Duplicate documents have long been an issue for transactional print and mail operations. The cost to create and mail duplicates, along with public relations issues, customer perception problems, and remediation activities makes producing identical mail an expensive mistake. As transactional document printers migrate towards white paper environments they are changing traditional workflows – and making it harder to discover unintended duplicates.
In the past, document centers employed rudimentary methods to prevent or detect the production of duplicate documents. They might move or rename files after processing them, reference a job log, or compare machine counts to control totals. These methods were partly successful in reducing the risk of printing an entire job twice. Errors still occurred though, due to trust in procedural compliance by imperfect humans.
Batch Balancing Ineffective
As transactional mailers transition to a white paper workflow, some of those old duplicate detection methods won’t work. Document producers are likely to take full advantage of their full color inkjet printers and merge documents from several separate jobs before printing. This strategy helps to achieve productivity improvements and produces greater postal presort discounts, but it also erases the usefulness of batch balancing. Householding documents also makes it more difficult to spot duplicates.
Print services may temporarily hold pages for merging or householding, eventually combining them with other documents produced later. This is a valid maneuver to boost productivity by creating larger jobs for printers and inserters. Without automated duplicate detection systems, however, document operations face heightened risks of mailing documents one day and mistakenly printing them again a day or two later.
Even resource allocation tactics can result in double documents. Splitting jobs to process portions simultaneously on several devices can help an organization meet their service level agreements when a piece of equipment goes down. Accidentally overlapping those job segments is always a possibility however. The likelihood of discovering duplicate mail pieces with manual controls is low when the pages are processed on separate machines, possibly located in different geographic locations.
Automation Is the Answer
Any organization running high volumes of transactional documents in a white paper workflow can protect themselves from the expense and embarrassment of duplicate document production by implementing an automated detection system.
Software such as Crawford Technologies Pro Duplicate Checker removes the risk of duplicate detection that fails because of human error. Instead of relying on batch totals, a competent automated duplicate checker compares characteristics of individual documents across the enterprise. The system then alerts operations personnel when it discovers a duplicate item, allowing them to intervene and take corrective action.
Pro Duplicate Checker can monitor production during the composition, printing, or mailing steps of the workflow, minimizing errors and halting further production of duplicates at any point in the production process. For videos and more details about how this inexpensive solution can solve a persistent problem for transactional document producers, visit the product information page here.