Clients Need Production Runs Across Spectrum of Quantities

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I read with interest the article by Terry Woods ("Optimizing High-Volume Mailings," Aug. 6). He stated that the in-line process was "... only practical for very large and frequently repeating matched mailing jobs." Life would be simpler if our clients required only very large and frequently repeating matched mailing jobs, but the truth is that they have traditionally required production runs across the entire spectrum of quantities, often with completely different format requirements on each job.

From our experience in the direct mail industry, we know that the in-line process frequently turns a cost-prohibitive project or format into a very cost-effective one, even with runs below the million mark, because of the multiple operations that can be simultaneously performed on the press and converting line. The in-line process shines when the format or mail piece requires extensive personalization and a large number of components with a complex format, and when schedules are tight.

Personalization integrity is maintained by printing additional QC documents as you run, using QC numbers to check for accuracy so that operators don't have to understand all the variables. As to cost, depending on format and personalization, the in-line process can be cost-competitive in quantities as low as 200,000 pieces.

Ted Gaillard, Senior vice president, sales and marketing,

Webcraft, a direct marketing service of Vertis, Charlotte, NC

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