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Pushing the Envelope Beyond Ordinary

Elite Envelope Goes Solar!

Posted by Jerry Velona on Dec 14, 2016 12:33:24 PM

So I was shocked twice this morning.  First, when I realized I hadn’t written a blog entry in over a month (I know, I know you’ve all been sitting at your desks each morning wondering where it’s been). And secondly when I looked at the calendar twice to see that it’s indeed December 14th and Christmas is next Sunday(!)  

 Rather than try to explain the inexplicable; i.e. how another year has apparently come and almost gone, I’m going to jump right into the topic of the day which is the value of renewable energy in the printing and envelope industry and the importance of accurate claims in this regard.

 As anyone who follows this blog is aware, I’ve been skeptical of the claims made by some of our competitors that a particular envelope was manufactured or printed using wind power.  In fact, “skeptical” may not be the right word.  “Dismissive” might be more accurate.  The way this works is that a company will purchase what are known as Renewable Energy Credits or REC’s.  These represent a purchase of a certain amount of power that is actually produced by a random wind farm somewhere in the US. The theory is that the power once purchased goes into the grid and is available for use by someone/anyone.  So this energy is thought to replace power that would have been produced using conventional fossil fuels.

I’ve always thought this to be a bit squirrelly and you can read why here.   But I’ve also said that if you really want to make a difference and think that renewable energy is important, then by all means put your money where your mouth is and you’ll get no quarrel from me.

That’s what we’ve done at Elite Envelope & Graphics.  As of the beginning of 2017, we will begin generating somewhere between one half and three quarters of our total energy consumption through an array of solar panels that we’ve just installed on our brand new roof.

Elite Solar JV standing.jpg  

To be honest, our primary reason for doing this was economics.  Between the incentives provided by the Federal and State governments, the system will pay for itself in a fairly short time after which our monthly savings on electricity will be substantial well into the future. And once all the impending breakthroughs in large, storage battery technology I’ve been reading about come to fruition, it’s possible that we could be completely self-sufficient in our energy usage in the not-too-distant future.

But aside from the economics,  there are certainly environmental benefits to consuming less fossil fuel and we will now be in a position to print this (below) on our customer’s envelopes and have it be literally accurate.  There’s a lot to be said for truth in advertising!   Let us know if we can help you impress your customers.

Solar Power Logo Sun.jpg

 

Topics: elite envelope, envelope printing, envelope manufacturing, going green

Envelope Manufacturing at the Smithsonian

Posted by Jerry Velona on Oct 17, 2016 3:22:07 PM

On September 13th, the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum launched a new virtual exhibition, "America's Mailing Industry", telling the story of the partnership between the U.S. Postal Service and private industry, which together have helped American citizens and businesses communicate and conduct business for more than 200 years.

old_post_truck_picture.jpg

The website is very well done and contains a great deal of historical information about mail, direct mail, the Post Office and the various businesses that support mail communication and delivery.  With regard to envelope manufacturing there are many interesting tid-bits about how envelopes used to be made (by hand mostly) and the advent of the first machines which could get up to 150 envelopes per hour (!).

Aside from envelope companies, printers are well represented and there’s a neat little summary of the history of printing in the United States marked by the various technological improvements along the way.  There are additional sections on letter shops, paper companies, graphic designers, non-profit fundraisers, newspaper publishers, catalog and mail order companies and many more. Each section has a succinct description of the business, its history and how it relates and the contribution it makes to the flow of mail.

I’ll admit to having some mixed feelings when reading through the site.  Usually when you say something “belongs in the Smithsonian” it means it’s a historical artifact of a bygone era. For instance I’ve driven some cars that looked like they “belonged in the Smithsonian”. (and had a lot of fun driving them I might add).  Those of us in the print, mail and envelope industries spend a lot of time talking about how the industries are still relevant in the digital age – and they are.  Print, paper and mail are still the medium of choice by millions for selling and communicating. But there is that nagging thought that the industries are not what they were 50 or even 20 years ago and that maybe the next step is to start writing the history as if they are in the past tense. 

