Lettershop staff make sure mailings and postage stay on track.
It has been about 2 months since Covid-19 hit and the resulting pandemic disrupted our lives and businesses. We would like to share how Johnson & Quin and our employees are doing now that business as normal won’t be back to normal for quite some time. First J&Q continues to produce our clients’ direct mail programs on schedule and with the same attention to quality and security as always.
Office staff are working remote with occasional trips to the plant as needed. Although some of our teams were already set up to work remote, our IT staff has been phenomenal in setting up everyone to work efficiently and securely from home. Employees in all departments have come up with some great ideas to work more efficiently and provide the plant with the instructions they need to accurately produce and mail programs. And everyone loves Zoom and Skype meetings where we can actually see each other to connect.
As the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to race across the nation and throughout our cities and states, the management of Johnson & Quin is continually reviewing the situation and making adjustments to keep our employees safe and to continue to produce and mail our clients’ direct mail programs.
Johnson & Quin is considered an essential business in the State of Illinois and continues to print and mail to support our marketing clients and the United States Postal Service. The USPS is also an essential business and an integral piece of the nation’s critical infrastructure, delivering information, social security checks, offers, medicines and other goods directly to homes. The USPS depends critically on the mailing and printing industry. Click here to read the letter the USPS issued on March 22, 2020 regarding the continued operation of the mailing and printing industry.
How important are vendor partners to your business? Almost all companies rely on other businesses to supply them with something to make their product or service happen successfully. Johnson & Quin’s vendor partners are key to both J&Q and ultimately our clients’ success.
MCS, Inc., a mail industry supplier, recently produced a video highlighting the success that J&Q has had in using their equipment. MCS designs, manufactures, sells and supports inkjet imaging systems and inserter matching systems for the mailing industry. Beginning in 1999 J&Q has used their equipment including inkjet, matching and inserting systems to manufacture our clients’ direct mail programs.
It’s that time of the year again – the festive holiday season is over, we are in the midst of winter with its often cold and cloudy days, and another postal rate increase hits marketers’ budgets beginning Sunday, January 26, 2020. Although the increase is less than last year’s, direct mailers will still see an increase of about $.005 per piece for Marketing Mail and $.002 for Nonprofit Mail.
On January 26, 2020 postage prices are going up, and for J&Q direct mail clients we estimate a $.005 increase per package which is less than the 2019 rate increase. In October the U.S. Postal Service filed a postal rate adjustment with the Postal Regulatory commission (PRC). Postage will increase an average of 1.9% for both First-Class and Marketing Mail (previously Standard Class).
As of December 12, the PRC approved the price changes for all products so the price adjustment will definitely be taking place on January 26.
How do companies keep sensitive information safe from hackers who are persistently working to infiltrate computer networks to steal identities, social media accounts, financial, health and other valuable personal information? It’s not enough for organizations to just say that this data is secured; they must be able to prove it.
At Johnson & Quin we support our marketing clients by promoting their products and services through direct mail. That entails handling lots of sensitive personal data – hundreds of millions of records every year! And, we do this by ensuring it is handled by only authorized staff and safe from prying eyes. Our security processes and procedures have also been audited by outside authorities to verify we have the controls in place to manage client data securely.
Johnson & Quin has recently released a new video that provides a great overview of our direct mail production services and facility. View the video here.
J&Q has a long history in the printing industry. Nels Johnson founded “McDonald & Johnson”, a small print shop in Chicago in 1876. When Tom Quin joined Nels in the firm in 1896 it became Johnson & Quin. The company has gone through many changes from its beginnings in the 1800’s producing ledgers, accounting forms and other printing for Chicago businesses. Today we produce millions of direct mail packages using high-speed color inkjet presses for clients nationwide.
A Xerox publicity photo of the 9700 Cut Sheet Laser Printer
In 1978 Johnson & Quin obtained a Xerox 9700, the first commercial cut sheet laser printer, and became the first “print for profit” laser company in the Midwest. 41 years later the last laser printers have left the building!
Over those 41 years, the personalization department at J&Q has gone through countless changes. Laser printers continued to improve, becoming better quality, faster and offering more capabilities. The last laser printers at J&Q were IBM InfoPrint 4100’s, continuous monochrome (black only) printers that were the mainstay of our personalization department for many years.
It is the beginning of a new era at Johnson & Quin. With 143 years of printing experience, we have announced that all client direct mail programs are now printed and personalized on high-speed color inkjet presses. All monochrome (black only) laser printers have been removed from our facility in Niles IL, just north of Chicago.
J&Q is adding a third color inkjet press, a Screen Truepress Jet520ZZ Advanced High-Speed Color Inkjet Printing System. This complements the two existing Screen color inkjet presses, expanding the volumes that can be produced and mailed.
In our last blog we explained that Informed Delivery is a Postal Service program that sends consumers an email with grayscale images of the mail pieces that will arrive in their mailboxes soon. Black and white images are displayed of letter sized packages that are processed and scanned through USPS automated sorting equipment. The images can be viewed via email, an online dashboard or mobile app. Individuals can sign up for the program at https://informeddelivery.usps.com/box/pages/intro/start.action.
Informed Delivery Interactive Campaigns
Marketers can move beyond static grayscale images to display linked color images. An interactive campaign displays color images with a link to a webpage that directs the recipient to a digital experience. There are two options for an interactive campaign.
Providing J&Q's perspective on the "essential essence" of all things direct marketing - industry updates, as well as our thoughts and opinions on topics from direct mail production and data security to content and social media. Enjoy!
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Want to know more about J&Q and our direct mail production and integrated marketing services? Visit our website at www.j-quin.com.