The benefits of a paper magazine wrap mailing solution for multi-component communications

Print Image Network’s Commercial Manager, Simon Milnes, explains why publishing and commercial companies are choosing to use a paper magazine wrap solution to deliver magazines and supplements.

For many years polywrap has been the material of choice for wrapping magazines, catalogues and direct mail. Lightweight, strong and weather-resistant it is extremely effective for keeping different mail pieces together in one combined pack. However, more and more organisations are seeking options which are eco-friendly and sustainable alternatives, such as paper.

“With a current backlash against single-use plastics and the problems surrounding recycling, we’re seeing an increased number of organisations approaching us to discuss alternatives, such as paper magazine wrap.” Says Simon Milnes, Commercial Manager at Print Image Network.

“As a responsible print management company, it’s our business to offer clients more sustainable ways to wrap magazines.”

Print Image Network has one of the largest printing networks in the country and prints everything from electoral stationery to direct mail. “As printing experts, we know that paper magazine wrap isn’t a new solution, however, it is being more widely used because of the resistance to use plastic of any kind.  There are multiple benefits for organisations,” says Simon.

Benefits of paper magazine wrap:

1. Sustainable product: eco-friendly and recyclable (supports ISO14001)

The paper used for our paper magazine wrap solution is FSC and PEFC certified. Unlike polywrap, paper wrap packaging is easily recycled after use. Therefore, its sustainable lifecycle will support any environmental commitments associated with CSR policies or ISO14001 efforts.

2. Endless design and promotional opportunities on the outer wrap

Paper magazine wrap can accommodate any design a client desires, as long as the areas for postal addresses and the postal indicia adhere to Royal Mail’s postage requirements.  From plain block colours to intricate designs and photos, the possibilities are endless.

3. Combined mailing savings (separate mailings in one pack)

Wrapping multiple communications means that postage is only paid once rather multiple times. Polywrap and/or envelope savings can be made as they won’t be required.

4. Can accommodate different size communications (such as A4 and A5)

Typical wraps are A4 and A5, however, our solution can wrap the largest insert if it a bespoke size, enclosing all other inserts neatly into the pack.

5. Machines can accommodate up to 9 different inserts per pack

Paper magazine wrap can fill your pack with up to 9 different inserts.

6. Individual inserts can be personalised

With paper wrap all nine inserts can be personalised, if required.

7. Packs are eligible for Royal Mail’s (cost-effective) Mailmark® service

Paper wrap packs are easier to process by Royal Mails machines (polywrap and eco-alternatives are not) and therefore is subject to the cheaper Mailsort options, which reduce postal costs.

Simon concluded, “It’s no surprise that organisations that have a strong conservation ethos are looking at paper wrap as an alternative solution to polywrap. However, we are getting enquiries from all types of organisations who are exploring the switch in a response to reader feedback, readers who don’t want to see plastic used at all.”

If you are interested in switching to a paper magazine wrap solution, please contact the team at Print Image Network.

Print Image Network excels following Customer Service Excellence review.

electoral stationery provider

Electoral stationery provider achieves ‘Compliance-Plus’ in 13 separate areas of the business.

Electoral stationery provider, Print Image Network, has held the Customer Service Excellence Standard since 2012. Each year the business gets assessed to see if it still meets the criteria set out by the standard.

Following our recent visit, we are pleased to announce that we passed the assessment with an incredible 13 Compliance-Plus awards.

Customer Service Excellence is a government backed industry standard that assesses whether services are efficient, effective, excellent, equitable and empowering, using 57 different criteria. It ensures organisations always put their customers at the heart of their operations.  Print Image Network is the only electoral stationery provider in the UK to hold the standard.

Compliance-Plus relates to areas where we surpass the standard required. These are areas where we show innovation, or where we are considered sector leaders. In the past we have successfully gained Compliance Plus in areas such as customer insight and Corporate Social Responsibility. However, with so many significant customer-facing projects being undertaken by the business, we wanted to highlight many different areas of progress.

