Print and mail providers: ensuring integrity and compliance
Print Service Providers (PSPs) and mailing houses manage complex as well as bulk mailing jobs. In the past, marketing mailings were generally standardised, with the same generic inserts going to every person, but now they are increasingly tailored to individual recipients. This makes them similar to transactional mailings, such as policies and invoices, which are specific to each person, and which carry a heavy burden of compliant document insertion. If personalised content goes to the wrong person, the consequences can be serious.
This is the final blog in our series examining how PSPs can reinvent themselves as ‘print and mail providers’ to meet the challenges of varied and bespoke digital mail. The first blog explored how the industry can survive and thrive in times of change, while the second looked at how to generate new revenue streams through hybrid mail. Here, we deep dive into integrity and compliance in the document inserting process.
The cost of integrity and compliance failings
According to a Genesys survey, 92 per cent of UK consumers are concerned about how companies use their data.
Digitisation has made it easier for businesses to collect and hold more customer data. This is to mutual benefit; companies that know their customers can better meet their needs and through this, customers can benefit from products and services tailored to their requirements. However, collecting and holding personal details comes with serious responsibility. Hence, businesses are required by law and through regulatory compliance to protect customers’ data.
Added to this, customers can request not to be contacted through particular channels, be those electronic or print. It is incumbent on companies, and their print and mail provider partners, to ensure these preferences are met through robust channel management processes.
The cost of a single error is potentially significant. If a data breach has occurred, it can be punishable with a fine. The reputational damage is likely to be significantly more. Added to this, there are potential reprint costs and a delay to mailing processes which will impact customer satisfaction, and or business cash-flow. If marketing mailings fail to go out on time, this can affect projected sales and impact planned response handling.
Good data in, compliant mailings out
Most people think ‘online’ when they hear ‘data breach’ but companies are just as duty-bound to protect privacy in written communications. Print and mail providers must demonstrate that, when printed customer data goes into the machine at one end, compliant mailings come out at the other.
Risk exists end-to-end in the mailing process. Documents going into envelopes can be the weak link in the chain if process measures to ensure accuracy are not in place.
Individual document tracking and monitoring
Manually inserting documents into envelopes is exceptionally time-consuming, and also error-prone. If relying on simple count verification, there will be no audit trail of what has gone where. Should an error occur, it will be impossible to locate it without undoing the work already done.
Most print and mail providers will have moved on from manual processes, but the automation they introduce to save time and improve efficiency must also have compliance and integrity built in.
Instead of monitoring sequences of completed envelopes, verifying every sheet of paper provides superior process integrity. This also provides the highest level of management information on the end-to-end process. If a mail piece has to be taken out of the run, the exact content, operator and time is recorded.
The right enclosing equipment, that automates document folding and insertion into envelopes, helps deliver ‘fail secure’ processes that ensure the proper actions are taken by operators. This helps minimise the risk of human error and ensures that every action is evidenced for a reliable audit trail. Such an approach gives the print and mail provider a competitive edge to help them grow existing business and compete for new accounts.
For more information on meeting the demands of a print production environment, take a look at high-volume intelligent folder inserters.