Key Questions about Damages, Reprints and Remakes
There are some things you can count on. During the print and mail process, things occasionally go wrong. Printers jam, pages get dropped and inserters tear up pages or even complete mail pieces. Everybody knows damages are part of the process, but not everyone is equipped to deal with them. Some CCM solutions forget these and that poses three questions:
First, why are damages and reprints such a problem? In helping hundreds of companies understand workflow and reprints I've constantly heard horror stories of people searching through PostScript files for a single mailpiece, or sending files back to the IT department for hours—or even days. This costs time and money, hurts efficiency, and can even result in missed SLAs.
One issue that continually comes up in letter shops is receiving “Hang & Print” PCL files from legacy systems that have 100,000 mail pieces in them. Yet, armed with only limited information, IT and prepress staff expect to be able to just send the files to the printer where they expect it to print with no problems. They forget about (or are unaware of) auditing reprints, convenience breaks, inserter verification barcodes, and many other complex workflow tasks. It is frustrating that a small operational issue can delay your mail date, or involve multiple people costing the company money while using hours of IT resources that are already stretched thin.
To help smooth the way, next time you set up a job, think about Damages, Reprints and Remakes. To begin, answer three more questions:
If the answer is No, or if more than 1 person is involved, stop and rethink your process.
Several years ago, Pitney Bowes developed the “Touch n Toss” philosophy to help large volume transactional mailers ensure accuracy. In developing their approach, they found that the chance of an error increases when an employee made a decision about damage.
As a result of the study, part of the ADF they developed included an entire automated reprint process. For decades, this stood as a forward-thinking process that solved some problems. But even today, the need for passing flat files, MRDF files, and auditing information is still needed. (MRDF files are a file that tells the inserter about the job it is about to receive. Some people may refer to these as IDX, JIF, or HAL files but the idea behind them is to link the inserter with the data using a XML or text file.)
In today's world of open databases, APIs and real-time integration, I've found that using modern systems that can constantly interact and link systems at a database level, rather than handing files between systems, makes a critical difference in error recovery. There are four key steps to success
Finally, even if you can't do all of these items, make sure that you can track every piece from print to insert and verify it. You will still be ahead of the game and better prepared to handle damages, reprints and remakes.
Uluro uTrack is a complete tracking and auditing system that has a built-in visibility and reprint management.
Uluro uTrack & Uluro Simple Reprints. Saving you time & money every day..
Questions feel free to contact me: Adam Armstrong Adam@uluro.com