We have surpassed the customer service standard for our electoral services in the following areas: –

  1. Providing services which serve hard to reach and disadvantage groups
  2. Consulting with customers to improve services
  3. Analysing the customer experience to improve service
  4. Utilising customer insight to prioritise service improvement
  5. Empowering and encouraging staff to participate and promote customer service
  6. Utilising staff insight to drive processes, policy and service planning
  7. Making product/solution information readily available to customers
  8. Providing information in the format our customers require it
  9. Improved range of communication tools and content for customers
  10. Improved channels of communication for customers
  11. Interacting within wider communities
  12. Consulting a range of stakeholders (including customers) to review our standards
  13. Setting customer satisfaction expectations

In 2018 a company-wide project began to articulate what we believed our core company values were  After a six-month project, the staff at UK Engage defined five core values – commitment, efficiency, knowledge, professionalism and trust. The CSE assessor was delighted to learn that we had implemented this project and is keen to see how it has developed in 12-months time.

“This has been an excellent surveillance 1 visit for electoral stationery provider, Print Image Network (13 Compliance Plus awards) and I would like to thank the organisation its staff, customers, partners and stakeholders for their time during this assessment. I look forward to completing surveillance 2 in January 2020.”
Mick Lynch – CSE Assessor

Poll Card Mailing Options – We’ve got it sorted!

Since it was announced that Royal Mail’s Mailmark service could no longer be used to mail poll cards, there has been lots of talk about Royal Mail’s ‘Poll Sort’ service for poll cards mailings.

In essence, Poll Sort or PCMO (Poll Card Mailing Option), is similar to the previous Walksort product, where mail is sorted and bundled into postal walks. Its specification means electoral services providers must meet the criteria set out by Royal Mail in order to achieve ‘Poll Sort’ for the May polls.

The introduction of the service has provoked debate over the weight (grammage) of card and thickness (microns) of card to use.  The team at Print Image Network has been assuring customers that we will carry out every process without changes to our usual procedure and we don’t intend to alter previous methods of working for our customers.


John Foster, Managing Director, said of meeting the new Royal Mail criteria. “As one of the leading electoral print and mail specialists in the country, we have developed our Poll Card Mailing Options, which we will happily discuss with all councils, should they wish to contact the team to see how we intend to approach this for the May polls.” He continued, “As always, we want to ensure that our customers are not inconvenienced in any way. Their key priority is having problem-free elections with a printer they can trust.”

‘Poll Sort’ has been hotly debated by the Electoral Commission, the Cabinet Office and the Association for Electoral Administrators, in conjunction with the electoral print providers.  The message that Print Image Network is keen to get over to customers ahead of the annual AEA Conference in Brighton, 3-7th February is that they will: –

  • Accept data as per normal (maps can still be incorporated if required)
  • Sort the data into the new required mailing order
  • Personalise the cards – meeting Electoral Commission guidance and Royal Mail criteria
  • Handle the cards to keep create the necessary order
  • Bundle/bag/present the cards to meet Royal Mail specifications
  • Comply with Royal Mail instructions for delivery or collection

To discuss Poll Card Mailing Options with the Print Image Team, please visit Stand 12 if you plan the visit the AEA Conference or call 0161 209 4800.  Alternatively, you can email sales@printimagenetwork.com

Rising to the Challenge at the AEA Conference 2019

Visit Print Image Network at Stand 12 from 3-6th February 2019

AEA Conference 2019

Print Image Network is once again exhibiting at the annual AEA Conference in Brighton, 3 -6th February 2019.  As a leading provider of electoral print solutions, we have supported the Conference and the AEA for many years and once again will be on hand to offer help and advice to electoral administrators from councils across the UK.

The agenda promises a full schedule, including new workshops, not to mention the exhibition where we will be meeting delegates and customers at Stand 12 from the Sunday afternoon.

Providing no fewer than 70 councils across the UK with electoral print solutions, we still have capacity for the May polls and delegates can speak to members of the team to discuss printed postal vote solutions, ballots papers and poll cards – where we can discuss with specificity our ‘poll sort’ poll card mailing options.

We will also have a full range of our grass skirt count solution items.  As 2019 will present more multi-seat elections, we are getting lots of requests for our ‘25’ and ’10’ grass skirts.  Our Small-10 and Large-10 skirts accommodate 10 ballot papers across and 3- 10 candidates down (plus one line for unused votes).  Our Small-25 and Large-25 skirts accommodate 25 ballot papers across and 3-23 candidates down (plus one line for used votes). Our solution also includes summary sheet to suit the 10 & 23 candidate skirts. Plus, we have an excellent grass skirt training video which is available free to councils who purchase grass skirts. 

