The following article has been contributed by The Envelope Works Group, an envelope manufacturer and over-printer, who understand the vital importance envelope packaging plays in providing a top quality envelope solution.
Let us start by asking you a question…
When you are purchasing your plain stock or printed envelopes, or indeed if you are having envelopes manufactured, how much time do you spend questioning your supplier on the quality and structure of the packaging that they will be shipping your envelopes in?
If you are like most people, then the answer will be ‘very little time’ as your focus will be on the price per thousand you paying, the colour matching ability of the printer and the quality of the envelope paper stock.
However, like most things in life, it’s only when something goes wrong that you notice it – and this is commonly the case for the envelope packaging; you only notice that the quality is inferior when your envelope pallets arrive with battered corners or your envelopes start jamming in your fulfilment machines because they have become curved.
Yes, you can get the job done again, but it may mean that essential deadlines are missed.
So, in times when margins are being continuously reduced and envelope suppliers are having to keep finding different ways to win an order, it can be the less visual elements of the job (such as the envelope packaging) where quality is reduced.
How do you know if your supplier is maintaining their packaging quality?
Our first (and most important) recommendation is to visit your supplier.
Inspect their premises and get them to walk you through the exact process that your envelopes go through; receiving the initial artwork, handling sign-offs, booking in the job, creating film, production and print, then finally packaging and logistics.
Talk to the staff and get a feel for their experience, what live jobs are going through the system and see how they are dealt with.
Use this opportunity to see how the supplier implements their ISO and other accreditations (if they have them) and ensure you come away feeling that your envelope orders are handled with the care and attention that you would personally do.
In our opinion, there are still too many envelope orders that are handled remotely with the only communication via email, and when you’re dealing with orders potentially in their millions (with a business value / impact that can become millions of pounds), it is essential that you can feel 100% confident in all aspects of your envelope solution.
What makes good envelope packaging?
Your envelopes should be packaged in a strong box, with a mid-placed cardboard insert (see photo for example). The mid-placed cardboard insert is a simple (yet extremely effective) method of keeping your envelopes perfectly upright during transit, thereby ensuring that they run smoothly through your envelope inserting machines with minimal jamming.
After boxing, your envelopes are stacked onto pallets, which should all have corner reinforcements to ensure the corners of all the boxes are properly protected (see associated photo).
Why choose The Envelope Works Group for your envelope orders?
As well as being a leading envelope manufacturer (through The Reel Envelope Company) the Envelope Works Group is the largest off-set envelope printing group in Europe, purchasing millions of plain stock envelopes every year.
This makes it ideally placed to know what makes good packaging (and also, what makes poor packaging).
As a result of understanding the impact and importance of good quality envelope packaging (plus being ISO 9001 certified) the group has set a clear standard of ensuring that ALL envelopes that leave its dual manufacturing and printing sites are packaged to the highest standards.
Therefore, when you receive your envelope order from The Reel Envelope Company, Ace Envelopes or The Envelope Works, you are guaranteed that your envelopes will be in a sturdy box, with a mid-cardboard insert, within pallets that have been professionally wrapped and contain corner reinforcements.
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