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Apr 1, 2006 12:00 AM


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Desktop folder
Neopost’s (Hayward, CA) SI-30 automated folder/inserter for everyday mailings targets organizations with low mail volumes. No training is required to operate the desktop folder. The system can operate with almost any print density and a variety of paper colors and thicknesses.
See www.neopost.com.
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Envelope imaging
Rena Systems’ (Oaks, PA) Envelope Imager 2XP tabletop printer prints up to 37,500 postcards per hour, reportedly making it the world’s fastest tabletop inkjet printer. It prints at a range of 150 to 600 dpi and features a three-inch print area from fully independent heads. The two banks are independently positionable so they can be overlayed anywhere on a print area, allowing printing on more than one area of an envelope.

The Envelope Imager 2XP features spotless transport rollers that eliminate ink tracking and an integrated internal cleaning system. It can print on materials up to one-half inch thick.
See www.renausa.com.
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Package and bundle labeling
Packages and bundles that are processed on a conveyor belt need a cost-effective method of identification tagging. BÖWE BELL + HOWELL (Wheeling, IL) has developed the Signature 3000 to address this ID challenge. Using direct thermal label stock, labels can be applied to parcels and bundles for newspapers, mail order distribution centers and parcel delivery companies.
See www.bowebellhowell.com.
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Mailing study
The “2005-2006 Mailing Services Pricing Study,” published by the Southeastern Mailers Assn. and Q.P. Consulting, contains pricing information on more than 30 operations and services provided by most mailers today, including NCOA charges, basic deduping and letter merge services, inkjet addressing for letters and flats, tabbing, metering, insertion charges and poly bagging. Pricing data includes average and setup charges as well as the average price per thousand at four different quantity breaks.

The average sales for participating firms equals $1,590,000, 54 percent represented by mailing services. Approximately 63 percent of the total participants provide both printing and mailing services, while 36 percent are dedicated letter shops. The average monthly piece volume (MPV) is 787,000 pieces per month.

The study costs $225 and can be purchased from Q.P. Consulting at www.quickconsultant.com.
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The whole postal package
MAILERS+4 from Melissa Data (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA) is a CASS-certified postal software package that verifies and corrects addresses, eliminates duplicate records, performs postal presorting, and prints required labels, container tags and forms. MAILERS+4 will open and process files from popular database programs including Microsoft Access, Excel, Act!, Goldmine, FoxPro, dBase, ASCII and others.
See www.melissadata.com.
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Inkjet addressing powered by HP
Kirk-Rudy, Inc.’s (Woodstock, GA) W’inkjet Addressing System incorporates Hewlett-Packard inkjet technology with the Kirk-Rudy shuttle feed/transport to handle virtually any paper product. The accompanying W’inkmate layout software is built on the Windows platform. Image area is offered in 1.5-inch increments up to 6 inches, with a choice of four print qualities from 150 to 600 dpi. W’inkjet is compatible with color cartridge and bulk ink systems, and it exceeds 20,000 pph at 150 dpi.

Kirk-Rudy’s WaveJet Addressing System is the company’s solution for coated stock addressing. Use WaveJet to print addresses and graphics on a wide variety of paper, including most nonporous, coated stocks. WaveJet uses custom designed ink and high-resolution inkjet technology to ensure print quality and versatility.
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Return to sender
Return Mail, Inc., (RMI) has developed automated systems, RMI Read and RMI ReAddress, to eliminate return mail handling and identify the best address for hard-to-find recipients. Print/mail shops utilize RMI to differentiate their businesses, provide new services and increase profits. For print shop customers, more mail reaches the intended recipients, handling costs are reduced, and A/R collections increase.
See www.poreturnmail.com.
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Mail manifesting option
The Mail Manager 2010 presorting and list-management software from BCC Software (Rochester, NY) now offers a Mail Manifesting option that documents postage for variable Standard Mail letters or flats, allowing users to obtain maximum postage discounts on pieces with differing weights and thicknesses.