So seeing our industry featured in a Smithsonian exhibit (in a web site no less!) can stir some of those thoughts.  But the Smithsonian also features exhibits on the aerospace industry and other thriving businesses.  Its purpose is to provide history and context and demonstrate what initiative and ingenuity can do through individual and cooperative effort.

modern_postal_facility.jpg

I urge you to check it out at the link above.  Now it’s time for us in the business to get back to making more history!

Topics: direct mail, post office, envelope manufacturing

Envelopes and Print in the Digital Age

Posted by Jerry Velona on Oct 6, 2015 11:19:00 AM

I just happened to catch the last part of the Nightly News last night; something I used to do with some frequency along with many others.  The final segment was about the resurgence of music on cassette tape and it brought a smile.  It featured a company that has now virtually cornered the market on cassette reproduction through buying a lot of the equipment that became available cheap when other companies bailed thinking it was a dying industry.  Phrases like “cassette culture” were bandied about mostly in relation to “hipsters” who wanted to hear their music on tape as a reaction to the ubiquity of streaming and other forms of virtual consumption. The current sales numbers mentioned seemed substantial but I have no idea how they compared to what cassette sales were not that long ago. My hunch is that this was one of those news segments looking for a hook on which to hang a pre-scripted narrative.  Portable cassettes were an advance from the more cumbersome reel to reel and the often malfunctioning 8 track formats.  In retrospect they seem to be more of a transition product between the classic vinyl record and the compact disc.  Their only legacy is the phrase “mix tape” which is now used in other contexts.  I can’t see them ever becoming more than a trendy niche. 

As I write this I happen to be listening to one of my favorite terrestrial radio stations, WFUV out of Fordham University in NY.  Seeing as how I’m based in the Boston area, I’m listening on my computer. FUV is a public station and so must subject us to periodic on-air fundraising. In selling themselves, they regularly mention how superior good radio is to the streaming services where you hear only what you want. I’m a big fan of radio so I’m already sold on that pitch.  But there’s a reason why streaming has become the music delivery vehicle of choice to a significant portion of the listening public.

Envelopes and Mail in the digital age

If you’ve stuck around this far, you’re probably wondering when this preamble (and I do mean amble…) will crystallize into, oh like…a point maybe?  Well, here goes:  In the marketplace, envelopes and print are in a similar position to radio and to a lesser extent, the cassette tape. We are in a period of great upheaval and transition.  Financial institutions are pressing to convert customers to the digital delivery of statements, proxies and other forms which were traditionally mailed.  When I told my thirty-something offspring that I still paid bills with checks in the mail, they reacted as if I went to the backyard to pump my water. The ubiquity of smart phones and apps for nearly everything is becoming the new norm. The Post Office continues its slow-motion implosion by using the necessary budget cuts to worsen service at the very time when envelope manufacturers and printing companies need faster delivery in order to compete.

Direct mail is still a very viable method for companies to market their products.  But it’s now just one option among many and a more expensive one at that.  Studies show the ROI justifies the cost but that can be a tough sell at the conference table when expenditures are being monitored carefully.

But like the public radio pitch, there is value in what we do.  Nothing on a computer screen makes an impression like a printed piece.  Colleges understand this when they send out letters (my 16 year-old daughter is getting several of them a week from prospective suitors) and beautifully printed, full-color catalogs. 

We need to use the wonderful world of technology to make us more productive so we can establish our niche and remain viable within a reasonable cost structure.  I’ve just finished producing a video which will be a “virtual tour” of our facility.  I’m certainly not the first one in the envelope industry to do this but it makes sense as a way to reach a broader potential audience and market for our products. I’ll be following that up with a series of shorter instructional videos about envelope converting, web printing and envelope printing in general. This will allow younger buyers who may not have the knowledge base and experience that print buyers had in the past to better understand what’s possible and what might make sense for them.

