Hybrid Mail Integration

Discover how our hybrid mail solution can significantly reduce the time and cost involved in creating and posting mail

Used by many businesses and organisations including the NHS, local government, Xerox and Civica

Despite the popularity of email, businesses and organisations continue to send huge volumes of physical mail in the post. When analysed, the cost involved in getting this mail to a recipient equates to more than just the price of a stamp. It is staff time that is a principle overhead, with mail needing to be composed, printed, signed, folded, inserted and sealed in an envelope, stamped or franked then collected by post room staff or taken to a mail carrier in person.

Staff expenditure aside, there are other factors that make the mailing process a financial drain:

  • Costly pre-printed stationery
  • Expensive desktop printer overheads
  • Inappropriate envelopes
  • Not benefitting from the best mail carrier discount

Furthermore, with mail preparation being notoriously error-prone, and maintaining corporate standards and identity difficult, not only can the cashflow of a business and organisation suffer so can their image and reputation.

Our hybrid mail solution enables any business or organisation to compose, manage, print and finish mail in such a way that associated overheads are significantly reduced, the mail production process becomes more streamlined, and documents are managed in a controlled and secure environment. Not only that, the solution can also be used as the basis for a profitable b2b and/or b2c mailing service that customers use to outsource the printing and finishing of their mail.

Hybrid mail overview diagram

The Funasset hybrid mail system comprises of an onsite or offsite server where mail documents are transmitted to. When received, the documents are accumulated prior to the following processes being performed:

  • Addresses validated to minimise undeliverable mail
  • Inserts such as maps, instructions and guides added
  • Mail sorted in order to qualify for mail carrier discounts
  • Same recipient mail combined to cut postage costs and prevent multiple envelopes being received
  • Finishing and mail marks applied so folding and inserting equipment can be used and mail carrier service requirements are satisfied

Mail is then printed prior to being folded, inserted and sealed in an envelope ready for collection and delivery by a mail carrier.

Alternatively, mail documents can be transmitted from the hybrid mail server to a third-party print and finishing facility such as a Xerox Service Delivery Centre. As a result, localised printing and finishing overheads are eliminated, and an alternative or DR mailing facility is always available.

Hybrid mail internal diagram

Three components are provided to enable mail documents to be integrated into the hybrid mail system:

Web Interface Enables mail to be composed within an Internet browser using familiar word processing tools. In addition to this, the web interface is also used for managing printer queues and print jobs, viewing archived (posted) mail, tracking mail, administering returned mail, maintaining user accounts, and generating volume and expenditure reports.
Print Client Used in a similar way to a printer driver to enable mail to be composed then transmitted to the hybrid mail server using any Windows application that can print.
API Enables any host and mail generation application to work seamlessly with the hybrid mail system.
  • Mailing overheads can be reduced by up to 60%.
  • Central print system means users no longer require their own printer – reducing toner/ink, leasing, maintenance and operating costs.
  • Central print system means mail no longer needs to be collected from multiple locations, or taken to a post room or mail carrier in person.
  • The higher discounts provided by the Royal Mail’s Business Mail services can be more easily attained.
  • A Royal Mail Mailmark® can be added to mail so the best postage discounts can be attained and associated online batch level reporting becomes available.
  • OMR marks or 2D barcodes can be applied to mail so intelligent folder inserter equipment can be utilised, and users and post staff no longer need to manually fold, insert and seal mail.
  • Browser-based and desktop interfaces mean mail can be composed and transmitted to the hybrid mail server by anyone from almost anywhere.
  • An Application Programming Interface (API) means in-house host applications can be used with the system so existing mail composition processes, templates and output data can be retained.
  • Recipients can receive emails instead of physical mail so the carbon footprint of the solution is further reduced.
  • A web interface, print client and API means there is a hybrid mail component to match almost any mail production requirement or infrastructure.
  • Browser-based and desktop interfaces mean mail can be composed and transmitted to the hybrid mail server by anyone from almost anywhere.
  • Fully-featured word processor integrated within the web interface means expensive word-processing software licences can be reduced or eliminated.
  • Post code look-up via the Royal Mail’s PAF database means users can quickly apply addresses to mail pieces by simply specifying a post code.
  • Post codes can be checked for accuracy prior to posting to help ensure undeliverable mail is kept to a minimum.
  • Enterprise-wide system means corporate image and mail standards can be more easily maintained.
  • Mail can contain a barcode that can be scanned by an operator for reprinting and notifying the sender when returned undelivered.
  • Printed mail is automatically archived as a PDF meaning it can be viewed and re-printed at any time.
  • Mailing list recipients can be automatically applied to mail documents so bulk mailings are quick and easy.
  • Mail pieces for the same recipient can be combined for insertion in a single envelope so production and delivery costs are kept to a minimum.
  • Mail tracking allows users and administrators to monitor mail from creation to delivery.
  • An option to transmit mail to a third-party print and finishing facility such as a Xerox Service Delivery Centre (SDC) provides resilience and even more savings.
  • Support for Active Directories (LDAP) enables quick integration into corporate networks.
  • To aid with administration, a summary sheet is printed that details the weight, number of items, geographic region and class of each batch of mail.
  • Accurate and comprehensive reporting allows administrators and management to monitor mail volumes and expenditure.
  • Web interface and print client can be “skinned” to match corporate identity.
  • Ideally suited for establishing a b2b and/or b2c hybrid mail service.
  • ISO 27001 Information Security Management certification demonstrates Funasset are committed to ensuring the security and privacy of mail data.

