This past Sunday was May Day, an annual celebration of spring. But being in the print-to-mail recovery industry, when I hear May Day, I can’t help but think of “mayday,” the internationally-recognized distress signal that’s reserved for emergencies. We thought we would take a moment to describe the processes Mail-Gard has in place and what your responsibilities will be if you ever find yourself in the position of having to invoke a disaster declaration. We believe knowing what will happen can help provide a sense of calm during a stressful time for you and your business.
First, rest assured that we are always ready to help – whether it’s a full scale disaster or a business disruption. As part of our onboarding process, Mail-Gard requests a list of people at your company who are authorized to make a disaster declaration with us, along with corresponding passwords. We return this information to you on our “Declaration Cards” which also include our declaration hotline number, conveniently made wallet size (for quick and easy access). Our toll-free call-in service takes your call 24/7 and alerts our staff of your impending crisis. You will receive a call back from one of our team members. Once we have a better understanding of the nature of your disaster, scope of recovery needed and when data will begin to arrive, we go into action.
While we begin to review your print requirements, insert needs and latest test reports to prepare for your recovery production, you should review the Declarations Procedures document provided to you upon the start of your contract with us. This document details some items that you need to prepare in order for a smooth transition to our recovery solution. Following are some highlights.
Forms, Paper and Materials: Part of your recovery plan should identify how and when to ship materials to your print/mail recovery vendor. While most Mail-Gard customers keep a small amount of stock on hand to use as set up materials, this won’t be enough to complete your production requirements. We tell our customers the best course of action is to have a pre-planned shipment program for each of your required components (paper, pre-printed forms, outside envelopes, reply envelopes, inserts, etc.). Call those vendors and get those materials shipped to Mail-Gard as quickly as possible. We can’t start production until we have the materials.
Postage: You’ve heard the expression “no ticket, no ride.” To stay compliant with USPS procedures we need to address postage funding up front. If metering is your method of applying postage, you will need to provide the funds required. If you use an indicia or permit to mail your documents, you will need to apply for permission to mail from our local postal facility – a simple process but one that needs to be initiated by you, the customer. (The instructions for transferring postage permit authorization are detailed in our Declaration Procedures document.)
Travel: A recovery solution with Mail-Gard includes all the manpower needed to complete your print-to-mail production requirements. However, we highly suggest that supervisors be on site to provide an overview of some of the job details that only comes with long experience with your programs—what we call “tribal knowledge.” We can certainly meet your recovery requirements without any on-site assistance, but it is always a good idea to have someone on hand if possible to answer questions and review your detailed job processes.
Although many more details go into an actual recovery here at Mail-Gard, the above items are key to a smooth recovery process.
While we certainly hope your spring is off to a pleasant start, we know the need to make a disaster declaration can arise at any time. We encourage you to take a moment now to review the Declaration Procedures document and make sure you have everything you need in case the unexpected happens. If you don’t currently work with us, but would like to discuss your print-to-mail disaster recovery needs, please let me know.
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