After a mailer finishes presorting a list, the Mail Manifesting option prints a manifest keyline on each piece and generates a batch or itemized manifest report corresponding to the keylines printed on each piece. The mailing then can be submitted to the post office for processing with all appropriate postal discounts.
See www.bccsoftware.com.
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Expanded software support
In response to USPS plans to upgrade Drop Ship facilities, Window Book (Cambridge, MA) has an update system in place to keep up with increased frequency of destination updating, allowing printers to integrate their mailing options easily. Mailing Management Software goes beyond the required presorting and helps produce documentation required to mail. The software can reduce data entry errors, reduce paper consumption and storage with electronic paperwork, and provide accurate customer reporting.
See www.windowbook.com.
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Business Objects to acquire Firstlogic, Inc.
Business Objects (San Jose, CA), a provider of business intelligence (BI) solutions, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held Firstlogic, Inc. (La Crosse, WI), a provider of enterprise-wide information quality and mail solutions. Firstlogic offers enterprise data quality management solutions, including initial data assessment and measurement, data cleansing, data enrichment, matching and consolidation, and continuous monitoring. Building on the company’s enterprise information management (EIM) strategy, this acquisition will provide customers with a single, consistent view of their businesses and accelerate compliance initiatives.

“Building a business intelligence strategy without a complete EIM solution is like trying to complete a puzzle without all the pieces,” says John Schwarz, CEO of Business Objects. “With the acquisition of Firstlogic, Business Objects acquires one of the most important pieces of the EIM puzzle—data quality. EIM will play an increasingly vital role in the business intelligence market. As companies face the multiple pressures of regulatory compliance, expanding numbers of data sources, the need for real-time operations, and the ability to link data to performance management initiatives, customers are demanding an EIM solution that can help them scale with these fast changing dynamics.”

The acquisition will be an all-cash transaction of approximately $69 million. It is subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions, and is expected to be complete in the second quarter of 2006.

See www.firstlogic.com or www.businessobjects.com.



An association for mailers
MFSA (Alexandria, VA) is a national trade association for the mailing and fulfillment services industry. With more than 80 years of experience, the association offers instant postal information, surveys and other research, insurance and ongoing educational opportunities. The association is made up of more than 700 companies, most of which are located in the United States and Canada. Regular members are in the mailing services, product fulfillment or literature fulfillment business; there also is a supplier membership category.

MFSA’s Annual Conference and Mailing & Fulfillment EXPO is slated for June 28-July 1, 2006, in Boston. See www.mfsanet.org.



See you in October!
The Mailing & Fulfillment Center will be back at Graph Expo & Converting Expo 2006, October 15-18, 2006, at Chicago’s McCormick Place. Mailing and fulfillment services are a growing part of a printer’s roster of offerings to clients. Many are expanding in this area more quickly than in their printing services, and they need new equipment to expand and diversify.

The Mailing & Fulfillment Center appeared in 2003 as a small pavilion hosting 33 companies and 11,000 sq. ft. of exhibits. By 2005 it had grown to over 35,000 sq. ft.

Exhibitors will display the latest technology for folding, inserting, stamping, sealing, measuring, weighing, franking, addressing, bundling, packing, palletizing, sorting and sending direct mail packages or products in this expanding area.

See www.gasc.org.



Database basics
Whether it’s a simple spreadsheet program such as Microsoft’s Excel or a more complex database program, handling customers’ database files can be daunting—especially if you don’t know the difference. There are several options for storing data files, including extensible markup language (XML), as well as different database programs: flat field (or non-relational) databases only can access one table of data at a time; relational databases can access multiple tables simultaneously.

Mastering database basics can have the most significant impact with variable-data printing (VDP). Consider the classic VDP example: the car dealership campaign. Using two tables—one for contact information and a second to track business activity—you can build a chummy campaign for the customer who’s purchased her last three cars from your dealership, but deliver a more conciliatory message to the poor guy who bought a car that incurred $4,000 in repair costs.

Don’t miss out on profitable personalized marketing campaigns or even simple addressing. Find it here.



Greetings from Mailville
According to industry surveys, 20 percent of all printers have determined that expanding into the mailing/fulfillment industry is the No. 1 way to add value to their services. In fact, many printers are making the investment to expand their bottom lines.

If you have the will, you have to find the way. The three critical components of mail—printing/mailing industries that produce mail pieces, the U.S. Postal Service that delivers those pieces, and mailing software that drives mailroom and USPS equipment—are related to one another, and you must incorporate that into your print organization if you want to expand into the mailing industry successfully. The road to Mailville has 10 pit stops. Find it here.