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Published: 09.23.2021

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Here’s What the Worldwide Paper Shortage Means for Your Direct Mail Marketing

Shifting strategies by keeping options open will keep businesses that rely on direct mail touchpoints from feeling the severity of the supply chain disruption.

Pandemic-related disruptions continue to affect supply chains across the globe, and the latest issue at hand is related to a nationwide paper shortage. Some availability has simply dried up, while books, bags, boxes, and other paper products and beyond have seen major delays and cost increases. Most important for marketers, the supply chain woes have affected the execution of direct mail manufacturing as well. 

Businesses nationwide are experiencing delays in their orders due to several factors. In general, it’s a snowball effect wrought by complications from the latest Delta variant-fueled wave of the pandemic, and even other natural causes like the fallout from Hurricane Ida. 

Paper manufacturers are scaling back operations, while others are dealing with labor shortages which cause mills to run into problems meeting the increased demand for products. The costs for wood pulp and raw materials jumped over the past year, which factors into the price of paper’s steady increase. Shipping costs from foreign supply have also skyrocketed, causing the frequency of shipments from mills in places like Asia to decrease significantly. 

The reality is that these are serious issues, and there is a global problem that is halting best-laid marketing plans across the U.S. But the good news is that there’s no need to panic — just a need to think ahead. 

Most marketers and decision-makers may be thinking: what does the supply chain shortage mean for your business? For one thing, creating a successful direct mail marketing campaign because of the shortages isn’t impossible and won’t be any less effective for Amsive. Here’s why:

1. Market-Best Capabilities and Reliability

Because of our expertise and the way the paper market functions, Amsive has a certain amount of paper allocated based on our previous usage. We’re confident in our ability to deliver all of the projects and marketing materials that we have in our current pipeline to the best of our abilities given the severe market shortages and potential moratoriums on new orders. 

2. Variable Buying Power

Amsive has met the challenge of supply chain shortages head-on by proactively communicating with our suppliers to be able to shift and act quickly should outside orders cancel out. Lead times in the domestic paper market are currently in the area of 12 to 16 weeks, yet we’ve also gotten a head start on examining and capitalizing on additional markets when it’s expedient to do so, giving us the advantage to get the job done. 

3. Increased Project Management Services

Unforeseen obstacles are a reality, so Amsive has taken the initiative to beef up communication to our customers to mitigate any severe disruptions. We’ve expanded our preparedness to be proactive, not reactive. Creating plans that think farther ahead beyond what’s status quo means that instead of what will happen two weeks from now, we’re working to mitigate setbacks that will affect marketing rollout six months from now and beyond. 

Primarily, we’re asking: What is your initial mail plan, what do volumes look like, and what are manageable mail dates? The ongoing disruptions mean there is an opportunity to reallocate and reinforce direct mail portions of campaigns to save time and could save money in the long run.

Amsive is here to help facilitate the most efficient, cost-effective campaigns, and the most relevant solutions for you. Please do not hesitate to reach out today.


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