6 New Automation Focused Products from The Software Bureau

By |2018-11-06T10:37:26+00:00August 28th, 2018|

The quest to achieve greater efficiencies, cost reductions and removal of compliance vulnerabilities has led data professionals to look for ways to automate their data systems. Modern mail producers, data bureaux and in-house data teams now see fast processing speeds and breadth of functionality as the standard and are turning their attention towards ways to reduce human interaction altogether and opportunities to achieve ‘lights out’ data processing and cleansing. The Software Bureau is adapting to meet these demands and today has unveiled a host of new automation focused products under the ‘Swift’ banner. These new software products make it easy for data teams to automatically process, sort and clean data without manual intervention.   Why Automate Data Processing and Cleansing? [...]

Lean DM – Focus On Error Reduction and Increased Revenues

By |2016-12-28T14:26:33+00:00September 6th, 2016|

We can all recount those horrible moments when we realise a mailing has gone wrong. If you are lucky the job hasn’t left the building, but invariably the first you know about it is when you receive that dreaded, irate call from the client. Then comes that sickening feeling while you retrace the steps of the job only to find the error occurred in data preparation. During a particularly high pressure week, one of the data processing team accidentally sorted the surname column of a data file independently of the other columns and every mailer was sent with an incorrect surname. With many mail producers these high impact errors can have huge financial consequences and cripple the reputation of the [...]

Lean DM – Focus on Name and Address Quality

By |2017-01-11T21:55:58+00:00August 25th, 2016|

Have you ever received a piece of mail, taken a glance at the address block and had to double take? Something doesn’t look quite right. A company asking you to spend hundreds or even thousands of pounds has just written to you as Mrs Ian Wilson rather than Mr Ian Wilson. Although deep down you know this is most likely an administration error, you can’t help but feel a little slighted. It also begs the question ‘if they can’t even get my name right, what is the experience going to be like dealing with them if I became a customer?’. 70% of consumers expect their data to be right every time. DataIQ – GDPR Identifying its impact on marketers and [...]

Lean DM – Focus on Intelligent Deduplication

By |2017-01-11T22:08:27+00:00August 17th, 2016|

On occasion we have all received the same piece of mail multiple times. Maybe we signed up to a service twice or made two frequent purchases from a website or donated to a charity over the phone and also by post. Regardless of the reason, it feels like a waste and as a consumer you know somewhere down the line you are paying for that waste. Failure to effectively remove duplicates from a mailing file can also have greater consequences. One high profile charity donor received more than 10 duplicate appeal packs and immediately and publicly withdrew their support for the charity. His viewpoint ‘you obviously don’t need my support if you can afford to waste money sending me all [...]

Lean DM – Focus on Goneaway and Deceased Suppression

By |2017-01-11T22:10:53+00:00August 10th, 2016|

Around 1.5 million people move house each year and over 500,000 people unfortunately pass away. This level of constant change can lead to data decaying at rates of over 30% per year for some organisations. The Office of National Statistics estimate up to 110 items of mail can be sent to the deceased in the 12 months after their death. Sending mail to people who have died or moved house is more than just a waste of printing and postage costs. When a business chooses to send mail without removing these recipients the only message being communicated is ‘the brand does not care about its customers’. Relatives of the deceased or new occupants are of course highly likely to see [...]

Lean DM – Focus on Home Mover Tracking

By |2017-01-11T22:16:48+00:00July 29th, 2016|

Introducing Home Mover Tracking In the first in a series of 5 in-focus articles we take a closer look at home mover tracking as a component of Lean DM. Home mover tracking is about ensuring mail reaches its intended recipient when they move house. According to the Direct Marketing Association 1.5 million people move house every year in the UK and most of us don’t inform everyone that sends us mail that we have moved. The challenge for marketers is to stop the hundreds or sometimes thousands of pounds they spent capturing that prospect or customer from disappearing when they move. A Marketing No-Brainer Data decay from home movers can strike body blows to marketing return on investment figures. The [...]

Why home movers will be so important to marketers in 2018 and beyond

By |2017-01-12T12:26:26+00:00June 27th, 2016|

People in the UK are some of the most prolific home movers in the world. Stats show that on average we move eight times in our lifetime, which is almost double the amount of moves made by people in France, Germany and Spain. This figure has doubled in forty years. In 1975 the average Brit only relocated an average of four times and this growth is showing no sign of abating as people are increasingly flitting from one house to another to make their way up the property ladder. As a result of all of these home moves; around 11 per cent of the population or 7 million people, it is unsurprising that it is difficult for marketers to keep [...]

Software Bureau’s Cygnus suite adds 125m records

By |2017-01-12T13:12:30+00:00June 7th, 2016|

The Software Bureau has added 125 million new records to its embedded suppression service within its Cygnus data processing suite. The update follows the REaD Group’s recent upgrade of its data hygiene suite – including the Bereavement Register, the Gone Away Supression File and GAS Reactive – to reach a claimed 100 million records. The refreshed data run through Cygnus provides 29 million new tracked address records and 96 million goneaways. This latest update makes Cygnus the most comprehensive data processing solution available for direct mailers, the company claims. Sitting within Cygnus is the company’s Lean DM workflow package which systematically addresses each of the five sources of waste and highlights opportunities to both optimise mailings and save money. The firm maintains [...]

Proposals for a Fundraising Preference Service

By |2017-01-12T14:09:25+00:00April 8th, 2016|

Response to discussion paper by Martin Rides, Managing Director, The Software Bureau Please find below our response to the Fundraising Preference Service discussion paper and questions raised within. We believe it is crucial that software providers, such as ourselves, are engaged early on in the design and development process to ensure that the FPS is fit for purpose and works effectively for consumers and fundraisers alike. It is for this reason that organisations such as Royal Mail consult with us and our peers when implementing initiatives such as Mailmark. Worst case scenario for FPS is to introduce a solution that fails to stop unwanted solicitations or stymies legitimate fundraising opportunities for charities that desperately need the donations.   Scope It [...]

Protecting Our Industry Reputation

By |2017-01-12T14:15:11+00:00February 26th, 2016|

The government’s Fundraising Review should have served as a stark warning to the direct marketing community that the fundamental targeting issues that have been swept under the carpet for years needed to be addressed. Now that the recommended Fundraising Preference Service is almost here, it's worse than many of us could ever have imagined. The proposed ‘all or nothing’ approach will effectively put the kibosh on relationship marketing, the very thing that direct marketing excels at. Not to mention the potential mandatory FPS promotion in all charity direct mail. Whatever the eventual outcome, it is clear that it is going to limit consumer choice and cause mass confusion amongst charity supporters who are happy to hear from their favourite causes, [...]