By Melissa Donovan
Part 4 of 4
Direct mail isn’t the only type of mail product out there, although it is one heavily discussed. When it comes to print and mail centers, a number of other products and services are offered. Digital benefits all of them.
The final profile in our four-part series on print providers who offer direct mail looks at a multi-faceted print and mail house.
A Driving Force
Celebrating its 40th year in business, BFC located in Batavia, IL, has offered mailing services since 1998. About 80 percent of what the company prints ends up in the mail. While a small portion of that is considered direct or acquisition mail, its main focus is on post-sale fulfillment, which includes contracts, renewals, and other types of member communications primarily for insurance companies, franchise organizations, and associations.
100 employees operate out of 120,000 square foot facility. Its arsenal of products include 13 digital presses from Canon Solutions America, two 40-inch offset Heidelberg presses, a full bindery and mail shop, and a pick-n-pack operation. Of note is BFC’s internally developed technology that is what Matt Novak, VP, BFC, refers to as “the driving force” behind the company’s document automation solution. Client data is received through system integration and then merged into pre-approved templates to create various mail pieces. Approximately 100 jobs are produced daily through this automated system.
First Look at Digital
BFC’s first opportunity to provide variable data printing occurred in 2001 and it purchased its first digital print device soon after. The job was for one of its largest offset clients, a simple variable letter project that ran a couple of times per month.
“We quickly realized the advantages this device brought to our mix and began adding equipment to our arsenal and offering this service to all of our customers,” explains Novak.
Initially the company looked to achieve goals in the realm of production efficiency and increased margins by selling a higher value product. With these met, digital printing and on demand fulfillment are BFC’s core focus.
It primarily works with Canon devices due to the reliability, reasonable cost, and strong dealer/service relationship they offer. As technology has advanced, it’s allowed the company to increase its speed and reliability while simultaneously maintaining a service level agreement with its customers of one-day turnaround.
BFC recently completed a direct mail job for repeat customer Officite, who was looking to acquire more clients. Job submittal to completion took three days and the print provider output 120,000 cardstock self-mailers on its Canon imagePRESS 7010VP press. A discount code, which required scratching off, served as the call to action and tracking mechanism to report results.
Up to the Task
This four-part series profiling print providers handling demand for direct mail showcases how influential digital is in this segment of the industry. Today’s direct mail pieces more often than not require some level of variability. Digital presses and the software that complements them are up to the task. This allows print providers like BFC to efficiently and cost-effectively offer customers high-quality output. dps
March2016, DPS Magazine