Printing and Purchasing

Archive for September, 2011

Why Companies should update their Client Addresses after Mailings.

Last week at the Post Office, a customer was picking up a package.  The customer’s comments to the Post Office Representative, illustrated bewilderment as to why the vendor had delivered their order/package to the wrong address since the vendor’s monthly mailings were delivered to their home.

Assuming the vendor is using the same address file to ship the product as to send monthly mailings, there are several possible reasons the product went to the wrong address. 1] The buyer has not requested the updated NCOA information from the mailer, 2] the buyer isn’t forwarding the updated NCOA information, or 3] the updated information isn’t being applied to their client database.

When preparing an address list for mailing, mailers compare the address file to the National Change of Address [NCOA][i]. The NCOA file is updated when people or businesses notify the Post Office they are moving by completing a change of address form[ii]. The results of the NCOA comparison is two lists; A] updated addresses and B] addresses with issues, also called bad addresses. The mailer should provide the customer a list of bad addresses along with the code description[iii] explaining why the addresses are bad. It is up to the customer to decide to mail, delete or update the bad addresses. The client can pay the mailer to research the bad address or they can use verification websites like “Search Bug” and “Melissa Data”[iv].

When ordering a mailing, buyers should request the mailer provide them the NOCA corrected addresses file. The corrected and bad address lists should be forwarded to the department responsible for managing client addresses. The customer, in my example, filed a change of address with the Post Office but neglected to provide the same information to the vendor. If customers would request the updated addresses from mailers, and update their client’s addresses, the package would have been delivered to the client current address.

Please e-mail your questions, comments, or send PDF’s of printing and mailing issues to printer1@charter.net.

Thank you for your time.

Why Information Stickers are Important

On a recent Linked In poll, 23.8% of participants voted they did not receive or place information stickers on proofs. In an age of ISO and process improvement, printers providing proofs without information stickers 1 out of 4 times is unsettling. Information stickers assist the production process by minimizing rework caused by incorrect job specifications.

Information stickers, called proof stickers, contain important job information to the client/customer and printing plant. Information stickers are attached to physical proof. The stickers contain the printers name, job number, quantity, substrate [brand name, weight, finish, paper, styrene, etc], ink [PMS, Process, etc.], banding, wrapping, packing and delivery information. Information stickers also provide an area for the client/customer’s signature, confirming the proofs and information are correct or need to be changed.

With physical proofs, finishing is represented by actually performing the function on the proof. For example, if the job is 3-hole punched, the proof is 3-hole punched. This allows the customer to verify no copy will be compromised from the finishing.  The size of the punch should be noted too.  The same should be done with folding, [key folds], stitching, spiral wire, wire-o, GBC comb, etc.

When proofs are digital, such as PDF, finishing descriptions are needed.

Printers create a job bag, physical or electronic, for each new job which includes all pertinent information. A proof, either electronic or physical, is sent to the client/customer for copy/content approval. The information sticker provides job identification for the proof and a means for the printer to confirm the job specifications are correct.

During the press make-ready, the press operator should have the job bag and the proof/information sticker. When the press operator observes the job bag and proof information don’t match, the job is stopped until the conflict of information is rectified.

Many jobs during the production process have specifications which change. These changes can be quantity, substrate [weight, name, finish, etc], delivery, packing, etc. When press operator reviews the job bag along with proofs, insures the printed job will match the clients specifications.

Please e-mail your questions, PDF’s of printing issues or comments to printer1@charter.net.

Thank you for your time.

%d bloggers like this: