When Should You Outsource Your Mailing Operation?
Sending mail seems simple enough to most people, but the operation your company relies on is probably far more extensive. It involves a number of moving parts, to say nothing of the team required to keep them all moving in the right direction.
Your mailing operation is expensive, too. Even more expensive, though, is when it falls behind. If invoices and statements don’t go out on time, that effects cash flow and Days Sales Outstanding, and no one in the C-Level suite is happy with that.
It’s these kinds of overhead and demands that convince many companies just like yours to switch to outsourcing their mailing operation. However, this is a decision that should only be made after a great deal of consideration.
4 Things to Consider Before Outsourcing Your Mailing Operation
While many companies outsource, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right decision for your mailing operation. You need to think long and hard when weighing outsourcing and insourcing. Here are the four most important questions to ask.
1. What Are Your Current Pain Points?
Although outsourcing can help your company, it’s not a silver bullet. It won’t magically solve certain problems that may currently be plaguing your business’ mail operations. For example, maybe one reason you’re considering outsourcing this function is because, at the moment, your invoices/statements or marketing mailers keep going out late.
This reoccurring problem is costing you too much money, so the obvious answer seems to be to entrust another team with it. That might solve the problem, but it might also be that the delays were caused because of other internal issues. Maybe your in-house sales team wasn’t communicating well enough with the marketing team responsible for creating the mailers, which is why they were always late. Maybe the level of expertise for doing marketing mailing and understanding USPS rules is lacking. Maybe your in house equipment for printing/folding/inserting the invoices and statements is inadequate.
The last thing you want to do is outsource your mail operation to a third-party only to find that you’re paying much higher costs and still have some of the same issues.
2. Will It Be Cheaper?
One of the most prominent misconceptions about outsourcing a mail operation is that it will automatically save you money. That’s the entire point of outsourcing, right? Not necessarily.
Outsourcing offers a number of benefits, but it won’t always allow you to save money. It might cost you substantially more. Cost is going to be based on the volume and frequency of mailings. If you are doing mailings of a few thousand pieces, mail-houses are not that interested in small jobs and will charge you a high rate to make it worth their time
It may still be worth it, though. If you think back to the example from the last section, maybe one of your major pain points right now is that your current team is consistently sending out mail late. You’d gladly pay more to ensure that this problem ceases.
Maybe your office is downsizing and can no longer afford to pay for the space your mailroom requires. While it might cost you more to outsource your mail operation, your company ultimately saves more because of your smaller location. Don’t take for granted that outsourcing will save you money, but don’t automatically neglect it if you find out it won’t. It may offer other advantages well worth paying for.
3. Do You Need Extra Space?
Perhaps you’re not downsizing like we mentioned in the previous example. If your company’s need for space has grown recently, you may want to begin looking at the non-critical functions you’re maintaining in-house. Many companies finally make the switch to the cloud when they realize how much space they’re dedicating to their servers and all the other things they could be doing with it.
The mailroom may provide your business with a similar opportunity. Would your company be better off using that space for something else? Are there better goals you could be spending your current mailing operation’s budget on?
If you’re on the fence about outsourcing this function, one way to look at it is in terms of opportunity cost. Your mailroom could be standing in the way of a better use of that space.
4. What Regulations Must You Honor?
Depending on the industry you’re in, you may have to follow any number of different regulations when it comes to sending out mail. One careless mistake could cause you to fall out of compliance, something that carries a massive penalty and may convince many of your customers to look elsewhere.
Therefore, it’s of the utmost importance that you consider the regulations you have to follow before outsourcing your mailing operation to another company. Rest assured that if you handle anyone’s private information, the government has rules about how you – or the third-party – must do so.
Don’t simply assume that this third-party will follow the rules, either, even if you make it explicitly clear how important they are. Research the company to see what kind of track record they have. Ideally, hire a business with experience in your particular field, so they’ll be familiar with these laws.
Does Outsourcing Your Mail Operation Make Sense
Would you like help making this important decision? At Kelley Connect, we have decades of experience providing our clients with the answers they need about opportunities like outsourcing. WE offer both outsource and in house solutions, so we won’t push you towards one or the other like other companies who only offer one way
Contact us today before making your decision. Our expertise in this matter will ensure you make the right one based on your company’s unique needs.