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How to Supercharge Print Operations
May 6, 2021

How to Supercharge Print Operations

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Mark Pinard

Print operations can be a grueling job. Print operations professionals painstakingly shepherd an endless stream of creatives through their own network of suppliers and service providers, struggling with shifting capacities, fluctuating prices and demanding timelines. To master your job, you’ve had to build and rebuild your workflow over years, establishing trusted relationships with vendors you depend on, while maintaining secondary providers and workarounds to make sure everything gets out on time.

But as good as you are at your job, a technology refresh can make you even better — and make your life easier. Here’s how Lob can help you deliver faster production with less work, eliminate unexpected delays, and get deeper insight into the value and effectiveness of your work.

Pain Points in Your Direct Mail Workflow

Although every print operations department has its own workflow and supplier relationships, they have a number of pain points in common, including:

  • Time consuming manual steps: Each print job requires a lot of back and forth between printer and the client. Tasks like uploading documents and revisions, communicating requirements, and negotiating costs and timelines need to be repeated for each new task, consuming most of your time.
  • Fragile, ad-hoc-workflow: Each job requires you to source vendors, iron out the details of pricing and requirements, and oversee execution. If your usual vendor is unable to take on a particular job, it can derail your entire workflow, requiring you to search for a new vendor with sufficient capacity and repeat the process, causing delays and making your job more difficult.
  • Poor scalability: Because pricing and requirements are negotiated on a per-job basis, it’s very difficult to scale up. Not only will increasing the number or scale of print jobs increase your workload — it may also require you to develop entirely new vendor relationships to handle the increased throughput. This creates bottlenecks for your creatives, and headaches for you.
  • Poor visibility: While printers report to you, there’s a lot you don’t see in a standard direct mail workflow. Outdated addresses, missed or delayed deliveries and low conversion rates can all slip past you, leaving you little ability to measure the effectiveness of your direct mail campaigns.

How Lob Can Help You

Lob addresses these challenges by implementing an extensive network of vendors, with an automated workflow that’s efficient and easy to learn.

  • Eliminate repetitive manual steps: Without the need to communicate directly with printers, you can review and approve jobs in a fraction of the time it used to take. Costs are calculated automatically, with fixed, bulk pricing that keeps costs low without the need to negotiate each individual job. Our two day SLA ensures jobs are printed faster than ever before, without the need to coordinate with the printer and expedite the process. The system farms out the work to our nationwide network of trusted printers, greatly reducing your workload.
  • Robust, standardized workflow: Because you don’t have to deal directly with printers, your workflow is always the same. If a particular vendor in our nationwide network is unavailable, you won’t even see it — your workflow will simply be assigned to a different vendor, and proceed exactly as it always does.
  • Unlimited scalability: Our printer network has essentially unlimited capacity. That makes scaling up (or down) effortless, with no need to renegotiate contracts or find additional vendors for overflow work.
  • Complete visibility: Lob provides visibility into every stage of the process. Our real-time address verification ensures that you’re not wasting money on wrong addresses, while our sophisticated tracking enables you to account for every stage of the mailing process, through delivery. We even empower your team to track conversions, with unique codes recipients can use to redeem offers and discounts, so you can see how effective each mailing campaign is.

Supercharge Print Operations

Lob’s services can take your print operations to the next level, helping you clear print jobs faster, at lower cost, with less work. You’ll even have better reporting capabilities, so you can tune and refine your print operations and demonstrate your value like never before.

To learn more, check out our free ebook on Modernizing the Direct Mail Process.

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