print outsourcing myths

Outsourcing has always been a business decision based on letting experts handle things that aren’t core competencies. It comes with other benefits, such as reduced costs and a better product. Print outsourcing can be very advantageous compared to running your own in-plant for transactional communications.

However, there are misconceptions about print outsourcing. In this post, we clear those up by debunking myths.

Myth 1: The Cost Savings Are Negligible With Print Outsourcing

If you’re printing and mailing transactional letters in-house, you have capital and operating expenses on your books. Costs can be unpredictable in terms of equipment, maintenance, labor, and overhead. Materials like paper and ink, as well as postage, can also be volatile.

You may think that outsourcing will only slightly impact costs. Some vendors in the space do charge a lot of junk fees to increase their margins. However, the leading providers in this space provide many cost advantages, including:

  • Spreading out the cost of new equipment and technology across many customers
  • Ensuring the best postage rates as they take advantage of presorting, commingling, and more
  • Buying paper and ink in bulk, so the costs to each customer are much less
  • Integrating automation into processes to increase throughput and maximize operator efficiency

The truth is that your cost savings will be in the 20-30% range each year. Plus, it’s a budgetable operating expense that you can account for annually.

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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.

Myth 2: Commercial Printers Have Compliance Gaps

Compliance is critical in transactional print and mail. Since these documents include protected and private information, there are rules and regulations tied to them. Any error could lead to noncompliance, which could lead to reputational or financial harm.

Not every commercial printer will be a compliance expert. When outsourcing print, you’ll want to partner with a company that only does transactional work. These organizations, like PCI Group, excel at compliance and make it a cornerstone for every job they do.

A strong compliance program includes:

  • Certification of meeting all regulatory requirements with various laws like HIPAA, PCI-DSS, FISMA, and SOC I & II
  • A full-time compliance officer
  • Detailed and tested disaster recovery and business continuity plans
  • Data security initiatives, including encryption, Intrusion Protection Systems (IPS), network segmentation, and other cybersecurity best practices
  • Physical security at facilities to ensure only authorized employees handle mailings

Since compliance is foundational to every print and mail run, there’s less of a chance they’ll have a single point of failure. Another part of compliance is the timeliness of certain letters.

Meeting these is not a problem for transactional organizations. For example, we mail the majority of our letters within 24 hours of receiving the data.

Myth 3: You’ll Have Less Control Over Jobs

You can adopt print outsourcing and still have complete visibility over every communication printed and mailed. The key to maintaining this is the controls your provider gives you.

Ideally, you should be able to track a job from start to finish within a web-based customer portal. Additionally, you would receive confirmation of all files received every time.

We offer these capabilities through trakPCI, an online business document management system. With access to trakPCI, you can:

  • Schedule production of jobs.
  • Gain full disclosure of all critical account information.
  • Submit letter change requests or add new ones.
  • View standard and customized reports on any data point
  • Track letters throughout the mail stream to delivery.
  • Receive real-time status updates
  • Review account information and accounting data.
  • Retrieve your archives, including bi-directional confirmation reports and PDF samples.

With these features and our commitment to keeping customers in the loop about all their production activities, you’ll gain greater clarity related to your outsourced print jobs.

print outsourcing qualityMyth 4: Quality Will Take a Hit

The quality of your communications refers to two areas. One is the appearance of your documents and if they are consistently professional looking and adhere to your branding. With high-speed inkjet printers that can print in full color vibrantly, you won’t have to worry about quality in this respect. You also always have the chance to review and approve proofs.

The second quality component is reliability; letters meet all the rules and protocols you expect. The best way to ensure this type of quality in print outsourcing is by working with companies that follow Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma.

With a Lean Manufacturing approach, the print factory works in a quality assurance (QA) model, auditing the workflows rather than a quality control (QC) option that is only about inspection.

We apply Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma to our operations. Notably, we have over 270 standard works in place that break down every process into task steps. As a result, our customers see quality improve over their in-house metrics.

Myth 5: Accuracy in Mailings Will Decline

In transactional print and mail, accuracy refers to making sure that each document goes into the correct envelope. It seems easy enough, but high-volume printing can lead to challenges here. If accuracy is a pain point for you, print outsourcing will improve it, not reduce it.

A commitment to accuracy also relies on Lean Manufacturing and quality processes. It also involves intelligent insertion and barcode scanning. Here’s how we do it:

  • 2D barcodes print at the bottom of every letter.
  • Cameras read these barcodes to insert them into the proper envelope.
  • Integrity cameras take images of this to verify the insertion.

With rigid controls and innovative technology as part of our print and mail workflows, we have an industry-leading accuracy rating of 99.9999%.

Myth 6: Your Undeliverable Mail Rates Will Increase

Undeliverable mail can add up to lots of waste and high costs. You may have a process in place to support greater deliverability, but how well does it work?

When working with a professional print company like us, you may see undeliverable mail become close to none. We use address hygiene tools to scrub your lists before every job. It uses proprietary technology and the USPS Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMb). The review occurs instantly.

Print Outsourcing with PCI Group Delivers Results, and That’s No Myth

If you’re ready to outsource transactional documents, you can be confident working with our team. We have a strong commitment to compliance, security, quality, and accuracy. We provide services to hundreds of organizations, helping them save money, time, and resources.

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