E mail marketing, that bane of the direct mail world, should be used as fast way to stay in touch, make short announcements and follow up on printed pieces that have been sent to establish connections. Of course social media is the new darling in marketing circles. I’m not convinced that it’s worth the investment of time at least in the world of envelope converting and commercial printing. There may be some small printers who want to establish a very personal connection to their customers.  But for the most part, having a high profile on search engines is going to get you more orders than a like on Facebook or someone pinning a picture of something they bought from you on Pinterest.

So this is not another lament about the demise of printing.  Reports of that have been greatly exaggerated in my opinion.  The next ten years can be a time of growth as we adjust to the new realities of the market and customer demands. Using technology to our advantage to win new customers and increase market share must be a big part of that effort. There’s still a lot of life in radio and envelopes and printing.  Maybe I’ll make a mix tape of our greatest hits?..Naaah!

Topics: direct mail, elite envelope, envelope manufacturing, envelope converting, web printing

Envelope and Web Printing Picture Day

Posted by Jerry Velona on Aug 19, 2013 11:12:00 AM

The last time we had pictures taken of the plant, staff and equipment was almost four years ago. That didn’t seem possible but, as we all know, in the world of print schedules and crazy customer deadlines and demands, time passes quickly.

In the interim period Elite Envelope joined forces with Web Corp making us the only company in the region which manufactures and prints envelopes as well as produces four-color cold-web printing under the same roof.  We needed new photos to show the range of our capabilities so we scheduled a shoot with Jonas Kahn, a very creative Boston-area photographer who had taken many of our previous pictures.

We were hoping for a nice, sunny day so we could get some new shots of the outside of our building (new paint job!) as well as a group photo of the entire staff (now almost 30 people).  However, as anyone who’s from around here knows, it’s hard to pin down a sunny day a month in advance. The rain and clouds forced us to confine the pictures to the inside which still got us most of what we needed.

One of the nice things about taking equipment pictures is it allows you to actually focus (yes, I know…) on the things you’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on as a business owner. As I alluded to earlier, the age of high-speed communication and instant gratification gives us approximately zero time to reflect and consider and, perhaps admire the things we’ve achieved and purchased with the fruits of our persistent and frenetic effort.

web printing photo

Jonas enjoys taking pictures of the web presses and envelope converting machines from odd angles which show the various functions in ways that you probably wouldn’t notice.  Our eight color web prints 4/4 and has a turn bar in the middle. As the stock is flying through the machine with perfectly calibrated and measured process inks being applied, the press automatically flips the paper around so that the back portion can be printed at the same time. This is all done at a speed that’s only a blur when viewed with the naked eye in real time but when you stop time with a photograph, you can appreciate the technical wizardry and complexity of the machinery.

The envelope converting equipment runs at slower speeds than the webs but seeing the various stations in action close-up causes one to think. The printing world has embraced the digital age and the quality and options and procedures there have changed alot: no more film and stripping; direct to plate, etc. However, there are not too many different ways to cut, fold and glue a piece of paper into an envelope and the fact that our business thrives by doing things in the time-honored fashion gives a sense of the timelessness of the process and a connection in our industry to folks who were doing thesame thing 50 years ago or more.

Now maybe none of this is that big of a deal, but I happen to think it is. It’s part of our nature to take things for granted and the result is we become blasé about the many technological marvels that are part of our daily lives. Maybe the fact that I’m not that technically oriented causes me to think this way. But I think it’s more important than ever for us to pause occasionally and take a few minutes to appreciate we’ve done and are, hopefully, continuing to do.

Taking pictures not only helps us to communicate our accomplishments to the public; but also to ourselves.  And yes, we will get a sunny day eventuallyfor the outdoor shots!

Topics: elite envelope, envelopes and printing, envelope manufacturing, envelope converting, cold web printing, web printing

Envelope and Print Diversification – Our Only Hope?

