“Keeping up with technological advancements,” he argued, “is a major key to meeting our customers’ increasing demands for faster mail dates, better quality, and creativity.”Executive VP Paul Siegle added, “Priority pioneered computerized layouts for all printing devices, and we were one of the earliest adopters of direct-to-plate prepress workflow. Our new plant in Iowa is the most technologically advanced footprint in the country.”
Success Through Service and Services
Priority Envelope continues to be a customer-service driven company specializing in fast turnaround and converting of custom and standard size envelopes, providing printing from one to four colors, producing special single- and double-window configurations, custom perforations, self-seal flaps, poly-patch applications, and embossing. The entire organization is committed to meet or exceed critical mail dates and deadlines.
With direct mail, response rates are the key with envelopes, pointed out industry analyst Dr. Joe Webb. “Getting mail noticed and opened means doing anything creative that you can from a physical standpoint,” said Webb, “and I don’t mean just printing."
“Embossing, perforation configurations, and up to four-color printing all make the difference on why someone opens a direct mail piece,” Siegle added. “In the end, it’s about working with our customers to give them what they need. Relationships are the key. We want to be known as an accountable partner who’s easy to deal with, and who returns quotes and proofs quickly. Our goal is to be our customers’ best supplier.”
Bullish on Envelopes and Investing
Priority Envelope wants customers -- including printing companies, prepress providers, print brokers, and ad agencies -- to know that it is bullish on the future of the envelope and is making several significant investments that reflect its confidence in the business. The firm said it is positioned to be the supplier of choice by continuing to invest in new technologies that offer customers competitive advantages, particularly in terms of fast turnaround times to meet ever-demanding mail dates.
“The USPS delivered 82 billion pieces of advertising mail in fiscal year 2010,” noted Cooper. “That represents $17 billion in postage alone -– excluding the value of the advertising itself,” he said. It’s clear these numbers continue to drive demand for a lot of envelopes. That’s why Priority stocks 50 million for convenient printing and keeps a large inventory of standing dies, so it can respond quickly to customers’ needs.
The Future Looks Bright
The Print Council agreed with Johnson about the future of envelopes. “Direct mail won’t return to 2006’s peak levels, but the numbers are still tremendous,” Cooper concluded, adding that addresses are better and lists are more tailored. “Catalogers are sending highly targeted direct mail to their best customers,” so their touches are more frequent – and more effective.
Ryan Wenning concurs. “We simply focus on doing what we do best … envelopes. Priority is very respectful of our customers and what they do, so we’re not trying to be all things to all people," Wenning said. "We strive to be constantly building our customer value equity and keep them coming back. Yes, because of our skill set, and yes, because we are continuously adding new tools to better serve their envelope needs. But mostly because of our dedication to their success.”
The Right Tools for the Customers’ Sake
On the technical side, “W+D (Winkler+Dünnebier) provides a workflow that fits with direct mail design and print technology,” said industry consultant Dr. Joe Webb, who attended W+D’s customer event last year. The German manufacturer features “automation that makes systems more efficient and productive –- and that makes manufacturing more economical."
Priority Envelope president Ryan Wenning called W+D’s technology an “enabler,” helping his firm to be an envelope industry leader. “Our set-ups are swifter and our speeds are faster,” he noted. The 627RC runs up to 1,200 envelopes and 800 pockets per minute. “And it’s reliable,” Wenning added, citing features such as lubrication-free, low-maintenance vacuum rollers.