Mailing Services -- Diversification Devotees
Metzger's did its homework on mailing beginning in 1995 by attending MailCom seminars and various conferences. In 1998, Metzger's took the big step by debuting its Point to Point Mailing Services, buoyed by an inserter, ink-jet and tabber machine, along with BCC MailManager 2010 software. Staff members were trained where necessary, and it was only a matter of selling the new business to existing clients.
Lack of Competition
"Through our research at that time, we discovered that 67 percent of everything printed was mailed or shipped in some form," Metzger points out. "We also learned that there was one mailer in town for every 25 printing companies. Therefore, we knew the competition was less fierce. We had experience in entering new service offerings or markets, so we were not afraid. We knew it would work."
The printer met with its top 50 customers and found out that most of them would use Metzger's mailing service if they could realize a cost savings and an increase in turn time on their projects. "We set our business plan to fit our customers' needs," he adds. "They always want services faster, better and cheaper. And they want to work with fewer suppliers. So, everything added up to pull the trigger on getting into the mailing business."
The plan fired on all cylinders. Not only was Metzger's able to sell mailing services to existing printing and prepress customers, it also found clients who needed prepress and printing services to go with their mailing needs. But Metzger warns that it is not an out-of-the-box venture—it took pounding the pavement and educating customers and prospects on the new service.
Metzger's looked for every possible angle during its startup process, getting as much free training as possible from suppliers to augment the in-house computer training and tutelage from the U.S. Postal Service. "The ramp-up process was brisk and quick," he says. "Knowing the software and how to work with databases are critical. The postal service will do a lot to help with training and education. You just have to ask for it."