Resources

Customer education

We offer personalized customer education to introduce you to new services and you use our current services more effectively. We will be happy to come to your office to answer any questions you have about KC Presort and how we can meet your mailing, finishing and distribution needs.

Tours

We gladly offer tours of our main facility from 9:30 a.m to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The tours are designed not only to show you our facilities, but also to help you visualize the steps your mailing project goes through in production.

If you would like to tour our facilities, please call ahead to schedule an appointment.

When calling to schedule a tour, please let us know:

Your name, company and telephone number or e-mail address

The number of people attending

Whether you would like a full tour or a condensed version

Any special areas of interest

You will have the best experience if you limit the size of your group to no more than five people. However, we will be happy to work with you to accommodate larger groups.

Training

KC Presort also offers training to help you make the most of our services. Whether you want a class for your entire staff or one-on-one instruction, we will be happy to work with you to create a customized training session that meets your needs.

For more information

If you would like a member of our customer education staff to visit you, or are interested in receiving training or scheduling a tour, please contact Leslie Russel at 913-432-0866 or <leslie@kcpresort.com>.

Money-saving tips

The following information offers several basic tips for saving money on your next project. Your customer service representative will be happy to give you additional information on ways to produce your job efficiently without sacrificing usefulness or effectiveness.

Reduce the number of pages.

The number of pages significantly affects the cost of your printing project. You can save money by using the fewest pages possible. Printing on both sides of the sheet will save paper while it reduces your printing costs. Adjusting line spacing, font sizes and the number of graphics will also help you streamline your document. However, be careful not to become so concerned with limiting your page count that you forget about the end user. Saving a few dollars on printing doesn't mean very much if your customers can't use the finished item easily.

Design with standard formats.

Printed products can be unique and visually interesting without relying on complicated formats or expensive materials. You can keep costs to a minimum by using standard format sizes, stock ink colors and readily available paper. Not only will using standard materials save you money, it will ensure that we can produce your job within the desired time frame. Your customer service representative will be happy to provide you with information on standard materials and formats to help avoid unnecessary costs.

Eliminate alterations after proofing.

Changes made to your order once work has begun will add to both the cost and turnaround time of the job. Double-check your printing request before submission to make sure you've specified the proper materials and that all the instructions are correct. It's a good idea to have another person in your office that is familiar with printing look over your order as well. Review proofs carefully and mark changes clearly. If an item is missed on the proof that makes it necessary to reprint the order, you will be responsible for the additional charges.

Use KC Presort mailing services.

You can save up to 53 percent on postage for your bulk mailings by taking advantage of our mail services. Your address lists are sorted and CASS certified to receive the lowest postage rates available. We'll also process your address data to eliminate duplicates and update addresses for recipients who have moved. Our equipment will insert your mailing into envelopes automatically and imprint addresses with USPS barcodes directly onto the mail piece. Just think, not only will you reduce mailing costs, you'll also free staff time previously spent on mailings.

Plan for sufficient turnaround time.

Shorter turnaround times almost always lead to higher mailing and printing costs because of extra expenses for overtime and rush material orders. Please allow a minimum of two to three working days for simple orders. If you're requesting a proof, your turnaround time begins the day you approve the proof. Please contact your customer service representative to obtain standard turnaround times.

Provide the proper copy format.

Furnishing clean, properly formatted copy with your printing order helps us output your job as quickly as possible, saving you money on printing and other preparation costs. If possible, avoid furnishing jobs in Microsoft Word and Microsoft Publisher because they require extra work in prepress before they can be output. Converting your Word and Publisher files to PDF files before submitting your order will save you time and money when your job is produced. Please contact your customer service representative if you have questions about the best format for your job copy.

Use fewer ink colors.

Every color of ink you add to a document requires a separate film negative and printing plate. In addition, each color adds to the stripping time, plate burning and press make-ready labor. Making wise use of color will help you create an effective document without breaking your budget.

If you don't have the budget to print newsletters and flyers in two colors of ink, consider printing them on colored paper with one color of ink. A flyer printed in blue ink will cost only slightly more than one printed in black. In addition, using varying screen densities within your job will give the illusion of several ink colors. Black ink on the right color of paper also brings added life to any printing project without increasing production costs.

