Address Hygiene Saves Print Costs in Colorado
By implementing an address quality program, Colorado’s Integrated Document Solutions unit has dramatically reduced undeliverable mail, shrinking print, labor and postage costs and saving thousands of dollars.February 2012
When Colorado merged its print and mail operations with its document imaging/data entry units in 2005, the state was looking to increase efficiency and save money. Under the direction of Manager Mike Lincoln, the resulting Integrated Document Solutions (IDS) unit has been doing exactly that ever since.
In 2009, the 67-employee operation took over mainframe printing, allowing the state to redeploy IT staff. At the same time, the Denver-based in-plant analyzed its mail operation, looking for ways to save money. As a result, IDS implemented an address quality program that has dramatically reduced undeliverable mail and the associated costs.
"We have taken the concept of address hygiene and morphed it into a tool to make government better at managing print and mail," explains Lincoln.
IDS uses NCOALink Software from Anchor Software for address hygiene, but has implemented the program in a unique way.
"Most commercial mailers use these systems to ensure continued USPS discounts. We are using this not only to maintain our USPS discounts, but to drive down up-front print, labor and postage costs," Lincoln explains. "For example, by not printing for addresses that are undeliverable, we were able to save $88,000 for a customer just in the first year."
The idea for the address hygiene program, which took three years to implement, was conceived at the National Postal Forum four years ago. Thanks to the perseverance and tenacity of this in-plant, which manages more than 30 million pieces of mail annually, Colorado became the first state government to be recognized as an NCOA vendor by the United States Postal Service.
Lincoln is proud of the way his team of 30 print and mail professionals has successfully implemented this program.
"We are ahead of the curve," he observes. "Plus we are making government better and more efficient."
Delivering Savings for Denver
Address cleansing is just one of many changes IDS has made. In January 2011 the City and County of Denver decided to partner with the State of Colorado to provide print and mail services.
"By adding their volume to the state's, we were able to keep state costs down and provide a cost effective resource," Lincoln explains.
Originally the city was going to outsource its work. While reaching out to the state for help in developing the RFP, Denver soon realized it could save more than $400,000 in the first year by utilizing IDS.
A version of this article originally appeared in the In-Plant Printing and Mailing Association's member newsletter, InsidEdge. Stories like this are just one of the benefits that in-plant managers receive from joining IPMA. For more information, visit www.ipma.org