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peopleWashington Direct Mail

Direct Mail Company
“The fact that we can continue to work on our system with confidence is one of the big advantages of using GreyRidge.”
Jon Beasley, Director, Washington Direct Mail

About the Company

Washington Direct Mail has become the North East’s leading Direct Mail Company by focusing on these core areas of business:
  • Direct Mail Production
  • Daily Fulfilment
  • Mail Sortation
  • Printing Services
  • Data Services and Management
  • Design Services
Washington Direct Mail are passionate about what they do. Whether it’s one item or one million they will tailor a solution that meets their clients objectives, ensuring every last detail of a direct marketing campaign is as effective and efficient as they are at hitting the right doorstep, at the right time and on budget.

The Challenge

Prior to working with GreyRidge, Washington Direct Mail processed jobs using largely manual systems. Client paperwork was prepared using standard word processing tools and then re-typed for invoicing, job sheets and other client documentation. Job management was usually controlled by spreadsheets. Technical Director Jon Beasley admits “we had a paperwork problem that we were determined to solve.” It also became clear that without action, new administrative staff might be needed, just to keep on top of things. Jon continues“We knew that we had to find efficiencies as part of our ongoing drive to control costs on behalf of our customers. Great direct mail is all about combining great service with efficient business practices so that the quality and price is right for both sides.”

The Journey

Washington Direct Mail approached GreyRidge in late 2009 to discuss ideas for a new system. After discussing some of their existing processes and paper-based systems, GreyRidge were able to provide a specification for a new software system at the start of 2010. The initial specification concentrated mainly on their core business processes such as client and job management but it also contained ideas for some valuable extras such as a client account area. As the pressure on his administrative staff started to increase, Jon decided to go ahead with the development in April 2010.

System Implementation

The Washington Direct Mail system is primarily designed to improve the administrative processes at the company and to save costs. At the heart of the application is a job management system to manage all of the work that goes through the company. In addition, there is a CRM system to manage potential interest from clients and to store supplier information. The job management system centres around a logical workflow and includes handling of estimates (with the potential to use estimation templates) including lines for postage costs and postage options. Once the estimate is ready it can be directly emailed to the client and automatically stored within the system. Once an estimate is “won”, a job is automatically generated in the system. In turn the created job displays a simple dashboard showing what tasks need to happen on each job and showing staff exactly what the status of each job is. Simple workflow handles things like pro-forma invoices, order acknowledgements, postage payments received, data received, materials received and proofs, completion statements, docket use, what materials remain and automated invoicing; the status of all of these are fed automatically to the job dashboard. The system can record what materials are required and includes Washington Direct Mail inventory for stock control and purchasing. It will also re-estimate jobs, perform docket management and recording as well as set-up deliverables so that deliveries can be split over time. Finally clients can also login online so that they can upload distribution data and approve proofs. The system was delivered on time and has been in use at Washington Direct Mail since summer 2010.

The Future

Jon Beasley is delighted to report “We have been so impressed with the extent and value of our new system. It has completely revolutionised our administrative processes, has reduced costs exactly as predicted and has enabled us to be more accurate and efficient when dealing with clients.” Jon has also been dellighted with the post-live service offered by GreyRidge. In addition to making workflow improvements, Washington Direct Mail added in a documentation library for their quality and best practice documentation. Jon says “the fact that we can continue to work on our system with confidence is one of the big advantages of using GreyRidge; the support and service is excellent, their prices are reasonable while their staff are always fantastically helpful.”