Folding and Inserting Machines
As part of your document management strategy, there are compelling reasons to deliver documents electronically, these include; low cost, speed of delivery, audit trail etc. However, if you’re an organisation that has to send large volumes of documents via post (e.g. letters to members of the public) then it may be beneficial to automate the way in which your post is fulfilled - fulfilled in this context means the folding and inserting of documents into envelopes. This is often a labour intensive process which can be prone to errors. It’s never a good idea to send the wrong invoice to the wrong customer, especially if the one company is on a larger discount!
It’s also possible to save money on your postage charges by pre-sorting post before it’s picked up by the Royal Mail.
Folding and inserting machines are available which will take a batch of documents and automatically stuff envelopes. The more advanced machines have an OMR (Optical Mark Recognition) facility or the ability to read barcodes, which indicate where a batch of documents to go into an envelope start and finish. OMR codes often appear as simple lines down the side of a document. Check out the next mailer you receive in the post and more often than not you’ll see OMR marks down the edge of the document.
An OMR standard can also include some added security which prevents double feeds by the machine - often a sequential numeric count is recorded, so if this is interrupted the machine knows there has been a double feed or a document has been lost.
There are a number of benefits to using auto-folding and inserting machines with OMR facilities, these being:
• Speed up the fulfilment of post
• Free people up to concentrate on core activities
• Reduce the number of letters sent by combining more than one document for the same customer into an envelope
• Reduce human errors
• Easily add document insertions (e.g. price lists or fliers)
How do I add OMR to my documents?
This is more difficult than it sounds, as many of the documents types (e.g. invoices, statements, order acknowledgements, letters) which are posted are created by a backend business system (e.g. Sage, MS Dynamics NAV, SAP etc), which can’t easily add OMR.
This is where output management products, such as Formate software can help. Formate can intercept a print queue containing hundreds of documents, then recognise where each document starts and stops – this is important as some documents may be one page long, while others may span multiple pages. Formate then adds the relevant OMR (or barcode) to the document, incorporating any specific security requirements. Using Formate software, Document Genetics have already developed OMR output for many of the leading manufacturers (Pitney Bowes, Neopost, etc).
Reducing Postage Cost Using Mailsort
By implementing the Royal Mail’s Mailsort process an organisation can save over 30% on their postage bill. The exact saving depends on the volume of letters processed and the type of Mailsort process implemented, the greater the volume of packets the greater the likely saving.
The Royal Mail offer a Mailsort discount because you are actually pre-sorting the post before it reaches their distribution depots. There are many different types of Mailsort available. For example, Mailsort 1400 entails sorting your mailing into approximately 1,400 selections based on UK Delivery Offices. Mailsort 1400 allows mailers to send both letters and packets, and does not generally involve any machine sorting.
Formate and Mailsort
Formate can pre-sort your print run into the appropriate order for dispatch to the UK Royal Mail, in order to qualify for various discounts. Supported sort types include Mailsort 1400, 700 and 120, plus Presstream and Walksort. Various printed reports can be produced, including bag labels, and the whole process can be configured to suit your needs.
Joe Hyde - About Author:
AUTHOR – JOE HYDE
I'm the Sales and Marketing Director of Document Genetics.
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Document Genetics is an established UK based company providing a comprehensive range of document management solutions. We focus on improving document automation, workflow and collaboration within our client organizations, and our range of innovative solutions and specialist services help to save time and money by processing documents and data more efficiently.
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©Joe Hyde Document Genetics 2011
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