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If you’re asking “what are the benefits of folder inserters?”, you are likely to be at the stage of growing your mail-room, or trying to manage an increase in printing of invoices, letters or other business communications.  Congratulations, things are set to become far more efficient when you take the plunge.

The benefits of folder inserters are primarily the ability to automate the placing of business communications into envelopes – improving accuracy and efficiency.  As a technology solution, folder inserters have been around for decades, so you might ask how they’ve developed, or even “what’s next?”  Before we get into that, let’s just consider the main benefits of folder inserters, listed below:

Benefits of folder inserters:

  • Speed – folder inserters are faster than people at folding letters, inserting into envelopes and applying a stamp. Some folder inserters can process several thousand letters per hour.
  • Accuracy – folder inserters can group multiple documents together, fold neatly and always deliver the content to the correct recipient (assuming your database is correct in the first place). As with any machine automation, folder inserters remove human error.
  • Cost – folder inserters, whilst an expensive initial outlay, are typically cheaper than employing staff to undertake the same job. Whilst there are paper and maintenance costs to consider, the improved efficiency, accuracy and reliability of a folder inserter outweighs the human alternative for mail volumes above a certain threshold.
  • Scalability – if you are only using a folder inserter for a few hours each day, or each week, it’s easy to scale your mailing volume within the remaining capacity for that machine.

Alternatives to a folder inserter

Whilst there is a clearly defined place for folder inserters in many businesses, there are alternative solutions to consider that may be a better fit for your business.  In particular, businesses not wishing to make the initial outlay on a folder inserter, or businesses considering moving more of their communications to electronic document distribution should think hard before investing in a folder inserter.

Outsourcing the printing and postage of business documents, using a solution such as Netsend, can provide the cost saving, accuracy and speed benefits of folder inserters, without the outlay on hardware and longer-term maintenance costs.

Netsend is an outsourced document distribution solution that slots into existing business processes in much the same way as adding a new printer.  Simply direct documents to be Netsent rather than printed, and the printing (or electronic sending) happens automatically off-site.

 

Benefits of Netsend vs. Folder Inserter Benefits

Using Netsend to print and post business documents internationally means you can benefit from local print and post – printing and posting the documents in their destination country – saving the cost of international delivery, and benefiting from cheaper, local printing services.

Netsend achieves the automation benefits of a folder inserter, without the need to purchase or maintain hardware and run on site.  Moreover, printing and postage costs are reduced further; due to the economy of scale achieved through outsourcing to a business that specialises in exactly this.

With Netsend, there is no single point of failure; no mechanical item, on site, to go wrong.  If one of Netsend’s printers, folder inserters, or other items were to break, your documents would be instantly and automatically re-routed through an alternative, without you experiencing any delay.

Both folder inserters and Netsend present a significant improvement in efficiency – enabling some businesses to reduce staff costs, or at least reassign those who had previously undertaken the folding and inserting to more profitable activities.

Beyond efficiency gains in paper-based processes, Netsend enables businesses to embrace the paradigm of electronic document distribution and electronic invoicing as a specific instance of this.  Suddenly the benefits extend well beyond simple print automation, into electronic delivery (no paper costs), audit-trail and immediate visibility of receipt and/or read status as well as a host of other benefits achieved through electronic document distribution.

Problems with Folder Inserters

Folder inserters clearly offer great benefit, as outlined above, but what of the risks and potential problems?  Like any mechanical item, they can fail.  If your folder inserter breaks, this is a single point of failure that will hold up the distribution of business documents.

In order to protect against mechanical failure, folder inserters need to be regularly serviced and occasionally repaired.  It would be unwise to invest in a folder inserter without a maintenance contract, and a plan to manage any downtime.

In the case of Netsend, this single point of failure is eliminated through use of a larger scale off-site solution with built in redundancy and fail-over capacity to ensure business critical documents are never delayed.

Should you invest in a Folder Inserter Machine?

That’s the big question.  Whilst it’s undeniable there are efficiency improvements and savings to gain through using a folder inserter, it’s worth considering how you manage the risk of mechanical failure, and evaluate other options – such as outsourcing the printing and delivery process to Netsend.

Folder inserters make a fantastic difference as a direct replacement for manual labour in the mailroom, but represent a significant investment in retaining a paper-based approach to document distribution.  Consider the benefits of going electronic with your document distribution, or a blended approach to this, as part of your evaluation of the benefits of folder inserters.

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