I was talking with the president of a company that provides statement processing for the healthcare industry. He’s put production controls in place, including barcodes, scanners and internal audits, to ensure the integrity of every mailpiece. Taking it a step further, he’s hired external consultants to review his entire process.
The process he’s established means a higher cost-per-piece than some of his competitors. The external review will be expensive. But, in his words, “very necessary to ensure patient confidentiality.”
Substitute the word “patient” with “customer”, and his words can be applied to everyone who processes mail. It doesn’t matter if you work for an insurance company, bank, school, the government, or any type of firm; you should be installing controls to make sure your system provides the highest level of integrity. The correct piece, with the correct address, goes into the correct envelope, with the correct postage, at the correct time.
The products to improve the integrity of the mailing process have been available for several years. Used with barcodes, scanners can track every piece as they move through the process. Cameras can be added to equipment to check for print quality, logos and keylines. Software products allow you to monitor what is happening on the shop floor in real time.
Audit controls add expenses to your bottom line. Scanners, cameras and software mean spending more money to run your operation. In an industry where people focus on “cost-per-piece”, is it worth it?
I toured a laboratory that produces eyeglasses. The senior vice president of manufacturing walked me through the entire process – from receiving the order through the shipping department. The process included: