A Moving Target
Another catalog printer, Itasca, IL-based Continental Web Press, reevaluated its mailing and fulfillment part of the business to be in compliance with USPS requirements.
"The various sizes of the catalogs, along with wafer sealing requirements combined with the Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB), are a lot to put on one's plate all at one time," stresses Ken Field, Continental president and CEO.
"We hosted a 'USPS Best Practices Fact Finding Team' in our Walton, KY, facility. The team of USPS engineers spent a week trying to understand just what it is we do and what we will have to do to be in compliance."
An even bigger challenge, he notes, is the capital expenditures required for Continental to be in compliance, and how fast and accurately it is implemented.
While Field sees the trend for smaller, more targeted mailings to continue, he also feels that polybagging multi-product catalogs is also a highly effective solution to offset increased postal costs.
"Even though customers have reduced their frequencies, and use lighter basis weights, the comment I keep hearing is that the levels of the past will not be seen any time soon," Field concludes. PI