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Avoid Crystal Balls With a Solid Production Plan

By Amy Hanauer, Assistant Production Manager

The ongoing supply chain issues plaguing today’s economy are also affecting the manufacturing and ordering of paper stock. MKP continues to monitor current trends and we know that, with proper planning and production timelines, we can help our clients navigate the ups and downs of what sometimes feels like a never-ending rollercoaster of events beyond their control. A solid production plan can prevent needing a crystal ball (which—let’s be honest—may not have all the answers you are looking for).

The cost of ordering stock for envelopes and other printed materials has been steadily increasing over the past couple of years and it is unknown when these increases will level off. In addition, lead times from manufacturers are now 12-16 weeks, whereas there used to be a much shorter delivery span. It is vital to budget accordingly and account for these lengthy lead times when planning mail production and in-home delivery dates. In the past, it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility for paper to be available with as little as 24 hours’ notice. These days, even if you’re placing an order way in advance, it’s common for suppliers to run out of stock before you’re even finished placing your order!

To navigate unexpected bottlenecks in the paper market, we often encourage our clients to budget more for paper stock so they can have paper reserves even before specific needs are identified. This can save on production time down the line when additional mailings may be required, and it reduces the chance that the envelopes or paper may not be in stock when they are needed.

We take pride in our project management and production teams’ ability to manage mail production seamlessly, even when last-minute changes arise. As soon as we know what is required to be mailed, we research the best options for stocks and envelopes and begin the process of ensuring everything is on track for on-time mail delivery. We work with a variety of vendors to forecast when stock needs to be ordered to meet clients’ objectives, including timing, budgetary and quality requirements for any given project.

With careful guidance from and communication with vendors, we are able to undertake contingency planning and advise clients on timing options. It only through careful forethought and planning that surprises are miniminized and deliverables avoid production delays. Of course, it is impossible to predict with certainty what the future holds, but with a solid production plan, we make sure our clients achieve their goals for on-time communications no matter what events transpire… and without the need for a crystal ball.

MKP communications inc. is a New York City-based communications company specializing in financial services marketing and merger/change communication.