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Case Study: PHD Mail

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Posting Profits

Posting Profits

The introduction of mail sorting technology from Pitney Bowes has enabled PHD Mail to deliver significant savings for its customers - and to boost its own profits in the process.

Kevin Dunn, Business Development Director at Staffordshire-based PHD Mail, is the kind of professional who tells it straight. "I've been in the print and mail business for a number of years and I've made a lot of technology purchases in my time." he states. "But without question, the Pitney Bowes Olympus is the best buy I have ever made."

Kevin's enthusiasm stems from the fact that PHD Mail has been able to re-invent its service offering and become more competitive since acquiring the Olympus sorter in July, 2009.

PHD Mail is a privately owned print, mail and electronic services provider, specialising in the processing of transactional billing. The business focuses on short-run jobs for clients across a number of sectors, including the brewery trade, electrical suppliers and many more. 

The short-run nature of the jobs that PHD Mail handles for its clients means that most do not qualify for Royal Mail's Mailsort discount. Royal Mail awards this postage-price discount to mailers who are able to sort mail-volumes of over 4,000 letters into batches that make processing and movement to destination more efficient.

Kevin's team knew that such discounts could be achieved by consolidating mail from all clients, thus achieving a volume flow way above the 4,000 mark. Kevin continues: "We were very keen to invest in sorting technology but we wanted to wait until the volume of work justified this investment. Today, we are processing around 25m envelopes per year, so the justification is certainly there.

"Our Olympus Multi-tier sorter has 128 sorting pockets, enabling us to sort each pass of mail into as many as 128 different categories or batches if required. This capacity means that we can now consolidate all of the individual jobs that we receive from our clients into one pass, usually totalling between 150-200,000 envelopes each day.

"The beauty of consolidation is that we are now able to achieve Mailsort discounts against every job and we can pass on these savings to our customers."

Typically, PHD Mail's approach of consolidate, sort and save is bringing postage savings of around three or four pence on each envelope. As Kevin points out, such a reduction can quickly accumulate, achieving cost-efficiencies that many customers don't know are possible.

"Understandably, many of our customers aren't familiar with mail volume discounts - indeed, why should they be? But the truth is, postage can often represent one of the biggest expenses for a company. Offering savings against this expenditure represents a strong proposition - these documents must be mailed, so why not save money in doing so.

"The Pitney Bowes Olympus is enabling us to save our customers significant sums. One client in the electrical wholesale market has already achieved an £85,000 postage discount on previous postage spend.  Knowing that we can achieve such savings enables us to be far more competitive in our approaches to customers. We can reduce our print and mail costs because we know we can offset this reduction against profits made at the postage stage."

Postage discounts are not the only advantage that PHD Mail is able to bring to its customers. The company is now able to remove much of the administrative burden surrounding print, mail and postage. One such example is that customers are now invoiced by PHD Mail for postage, rather than receiving invoices from downstream access suppliers such as TNT Post.

Kevin concludes: "Previously, our customer's postage invoices from downstream suppliers have been presented in a confusing fashion - for example, several jobs grouped together on one document. Our customers now get one bespoke invoice that is very easy to reconcile. We are able to offer clarity, whereby one mailing equals one invoice.

"In turn, businesses looking to achieve mail discounts have no need to go through Royal Mail's accreditation process to see if they qualify. We hold all necessary accreditations, enabling customers to simply enjoy the benefits without the time-consuming admin.

"In short, the Pitney Bowes Olympus sorter has enabled us to change the way we work, bringing tangible cost benefits to our customers and, as a result, enabling us to be more flexible and competitive in our approach to winning business."

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