Readers of SpeakingDIRECT tell us they value the consistent and reliable information we provide about many direct marketing topics, especially paper, postage, and tips for success. The current paper market is challenging, but clients know that our combination of mill and merchant relationships means IWCO Direct is a consistent and reliable partner when the market faces supply and capacity challenges.
We have heard many different terms to describe the supply and capacity challenges. There are now references to “allocations” when talking about paper. Allocation occurs when the manufacturer utilizes the historical volumes from the previous year to determine the volumes to be made available to users going forward. In some instances, the term “curtailment” may be used. This describes when a mill reduces the historical volumes used or curtails the amount available to users. For example, a user may only have access to 75% of the volume consumed in the previous year. These conditions continue to add up and reinforce the need to stay informed, plan ahead, and consult with marketing and production partners like IWCO Direct to ensure you are navigating this market wisely.
What You Can Do to Meet Paper Market Challenges
The best way to cope with the current market and be positioned for success is a three-step process:
- Plan well in advance of need: the more lead time we have, the better opportunity we will have to obtain your preferred paper through our mill and merchant relationships;
- Be consistent in the volume and timing of your mailings: predictability is an advantage when tonnage is allocated and lead times are longer;
- Keep your commitments: ordering what you need and needing what you order will smooth some of the market volatility and ensure we all have the paper we need available when we need it.
We know we face challenges now, but we have faced challenges before. We expect conditions to balance out later in the year and as we move into 2019. For the latest update on the paper market, do not hesitate to contact your IWCO Direct account team or reach out to me by clicking here.
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