A Critical Path for Mailing Software
In theory, bringing a technology solution to your business is almost always a good idea. Who wouldn't want to adopt techniques and equipment that can save you and your staff time, labor, and money?
But with many choices in the marketplace, it's hard to know how to select a solution that suits your organization's needs. This is especially true when you're charged with a decision to buy mailing management software.
Shifting government regulations and frequent rate changes increase your marketplace learning curve, lengthening and complicating the decision-making process. But certain landmarks can help mailing software neophytes ensure they're headed down the path.
Prospective concerns tend to boil down to four areas: cost, certification, capabilities, and compatibility. I know this because, as CEO of BCC Software, I sell mailing software, and these are the first few questions that prospective customers ask me, and my competitors, again and again.
Cost is the first concern for most prospective customers—and it's more complicated than the software's sticker price might suggest. Mailing software is typically sold on an annual subscription basis. This is because the USPS regularly changes mail preparation requirements. Mailing software programs have to stay current; vendors need to constantly issue and support updates to keep their customers current. For this, a subscription model works best.
You will find that most leading vendors structure their subscription plans to include first-year product acquisition, setup, and support costs. These items might not be called out as such on a contract or invoice, but costs for the vendors in these areas are higher, sometimes substantially, than in subsequent years of a new customer relationship.
Hence the higher startup costs typically reflected in subscription agreements for mailing software. This added up-front expense increases the need to select the right software program for your company on your first journey into the mailing software marketplace.