Posted by Jerry Velona on Jan 7, 2013 11:27:00 AM

Happy New Year everyone!  We’re all another year older but at least we’re now in the teens year wise. That makes the decade a lot easier to describe. Remember the “aughts”?   And, of course, we’ve made it through the Mayan calendar end of world. Personally, I place a lot more credence on the predictions of the Farmer’s Almanac.

Is this just a clever set-up for my predictions for the envelope, printing and paper industries? Alas, I have none. I know, you’re saying, this is a blog; take a risk!  Well, the truth is; I have no idea and neither does anyone else really. I think we should acknowledge what we know to be true and that is the industries are shrinking mostly due to digitalization. But I also think it’s safe to say that the industries will not be disappearing any time soon. Printing and mailing will be with us for the future in some significant measure.

So, how do the average envelope company and printer not only survive but actually grow? Well, you can still lure your competitor’s top sales person away with a better offer. That can help a bit until he or she is lured away from you!  You can redouble your efforts to exploit the full potential of business from your existing customer base. You can also use the same technology that has resulted in declining print usage to increase your market share. Those are all valid approaches.

However, I believe the most effective approach to manage the decline for the long term is to diversify our product offerings. I was just reading an investment report on Cenveo which is one of the largest envelope companies around. Since the late 90’s they have been buying label companies and printers in order to increase market share. Lately they have become a player in the growing shrink-labeling market for food products; bottles and such.

Few of us have the resources and capital of a Cenveo allowing us to pull something like that off. But we can use the same approach on a smaller scale in our markets or regions. My company Elite Envelope recently acquired Web Corp; a cold web printer to the trade for 15 years.  We had a relationship with them both as a vendor and a customer.  We found that many of our direct mail customers were buying the type of print products produced very cost-effectively on the webs. Somewhat to our surprise, we also found many of our sheet-fed printer customers outsourced certain jobs to the webs because they were better-suited to run that way.

Elite Envelope cold web printing

So, we decided that being able to offer those cold-web printed products under the same roof as our envelope converting and envelope manufacturing and printing services made sense as a way for us to provide more to our existing customers with no conflict. 

We’ve just begun the process of integration but thus far, results are positive and we believe we have done something constructive that will increase sales, market share and, hopefully, the value of our company.

Ultimately, we can and must focus on those things we can control. The fate of the envelope and printing industry will play itself out. In the meantime, the more things we can do for our customers, the better.

 As always, your thoughts are most welcome.

Topics: printing and envelopes, envelope printing, envelope manufacturing, envelope converting, cold web printing, web printing

Elite Envelope adds printing capabilities

Posted by Jerry Velona on Oct 8, 2012 11:55:00 AM

Building picture small file

Elite Envelope & Graphics, Inc. is the full name. It’s been that way since we started the company almost nine years ago in December of 2003.  Dave and I formed Elite because at the time there was no envelope converter in greater Boston.  That came about after what was then Mailwell Envelope closed the Northeastern Envelope plant after they had purchased the company in the late 90’s.  Northeastern Envelope had been in business since the mid 1940’s. It was a family owned business located just across the street from the old Boston Garden. In the mid 80’s the Shamroth family sold the company and the new owners moved to Braintree, MA, just south of Boston.

Dave Theriault began working at Northeastern right after getting his Bachelor’s degree in Business at Babson College. He eventually became the General Manager.  I started working in sales at Northeastern in 1988 and Dave and I soon began working on some the company’s key accounts as a team.

Northeastern Envelope remained profitable and viable till the day it was closed down. The company employed around 40 and they soon became casualties of Mailwell’s inability to consolidate all the companies it bought during the dot-com boom of the mid-to-late 90’s.  Dave and I along with a couple of other Northeastern managers made Mailwell  an offer to purchase the company but we were rebuffed.

It was shortly thereafter that we decided to start Elite Envelope & Graphics to fill the void created by Northeastern’s demise.  We had a built-in pool of top-shelf staff from Northeastern who were very excited to come to work for us. They are all still with us nearly 10 years later.