The savings that can be made when using our hybrid mail solution can be substantial. This is demonstrated in the example below.

The example refers to Letter mail with dimensions of 240mm x 165mm (C5) x 5mm and weight of 100g or less. All prices are GBP£ and include VAT where applicable. The Royal Mail and its associated mail services are used within the example but similar savings can be acquired using other mail carriers.

Example Without Hybrid Mail

Staff, located in multiple offices, create a total of 1000 Letter mail pieces each day (Monday to Friday) using Microsoft Word. Each member of staff prints their own mail on pre-printed stationery using a desktop laser printer located in their office. Each mail piece is read, signed then inserted and sealed in a C5 envelope. At 14:00 the mail is collected from each office by post room staff then franked for 2nd Class delivery. At 15:30 the mail is collected by the Royal Mail.

Overhead Single 1000
Paper (pre-printed letterhead) £0.03 £30.00
Envelope £0.03 £30.00
Printer click (mono) £0.05 £50.00
Labour: Collect from desktop/office printer, read, sign, insert, seal, collect from offices, apply frank, fill post bags* £0.40 £400.00
Royal Mail 2nd Class Frank £0.39 £390.00
TOTAL £0.90 £900.00

*Manual process based on a £12.00 per hour wage. Time taken per mail piece = 2 minutes.

Example With Hybrid Mail

Staff, located in multiple offices, create a total of 1000 Letter mail pieces each day (Monday to Friday) using the Minkz Mail web interface and print client. Mail is transmitted to a central print room where at 15:00 it is prepared and printed so the Royal Mail Business Mail 2nd Class Low Sort Mailmark® discount service can be used. Each mail piece is then inserted and sealed in a pre-paid C5 envelope using a folder inserter. At 15:30 the mail is collected by the Royal Mail.

Overhead Single 1000
Paper (plain) £0.01 £10.00
Envelope £0.03 £30.00
Printer click (colour) £0.05 £50.00
Labour: Collect from central printer, load and unload folder inserter, fill post bags^ £0.04 £40.00
Royal Mail Business Mail 2nd Class Low Sort Mailmark® inc. service related discounts (rounded) £0.32 £320.00
TOTAL £0.45 £450.00

^Manual process based on a £12.00 per hour wage.

Example Savings and Benefits
  • Save 50%. £448.37 per day. £2,241.85 per 5-day week. £116,576.20 per year.
  • No manual signing, inserting, sealing, collection or franking.
  • Single, central printer means expensive desktop laser printers are no longer required.
  • Able to benefit from the higher discounts provided by a Royal Mail Business Mail service.
  • Requirement for Microsoft Word licences is reduced because certain staff use the Minkz Mail web interface to prepare their mail.
  • Letterhead is printed with letter meaning no bulk storage or wasted paper if letterhead content changes.
  • Staff get more time each day to prepare their mail.

The cost of our hybrid mail solution is dependant upon the volume of mail processed by the system, and whether you require optional hardware and components such as sorting, combining, address cleansing, job tracking, accounting, and OMR marks and 2D barcodes. You can opt to pay a one off fee or pay a click charge for each mail piece processed by the solution. Both payment methods will incur an annual support & maintenance fee.

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Funasset Limited is a UK software development company founded in 1986. It specialises in document and mail solutions that are used globally by businesses and organisations including Xerox, Civica, the NHS and local Government. Read more

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