We hear the word “hybrid” used for many reasons these days.
At trade events this year you will hear about “Hybrid Print” – integrating digital and offset – however don’t forget that our industry also has “Hybrid Mail”.
If you are unfamiliar with the term (or you’ve heard, but weren’t 100% sure what it referred to) Hybrid Mail can either be:
- Multiple points of creation to a single point of production
- Single point of creation to multiple points of production
A solution could involve a combination of both, but fundamentally it is about keeping mail electronic closer to the point of destination.
Companies implement hybrid mail for many reasons, but it all stems back to making savings; whether it be time, money, or both.
The first option above is being used by banks and other corporate to increase economies of scale for the production of – what have been – low volume print and mail runs. Let’s say a business has multiple buildings, each with multiple departments, each producing 50 to 100 customer communications each week.
By implementing a Hybrid Mail solution, these pieces of correspondence can be submitted to a central server where they are aggregated together to produce a single larger, production volume run. Not only saving money on the physical production, mailing and postage through bulk discounts, but also a significant time savers for those that previously needed to print, fold, insert, mark for postage, and then lodge to the postal service.
The second option is being used around the world to assist companies getting their correspondence in the hands of their customer as quickly as possible, but also by postal authorities for significant logistical efficiencies and savings.
Particularly in large countries – in population and/or geographic terms – delivering mail on time is often conducted through a symphony of processes, involving people, machines, as well as planes, trains, and automobiles.
Many postal organizations around the world have implemented or are looking at implementing hybrid mail solutions where bulk mail volumes from a single source, are then split for production. These production split files are then sent to various geographic locations closer to the point of destination where they are printed and mailed. By removing a substantial amount of cross country physical delivery, this not only saves money and time, but also reduces the carbon footprint involved in delivering the mail too.
This is also significantly relevant across smaller geographies containing a number of smaller countries or states, such as Latin America and Europe. By utilizing the best infrastructure in a region for production and postal, multi-national companies can save significant money and time.
If personalized customer communications and mailing is part of your business, make sure you investigate all of your options.