Take advantage of Fulfillment.

Our fulfillment section will gladly take care of all the printing, storage, inventory, distribution and accounting for items you send out to other locations. Switching items from your internal warehouse and distribution system to Fulfillment will reduce your costs for storage, staff time and distribution while freeing up storage space and employees. Please contact Leslie Russel at 913-432-0866 or <leslie@kcpresort.com%20> for more information about the savings Fulfillment can provide.

Use standard folds.

Another way to save on your printing costs is to design products using standard folds.

Unusual folds require more set-up time and usually run more slowly, increasing your bindery costs.

Double-check your order quantities.

One of the easiest ways to reduce your mailing budget is to eliminate the cost of mailing small quantities of mail pieces. One larger order will cost less than the total cost of several small orders because our pricing structure offers greater discounts for larger orders. If you would like to compare the costs of different order quantities before placing a printing order, please contact your customer service representative or request an estimate online.

Preparing and submitting electronic mailing address files

Making sure that your mailing request is completed properly and address lists are correctly formatted will shorten the turnaround time for your order and reduce processing costs by eliminating the need for our mail specialists to perform time-consuming alterations when preparing your address data.

 Requesting mail services

To take advantage of any of our mail services, simply indicate on your mail order form how you want the job to be mailed, and provide the necessary mailing addresses. Please include a completed Variable/Mail Checklist form with your printing requisition to supply the following information:

Number of pieces to be mailed

Format of furnished address information

When to expect address data if it is not provided with the printing order

Class of mail - First Class, Presort Standard (Bulk) or Package Services

Special processing requests such as FASTforwardsm address updating or

Merge Purge duplicate removal

Name and telephone number of contact person to answer questions

Sample showing the order of items to be inserted into envelopes

Furnishing the correct media type

While you may furnish printed address labels with your mailing request, we recommend supplying address data electronically whenever possible. Unlike hardcopy labels, electronic data files allow us to pre-sort the addresses and add barcoding to qualify for postage discounts. In addition, address data can be inkjet printed onto your mail pieces by machine while printed labels must be applied by hand. As a result, electronic mail data gives you significant cost savings in postage and handling costs while reducing turnaround times.

We will accept address data files on just about any type of media. The following are the easiest types of media for us to work with:

CD-ROM

31/2" high-density floppy disk

FTP

E-mail

Regardless of how you supply your address data, please include a label or other message with your address files that provides the following information:

Job title

Printing order requisition number

Address file name

Which fields to include in the mailing address, including account numbers or record numbers

Approximate number of records

Formatting your files

The type of software you use to prepare your mailing address files will affect how long it will take us to prepare the data for addressing. As a result, the type of file you provide affects both your mail processing costs and the amount of time we will need to complete your mailing. We prefer the following file types because they require very little data processing time:

ASCII (DOS text) fixed, or delimited (*.txt) If the file is fixed, please provide a record layout.

dBase (*.dbf)

Microsoft Access (*.mdb)

Microsoft FoxPro (*.dbf, *.dbc)

Paradox (*.db)

Excel (*.xls)

If necessary, we will accept the following formats, but they require more time to process.

WordPerfect: Single column, from three to six variable length lines of no more than 50 characters separated with either two returns or a hard page.

Microsoft Word: Single column, from three to six variable-length lines of no more than 50 characters separated with two returns.

E-mail and FTP challenges

After you have prepared your mail address data, the best way to submit your files is to send us an Access database by e-mail or FTP. Unfortunately, many address files contain thousands of records and take a while to transfer by e-mail. These large, uncompressed files can tie up our server and cause delays in receiving and processing mail information.

In addition, changes made in updates of Microsoft Outlook security now make it impossible for us to receive raw Access database files by e-mail. In an effort to restrict the spread of computer viruses, recent versions of Outlook block e-mail attachments with certain file extensions, including those of Access databases.

Compressing your files

The best way to make sure we receive your e-mailed information quickly and correctly is to compress your database files before sending them. Two of the most popular types of compression software are WinZip and PKZIP. You can download trial copies of either software from the Internet. WinZip offers a free evaluation copy at

http://www.winzip.com, and PKZIP shareware is available at http:/www.pkware.com.

