Quad/Graphics fired the first salvo yesterday when it announced that "it is now breaking company and industry records for co-mail pool sizes, aggregated volume and customer postage savings."
“We now have more volume, co-mail equipment and capacity than any of our competitors," said Dave Riebe, Quad's President of Logistics & Distribution."But the key isn’t just size, it’s our unique co-mail optimization software that analyzes multiple cost components of the process – manufacturing, inline/offline co-mail, distribution and postage – to produce the maximum savings.”
It took only a day for North America's largest printing company to respond.
"We're operating the most full co-mail production lines in the industry," Thomas J. Quinlan, R.R. Donnelley's CEO, said today during the company's quarterly earnings call. "Our offer is unmatched distribution that includes co-mailing of Standard, Periodicals, and tabloid products and a co-pallet program that has the largest number of participants and the highest volume. For standard letter-size mailers, we offer tray co-palletization."
Co-mail and co-palletization are methods of combining catalogs, magazines, and letters from various customers in ways that help them take advantage of postage discounts.
When an analyst goaded Quinlan to talk about how Quad is integrating its acquisition of Worldcolor, he declined, saying "we don't talk about people outside the family." But he couldn't avoid comparing Donnelley's status to the Wisconsin-based upstart.
"We're building brand loyalty and we're driving growth. And this is done across technology immediate for print, web, mobile and social networks around the globe. No one else has that. No one else has that platform, and it's going to take them years and a heck of lot of money to try to build what we've built," Quinlan crowed.
One point on which the two companies agree is the strategic importance of mailing their customers' products in the most efficient manner possible.
“Mailing and distribution represents more than half the cost of typical catalog and magazine programs, so our ability to save money for customers in this area is a critical value,” said Joel Quadracci, Quinlan's counterpart at Quad. “Given the potential for more changes in postage rates and services in the near future, that advantage will become even more important for our customers.”
- Dueling Bindery Breakthroughs: Three years ago, it was Quad that fired back with its own announcement after Donnelley unveiled a breakthrough in co-binding, another method of reducing postage costs.
- How about some free printing?: The postage savings available from co-mailing a magazine can exceed the cost to print it.
- Hell Freezes Over: Quad/Graphics Wants To Buy Worldcolor and Go Public: Donnelley tried first to buy Worldcolor, but Quad ended up taking over the rival printer.