Also, this year we will be launching our core values. As 2018 was a quieter year on the election front, we decided to formally define and publish our core values, which hopefully you will recognise us for.  Through a series of surveys and workshops our employees selected the values they believe are inherent in our company.  Come along to Stand 12 and find out how our values – Commitment, Efficiency, Knowledge, Professionalism and Trust can benefit your council in stressful election conditions.

We have lots to discuss, so please feel free to come along and speak with the team. You can enter our chocolate hamper competition and you could win an Echo Dot 3rd Generation which is our raffle prize at the Annual Dinner.

We look forward to seeing you at Conference!

You can check out our AEA Profile here>>

ISO-certified print suppliers and the provision of electoral print and mail.

ISO-certified electoral print and mail supplier

Print Image Network looks at how councils can benefit from appointing ISO-certified suppliers, in the provision of electoral print and mail.

 

Selecting the right electoral print and mail partner is of critical importance to UK local authorities. Increasingly, electoral print and mail suppliers are being invited to respond to tenders to explain the credentials they have for carrying out specialist and niche print requirements.

The majority of tenders to which we respond, ask for evidence of any particular accreditations, standards and awards, as by having these helps to provide certain reassurances and reduces business risk.

Working with an ISO-certified electoral print and mail specialist means that its products and services are certified and conform to the minimum standards set internationally, which is important when considering an electoral print and mail provider for Government elections.

The vast majority of responses require ISO 9001 as it demonstrates that our business has the correct quality structures in place to be considered. Likewise, in an age where data security is paramount, holding ISO 27001, is equally important.

ISO 9001

The ISO 9001 certification is internationally recognised as the most established quality framework, focussed on increasing efficiencies, preventing errors and improving customer service.  In the provision of electoral print and mail services, this translates to the assurance that the production of all election stationary, be it postal vote applications, postal votes, ballot papers, poll cards, HEFs, ITRs, confirmation letters and absent voter personal identifiers, is to the highest standard, undertaken by experienced staff, under robust security measures. Tenders will often be awarded to organisations which hold this standard.

ISO 27001

Another key ISO certification that is important in the provision of electoral print and mail is ISO 27001.  Organisations that have this certification can demonstrate to local authorities that they have a framework for securing and protecting confidential, personal and sensitive data, through effective technology, which is a crucial requirement, especially in the compliance of GDPR.

Print Image Network is ISO 9001:2015 & ISO 27001:2013 certified

In Summer 2018, we had our re-certification assessment and we are pleased to say that a successful transition was made to ISO9001: 2015. We maintained our management system in line with the requirements of the standard and demonstrated that we have the ability to systematically achieve the requirements for products and or services, within the scope of our activities and in accordance with our policy and objectives.

Being certified to ISO 9001 & ISO 27001 highlights our ongoing commitment to quality and integrity in the provision of electoral print and mail to local authorities.  To discuss how our accreditations can benefit your business, please contact us on 0161 209 4800 or email us at sales@printimagenetwork.com

To supplement these accreditations, we also hold Investors in People (Silver), The Cabinet Office’s Customer Service Excellence Standard and Cyber Essentials.

Customer Service Excellence – It’s another pass for Print Image Network

Following our third full ‘Customer Service Excellence’ assessment, it’s a pass for Print Image Network

For electoral print and mail provider, Print Image Network, 2017 was a great year for customer service-related accreditations and recognition. We’re pleased to report that we have continued this success into 2018.

Following our third ‘full’ assessment, we have maintained our Customer Service Excellence Standard for demonstrating evidence of exceptional customer service.   The full assessment, which happens every three years, comprises a comprehensive submission to the assessor, followed by an onsite assessment, where staff are interviewed in relation to five key areas:

  1. Customer Insight
  2. The Culture of the Organisation
  3. Information & Access
  4. Delivery
  5. Timeliness & Quality of Service

Our recent pass follows our Investor’s in People re-assessment in 2017, which saw us achieve the Silver Standard, exceeding the industry average in all nine of the performance indicators. The renewal of the Customer Service Excellence Standard further highlights our commitment to our customer-centric ethos.

Steve Power, Services Director and Print Image Network’s Customer Service Excellence Ambassador, said of the assessment news “We are delighted that we have passed our third full assessment. Maintaining the Standard since 2012 is the result of hard work and commitment from the team.  Our council customers trust us to help them through stressful and sometimes complex election periods, our latest pass confirms the procedures and systems we have in place allow us to provide trusted support and excellent service when customers most need it.”