Both sites also contain instructions for compressing and sending your files.

Renaming your files

If you don't have access to compression software, renaming your files will also allow you to submit your data by e-mail. When you save your data, a file extension is added to the end of the title to tell the computer what software was used to create the file.

For example, Access database files end with ".mdb". Removing this file extension allows us to receive your information by e-mail quickly and easily.

If you choose to rename your files, please be sure to tell us what type of software you used so we can replace the correct file extension in the title after we receive your data. In order to open your files and process your order, we must be able to restore the original file extension.

To rename a file in most Microsoft Office applications:

1. Click "Open" under the File menu. A dialog box will open showing the folders available.

2. In the "Look in" box at the top of the new dialog box, click the drive or folder in the pull-down menu that contains the file you want to rename.

3. In the folder list in the main section of the dialog box, double-click folders until you open the folder that contains the file you want.

4. Right-click the file you want to rename, and then click "Rename" on the shortcut menu.

5. Type a new name without a file extension, or delete the current file extension, and press "Enter".

6. A warning dialog box will open, asking you if you are sure you want to rename the file. Click "Yes". NOTE: You can't rename a file when it is open.

After you have submitted the renamed file, you may repeat these steps to restore the file name to its original form. Simply replace the file extension at the end of the title when you enter the file name. If you prefer, you may save a copy of the original data

file before you begin renaming the file.

Sending us your files

After you have compressed or renamed your address files, attach them to an e-mail and send them to us at <leslie@kcpresort.com>. To help us match your address files with your mail pieces, please include the following information in the body of the e-mail:

Your name,

Company Name

Job title

The number of records in the list

Whether we should expect additional lists from other sources

 More information

If you have any questions about compressing and sending your address files, please contact Leslie Russel at 913-432-0866 or <leslie@kcpresort.com>.

Designing mail pieces

The design of your mail piece determines how easily the Post Office can process it, affecting your postage and processing costs. You can help ensure your next mailing project flows smoothly by keeping a few design rules in mind. The following tips will help you create efficient, cost-effective mail pieces.

Use the correct return address and mail indicia.

A surprising number of printing orders come in with an obsolete return address borrowed from a previous project. Please check the return address for accuracy before submitting your printing order.

Also make sure the mail permit you are using contains the correct mail class and permit number. If you would like, we will place our mailing permit on the mail piece and include the postage on your printing invoice. Simply specify which mail class you want to use for your mailing when you fill out your printing requisition, and leave a blank space for the indicia on your document. If you are unsure which mail permit you should use, contact your customer service representative.

 Use ancillary service endorsements properly.

Mailers use specific phrases called ancillary service endorsements on mail pieces to request address change information and to give the post office instructions on how to handle undeliverable items. The wording of these endorsements is the same for all classes of mail, but the cost and resulting action taken by the post office differ by mail class. That's why it's so important to use the right wording on your endorsements.  Incorrect endorsements can mean that you won't receive the service you expected. It may also result in higher than necessary postage costs.

To help you sort out the effects of each endorsement, we've included a link to the USPS of this guide showing the four different kinds of endorsements, along with the action taken by the post office and the cost for each class of mail.  Endorsements must be placed properly on the envelope to ensure you receive the service you want.

The post office requires that an endorsement be printed in no smaller than 8-point type, and that it must stand out clearly against the background. Brilliant-colored envelopes and reverse printing are not allowed. In addition, there must be at least 1/4" clear space on all sides of the endorsement. The endorsement can be placed in one of four different places on the envelope, as shown in the graphic at left.

1. Immediately below the return address.

2. Immediately above the delivery address area.

3. Immediately to the left of the postage area and below the postage rate marking.

4. Immediately below the postage area and below any postage rate marking.

Remember to leave enough room for a mailing panel.

When designing a self-mailer, leave a blank area at least 11/2" high and 5" wide for the recipient's mailing address, and be sure to save enough space for the return address and mailing permit (indicia) to be placed well above the mailing address. The bottom of the return address must be no lower than 23/4" from the bottom edge of the mailer because post office machinery will read the mailing panel from left to right and send the mail to the first city and state it comes to. If it reads the return address before it gets to the mailing address, the entire mailing will be delivered to one place-your office.

