Automated document factory (ADF) technology used to be an investment made only by companies producing high-volume, high-value transactional documents. It’s easy to understand why! Producing items such as checks, statements, bills, claim forms, or tax documents requires exceptional levels of accuracy and integrity. Losing a page, or combining documents for different customers into the same envelope or producing and delivering a duplicate document such as a check will have dire consequences for the print/mail operation.
The reality today is that printers and direct mailers face a similar risk with virtually all applications. Today, a direct mail marketing piece is likely to contain a high degree of personalization and precisely targeted content – not too different from a bill or statement. Advances in software and hardware has made it easy and inexpensive to produce marketing materials meant for an audience of one. But how can these tools be leveraged without risking the integrity of the document – ensuring that the right message gets to the right person at the right time?
A More Demanding Environment
Businesses are still investing in mailed communications, even with all the other electronic channels available. But they are demanding results. Knowing that material was accurately printed, inserted and mailed, and tracking the progress of a document through the production workflow to successful delivery is becoming a standard requirement for outsource vendors and in-plant operations.
Almost any marketing campaign designed today is likely going to include integrated components delivered over multiple channels, such as email or personalized websites. If there is any sort of problem with the direct mail pieces, such as including the wrong inserts or missing a mailing date, the entire campaign will be jeopardized, and the expected results simply won’t materialize.
In other words, it’s all about the ROI.
What about Big Data?
Big data has allowed marketers to develop highly targeted mailing lists. Combining consumer data from multiple sources allows marketers to identify their best prospects, determine what message will be most effective, and eliminate those unlikely to buy. As a result, marketers are sending fewer mail pieces – making each one of them more critical to the ROI calculation. Mailing errors are viewed as unacceptable.
The effective use of data and automation of the production and distribution process, while greatly reducing the possibility of errors, are key elements of effective ADF technology. Crawford Technologies understands the importance of document integrity, and offers a flexible and scalable suite of solutions for implementing an automated document factory.
We’ll be discussing the connection between document integrity and inkjet printing environments in a follow-up article and will review some of the important capabilities that must be considered in order to fully take advantage of inkjet technology.
Check out Crawford Technologies PRO InkJet Express solution bundle.