Case Study: Saving Family Run Business £514,000

A switch to bespoke equipment results in a projected £514,000 saving for a family-run business.

A lot of the work we do here at Flow focuses on saving our clients money on their mailing and fulfilment requirements, and this case study highlights just one of the ways in which we're often able to save our clients considerable amounts of money.

In this instance, the client is a successful, family-run company that sell a specialist white-label product related to blue-chip companies. Their key lead generator is a piece of direct mail that gets mailed out with a brochure and a sequentially numbered metal fob matched and affixed to the brochure.

Here's what they wanted us to do:

Annually this client sends out between 1.25 million and 2 million items and came to us with a complex brief:

  • To guarantee the availability of stock
  • Reduce the lead-time from order of item to the fulfilment of that item
  • Reduce costs
  • Develop a newer, more modern and innovative solution
  • Quite a tall order, but we like a challenge!

How they ran it:

The client's process before our intervention involved printing over 50 types of brochures, followed by the manual application of fobs using glue dots. These were then boxed and supplied to the client in type.

The remainder of the work was completed via an in-house team that printed each daily order onto an appropriate letterhead.

Printed letters were then taken in batches to their respective stations. Each was manually folded in half, and the recipient of the letter was manually identified via the house data system. Next, an appropriate brochure and metal fob were selected, the unique reference from the key fob was manually entered in association with the recipient detail. Both items were then collated, hand-inserted into an envelope, and posted unsorted.

In other words, A LOT of manual work. So we sought to address that, and quickly.

Here's how we did it:

Our first priority was to automate the entire process and reduce the manual labour involved. Clearly, the original process required a lot of physical actions, and we knew that if we could eliminate some of those, we could achieve significant savings throughout the entire process. To do that, we needed the right machinery, and with that in mind, we commissioned the purchase of an envelope enclosing system and adapted it to accommodate a glue line, pick & place feeder and camera matching equipment.

The data we were handling was highly sensitive, so we improved our already robust in-house data handling process to align with ISO27001 standards.

Here's what happened:

Unsurprisingly, the client was pretty pleased with our proposal and decided to go ahead with it. The combination of improved print management services, automated fulfilment and discounted mail resulted in dramatic savings of predicted at £514,000 over the three-year contract.