Also make sure to leave margins 1/2" from the right and left edges and 5/8" from the bottom edge of the mail piece. The automated readers at the post office scan these areas for barcode information, and any text or graphics placed here will interfere with their ability to accurately read the mailing address.  If you are designing a piece that will be mailed in a window envelope, leave enough room so the address will be at least 1/2" from the bottom and right side of the piece when it is folded.  Place the address area so the open side of the finished piece is at the top and the fold is at the bottom.

We will seal the open edge of the self-mailer with tabs to hold the document closed and make the piece compatible with post office automation. Documents designed with the fold at the bottom are eligible for discounted postage rates because they are able to ride through the post office machinery on a smooth folded edge, eliminating the need to hand sort the mail.

Design the mail panel so the address can be read easily.

Select a paper that will contrast with the text of the mailing address so the automatic readers at the post office can read the address accurately. White, cream, or soft pastel colors work well on mailing pieces. Avoid dark or fluorescent colors because they may be rejected by the post office due to low contrast between the print and the background. Light-colored speckled or fibered papers are acceptable, but be aware that the little specks in the paper may interfere with the post office machinery's ability to read the barcoding on your mail piece. In the future, post office requirements for machine compatibility may make it impossible to use speckled paper for pieces to be mailed.

In addition to choosing the right paper, do not use solid areas of dark ink when designing the mailing panel of a self-mailer. The black ink used for the address may disappear if the background ink is too dark. In general, the basic principles used when selecting a paper apply to the ink coverage you use for the mailing panel.

Whenever possible, create mail that meets post office machinability standards.

To receive the discounted postcard rate, cards must measure between 31/2" x 5" and 41/4" x 6". Other documents must be folded to a maximum size of 61/8" x 111/2" and a minimum of 31/2" x 5" to qualify as letter-size mail. Letter-size mail travels quickly through the post office machinery and is charged at a lower postage rate than other sizes of mail.

 No matter what type of mail piece you are designing, be sure the mail piece is rectangular in shape. The post office requires an aspect ratio, width divided by height, between 1.3 and 2.5 to qualify as machinable mail. Square mailers and other pieces that don't meet aspect ratio requirements are charged a surcharge fee. For example, a 41/4" x 51/2" postcard has an aspect ratio of only 1.29, and is subject to a nonmachinable surcharge of up to 12 cents per piece over and above the postage. You will significantly reduce your postage costs simply by changing the size of the card to 41/8" x 51/2".

 The post office also requires that postcards be at least .007" thick, and all items larger than 41/8" x 6" be at least .009" thick. You will easily meet this standard if you select a cover stock for cards or fold your job in thirds for mailing. A template showing the standards for lettersize mail is available through your local post office.

 In addition to size and thickness, mail pieces must meet other standards to qualify for reduced postage. To avoid the post office nonmachinable surcharge, be sure the following characteristics DO NOT apply to your mail pieces.

The item is polybagged, shrink wrapped or enclosed in any plastic material.

The mail piece has clasps, strings, buttons or similar devices.

The envelope contains items such as pens, pencils, loose keys or coins that cause the thickness of the piece to be uneven.

The delivery address is parallel to the shorter dimension of the piece.

The folded edge of a self-mailer is perpendicular to the address.

The bound edge of a booklet is at the top or is on the shorter dimension.

Make a dummy.

The easiest way to check a mail piece is to actually make a rough sample. Use a piece of paper the same size as the mail piece and fold it the way it will be when it is mailed. Then ask the following questions:

Is the address in the right place and facing the right direction?

Can you legibly fit the longest address on your list in the space provided?

If the mail is inserted into an envelope, does the address show through the window of the envelope?

Does everything fit into the envelope so it can be sealed properly?

Is anything so small that it floats around in the envelope and interferes with the address window?

More information

This is just a brief overview to help you design your mail piece. The postal service standards for automated mailings are very detailed. Please contact your customer service representative if you have questions about the compatibility of your next mailing. We'll be happy to consult with you to make sure your job is designed, printed and mailed as efficiently as possible.