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    Organizational Structure Recommendations

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    Evaluating Organizational Structure Recommendations

    Short essay help. Looking for 150-200 words to assist with the assignment below. Please follow the instructions and address all topics below. Thanks!

    Critically review the organizational structure recommendations reported within the In-Plant Printer article titled, "Organizing a Mailing Department for Success." Then, post a 1000 to 1250 word response evaluating Dediemar's recommendations concerning organizational structure. (The article is pasted below)

    Based on the theories and concepts learned within the module, be sure to address one or more of the following issues:

    Effectiveness and efficiency
    Employee work process
    Any cost cutting measures
    Any flaws you may detect in Dediemar's planning process
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________

    Abstract

    A large measure of a mailing operation's success depends on its being organized around specific functions and having qualified, well-trained people in place to perform those tasks. This is especially important when your mailing staff also must function in other production areas such as bindery, or during temporary production overcapacity. Mailing services separate into two distinct functional areas: database management and mailing fulfillment. The database management area receives or constructs mail lists and databases, and prepares them for output. The function of mailing fulfillment is to prepare each mailing using the database and the mailing pieces. Because mailing fulfillment is the last step in the print production process, managing a mailing fulfillment workflow efficiently can be a difficult task. The first step in managing workflow is to develop production standards to determine how long work will be in process.

    Headnote

    MAIL PROCESSING

    Mail room authority Nancy DeDiemar provides in-plant managers with tips about managing mail production.

    A large measure of a mailing operation's success depends on its being organized around specific functions and having qualified, well-trained people in place to perform those tasks. This is especially important when your mailing staff also must function in other production areas such as bindery, or during temporary production overcapacity.

    Two functional areas of mailing

    Mailing services separate into two distinct functional areas: database management and mailing fulfillment. The database management area receives or constructs mail lists and databases, and prepares them for output. In this sense, the database function is similar to electronic prepress for documents.

    Database management activities include verifying the data's quality and assessing its suitability for the task at hand; improving, when possible, data quality by restructuring the database, including repopulating the fields in individual records; using sound logic to detect and resolve duplicate records; developing a uniform data set and file structure; enhancing individual database records with attributes such as gender; and postal coding.

    The function of mailing fulfillment is to prepare each mailing using the database and the mailing pieces. Mailing fulfillment activities might include mail list sortation; addressing; bindery functions such as folding and collating; mailing services such as inserting, sealing and affixing postage; preparing mail to qualify for postage discounts; and delivering the mail to the USPS.

    Staffing: Database manager

    A key staff position in the mailing department is the database manager. Just as a good prepress technician can improve press productivity and help control image quality, so can a good database manager enhance mail fulfillment productivity and improve the quality of each mailing. A good database manager is an excellent technician who can troubleshoot and reformat files that are not presented as a database. A stickler for details, this person has a passion for perfection and looks for elegant solutions to problems.

    There are few training programs database managers can use to learn mail list management software or the many ancillary software tools available. Therefore, a good database manager must be able to selfteach on the job.

    Because it is unlikely that you will be able to recruit an experienced database manager, I believe it is important to use hiring aides, such as a personal profile analysis and basic intelligence test, as part of the hiring process. These predictors of job success, while not perfect, often are useful for determining whether a job candidate inherently possesses the attributes that correlate with the desired characteristics of a good database manager.

    Managing the mailing fulfillment workflow

    Because mailing fulfillment is the last step in the print production process, managing a mailing fulfillment workflow efficiently can be a difficult task. Even more than printing jobs, mailing projects have firm due dates, and a missed post-office delivery deadline sometimes can have dire consequences. Add to this the fact that the mailing department might be making up for time lost during the previous steps in the print production process, and the need for effective workflow management is clear.

    The first step in managing workflow is to develop production standards to determine how long work will be in process. One simple method is to allow one day for each operation and convey this to your customer. Once you understand mail production standards, you can negotiate with customers for the desired amount of time. If the time is not available, you are in a much stronger position to charge customers extra for guaranteed delivery earlier than with normal production standards.

    Organizing the work area helps manage the workflow: It reduces the number of times mail must be handled before it goes to the post office. Mailing equipment (inkjet addressers, labeler/tabbers, inserters, strappers) should be contiguous and placed close to where folding takes place in the bindery. Mailing supplies - sacks, trays, sleeves must be readily available near appropriate machine workstations. Adequate space is necessary on both sides of equipment, because both the loading and unloading ends of machinery will be required to accommodate the entire volume of mailing.

    Processing expands mail by a factor of six, so a large staging area might be necessary to accommodate prepared mail that is not yet scheduled for delivery to the post office. If the staging area is not carefully planned, then prepared mail might clutter the production floor, inhibiting efficiency and increasing the risk of error.

    Because sacked mail is often heavy and bulky, it is a good idea to keep it on wheeled carts throughout the production area. Not only does this help reduce handling of partially processed mail, it also allows staged mail to be moved out of the way. Wheeled carts sized especially for mail trays and sacks make stacking easy and safe, and promote efficient use of floor space. For very large, sacked mailings, the USPS will allow mail service providers to pickup and use USPS mail cages at the mail provider's location. Contact your bulk-mail acceptance clerk for more information.

    Managing handwork

    Several common mail fulfillment activities - inserting into catalog or booklet envelopes, perfectly matching mail-merge letters and envelopes, affixing live stamps require handwork in in-plant mailing departments. This work can be a particularly insidious productivity killer, as it requires a relatively large amount of floor space for an extended period. It is common for worktables to be set up wherever there is room, regardless of proximity to the mailing materials or supplies, perhaps even blocking normal passageways in the production area. Work might even spill into storage areas if space cannot be found elsewhere.

    Managing for efficiency in these conditions means taking the time to assess optional approaches to each task. For example, it might be less disruptive to set up several small workstations manned by one or two workers, rather than concentrating all workers in one area. For a large job, an assembly process (hand insertion, rubber banding) that normally would be done by one person might require several people. It is important to look at the entire production picture to see whether intentionally introducing inefficiency into mailing is more than compensated by the lack of disruption in another production unit, such as the pressroom.

    In most in-plants, mailing fulfillment requires a disproportionate amount of space - for instance, mailing might contribute 20 percent to chargebacks but require 33 percent of available space. Recognizing this and planning for both normal operations and overcapacity contingencies will prevent the mail room from compromising the rest of the shop's efficient operation.
    Sidebar

    Organizing the work area helps manage the workflow: It reduces the number of times mail must be handled before it goes to the post office.

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    Solution Preview

    Nancy DeDiemar has organized the mailing department around two functions namely database management and mailing fulfillment. This is a functional structure. Initially, the database management prepares the database and that database is used by the mailing fulfillment department to prepare mailing. From the point of view of effectiveness and efficiency, having the mailing ...

    Solution Summary

    Organizational structure recommendations are explained in a structured manner in this response. The answer includes references used.

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