Why Networking is Good for Your Supply Chain

Case Study
February 21, 2020

A Harte Hanks Case Study: How Networking Can Improve Your Revenue

The background

One of our banking clients wanted to modify a creative element on the letter in their credit card offer  package and give their direct mail a new look.

The concept was to resize the offer package from a 11’’ form to a 14’’ form with a 3’’ personalized slit and nest insert that, after lasering, could be trimmed off. The fold configuration would also change from standard letter fold to gatefold—more suitable for the new, larger format.


Our challenge

At the time, Harte Hanks’ direct mailing services did not have the bindery equipment in place to support the new configuration.

While we had the option to seek outsource solutions, the client had a strong preference to minimize the amount of work outside of Harte Hanks and keep production in our supply chain. Furthermore, we would have had to change the price as a pass-through to remain competitive.

Although we wanted to fulfill the client’s request, the cost to secure the new equipment was prohibitive: over $250,000. Therefore, we had to find a solution that would be more budget-friendly for our direct mail department and our client.


The solution

At Harte Hanks we’re focused on maintaining industry contacts. Any step along the supply chain can provide amazing opportunities to develop a strong business network.

With this principle in mind, we had previously supported Time Customer Service in securing an equipment supplier to help them auction off equipment following their acquisition by Meredith Corporation.

As a direct result of our support for this effort, we were able to negotiate a substantial cost reduction on the needed bindery equipment that Time Customer Service was selling—an essential step toward fulfilling our client’s needs.

In the end, we were able to acquire the needed equipment from Time Customer Service for $100,000. They gave us the first option—before the event would take place—and accepted our offer, removing the folders from the planned auction.

This allowed us to secure the needed equipment at a much-reduced price. According to estimates, the equipment would have sold at the auction for over $175,000.

Business impact

This was an incredible accomplishment for us. Let’s see what this means in figures:

Increased Margin

Thanks to keeping the work internally

Control of the work—minimize hand-offs; less chances of potential issues

Reduction in turnaround time

Savings than purchasing new


In the end, even the client’s reaction was rewarding:

“Thank you, I am very pleased your team was able to help and support us.” 


If you want to see our work, pick up a sample here: