Shipping & Mailing
Mail Solution Consultants: The secret to operational excellence
If you have ever switched smartphone operating platforms (let’s say, from Apple iOS to Android), you know that learning a new operating system can take some getting used to. It could take weeks -- or even months -- before you discover every useful feature or app. In fact, many of us have probably owned the same smartphone for years, but have only scratched the surface in realising its full potential.
Imagine if you had ongoing access to an expert who could answer questions and offer advice on how to optimise how you use your smartphone. With a little extra support and guidance, you could discover exciting new ways to make your digital life easier, more enjoyable and more productive.
That is precisely the type of experience a print and mail solution consultant can offer to production mail professionals, notes Melissa Clay of the Pitney Bowes Client Success Services team.
Broadly speaking, consultants deliver a range of services to businesses including: providing information, solving problems, diagnosing the business, making recommendations or implementing recommended solutions. Consultants rely on proven methodologies and processes to evaluate and diagnose business challenges. They then lend informed recommendations to resolve them, often even supporting the implementation of those recommendations.
In a production mail and finishing environment, the value of consultancy is in helping businesses to optimise and maximise new equipment far beyond their initial purchase. That is what the Pitney Bowes Client Success Services team works on every day.
“Businesses invest not only in mail centre technology, but also in the staff who operate these machines, and their training,” says Clay. “Data-driven consultancy allows businesses to understand the potential to maximise the investments they’ve already made in technologies, processes and people. Through guided implementation, businesses gain the full potential value for their customers. We help clients work smarter to solve operational challenges.”
So, what are those challenges, and how do print and mail solution consultants help businesses overcome them?
The top business challenges facing print and mailing operations
Clay describes three fundamental business challenges that persistently hound the mail service providers her team works with.
Productivity is at the top of the list, as mail operators always want to learn how they can drive more results from their equipment and staff.
That leads to the second major roadblock: clients want to know how to establish and sustain a culture of operational excellence so that the entire team works in lockstep to achieve desired outcomes.
The third major challenge involves results. Mail operators always need to satisfy their service level agreements (SLA) and deliver impactful mail campaigns on behalf of their clients.
Innovative technology and emerging industry trends have added new wrinkles in the overall equation.
“Years ago, if you wanted to design a mail piece, the perception was that you couldn’t add color because it would inflate the cost for you and your customer,” Clay explains. “Today’s professional printing solutions are so efficient that that’s not an issue anymore. So now, we can show you how your equipment lets you explore creative ideas and create impactful, outcome-based, results-driven mail pieces.”
Data is also a bigger priority today. It plays a role in improving productivity, satisfying SLAs and driving overall business results. When Clay talks to her clients about data, they often express a desire to improve the accuracy, precision and quality of the data that underpins their business.
A model for effective print and mail operation consultancy
Comprised of a unique blend of professionals with a combination of knowledge, skills and behavior, our Global Services Team is made up of industry specific technical knowledge and manufacturing operations performance transformation experience. The Pitney Bowes Client Success Services team is comprised of certified Lean Six Sigma, Continuous Improvement and Data Analytic professionals, that each bring to the table over 20 years of professional field experience across the globe.
Client Success Services utilises a three pillar model to help our clients develop outcome-based solutions.
Consultancy: Utilising subject matter expertise in print to mailing operations and lean manufacturing to identify opportunities for client to realise value.
Insight: Analysis of our clients’ technology, people and processes to reveal improvement opportunities that can impact their bottom line.
Implementation: Facilitating and managing the change of our clients’ technology, people and processes to transform their print and mailing operation and its performance.
“We want to understand a client’s pain points. What are their desired outcomes? What are the specific productivity, retention and data obstacles they face?” Clay illustrates. “Our experts have all worked in this industry and with this technology, and that familiarity offers a richer, more unique level of consultancy compared to others.”
Consultants help clients evaluate performance and operational data from proprietary Pitney Bowes analytics platforms. They accomplish this by taking a deep analytics dive into the equipment, staff and resources that make up an individual work cell or an enterprise’s entire mail operation. That insight helps Client Success Services consultants to offer educated advice on what the next steps should be.
The team closes the loop by assisting or leading the projects that institute organisational change. That could mean overseeing change or project management, introducing new training programs or fully reimagining how the business manages and runs its operation.
From end-to-end, the Pitney Bowes Client Success Services team depends on rigorous data analytics, proven consultancy methodology and years of experience in production mail and print to help businesses drive long-term value from their operation.
“Automated document factory owners invest a lot into hardware and people,” Clay says. “We want to help them get the most out of their investment not just upfront, but down the road as well.” “Sustainment is key to our success.”