Ryan indicated 25 percent of the mailing had marking, tears or an ink-jet strip. Of the four postal centers, results showed Miami and New York City were the worst facilities, while Chicago and Los Angeles were the best. Mary Valdez, of the USPS branch in Phoenix, discussed automated mail handling. She pointed out that mail can go through various processing machinery as much as six times. Thus, she advised mailers to consider barcoding to bypass OCR and Label Making Letter Machine (LMLM) equipment.
Several panelists also revealed that variable data printing can generate more revenue through affiliated service offerings than the actual digital printing itself. One speaker said, "The press is just a tool to make money at the beginning and at the end of a job."
Database and mail list creation, manipulation and hygiene can be the most profitable work. As an IT function, it doesn't require extensive production machinery to accomplish and helps make clients more dependent on their service provider. As Romano noted in the closing session, "Then you're not just a service provider, you become an extension of their company."
Aside from a full agenda of educational sessions at the PIA/GATF VDP Conference, a sponsor fair enabled attendees to mingle with industry suppliers.
Leaving Las Vegas: ICE Becomes DICE
LAS VEGAS—Capping a successful Indigo Customer Exchange (ICE) annual conference held here last month at the Aladdin Resort Hotel, members met in a closed-door meeting to decide whether to change the organization's name and expand its membership to include non-HP Indigo digital press users.
By a four-to-one margin, they approved both a name change to DICE (Digital Imaging Customer Exchange) and to open the group's membership to users of various brand digital presses.
"It will take a bit of time to implement, but the bylaw changes basically allow the board to consider bringing in other digital printing platforms and creating separate technical forums to support those platforms," reports Michael Vinocur, ICE's executive director.