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John Foley talks about added value services

Published on May 10, 2011

Printers can expand upon their current offerings with added value services such as mailing and warehouse fulfillment. John Foley, CEO of InterlinkOne has a background in added value services and offers his advice on how to approach bringing these services into their print house.

Cary Sherburne:  Hi, I’m Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and I'm here with John Foley who’s CEO Of interlinkONE.  And today we’re going to talk a little bit about an added-value services that printers can add such as mailing and fulfillment.

John Foley:  Right.

Cary:  And I know you got some background in that in other industries.  Maybe you can talk a little bit about how a printer can add those things into their business.

John: Well, fulfillment as an example was a very, I believe if you do it correctly you can be very profitable.  And what it does allow, it allows a printer to diversify beyond the transactional commodity-based printing.  A lot of folks actually do it today and when I first started in the industry, I’d go into a printer and say why don’t you get into fulfillment and I know that they were because I would see the racks and the people putting the kits together.  And they’d say, oh we do that as special projects.  But I think they’ve evolved a little bit to understand that fulfillment can be added on as their service and it’s actually a nice, another nice connection up into the marketing department because fulfillment is usually sold and managed at the marketing level not necessarily a procurement.  So then you can actually begin to tie those two together and offer more services.

Cary: Yeah, sort of like the sales kits that they need to get out for new product or training materials or all those things.

John: Right, sales kits and I’ve seen it not only in the print service providers **** but in implants as well.  They actually, they’ll do the whole from the printing side to the fulfillment.  We actually work with a financial services firm where a printer actually came in and did the facilities management on the print side and they used all of our software on the fulfillment and distribution, Pick Pack, shipping, all that stuff out the door.  So, again, that was a different scenario because it was an implant but the print service provider themselves could do the same thing.

Cary: And part of fulfillment would be putting things in the mail?

John: Okay, right, absolutely.  So mailing is just as important.  At this show here and OnDemand, again, we have a whole pavilion, right, on mailing and fulfillment and as you know maybe the mail volume’s going down but there’s still going to be mail.  And you need to do that efficiently and you can help your customer save money and you can make money while you’re doing it.

Cary: And even though our postal service is struggling quite a bit, they do have lots of great resources to help people really understand all of the rules and regulations and how to keep postage in line and so people should take advantage of that, right?

John: Right.  Well, these folks, these service providers, become experts at that and they can offer the value versus that company just putting it in the mail and it’s not presorted.  It costs more money if you’re going to send it First Class and it can help that print service provider transform even a little bit more into marketing services again.

Cary: Yes, I was talking with somebody yesterday who’s talking specifically about Europe but saying that 85% of the cost of a mail piece is in the stamp.

John: Wow.

Cary: So if you don’t optimize those postal costs, I mean.

John: Right. 

Cary: It’s just because they just keep going up; they’re not going to go down. 

John: Right, well, you know, and they’re trying everything they can from QR codes, another subject that we talk about a lot and they do have the people at the mailbox there they can actually help and I think, I see a lot of cohesion, is that the right word, with the print service community, with the mailing community, fulfillment. I mean I know a bunch of those guys and with the post office, they’re all, the Postmaster General trying to bring these groups together to provide a way to get through all this and to give the end users better services whether it be the enterprise and also people that are receiving the mail.

Cary: Yeah and the end users want that one stop shop anyway.

John: Right, right.

Cary: So.

John: Right, absolutely.

Cary: Great.  Thank you.

John: Okay, good to see you.

Cary: Nice to see you too.

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