The Partnership of the Printing Industry and the Postal System

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

To explore the relationship of the printing industry and the postal system, I needed to get expert insight from Nahan’s Postal Logistics Team. I had the opportunity to talk with Nahan’s Postal Logistics Manager, Gary LaBarre, to discuss the importance of the two entities working together for a common good. Gary’s career in print and logistics is a major asset to Nahan. After graduating high school, Gary started working at a printing company, unknowing that it would become his life-long career as he worked his way up in the industry, spanning forty-eight years. Gary has worked in the postal logistics division for forty-five of those and has dedicated over ten years to Nahan.

From the Press to the Consumers

A beautiful new catalog just rolled off the press, eager to be placed into a consumer’s hands to be used for its purpose. Before it can end up in a consumer’s mailbox, however, it must go through the postal system. As a result, the printing industry must have a relationship with the postal system to be able to take a finished product to its final destination – the people. Gary’s wealth of knowledge about both the printing industry and the postal system make him an excellent resource for brands that are new to the world of print.

“At Nahan, our goal is to get the best postage price possible and to get it to the consumers at the time they want it – not too early or too late.”

Gary LaBarre , Postal Logistics Manager at Nahan

In the next few questions and answers, we explore the logistics of working with the postal system to minimize cost for our customers.

1. There are various ways that a finished product can be shipped to a consumer. Three of the most common methods include co-mail, commingle, and drop ship. What are the differences between these methods?

  • Co-mail – This method is used for catalogs and flat-sized pieces. Multiple jobs are put together in one shipment, the idea being to enhance the pre-sort, which gives the customer the lowest postage price and deeper delivery to the USPS.
  • Commingle – This method is for letter-sized pieces and follows the same logic as co-mail. The shipments are intermixed with other customers to save money on postage in addition to deeper delivery to the USPS.
  • Drop Ship – This method consolidates pallets with other pallet jobs and then delivers it to postal facilities around the country.

2. Out of the three methods mentioned above, why is each beneficial to the customer?

  • Co-mail and commingle are beneficial because of their lower postage rate and delivery to the post office. If a customer has a smaller quantity, drop shipping would not be cost effective.
  • Drop ship is beneficial due to its low postage for large, geographically concentrated quantities, as well as the ability to hit a tight in-home window.

3. Why is timing so important in shipping a finished product?

Depending on what a brand is printing, there can be time sensitive information. For example, a company might be advertising a sale in a catalog or providing a limited time coupon code in a piece of direct mail. If a shipment gets delivered too late, the sale or coupon code will no longer be valid. Conversely, if a shipment arrives too early, customers are trying to order products that are not available in stores yet or score sales that are not set up in the system.

4. What is Informed Delivery? Why should companies sign up for it?

Informed delivery is a free service offered by the United States Postal Service, in which people can sign up to be notified of mail expected to be arriving soon. The service allows users to see a digital preview of their letter-sized mail and packages en-route to their mailbox. Users can access Informed Delivery on any computer or mobile device. It is beneficial to companies from a marketing standpoint. Companies can choose to participate in the Informed Delivery Interactive Campaign and include a link with the image. Companies then receive a summary report of users who clicked on links. While this marketing method is still growing, it is also relatively risk-free and does not eat up a marketing budget.

5. Overall, what is the essence of why the postal system is so crucial to the printing industry?

The printing industry could not exist without the partnership of the postal system. Without the USPS, your eye-catching and action-driving piece would never arrive to your consumer. To be a successful company, you must work with the postal system to deliver the best quality and service to the customers.

Minimized Postage Costs = More Consumer Reach for Your Money

When selling a product or service, no matter how wonderful it may be, marketing is what gets it out there. Print – whether in the form of catalogs, envelope packages, or self-mailers – is a significant contributor to a brand’s marketing strategy. Printing is all about a service that takes a brand’s vision and puts it on paper and makes it a reality. At Nahan, our job is to minimize their postage and transportation costs to allow them to mail as many pieces as possible for their money.

Curious about the current USPS postage rates? Check out our postage rate chart!

Contact us to learn more.

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

Nahan Provides Print & Mailing Solutions for Many European Brands Marketing to US Customers

Author: Melissa Fransen, Marketing Manager

One of the questions that we frequently get asked is if we provide print and mailing solutions to an International customer base that is interested in mailing to the US Market. The answer is a resounding Yes!

In fact, this continues to be one of Nahan’s specialties and something that we feel truly continues to set us apart in the industry. We have quickly become a printer of choice for retailers and agencies alike in the European market.

Nahan Provides Print & Mailing Solutions for Many European Brands Marketing to US Customers

“If you are a start-up or even an established brand looking to market to a US audience and are looking for a trusted print partner, look no further, our team at Nahan is here to become a seamless extension of your marketing team.  We continue to work with so many great people abroad that have become not only clients but good friends, that really trust our Quality & Service.”

