Master Manufacturer: How to Do a Co-Mail Analysis
Generally speaking, a larger pool requires longer mailing time and results in bigger savings. Conversely, smaller pools have quicker mailing times, but may net lesser savings. But this is not always true, as some mailers are running two machines in tandem, thus cutting time in half, and some smaller pools may have excellent mailing partners, resulting in better presorts.
STEP 4. FPR or SSM: Determine Your Preferences
Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, and each publisher will look at them differently.
Publishers that want a firm number for postage costs prefer the FPR method, as do companies who don’t have or want the expertise on staff to understand, manage and/or track the detailed calculations required by the SSM.
The SSM, though more complicated, usually results in lower postage costs (not always). Publisher using the SSM pay for what was actually used.
If a printer is not offering the co-mailing method you prefer, ask for it. Mailers may also have their preferences for which method they use, but will offer both. For example, if you want to use the FPR method, ask them to perform the SSM first. Then ask for an FPR analysis. Chances are they will try to get a similar result as the SSM. They may simply adjust the 10-percent discount to 11 percent or 12 percent. This way you may achieve similar results with the easier system.
STEP 5. Determine Your Real Savings
This is the key element of the entire process. Your real savings will be the difference between what is being proposed and your current costs.
You have your 3541s and know, to the penny, what your current costs are. To determine their baseline costs, printers use the direct-entry method (what it costs to directly enter the mail stream at their location—which is a different entry point from which your current printer uses). Therefore, each bid will have different direct-entry numbers. Chances are that you do not enter the mail stream directly. Your current mailer, if not already co-mailing, probably uses a combination of drop-shipping and co-palletizing, which costs considerably less than direct entry. Therefore, the savings a mailer is proposing to you are likely to appear to be greater than what you would actually save.