2 Min Read

Three Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Purchasing Production Mail Solutions

Is your organization in the market for a new inserter, inkjet printing system, or other specialty solution? Making decisions about your production mail needs starts with a detailed assessment of what your current challenges are. What is holding back efficiency? What are you looking to accomplish? What are the constraints that a new solution could remove? Are there any forecasted business changes that could impact how you look at new solutions? Here are a few common missteps that often affect a purchasing decision.

Buying For Today and Not Tomorrow

A common oversight when looking at new solutions is the ease to look at solutions to solve today’s issues, rather than looking ahead. Do you foresee any transactional mail adjustments made in your business trajectory? Is your production floor onboarding new customers with different mailing formats and workflows? With the recent difficulty of organizations finding equipment operators, does an additional solution impact thruput efficiency as much as anticipated?

Our long-tenured solution experts work with customers daily, discovering and analyzing their operations and addressing their challenges day in and day out. We’ve heard from our team that customers neglecting proper forecasting of business operations can dramatically reduce the effectiveness of a new solution down the road, and we wanted to bring this up as our first potential pitfall. New solutions can be expensive and improperly forecasting operations can impact your organization for a long time if not properly thought through. Our teams are here to help guide you through these changing currents and discover how you can best optimize your mailing experiences both for today and for years to come.

Purchasing Based on Marketing Specs Instead Of Typical Configuration Metrics

This misstep may seem obvious, but it’s just as important to consider. New mailing solutions often are marketed with impressive numbers that help organizations understand the maximum speeds, mail piece thruput, and other processing information that a solution can achieve when efficiency is prioritized. These statistics, while valuable, are not always indicative of users’ specific use cases, workflow setups, or typical job parameters. The size of the job and the number of inserts affect product speed on any machine. More critical are sheets of paper average per envelope. Did you know that a 25 or 26K per hour machine running cutsheet runs the same as an 18-20K per hour machine when average page counts are over 3 sheets?

It’s important to consider this when previewing and purchasing mailing solutions, especially inserters. Bell and Howell’s high-efficiency solutions like the Producer is the most flexible high-speed inserter in the industry. The modularity of the system allows for short footprint, LH and RH configurations, and less footprint translates to higher speeds for a single operator. However, do all jobs run at high speed?  Do we know all the applications planned to be running on the system? It’s important to allow a Bell and Howell expert to spend time engaging with managers, operators, and other key stakeholders familiar with your environment to understand the characteristics of your mailing operations. Their experience often helps guide your organization to an appropriate solution.

Purchasing New Equipment May Not Be the Answer

New next-generation solutions are often the way forward for many organizations. They are crafted and designed to be more reliable, durable, and longer-lasting than their predecessors. Our Bell and Howell mail production solutions use fewer parts and are easier to manage and control. But while the future of the transactional mail industry remains with these unmatched solutions, it may not yet be time for some customers to upgrade based on their unique jobs, growth forecasts, or operational roadmaps.

Improving operational efficiency may as easily be added through reconfiguring already-owned solutions, adding in our IQ Software suite, or confidently upgrading legacy systems with upgrade packages and tech improvements. Our teams in the field can complete field change orders and allow customers to adapt to shifts in their operations.

Our IQ Software suite contains built-in tools that measure efficiency and allow increased visibility into your operating patterns. This software package is designed to guarantee 100% mail integrity and improve job efficiency management and reporting across multiple machines, operators, and shifts. We encourage you to research if these tools may be right for you!


Developing a roadmap for future production mail operations is essential. While new solutions are sometimes an obvious requirement, they may not be for all. Our Bell and Howell production mail experts are standing by to help assist you and help you avoid common mistakes when purchasing new or refurbished equipment. Whichever tools you’re considering, we’d love to be involved and help guide you to finding the ones best for you!

To get in touch with a production mail expert today, fill out our contact form.


Let’s Talk Service Solutions

Want to learn more about Bell and Howell Service Solutions and how we can help your business run better? Let a service solution expert know.