meeting SLAs

SLAs (service level agreements) are critical in transactional print and mail. If your provider isn’t meeting SLAs, it puts you at risk regarding compliance and other negative impacts, such as longer times for customers to remit payments or take necessary actions.

Meeting SLAs matters considerably in your operations, but it’s more than just checking off tasks by specific dates. Technology, processes, and people are involved in the production and hitting those SLAs.

Let’s review why they matter and how you can be confident in your provider’s SLAs.

The Importance of Meeting SLAs in Transactional Print and Mail

An SLA is a commitment that your provider will perform services within a specific timeframe. This contract is imperative because it ensures alignment between you and your partner, eliminating any confusion regarding delivery expectations. An SLA can also:

  • Establish metrics to measure the performance of services.
  • Support the relationship as a partnership versus one of just a vendor.
  • Ensure there is recourse and accountability if SLA obligations are unmet.

Transactional print and mail companies that enter into SLAs must have the people, processes, and technology in place to remain reliable and compliant. An SLA delivers confidence in the ability to meet regulatory requirements related to the appearance of documents, mailing notices and letters on time, and protecting confidential information.

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Is Your Provider Meeting SLAs? It’s More Than Just a Timeframe

There’s much more to SLAs than a timeframe. If you currently outsource, you should have an SLA in place with a way to measure and confirm. Without this transparency, you may not realize this until it’s too late. As a result, you could be in jeopardy of non-compliance.

So, what does a provider meeting SLAs really involve? It’s the technology, processes, and people!

SLAs on timeTechnology and Transactional Mail SLAs

A provider needs several pieces of advanced technology to be SLA-reliable. The first is insert technology. It needs to be high-speed and focused on accuracy. These are not traditional inserters. They strengthen the integrity of ensuring every letter finds its way to the correct envelope. The use of barcodes on each page and mini cameras that scan them facilitates this.

The second is inkjet printer technology, which can produce high volumes with exceptional quality. With this type of equipment, a White Paper Factory (WPF) is possible, which involves feeding white paper rolls into printers. Each document prints dynamically, and it produces letters and envelopes simultaneously.

These technologies are interdependent and crucial for SLAs.

Processes and Transactional Mail SLAs

Behind the technology, processes are equally important and focus on removing waste and variation. One of the key components is Lean Manufacturing and its principles. It offers a framework for operations to ensure consistency in workflows. To achieve this, providers use standard works, which break down every process into a series of steps. We use hundreds of these to maintain quality and accuracy.

With standard works, the process only gets better over time, as it’s constantly audited. As a result, issue identification is proactive, not reactive.

People and Transactional Mail SLAs

The last pillar of SLAs is the people. It’s a broad group involved with technology and processes. For example, our operators are the authors of standard works because they know the workflows best. Additionally, all those working on jobs receive training continually and have the ability to relay feedback when there are opportunities for greater efficiency to support SLAs.

Further, the people also have a significant impact on compliance. Technology and processes are crucial to this, but you need a team that’s compliance-minded and has the specific expertise to understand the contingencies around SLAs and compliance.

Don’t Let Missed SLAs Jeopardize Your Transactional Print and Mail Obligations

Meeting SLAs isn’t nice to have; it’s imperative in transactional print and mail. Before outsourcing, ask a lot of questions about SLAs with details on how the organization will meet them consistently. Be confident that your provider will maintain compliance, accuracy, and quality.

 

For more information on how we meet SLAs for our clients, contact us today.

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