Envelope converting, envelope manufacturing and envelope printing have been our core business. Most of our work comes through trade customers and resellers; much of that from printers.  We added the “Graphics” part to our name from the start as we have been able to work with our customers on their pre-converting print requirements.  One of the companies we relied on for this was Web Corp which has several cold web Didde presses one of which prints up to 8 colors.  Now, we have joined forces with Web Corp and have become one of the few companies that can supply both the printed sheets and the converted envelopes both produced under the same roof.  

The cold web presses have some limitations; the main one being the only print on uncoated stock.  The quality is excellent but not comparable to the larger sheet fed presses at most commercial printers. So, we are NOT looking to compete with those printers, many of whom are our good customers.  We simply saw this as a way to complement our existing business and make us stronger and more viable as a result.

In today’s print market, the companies that survive must be able to deliver more than one product and service. Many of our customers have gone that route. We are excited about the joint venture with Web Corp and the ability to provide many of our direct mail customers with a single-source solution for their print and envelope needs.  We will be formally announcing the merger/acquisition over the next couple of weeks and providing more information to our customers on a one-by-one basis.

We want to be around in another ten years to remark the on the continued evolution of the print market. In the meantime, I’d love to hear your comments on what we’ve done at Elite Envelope & Graphics, Inc.

Topics: direct mail, elite envelope, envelope printing, envelope manufacturing, envelope converting, cold web printing, direct mail solutions

Custom Envelope Manufacturing Tips

Posted by Jerry Velona on Sep 26, 2012 10:13:00 AM

Elite Envelope is one of six remaining envelope manufacturers in the six New England states.  Nationally, the number of companies that actually make envelopes is shrinking due to lower overall demand but it is still a robust industry with dozens of plants spread throughout the country.  When you’re dealing directly with an envelope converter or manufacturer (same thing ) ordering  a custom envelope for a specific requirement is a fairly straightforward process. However, there are some things to keep in mind and here are a few of them:

Elite Envelope manufacturing

Quantity: - Many companies will enforce a 5,000 minimum for special-make envelopes.  Like most orders in the printing and envelope industry, the set-up for the job is a significant part of the total cost and it takes around five thousand impressions or envelopes to amortize that expense.  This means that if you order fewer than 5,000, assuming the company will allow for it, you’re really paying just about the same price overall that you would have for the 5,000.  At Elite, we will make fewer than 5,000 but there would be a minimum charge regardless of the quantity.  Some customers will just have us make 5,000 since they are in effect paying for them anyway.

Window Size,Position and Type: - If you’re designing a custom envelope with a window, it’s good to keep in mind that the edge of the window can be no closer than 3/8” to any edge of the envelope. This is because the patch that covers the window needs at least that much space to be glued properly.  Window sizes can run from full view which exposes virtually the entire front panel to small circles or special sizes and shapes (my favorite is the butterfly shape we used for a non-profit nature organization’s mailing).  Window material ranges from the most common synthetic poly to the bio-degradable corn-based product.

Size and Construction - When designing a custom envelope, the size is going to be driven mostly by what goes inside. It’s good to keep in mind the wide variety of standard sizes that might be close to what you’re looking for. It’s always going to be less expensive to use a stock item if possible.  Elite Envelope has a pocket guide which among other things lists all of the standard sizes. We’d be happy to send you one with our compliments. Simply click here.  It’s also a good idea to keep in mind the postage requirements based on certain size envelope. Elite Envelope Manufacturing

Function: - Lastly, if your envelope requires automated inserting, the specs of your particular inserter should be consulted to ensure that what you are designing will function properly.  All equipment varies with regard to what is acceptable.  The most important aspects to check are the size and shape of the flap and the depth of what is called the “throat”. That is distance between the flap score or fold and where the back panel of the envelope begins. In my experience, I’ve found that the smaller the inserter, the more careful you need to be about these aspects as they tend to be more temperamental with fewer adjustment options.

