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With the announcement of a recession earlier in the year and predictions of a general election in Autumn, it can be expected that businesses are finding themselves in uncertain times, which impacts on decisions, timings and budgets.  

When it comes to cost savings, many companies believe that they have done all they can and have ‘tightened the belts’ as far as they will go. It’s often the larger costs that are removed first, then followed by those that are considered less of a priority.

In situations like this, before long, organisations find that they are working with a skeleton staff and using equipment that is adequate. There are no longer support systems in place, investment is put on hold and employee wellbeing is a forced issue as people inevitably take time off sick.

Improving Efficiencies for Business

Ian Forster, Sales and Marketing Director at FDM Document Solutions, explains that the answer to some of the problems could be closer to home than businesses realise.

He comments: “When we challenge companies about the model that they have in place, the response is often that this is the way that they have always done it. When you work for a business, it can be difficult to see inefficiencies, even when they are obvious to others.

“Take print and mail rooms as just one example. It’s not just the cost of the resource when businesses have a print and mail room, it’s the paper, envelopes, print consumables, stamps and franking costs, on top of the equipment and continuous investment in maintenance. Office space comes at a huge cost and many organisations are actively looking to reduce their operational footprint, which can also generate additional savings.

“When calculated, the total cost to process each letter internally including postage can range from anything between £1.98 and £4.50 per letter when all costs are factored in.

Considering Alternative Practices 

Despite these costs, companies still believe that processing in-house is more efficient than outsourcing to a specialist. Often because historically, this has been the case, and they are no longer aware of updated alternatives.

Ian comments: “We have done a lot of work to evidence that it is more efficient to outsource print costs than it is to manage this process in-house. After all, there are the printing click charges, enclosing, posting documents and document management to consider. Furthermore, the postal costs. Put simply, a business will never get the competitive rates that a professional mailing house will have access to.”

Reviewing All Costs

With so many changes that will impact on budgets, such as national minimum wage increases which came  into force from April, it can be presumed that factors such as postage are not considered a priority. Ian explains why this could be a costly mistake for SMEs.

He comments: “There is a lot to juggle when you run a business and more routine day to day processes can often be overlooked. After all, the real savings that can be made through switching to an outsourced service go unexplored.

“During covid, businesses had no choice but to move to remote services, such as hybrid mail. All they needed was a laptop and an internet connection. The system could process the rest for them. Those that put this in place never went back.

“Almost by default, they received the savings that come with hybrid mail. Putting the postage into context, a business can send an entire document for the cost of a single stamp and the resource that was required to manage the process can be redirected to more valuable tasks.

“As hybrid working practices continue, hybrid mail, as the name would suggest, supports remote working as multiple users can access the system and it will ensure all documents are consistent and standardized.”

Innovative Ways of Working  

With budgets remaining tight and companies having to consider increasingly innovative ways that they can remove costs from their bottom line, it could be that moving to a hybrid system is the first step they should take before considering more drastic action.

Ian concludes: “Hybrid Mail systems, such as Hi-mail from FDM Document Solutions, have been developed with the intention of reducing costs and improving efficiencies. As the cost-of-living crisis continues to impact on us all, businesses need to decide if it is worth continuing regardless or exploring the options.

“Hi-mail does allow customers to generate documents efficiently and at a hugely discounted rate. FDM’s expert, purpose-built production systems and postal optimisation solution reduce these costs to around 54p plus per item on average for a standard A4 letter into a C5 envelope, so customers can make immediate, large-scale savings by switching to Hi-Mail.”

FDM Document Solutions

With ambitions to become the UK’s leading supplier of outbound and inbound communications to local authorities and the wider public sector, this is a further success story for FDM.

FDM Document Solutions is one of the UK’s leading print and mail companies, providing comprehensive document solutions for its customers. With more than 30 years’ experience, through innovative thinking and new technologies, it manages the way large-scale multi-channel communications are delivered, reducing printing, mailing and postage costs.

For more information about FDM Document Solutions, please visit or contact a member of the team on tel. 020 7055 1600.