Print and mail hardware dominates at a show like Drupa. The sheer scale of much of the technology—not to mention the constant hum of productivity as one walks through the halls—creates a lasting impression.
But of course, those at the sharp end of production print and mail know only too well that the gleaming hardware tells only half the story. Behind every powerhouse lies the control centre; the software that enables these high volume machines to reach their full potential. Certainly, those businesses investing in high-end technology will expect software solutions to be intuitive, flexible and to drive productivity, efficiency, and quality throughout the process.
It is no exaggeration to say that the new age of industrialised automation in the transactional and personalised print and mail workflow is here. Cost-efficient production aligns with dynamic print and finishing quality resulting in communications that finally realise the potential of 1-to-1 messaging.
Exciting developments such as the White Paper Factory integrate innovative software and production hardware to dynamic effect. In simple terms, the white paper factory enables businesses to create highly personalised communications using plain paper and envelopes. The use of plain paper eliminates the costs associated with pre-printed templates and envelopes, but also gives businesses greater flexibility in terms of the type of work that they can process and the productivity they can generate.
Data is the key. So, for example, software solutions can enable users to build a detailed data profile of the end recipient or to uncover intelligence on a particular location. This intelligence is then used to create messaging using tools which automate and simplify document composition. From here, output management and print management tools drive integrity and efficiency through the messaging process. Use of white paper enables businesses to co-mingle production. Consider the productivity benefits of running two jobs simultaneously, with the ability to track job progress and integrity not simply by job type, but by individual mailpiece.
Importantly, the resulting documents or information needn’t be physical. Software can control the output methods, creating physical and digital communication in one workflow, generating what’s needed for print but also delivering increasingly higher volumes digitally in formats such as PDF.
In this instance, users are developing communications that are accurate, tailored to recipients and delivered conveniently via the recipient’s channel of choice. Such accuracy and communication intelligence is proven to enhance response and engagement. But increasingly, the latest software solutions are not only helping businesses to develop highly efficient and productive customer communication management processes, they are also helping organizations to expand their service portfolio and grow.
There is increasing global interest in dynamic software tools that enable customers to introduce new revenue streams. These solutions are helping businesses drive loyalty and generate increased share of wallet amongst their own audience and also to attract net-new business.
Hybrid mail is one example, and solutions are generating take-up amongst service providers such as outsourcers and postal operators. For the end consumer (i.e. the service provider’s customers), hybrid mail reduces costs, improves compliance and organisations benefit from better control and economy of scale. Mail-outs can be generated at the desktop and, with the click of the mouse, directed to the provider’s purpose-built facility to be produced using best-in-class, high-volume technology. For the service provider, such solutions expand the portfolio of services offered and fuel expansion. Hybrid mail software solutions can be ‘white-labelled’ to the provider’s own design, helping to identify the brand as innovative and cutting-edge.