Huge disruptions are impacting businesses due to COVID. Many are considering operational changes. Rethinking your print and mail in-plant should be part of the assessment.

Rethinking Your Print and Mail In-Plant: Does It Make Fiscal Sense Post-COVID?

COVID-19 has many companies reexamining operations. In some cases, roles have been able to be transitioned to working remotely. That’s not the case for every aspect of your organization. You simply can’t virtualize your in-plant. With disruptions in labor and access, rethinking your in-plant is necessary. Ultimately, you need to decide if it still makes good business sense.

The Cost of Shutdowns

If you’ve paused operations due to quarantine or are on the verge of doing so what’s the true cost? It starts by addressing your data. What are you learning about your key performance indicators (KPIs)?

There are two specific KPIs that will answer the question about fiscal viability:

  • Cost of goods (e.g., materials, equipment, labor, etc.)
  • Percentage of on-time deliveries (e.g., meeting service level agreements or compliance-related dates)

Business Continuity Services

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If you’ve had or shutdown or are susceptible to another, you’re still paying for goods in most cases. They are just sitting idle. Stoppages also put a halt on on-time delivery. In this scenario, your in-plant is an expense period. There’s no value when the machines shut off, and everyone leaves the building. But did it stop you from communicating with customers?

No, mission-critical communications are still necessary. Your in-plant, however, may not be.

Your In-Plant Closure Had a Minimal Effect, But a Big Expense

Looking at the KPIs for your in-plant for this year, you probably realize that the shutdown didn’t blow up your communications process. It did, however, come with a hefty price tag. With the data before you, it’s easy to see that outsourcing mission-critical communications is a cost-effective, efficient option. Working with a provider that does nothing but provide print and direct mail services ensures there are no disruptions. Finding the right partner allows you to adjust your focus and budget in customer communications.

Restructure Your In-House Communication Processes

How can you use your resources better? Think about what your team does best. Likely, print and digital mail isn’t a core competency. It’s something you thought you needed to control internally, but in reality, it’s unlikely your in-plant has been able to keep up with the increased complexity associated with security and compliance.

What you probably have more experience and expertise in is digital communications. Restructure your team to focus on email and other digital communication platforms. Leave the print and mail to a dedicated partner.

Outsourcing Delivers Many Benefits

When you choose to outsource print and mail services, you can realize many benefits. Let’s take a look at a few.

  • Focusing on core competencies: You probably outsource many tasks because they don’t align with what you and your team do best. You can remove the burden of complex, high-cost activities, like running an in-plant, then reallocate resources to focus on strategic initiatives that grow your business.
  • Saving money: How much does your in-plant cost you annually? It’s probably more than you think because you may be missing several total cost of ownership (TCO) expenses. It’s more than the equipment, materials, postage, and people. There’s the cost for the space itself, along with security protocols to keep the data safe. This number will likely continue to rise while the amount you print decreases. Outsourcing reduces these costs dramatically, without any concerns regarding quality or compliance.
  • Assuring greater accuracy: Do you know your error rate in print and mail? If you don’t have this data available, that’s a concern. Because this is not your realm of expertise, you may have fewer safety nets to catch errors. Errors can lead to huge risks, like exposing a customer’s personal information to another. It’s more than just a snafu; it’s a regulatory failure. Print and mail experts use a White Paper Factory™ (WFP) environment to improve accuracy by combining digital, print, and insertion techniques that significantly improve accuracy rates.
  • Connecting with customers better: Running an in-plant is about the operational process—not the message. With this mindset, it’s easy for organizations to sidestep having a strategy in place that drives value. If your letter templates still look the same as they did years ago, you’re not taking advantage of communication opportunities. Partnering with a provider enables you to utilize advanced letter designs and full color without high costs. You’ll also be able to include dynamic content on letters to engage customers. For example, if a customer subscribes to only one of your products, including promotional content around the others to attract their attention.
  • Ensuring compliance: Regulated industries must adhere to regulations when communicating. Are you really following compliance measures to the letter of the law? Eliminate those concerns and worries by working with a certified mission-critical print and mail company, compliant with HIPAA, HITRUST, FISMA, SOC I & II, and PCI DSS.

Finally, Outsource to Ensure Business Continuity

If your in-plant is not in service, your business continuity (BC) plans may be in peril. You can achieve this benefit and eliminate BC challenges from your plate.

With PCI Group, you can reap all these benefits. For over 50 years, we’ve been a provider of choice for print and mail services. Right now, is the time to be rethinking your in-plant. If it’s not a necessity, and the data is clear, it’s time to outsource.