Document Distribution Recap
We have added a utility at 5, 62, 15 called the Document Distribution Recap, whose purpose is to count the outbound documents – Invoices, Statements, and Cardlock Invoices – and categorize them by how they were sent out and estimate what that cost your company. It’s presumed one would use this utility to project the cost savings available from using alternate methods of distribution, such as outsourcing printing or moving more customers to email.
The setup looks like this:
There is a range of time and an option to isolate on a warehouse. Then there are places to input a cost per piece for each of five distribution methods. Costs can be stored in a .dat file to serve as defaults, but can also be edited on the fly.
The cost of PRINT refers to the total cost of printing, stuffing and mailing a document locally. We have seen cost estimates ranging from .90 to 1.25, depending mostly on the value placed on the human labor involved. Postage is about .48. If one prints on a form, there is the cost of the form. If one prints on plain paper using a laser printer, paper plus ink plus maintenance likely runs twelve to fifteen cents. Then there is the cost of the envelope and the labor to stuff and stamp such. We suggest using a cost of .95 unless you have good evidence to the contrary.
The cost of FILE refers to the practice of outsourcing the big batch runs of Cardlock Invoices and Statements to a mailing service like MPC Fuelmarc, or Information Outsource. Costs here vary with volume, but range from .20 to .34 per piece among the clients we’ve polled. This works by printing to file, sending them the file, and letting them do the printing, stuffing and mailing. These third party processors can capture large savings on postage, plus have much lower printing and labor costs. They also tend to have higher quality output and often greater delivery speed. If you’re not doing this now, we suggest you budget .28 per piece to budget costs and savings.
The cost of MAILBAG refers to a different type of third-party processing, currently available only from Document Fulfillment Services (DFS). It’s used to outsource the printing and mailing of solitary items, like bulk invoices. Because the volume per mailing is lower, MAILBAG will cost more than FILE, but it should still be cheaper than PRINT. We suggest you budget a cost of .75 per piece.
EMAIL and FAX have no cost, in theory, but we allow one to enter a cost so the display can show the amount being saved by not using a more costly method.
Here is the display:
Among the facts we can derive from this:
- Outsourcing 2795 CL Invoice and Statements instead of printing them is saving us about $1816. But one could save $838 by moving it all to Email instead.
- It’s costing about $2550 a month to print and mail 2695 bulk invoices. If switched to Mailbag, that could save over $500, but yet larger savings could be had if more invoices could be emailed.
- 5 Cardlock Invoices and 1 Statement were likely printed in house after the fact, perhaps in response to a customer inquiry. This illustrates the rules of counting: If a document has been processed in multiple ways, we keep only the costliest method. So if a Statement was emailed, and send to file, and sent to a printer, we count only that it printed.