Shipping and Mailing
Simplify Your (Mailing) Life with File-Based Processing
File-based processing provides a level of visibility, security and accuracy into transactional file mailing.
By David Bilodeau
Today’s complex mailing landscape is filled with critical transactional mail pieces and documents, each one containing any number of pages. These pieces are usually all printed together, and typically need to be manually separated by page count in order to ensure that the proper documents reach their intended recipients.
With the introduction of OMR and barcodes, organizing these transactional pieces has become somewhat more orderly and manageable. Adding this new digital layer to the transactional-file mailing process helps to improve mail organization, but only to a certain extent. OMR and barcodes bring a level of automation to putting pages into envelopes, but these digital labels do little to improve visibility into the process or verify that it’s even being done correctly.
Hence the need for implementing file-based processing. Not only does integrating this process into your company’s print and mail operations help provide previously unavailable visibility, it also ensures a level of security to a process that is essential but, in the past, has often gone neglected.
While some might view the adoption of file-based processing as an unnecessary change of course to their internal processes, it is actually a fairly straightforward structure to implement and enforce. And, when done correctly, it pays off in a big way.
File-based processing boils down to a three-step process:
- Putting together a digital list that includes reference information for every page of a given mail run. This includes customer names, numbers of pages and account numbers.
- Creating unique barcodes for each page and affixing them appropriately before printing the complete document.
- Scanning the barcode on a given page, that points to a record in the reference list and tells the inserter what to do with every page as it’s scanned. Every page in this process is monitored from start to finish.
File-based processing software intercepts print streams and collates the list of pages, while also generating the barcodes needed to label each page. This can be set up to work alongside an inserter with scanning technology and built-in tracking that catalogs every page as it’s placed in an envelope.
Leveraging this software also eliminates the need for staff to manually process all items and cross-check since the inserter and software are tracking for accuracy already. This expedites the time spent manually reconciling and troubleshooting certain jobs, ensuring operators are completing jobs faster, with minimal human error and with the peace of mind that outgoing transactional documents are always being sent off to the right parties.
File-based processing software also assures that your mailing operations are meeting the legal requirements for mail regulations, avoiding any potential financial penalties, reducing the costs of investigation and compliance and leaving you well-prepared in the event of an audit.