Stern: The state of the US Postal Service and the entire communications industry has something in common—the need to be able to strategically change business models in order to stay relevant in an ever-changing market space. Across our industry, costs are increasing and pressures on financial performance are great, mail volumes are shifting from physical to digital channels, and end-user loyalty can be lost in a moment.
Our customers need to offset rising costs by driving inefficiencies and postage costs out of their operations, and better utilize information and data to improve overall capabilities and message relevancy. To address this, we are developing products that leverage the latest mobile, audio, and video technologies, automate manual processes, and intelligently analyze data across production environments for dynamically executing the best possible action at the lowest cost.
Our goal is to continue making the best communication tools available to the widest market segments so that more customers can evolve their business and their offerings and stay competitive for their clients. The market will continue changing and redefining itself, and we plan to be the partner that customers rely on to help them navigate through these changes.
QP: Are similar things happening within mailing services in other parts of the world?
Stern: In general, global markets are facing similar challenges with postal changes and regulations, adoption of new technologies and changes in how information is delivered, and rising costs. Different countries are moving at different speeds and tackling challenges with different priorities, but the list of challenges is very similar throughout the world.
QP: What advice would you give to a printing company that might be considering adding mailing services?
Stern: Mailing services can provide printers with additional sources of income and a competitive advantage to grow their business. Many of the companies you are printing for today have needs for additional services that are probably being outsourced to other providers who may not offer the service levels and customer support that you provide.
When evaluating new products and capabilities, it is recommended to consider whether your business has the ability to implement a total solution. Some components may require skills and capabilities that do not exist in your operations today. These skills can be acquired a number of ways, including training, new hires, and by working with a partner that also offers professional services.
Being successful in any new venture requires a balance of products and the skills to execute. If you are wondering if your team can handle the new products or if you have the capital to purchase all that is needed, then you should consider whether having a partner perform the work for you or finding a hosted offering that provides the same capabilities for a monthly fee is a better alternative than bringing the technology in-house.