During most of our customer engagements, we usually hear variants of the same question:
- “What do the best operations do?”
- "How do our competitors compare to these standards?"
- “How do we compare to other operations?”
In the last 15 years, we’ve worked with over 50 companies in different industries – government, higher education, finance, healthcare, telecommunications and utilities. Some have mail operations with 5 people focusing on inbound and interoffice mail, while others have 100 people producing a million pieces of First-Class Mail a day, 7 days a week. Regardless of size or function, the best shops have a lot in common.
We define a “First Class Operation” as one that through consistent actions and reporting, demonstrate that the operation is staffed and managed by well-trained professionals who add value to the company and use the right tools to deliver:
- the correct piece
- with the correct address
- in the correct envelope or workflow folder
- at the correct time
- at the correct cost
These operations achieve those goals by focusing on the following principles:
- Value their employees – through communication, education, and recognition
- Value their customers – through communication, and being a solution provider
- Well-designed, clean work environment
- Track internal and external work – accountability and metrics
- Well documented procedures – that are used daily
- Aggressive address management
- Meaningful metrics transformed into actionable information
- Selecting and exploiting the right technology
- Quality Control is procedural and cultural
- Knowing cost-per-piece and understanding value
Are there really organizations that meet all of these qualifications? Yes, there are. Some are service providers and some are in-plant operations. It didn’t happen overnight, but took years build a culture of excellence. And those leaders aren’t finished improving.
The above principles are the baseline by which to measure success, and are the building blocks for delivering first class results. Today and tomorrow. The standards for being considered a “best-in-class” mail operation will continue to be raised. Effective leaders are invested in continuous improvements – for their people, processes and technology – and themselves.
This blog post is an excerpt from an article written for Mailing Systems Technology.