Topics: elite envelope, envelope manufacturing, envelope manufacturer, envelope questions, envelope buying guide

Envelope Construction: Diagonal Seam or Side Seam?

Posted by Jerry Velona on May 7, 2012 10:56:00 AM

The way an envelope is manufactured can affect how it is used or how it looks to the recipient.  One of the methods offered by envelope converters to tailor the envelope for a particular use is by making them with either side seams or diagonal seams.

The “seams” of an envelope are located in the back behind the flap. All commercial size envelopes are made with one style or the other depending on certain factors. The three main factors to consider are the quantity being made, whether the mailing will be hand or machine-inserted and lastly how the envelope will be printed.

The diagrams below illustrate the look of both construction types. The image directly below is the diagonal seam and the one below that shows the side seam.

diagonal seam envelope diagram2 resized 600

side seam envelope diagram resized 600

Diagonal seam envelopes are pre die-cut and then folded and glued in a separate process.  Side seam envelopes can be made that way as well and typically are when the order quantity is below 100,000 or so.  Side seam construction is more typical and common on large runs because they are made on web-style equipment. The web folding machine uses cutting knives to trim the paper before folding as part of one complete in-line process.  Web machines also typically run at faster speeds than die cut machines which reduces the cost per thousand

With regard to automated inserting; diagonal seam envelopes tend to perform better with most inserters, especially those on the small to mid-size range. Larger and more sophisticated inserters can accommodate side seam envelopes with no problems although some operators still prefer diagonal seams.  The rule here would be to know what the inserting application might be and what equipment is being used before deciding on which style of envelope to use. It’s never a bad idea to run a test beforehand especially if the style of construction is being changed.

The other major factor to consider when choosing the construction style of your envelope is the printing; more specifically, the printing on the back. As the diagram shows, the side seam style allows for a smooth, fold-free- panel on the back portion of the envelope. If your design requires significant printing coverage in that area which cannot be fit in between the folds and creases of the diagonal seam construction, then side seam is the way to go.  While envelopes can be printed over diagonal seams, printing over the seams can cause ink build-up and gaps in the graphic images; not a good look for sure.

Consulting an envelope converter beforehand on your particular project can save you from problems after the fact. Just click here  and the experts at Elite Envelope will be happy to help you figure things out for best results.  

Topics: elite envelope, envelope manufacturing, envelope converting, envelope die cutting, diagonal seam envelope, side seam envelopes

Small Quantity Envelope Converting – Does it make sense for printers?

Posted by Jerry Velona on Mar 26, 2012 10:56:00 AM

Envelope converting can be tricky. As I’ve explained in a number of previous posts, there are specific ways to go about it and pitfalls to avoid.  Over the years I’ve found that some printers will avoid taking orders from their customers that would entail envelope converting because of uncertainty about the process and a lack of confidence in the outcome.  I suppose I shouldn’t complain because many of those printers tell me this after they’ve referred their customer to deal with us directly. However, I always tell the printer that he’s losing out on a potential order for no good reason.

 Elite Envelope converting

There are some envelope companies out there that can make the rest of us look bad. I suppose that’s true in any industry.  In the envelope world, there are many companies with the word envelope in their name which are not actual manufacturers. They will typically print envelopes but any converting will have to be outsourced.  Sometimes the personnel at these companies are not familiar with the process so getting a converting order from one of their customers can result in some communication problems which can, in turn, lead to a bad outcome.  At Elite, we know the right questions to ask so that usually doesn’t happen. But in general it’s better for a printer to deal directly with a converter if you want the job done properly.

Which leads me to the question du jour: What if I only need a thousand or so of a four color envelope?

Well the short answer is, no problem. With four-color, short run digital printing now so commonplace, the demand for a thousand or two #10 envelopes to go with a letterhead order is increasing. Printers can run  #10 diagonal seam regulars one up on an 11 x 17 sheet or 2 up on a 12 ½ x 19 sheet on a digital press and send them over for converting for a reasonable lot charge.  At small quantities this is more economical than setting up the job on an offset press and it allows for the printing to match on all components which is important.

