customize messages by customer. This segmentation provides a way to personalize communications that are most relevant, which could be introducing more services or promoting specific programs.

You also can avoid pre-printing of templates and inserts with the WPF.

Are Mainframe Systems an Issue for Improving Bill Design?

You may think you won’t be able to take advantage of retooling statement layouts because of your use of mainframe systems. If you’re using this to produce invoices, you know the limitations. However, they don’t impact the ability to revamp bills. You’ll send the data to your printer, and they’ll apply it to your new layout.


How Do Quality and Accuracy Improve with Outsourcing Utility Billing?

Quality and accuracy are essential in transactional mail. They are the priority of your operations, and you don’t want to compromise either. You’ll be glad to hear that professionals take both very seriously.

The best print and mail companies incorporate quality into all they do, leveraging things like Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma. They also focus on quality assurance versus quality control, baking it into the process with standard works that they continue to audit and improve.

These practices support accuracy, as well, but there’s more. Accuracy is dependent upon the correct bills going into the right envelopes. It seems simple enough, but it’s a complex process. We’ve developed a method called LetterDNA.

It involves intelligent insertion with 2D barcodes, the USPS Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMb), and high-speed cameras to track documents from production to USPS delivery. Integrity cameras read each 2D barcode to check that each letter folds separately into the envelope. Another camera takes an image of the inserted envelope to validate the correct insertion. These practices result in our industry-leading accuracy rating of 99.9999%.


Will Outsourcing Protect Compliance or Create More Risk?

Compliance is a pillar of any transactional print and mail company because it’s part of every production run. Being compliant in operations includes the basics of certifications regarding regulations and rules. The best companies go much further, ensuring they’re central to all processes and workflows. You’ll have an audit trail of every piece of mail to demonstrate this. We also have a full-time compliance officer whose sole focus is to address and minimize risk.


How Complicated Is Transitioning to Outsourcing?

Moving from in-house operations to a partner can be challenging. We have extensive experience doing this for organizations with a proven plan that would include assessing your current in-plant, identifying gaps, delivering recommendations for improvement, and defining an implementation timeline.

We have dedicated resources to support this migration and thoroughly test and adjust processes to ensure accuracy, quality, and compliance.


Do You Have Additional Questions about Outsourcing Utility Bill Printing?

If you’re considering outsourcing your utility statements, we’re glad to answer any questions and provide you with expectations. Contact us today to get started.