Grey Ink Seeks Positioning Change

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Grey Ink, the sourcing print production and direct mail division of Grey Direct, is instituting a change in positioning as new leadership takes the helm at the New York shop.

The division is seeking to expand its remote proofing capability, add new technology as part of its offerings and adopt an online-based work flow with clients to cut down on cycle time for production jobs.

"Obviously, the biggest expense in direct marketing is direct mail," said Brian J. Flaherty, the new senior vice president and managing director at Grey Ink. "We have a lot of challenges with the postal rate going up in July, and we'd like to position ourselves as having the most aggressive sourcing in the industry."

Grey Ink oversees printing and lettershop services for more than 400 million mail pieces a year.

Flaherty, who was director of direct mail production at Time Inc., New York, before his recent move, has decided to re-engineer communications with Grey Ink clients. To this end, his agency will modify client packages and use new technology to get further postal discounts.

Agency clients include Chase Manhattan Bank, Weekly Reader magazine, Renaissance Cruises and Liberty Mutual. Billings at the 35-person shop are not publicly disclosed.

"We're now looking at the Planet Code, trying to implement a monitoring service we can offer our clients, along with data interpretation," Flaherty said.

The U.S. Postal Service is rolling out the Planet Code program, which barcodes the feed names -- the names on the mailing -- then tracks the mail through the postal system.

"Obviously, the cost of paper is going up, postal rates are going up," Flaherty said. "Our clients need to be able to offset those expenses, and we feel that we can currently utilize the technologies that are out there."


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