Customer Service Excellence Assessor, Michael Lynch, gave the following statement, “I have assessed Print Image Network Ltd for Customer Service Excellence several times and on my last visit I continued to be very impressed by their attention to detail and customer-centric focus.  The team works very well together and as a result well-coordinated customer service is achieved.”

He continued “I spoke to several customers during the visit and they were effervescent in their praise in relation to the service that they received from Print Image Network Ltd.”

Print Image Network has many exciting initiatives planned for 2018 to further enhance the customer experience.

If you want to find out more about our Customer Service Excellence Standard or our Investors in People accreditation, please download our document ‘Working Together’ Investors in People and Customer Service Excellence: Our customer service journey >>

John Turner joins Print Image Network Ltd as its Electoral & Democracy Specialist

 

Greater Manchester, 1 March 2018

Electoral Print & Mail Specialist, Print Image Network Ltd is delighted to announce that John Turner has joined its team of electoral professionals as its Electoral & Democracy Specialist.

A former Returning Officer, John brings with him a lifetime of electoral experience and has held several pivotal positions, including Chief Executive of the Association of Electoral Administrators, the UK’s leading professional body solely interested in the administration of electoral matters.

John Turner is a highly respected electoral professional and is well-known within the industry.  During his career at the Association of Electoral Administrators, he has worked closely with Government Departments, the Electoral Commission, and other national bodies to improve the administration of electoral matters in the UK.

Before his appointment at the AEA in 2006, John held the position of Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Public and Support Services at Norwich City Council, where he was responsible for Democratic Services and the Elections Office, among other departments. He was also the Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer for the Council until March 2005.

Print Image Network is one of two influential electoral brands business owners John Foster and Stephen Power have established in the UK, since starting the business in 2000. The appointment illustrates their commitment to growing the business in both statutory and non-statutory markets, under the Print Image Network and UK Engage brands.

John Foster, Managing Director and Steve Power, Services Director gave a joint statement regarding the appointment, “We are delighted that John is bringing his years’ of experience to Print Image Network.  John has been involved in electoral administration his entire career and is at the forefront of legislative matters. From his positions at the AEA and local authorities to his consultation, training and oversea electoral ventures, his experience in electoral matters and democracy makes him an excellent fit with our business.”

John Turner said “I am very pleased to be joining John and Steve and the team at Print Image Network and look forward to the new opportunities and challenges that this appointment will bring. I have joined a progressive company at a very exciting time and am already impressed by the ethos of customer service and support which underpins the way in which the organisation operates.”

Contact Print Image Network on:

Tel: 0161 209 4800
Email: customercare@printimagenetwork.com

Showcasing our electoral print solutions at the AEA Conference 2018

Visit Stand 3 and talk to the team about your electoral print requirements, from 4-7th February 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Print Image Network is once again exhibiting at the annual AEA Conference in Blackpool, 4 -7th February 2018.  As a leading provider of electoral print solutions, we have supported the Conference and the AEA for many years.

The agenda promises a full schedule, including more workshops and interactive plenary sessions, not to mention the exhibition where we will be meeting delegates and customers at Stand 3 from the Sunday afternoon.

Providing no fewer than 70 councils across the UK with electoral print solutions, we still have capacity for the May polls and delegates can speak to members of our account management team to discuss printed postal vote solutions, poll cards and ballots papers. Furthermore, our friendly team will be on hand to discuss to canvass, NPRs, PI Refresh and our hybrid mail solution, Network Post.

For customers who are familiar with our team, we have a rota which details when our each of our electoral print specialists will be attending the event, should you wish to drop by and say hello.

Sunday 4th February Monday 5th February Tuesday 6th February
John Foster John Foster John Foster
Steve Power Steve Power Steve Power
Simon Milnes Simon Milnes (AM) Nicola Greaves (AM)
Clara Robinson Dermot Carty (AM) Simon Starkie (AM)
Kelly Mallon (PM) Lisa Sheldon (PM + social night)
Craig Poyser (PM) Sharon Guy (PM + social night)

 

This year, in addition to our usual support, we’re pleased to announce that we’ll be sponsoring the Practical Count Methods workshop, where the AEA team will use our electoral print solutions, including election counting methods, such as grass skirts, count sheets and summary sheets, to carry out the training.

You can check out our AEA Profile here>>

We look forward to seeing you at Conference!

The Print Image Team