If you’re a marketer who uses direct mail, you have probably heard about the paper shortage ad nauseum for the last few months. From all indications, it appears that it will perpetuate through at least Q4.
There are still some things driving this:
- Reduced mill capacity – The paper companies took some fine paper mills offline.
- A strike at a large manufacturer in Europe.
- Some hoarding by print firms – Many printers, including PrintComm, have dramatically increased inventory levels as a hedge.
- Increased demand caused by a resurgence in the economy.
So, here’s a list of actions we are taking to help you cope:
- Stocking a lot more of specific high-use papers.
- Forecasting demand about three months out for recurring projects and using that as a basis to obtain allocations.
- Increased amount of rack space so more paper can be stocked.
What can you do to help?
- Think much longer term – Try to get estimates a few weeks out and commit much sooner so paper commitments can be obtained.
- Be very flexible – be willing to accept substitutions that will not affect your overall campaign.
The shortage is particularly acute in the envelope arena. Many converters are requesting 8-12 week lead times.
We will help guide you through this with good communication and lots of advance planning.