[amsat-bb] Re: Latest AMSAT Journal
w8iss at wideopenwest.com
Mon Aug 30 02:56:53 PDT 2010
Hello Joe and the list.
If I can explain a little about how bulk mailing works, it might help explain
some issues that people have with getting the journal. I work for a printer
that does bulk mailings also and this is how they do things. AMSAT's printer
may do it a totally different way than how my employer does it.
First, It all depends on when the mailer gets the printed copies. There may be
issues with paper used, when the files arrive, scheduled deadlines met on time,
things like that.
Second, the sender supplies a file with names and addresses that need to be
printed onto either labels or onto the printed material in a certain space.
This takes about anywhere from 30 minutes to a whole day (equipment issues) to
set up aligning the print heads. Each process has its own procedures and
differs between mailers.
Third, depending on what the volume (quantity) is, it could take a day to a
week to print names and addresses onto the printed material.
Fourth, keeping the addresses sorted so that they are going to the right
destination can get complex sometimes.
Fifth, after everything is sorted by zip codes and destinations, then comes
shipping via semi to the separate sort facilities across the country and
outside country destinations. Yes, depending on quantity, bulk mailing gets
shipped to sort facilities across the country by contracted carriers.
Sixth, it could take as much as a week to get from the mailers dock to a sort
facility on the other side of the country depending on where the mailer is
If you look at the mailing label area on your journal next time, you'll see
that little square that has this saying in it:
At Silver Springs, MD
and at additional mailing offices
that means that it has gone from the mailer to at least one sort facility in
the path before it gets to your local post office and your home mailbox.
There is also meeting the criteria of how the USPS wants things sorted and
weighed and..... The list is endless currently. My place of employment has had
the USPS reject a load because it either weighed one pound more or less than
what is stated on the documents. The USPS also has guidelines that have to be
met about thickness and weight of paper. That can hold up a mailing also.
This is not to say that this is how AMSAT does the mailing of the journal. I
am just stating how its done at my place of employment to give everyone an
idea of what it takes to mail the Journal each time. Things do change each
time the Journal is mailed so that has to be taken into account each time.
Proposed deadlines have to be met to keep things flowing. If one deadline is
not met, that can hold things up by a week or more.
The times I gave are based on a mailing of several hundreds of thousands
having to have addresses printed onto them.
You also have to remember that the printer that AMSAT uses has to make
deadlines also. The printer could be the same business that does the mailing
which does help.
AMSAT only has to do roughly almost ten thousand printings of the Journal each
time. This takes time on the presses to set up. Based on where I work, the
Journal would go onto the sheetfed press not the 4 color offset press because
of the quantity amount. Which means a little bit more cost in paper, press
time, and setup.
Then it moves out to the bindery department to be folded, cut, and stapled to
its final size for the mailing department.
I hope this explains some about why one person may get a journal before
another person does. I know it doesn't explain everything but it gives
everyone an idea of what it takes to get the journal mailed.
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