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IWCO Direct Drives Value Through Postal Optimization, High-Speed Inkjet Adoption

March 2014 By Erik Cagle, Senior Editor
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Two people can leave home for work at the same time and travel an equal distance, yet one may arrive much earlier than the other. How is this possible?

Well, it's been said that the meek shall inherit the earth, but on the highway of business, timidity will only earn one a spot in the rear of the traffic jam. Conversely, the first ones to arrive at the office are highly motivated, extremely efficient, unusually nimble and constantly thinking several steps ahead of the current position.

Which type of person is Jim Andersen, the CEO of Chanhassen, MN-based IWCO Direct? A hint: You don't want to play Andersen in chess, because he will chart out your demise while you're still placing pieces on the board.

The high-energy chief exec guides one of the nation's leading direct mail printing enterprises. IWCO Direct posted sales of $368.9 million for 2013, an 11 percent increase from 2012. More growth is envisioned for 2014.

"You don't see direct mail volume percentages increasing. Standard mail is flat," Andersen points out. "When we grow by 11 percent, we're driving measurable results to our clients. They're getting the benefits of our creative strategy and total package solution."

Other drivers of the 11 percent uptick for IWCO Direct includes bolstering personnel and expanding its footprint in creative services. It's critical that direct mail printers become involved in the process at the planning stages in order to make a quantifiable difference in mail effectiveness and economy.

Andersen clearly missed the memo about the pending demise of the direct mail sector; apparently many people believe that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and Mr. ZIP have been administered last rites. But, while the primary distribution mechanism that delivers value for IWCO Direct may need a tune up, the printer has deepened its own value proposition to a degree that assuages any client fears concerning Andersen & Co.'s commitment to the direct mail marketing channel.

Reducing Postage Costs

"Sixty percent of the campaign spend for marketers goes toward postage costs, so your ability to impact and influence the postage rate creates a competitive advantage," notes Joe Morrison, president of IWCO Direct. "We're still recognized as the largest standard commingler in the United States, so that's a big part of our growth. To that, we've added strategy and creative services during the past few years, to drive better results for our clients.



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