Kelly Marthaler, US & International Catalog/Direct Mail Sales Consultant

Commonly Asked Questions

1. We have formats developed for our UK audience and foreign postal requirements. How do we convert our formats to meet the US postal requirements?

Nahan is highly experienced in working with customers to develop efficient size formats for the US postal stream. Weights and size formats that work in Europe don’t always work here in the US. We specialize in adjusting these sizes or format templates to US formats to help minimize cost and reduce postage rates.  Our focus is really on guiding clients closely through the entire process.

2. What about paper? How does this work?

Our team at Nahan is very familiar with foreign paper spec differences and can help transition to US paper stocks that are of equal or greater paper quality and still be competitively priced.

3. With the time difference, can I expect a quick turnaround on quotes?

At Nahan, you can expect a quote within 24 hours or less. We take a lot of pride in quick-turn quotes and communication. You can come to expect the same timely response from our purchasing and customer service teams even when your office is in a foreign country. 

4. What about mailing schedules? How does this work?

Our postal/logistics team at Nahan works with our customers to develop timely schedules based on in-home dates. We walk through this entire process with each of our foreign clients to ensure there is a clear understanding of what in-homes dates work best with each individual marketing plan and how we can minimize cost as well.

5. What about USPS postal promotions, can I take advantage of these?

Absolutely. Our team at Nahan will guide you through the promotions process to ensure you are getting the most cost-effective rates based on your marketing objectives.

6. What about mailing to other markets, such as Canada?

At Nahan, we utilize the assistance of a third party partner to mail to other foreign markets, such as Canada, and do this quite frequently.  We are close proximity to Canada so this is a very close entry point for us.

7. I’m new to this – how do I even start?

Many of our customers that start out with us don’t have experience in expanding their mailing to the US market. No problem at all! We’ll be very happy to guide you through this process so maximum ROI can be achieved.  We want to take the stress of printing and mailing here in the US out of each foreign marketer’s job. 

Interested in learning more about Nahan’s mailing services? Contact us today! 

Bio: Melissa Fransen is our Marketing Manager. She started with Nahan in May of 2017. Melissa is responsible for Nahan’s marketing initiatives, which includes everything from conference planning to social media initiatives. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband and enjoying time in the outdoors with family and friends.

Is Nahan a Printing or Technology Company?

Author: Pat Nahan, Vice President of National Accounts

As the printing landscape has evolved over the past two decades, we have all seen huge changes in the way we do our jobs.  Long gone are the days of film and even hard proofs in some cases. We have all seen the benefits of other new and exciting technologies that make getting ink, toner or dyes onto your chosen substrate.  All of this is great, but if your printer of choice doesn’t have the IT infrastructure to support your growing needs then are you really seeing the full benefit of what these advancements can do for you?

Digital Workflow

There are many benefits to a digital workflow but the 4 that I feel benefit the customer most are:

  1. Flexibility
  2. Brand Continuity
  3. Speed to Market
  4. Being able to create a truly tailored message to your consumer

Upon entering into the digital printing arena, it became glaringly apparent to us that to take advantage of this new technology we needed to embrace and fully utilize all that these machines could do.  To execute this we had to take a two pronged approach, the first being security. The second focus was being able to adapt to our customer’s unique needs and to mold our processes around those.  Along with this we had to step out of our comfort zone to truly develop technologies that can meet those needs.  

“Looping back to the title now, I feel that we are rapidly becoming a Technology company that is really great at printing.”

– Pat Nahan

Every day we are taking our years of experience with the ‘big iron” of printing and using it to make the new digital presses better.  The amount of technological development and custom programming that we are doing on a daily basis to meet the needs of our customers is constantly expanding.  Processes that were cutting-edge just 5 years ago are rapidly being replaced with new words like, API’s, web interfaces, and custom integrations.  Is your printer ready to help take you to the next level?

Questions to Ask Your Printer

Ask yourself these five questions when you consider partnering with a printer:

  1. What is their programming strength?
  2. Can they do more than just a presort of my data and take advantage of all their digital equipment can do?
  3. What sort of custom integrations have they done before?
  4. Do they have the knowledge to build any sort of return processing or continuity process that I might need?
  5. Are they a printer that thinks they know how to program or a true four color variable expert? 

Contact us today to learn more about Nahan and how we can help with your next project.

Patrick Nahan has over 20 years of print experience and is the Vice President of National Accounts with Nahan. On a daily basis, Patrick shows the “Nahan Difference” to key accounts and has been instrumental in launching Nahan into the forefront of the ever-changing print landscape. When not at work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two boys, working on cars, boating and trying to keep up with a hectic youth hockey schedule!