Evaluating a service bureau is a tough task. Comparing one service bureau to another is even more challenging. Do you compare pricing, services or products? I say compare everything.
Just as keeping a check on processing costs is important, postage discounts equally will affect your bottom line. Choose a stable company, as well as one that takes some risks to improve its product line — a service bureau must have the technology necessary to assist its clients.
Following is a basic checklist of what to look for when choosing a service bureau.
Check prices. Look not only at actual costs but also factor in the postage discounts and response rates for getting your mailings to your intended recipients.
At Lett Direct when we get price quotes for clients, we first ask the service bureaus to submit quotes in our format. This enables us to compare prices fairly and consistently from one bureau to another. For this purpose, we’ve developed a pricing template. For this purpose, we’ve developed a pricing template.We ask every service bureau to follow this template. This helps us understand additional pricing that may arise that the bureau currently is not including or if a particular line item has been excluded from the price comparison.
By using this template, we price an actual project and prepare a pro forma invoice on a line-item basis. The template provides the detail necessary to compare service bureau pricing.
One thing to remember: Most service bureaus quote pricing based on the volume you’ll be processing with them. Typically, any mailing fewer than 500,000 records per month will be considered on the smaller end. If you’re one of those businesses, consider a smaller service bureau, one that might be more willing to negotiate pricing to close the deal.