So printers, don't hesitate to take that order which includes a small quantity of four color envelopes. Find yourself a good converter and once you've done it a couple of times, you'll see that it can be a fairly straightforward process.  It just might open up a new source of business for you. These days, that's nothing but good.

I’d be interested to hear about any of your small run converting experiences. 

Topics: elite envelope, envelope manufacturing, envelope manufacturer, envelope converting, envelope converting tips, digital envelope printing, envelope converting process

Envelope & Print Broker Protection – How far?

Posted by Jerry Velona on Mar 5, 2012 11:10:00 AM

July of 2012 will mark my 24th year in the envelope industry.  In the summer of 1988, I started working for Northeastern Envelope Manufacturing in Braintree, MA. In my previous job as a purchasing and marketing manager, Northeastern was one of my main suppliers and I got to know one of the owners, Jerry Mitchell who offered me an opportunity in sales which I thought would be a better fit for me, not to mention more potentially lucrative.

One of the more depressing aspects of being in purchasing is seeing one of your vendor reps early on a beautiful, sunny Friday afternoon and having  him tell you, sometimes sheepishly, sometimes not,  that he will be heading for the golf course after your meeting.  Of course, you, Mr. Purchasing Manager, must remain at your desk until the clock strikes five, if not later.  Even though I don’t play golf, I decided that my life would take a turn for the better being one of those guys so I grabbed the envelope sales opportunity and never looked back.

Starting in envelope sales was an eye-opening experience in many ways. My first two weeks were spent on the production floor working with the mechanics, operators and printers. I came to understand not only how hard they work but all of the attention to detail and focus required to make and print an envelope of high-quality.  Once I (thankfully) got on the road, one of the most frustrating things I faced was that Northeastern already had many established customers who were printers, forms brokers or just re-sellers of all kinds.  

elite envelope manufacturing

I was finding that more than a few of my cold calls were to companies that we were already selling through brokers.   My boss, Mr. Mitchell had a simple unwavering answer to all such situations; we won’t quote them directly.  As frustrating as this could be, I understood that it was for the best and ultimately found a lot of other companies out there that we weren’t already selling so it all worked out.

Northeastern Envelope went out of business around ten years ago. Elite Envelope was started shortly thereafter and we employ many of the old Northeastern crew. We also do business with many of its customers; including some of the same brokers.  Our policy in this matter is also ironclad: once we get an order from a printer, print broker or distributor of any kind, all business from the end user is protected without question. Occasionally we will have done an order for the end user directly before getting one from the broker. In that case, we will no longer deal directly once the order from the broker is received.  Sometimes there are grey areas. But we will always err on the side of protecting the distributor; even if it might mean fewer opportunities for us overall. 

A company’s reputation in the market is one of its most valuable assets; and from an ethical standpoint doing good is its own reward, at least that’s how we look at it.  Protecting the business received indirectly through a broker or distributor without exception is the right thing to do. Any company that disregards that or tries to fudge it is making a mistake. You might gain an order but you’ll lose your credibility and put future business in jeopardy.  Having distributors sell for you can be a great way to boost your business without putting sales reps on the payroll. Treat people well and they will be loyal to you. That’s kind of how it works in business and in life.

Now some of my favorite people in the world are purchasing officers.  And, despite what many think, once you own your own company, you rarely can afford to take off early on a Friday afternoon. Funny how life sometimes brings you back to where you were in the most unexpected ways!

Topics: elite envelope, envelope printing, envelope manufacturing, envelope sales, protecting print brokers and distributors

Yet Another Blog Post

From Jerry Velona - co-owner,

Elite Envelope & Graphics, Inc.

Jerry offers pertinent, often useful information on envelope converting and printing, web printing, direct mail, the post office, songs that have to do with mail and letters, digital overload and much more!

(Non-spam) Comments always appreciated.  Spread it around!

 

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