Mailing & Fulfillment Special Report — Direct Mail Advances
Commercial printers’ interest in “value-added” services that create new revenue streams has stimulated the consideration of mailing and fulfillment equipment. It’s no wonder: direct mail is growing at a time when uses of other forms of mail have been declining. In fact, since the first quarter of the U.S. Postal Service’s 2004 fiscal year, annual volume is up by 11 million pieces.
It’s interesting to see how mailing equipment fits into the investment plans of Printing Impressions readers, based on a survey done in March in conjunction with PrintForecast.com. About one in five printers responded that they are interested in this equipment. For plants doing more than $10 million in sales, it was one in four.
In addition to the above responses, 16 percent of printers stated they are interested in variable data software. This indicates that the production workflow to produce direct mail materials may be getting more sophisticated as it links to databases earlier in the print process, and not just at the end of it for addressing.
Note, however, that the intention to buy variable data software was less than half of those respondents intending to buy digital color printing equipment. This indicates that variable printing is not the primary reason for buying digital equipment, but is something that typically “evolves.” |||
About the Authors
Dr. Joe Webb is a well-known industry consultant and developer of the TrendWatch information service. Vince Naselli, a former director with TrendWatch, is principal of Naselli & Associates. Both are currently partners at PrintForecast.com, where they can be reached for more information.