Océ Business Services Invests in Neopost Mailing Solutions
Océ Business Services (OBS) is one of the world’s leading providers of document process management services and technology to law firms, corporations and the public sector. As a “total solutions provider,” OBS provides a broad spectrum of outsourced services to control paper and electronic documents, from the document’s creation all the way through to its destruction.
OBS recommends a wide range of Neopost devices, from the smallest mailing machine to the most sophisticated
“‘Document lifecycle services would be the best description of what we do. This approach encompasses a wide range of processes, including printing and copying, mail services, business performance management, records management, electronic discovery, and storage.” said Stuart A. Schwartz, C.P.M. National Strategic Sourcing Director for OBS.
The key to the company's ongoing success is to ensure that the vendors OBS utilizes in each of its service areas are of the highest possible quality. Schwartz, who is responsible for the procurement of fixed assets, commodity contracts and financial agreements for OBS, shoulders much of the burden of this task. He scrutinizes each vendor’s product, not only from a performance perspective but also from a cost standpoint.
Providing clients with superior document processing solutions is an exercise in futility if clients cannot afford them. For OBS's outsourced mailing operations, which encompass postage machines and all associated mailroom equipment, the vendor is Neopost, a worldwide provider of advanced mailing, addressing, document handling and mail management systems. This relationship, which has been particularly productive in the past three years, is the result of a relationship that OBS developed with Ascom Hasler Mailing Systems back in 1995.
“We had contracts with both Hasler and Neopost. When Neopost acquired Hasler in 2001, everything we did was consolidated under the Neopost banner. We had a very good relationship with each company, and with all the services now provided by Neopost, it’s actually better, not to mention more convenient.” recalled Schwartz.
Postage machines constitute the bulk of these recommendations, but OBS also uses desktop folding/inserting systems from one to six stations for small-volume to high-volume areas. OBS’s satisfaction with Neopost is evidenced by the fact that the company currently spends an impressive dollar figure on Neopost equipment – about $600,000 to $700,000 per year on meter rentals, maintenance, and other services. In a classic case of putting its money where its mouth is, OBS has a high-volume Neopost mailing machine in its own mailing center. “Since we are recommending their products, we want to make sure they’re performing the way we say they will,” said Schwartz.
Neopost postage machines bring a range of advantages to OBS customers
To begin with, the devices lend a professional look to a client’s mail. The state-of-the-art technology incorporated into the systems translates into improved productivity. Postage is not only more accurate but optimized for class. Plus, the need to wait in long lines at the post office is eliminated. Folder inserter machines are similarly beneficial as they lead to time savings in folding/ inserting activity, better cash flow management with faster payment of mailed bills and security, and reliability in the overall process. What’s more, Neopost’s insertion techniques allow users to fold, fill and seal envelopes 10 to 40 times faster than by hand. Handling 100 envelopes normally takes an hour, but by using the basic equipment from Neopost, that figure is reduced to just six minutes.
Ultimately, the Neopost equipment that OBS provides to its customers translates to five primary benefits:
- A significant reduction in mailing costs
- Increased mailroom efficiency
- Improved mail security and integrity
- Improved customer communications
- A higher level of business productivity
Despite its clear preference for Neopost equipment, OBS will work with other mail machine vendors when dictated by the client. Whenever the decision is left up to OBS however, they prefer Neopost. “Certainly, we work with other brands besides Neopost if the client mandates it,” said Schwartz. “We obviously aren’t going to walk away from the business. But we would try initially to recommend Neopost products - that’s our main objective.” Schwartz explains that once a customer’s initial mailing solution has been delivered, the job is not even close to being completed. “We are constantly returning to our clients because once we sell the account, it’s the responsibility of the operations manager to grow the account,” said Schwartz. “That entails making the client aware of new technologies and processes that will improve their mailing operation not only in the short-term but well into the future.”
Current Climate of Perpetual Change in the Postal Industry provides opportunities
The current climate of perpetual change in the postal industry certainly provides that opportunity. “Things are changing so quickly in the mailing industry,” Schwartz noted. “Shape-based pricing, rate changes, new indicia rules, and the decertification of the meters that’s going on through the end of this year make it essential to constantly reassess our clients’ ability to meet these changes. We rely on Neopost to help us better understand these trends so we are better prepared to help our clients.”
To that end, Neopost has provided regional training programs geared towards updating OBS representatives on the latest mailing industry trends and equipment in order to make OBS a better-informed resource for its client base.
Neopost also sponsors Webcasts for staff unable to attend in-person presentations. What’s more, face-to-face contact takes place quite often at multiple industry trade shows which are consistently attended by Neopost. Offering the products and services that OBS’s clients need is one thing; actually getting them to the client in a timely fashion is another. On that note, Neopost also scores high.
“Because we are a national account of Neopost, we do get priority,” Schwartz said. “Of course, there are occasional delivery or timing challenges, but Neopost comes to the table and responds when we need them to. We try to get all items delivered within 10 business days, but if we need something in a rush, they find a way to get it done. “Being a long-standing and loyal client also helps us in negotiating new contract terms, a benefit that we pass on to our clients in the form of lower pricing and more favorable terms.” The benefits of outsourcing are plentiful. Making decisions about which processes to outsource is something that companies should take very seriously, and OBS regards outsourcing just as seriously.
“It’s important that our clients trust us to have the right vendors in place, to ensure they are getting the latest and greatest technologies. When it comes to assisting our clients in not only getting their mail out the door, but making sure that their entire postal operation is being run efficiently and cost-effectively, we’re confident we have the best possible resource.” Schwartz commented
Basically, Schwartz is saying that when it comes to mailing solutions, Neopost, unlike OBS, has little competition.