Update on Paper Prices and Inventory

Start Planning Your 2022 Print Projects Today
Printing projects will continue to be significantly impacted through 2022 due to availability and price of paper

Due to continued strains on the supply chain regarding paper and supplies, Gabriel Group, an OSG Company, is proactively reaching out to clients to plan out projects over the coming months. Demand for printing continues to be high while inventory remains very low with longer than usual lead times for materials resulting in continued cost increases. The ongoing impact of the pandemic has caused delayed shipping, depleting inventory on the floor and continues to jeopardize scheduling due to the labor shortage.

We are currently working with clients on long-term planning to create ample lead time and set expectations for realistic project schedules. Ad-hoc or drop-in projects will be difficult to accommodate, and we ask for your patience as we work with our suppliers.

Less Paper, More Expense

  • Paper mills are closing or converting to alternative products
  • Raw material demand continues to rise
  • Rising fuel and freight
  • Reduced labor resources
  • Cost for other materials also on the rise
  • Specialty paper and envelopes hard to find and expensive

What can you do?

  • Plan: start planning now for the remaining months of 2021 and as far into 2022 as possible. It is important that we provide a forecast to our suppliers into March and April 2022 to help source materials and set schedules. If you are expecting any potential volume increases, it’s critical we know in advance to source alternative materials. Paper availability and prices change dailythe sooner orders are confirmed the sooner we can work with suppliers to ensure delivery of materials.
  • Be Flexible: please consider alternate paper stock during this time. Any flexibility will be helpful as certain stock selections may not be available or may have a significant price increase.
  • Review: a design review for your direct mail or custom project may uncover areas where you can reduce cost or accommodate supply issues. Also consider the USPS Informed Delivery Promotion where you can save 2% on postage (effective September 1-November 30, 2021).
  • Understand Postage: the USPS has recently updated its service standards increasing time-in-transit standards by 1 or 2 days for certain mail that are traveling longer distances. Businesses are asked to plan accordingly.
  • Go Digital: OSG has several digital services to supplement your printing needs. Talk to your Account Manager to find the right solution for you.

What is Gabriel Group doing?

  • Collaborating with Our Partners: we continue to work through strong relationships with suppliers and distribution partners to get reasonable prices and maintain inventory. We are collecting as much information from our clients as possible to forecast 90-180 days out with our partners where possible.
  • Maximizing Our Space: we have begun our annual warehouse cleanup in our facilities. By maximizing space we’ll be prepared to take in inventory as paper becomes available. In the coming weeks you may receive communications regarding your current inventory.
  • Optimizing Our Distributed Print Network: we continue to work across our facilities to find efficiencies where it makes the most sense. Daily standup meetings and stock monitoring have been put in place.
  • Recruiting and Staffing: we continue to aggressively recruit for open roles and optimize all shifts. Hiring events, sign-on bonuses and a new employee referral program all continue to attract new candidates.
  • Digital Engagement: we have boosted our digital offering to include eAdoption programs as well as electronic billing and statement products. eAdoption is a great place to start to connect with your customers on digital channels. 

The Account Management Team is working closely with clients to minimize the impact and communicate status on factors impacting our client’s projects. Gabriel Group will continue to work closely with our vendors and partners to ensure inventory and provide alternatives to keep projects on track.

We will continue to provide updates as available. In the meantime, if you are interested in learning more about going digital, please see OSG’s eAdoption Playbook and connect with us to learn more about how we can help. 

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall!

We hope you are ready to hit the ground running as we transition into the Nonprofit vertical’s busy season. To help you shift out of your ‘summer state of mind’, we have jammed  packed the latest edition of Gabriel Group’s nonprofit newsletter, The Messenger with ideas, learning opportunities and results.

We have included a summary of Giving USA’s results from The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2020, planned giving best practices, an introduction to one of our newest team members, our latest case study sharing how we helped our client raise nearly 300% over their goal, and information on our next virtual Membership Marketing seminar!

Start reading here.

As always, let us know how we can help you achieve your goals today, tomorrow and throughout the rest of the year (and next!). Reach out to us at hello@gabrielgroup.com or 314.743.5700 with questions, comments or thoughts as we get ready for what’s next!

Postal Rates Are Going Up

The United States Postal Service (“USPS”) intends to change its rates for First-Class Commercial Letters. The increase was approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission (“PRC”) and falls within the cap on market-dominant products, such as First-Class Mail. The new rates will go into effect Sunday, August 29, 2021. 

A coalition of organizations representing commercial and non-profit mailers has petitioned the US Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, requesting a stay that would prevent the USPS from imposing the increase on August 29. As of this notification, the Court’s decision on the petition is still pending.

The 2021 prices, approved by the Postal Service Board of Governors, raise Mailing Services product prices approximately 7.5 percent for First-Class and Marketing Mail.

Below are highlights of the changes:

First Class Letters

Rate

Single Piece – Stamped

$0.580

Single Piece – Metered

$0.530

Auto AADC

$0.461

Auto 5-digit

$0.426

Marketing Mail Automation Letters (Commercial)

Rate

AADC
Local Entry

$0.309

DNDC Entry

$0.288

DSCF Entry

$0.282

5-Digit
Local Entry

$0.277

DNDC Entry

$0.256

DSCF Entry

$0.250

Marketing Mail Automation Letters (Non-Profit)

Rate

AADC
Local Entry

$0.178

DNDC Entry

$0.157

DSCF Entry

$0.151

5-Digit
Local Entry

$0.146

DNDC Entry

$0.125

DSCF Entry

$0.119

For your convenience, Gabriel Group’s parent company OSG’s Postal Rate Chart is available to you for download. Click here to view and save the PDF.

Do You Hear What We Hear?

Your voices are being heard – from the Supreme Court to Capitol Hill, the nonprofit vertical is engaging in the tough conversations affecting our sector. Read all about it in our latest edition of Gabriel Group’s nonprofit newsletter, The Messenger.

The Spring Newsletter is jammed packed with results. We’ve put together a story boasting an extraordinary response that will help ensure success in the future, an update on the threats to donor privacy and more.

Start reading here.

We are so proud of the work you do day-in and day-out, and your impact for your local communities is great! We will continue to support and advocate on behalf of each of you! If you or your organization need assistance with your fundraising and membership goals, give Kelsey a call at 314.743.5736 or email kelsey.wuertz@gabrielgroup.com today.

 

Last year was tough …

… but YOU were tougher. The nonprofit industry didn’t just survive 2020, but thrived in some ways. Read all about it in our latest edition of Gabriel Group’s nonprofit newsletter, The Messenger.

2021 is here, and we are hopeful, but not naïve. While you continued to show up for your community accomplishing so much despite the odds, we’ve put together a story boasting extraordinary giving during unprecedented times, a welcome to some new faces in the new year and more.

Start reading here.

Our gratitude, respect and pride could never be accurately expressed. Your impact in 2020 has been great, yet we can’t help but wait to see what’s next for you and your organization in 2021 and beyond! If you or your organization need assistance with your fundraising and membership goals, give Kelsey a call at 314.743.5736 or email kelsey.wuertz@gabrielgroup.com today.

Wondering how your experiences with COVID-19 stack up to other nonprofits …

… we have everything you need in our latest edition of Gabriel Group’s nonprofit newsletter, The Messenger.

2020 has been tough, but it’s also been a year of resilience, appreciation and sacrifice. While you’ve continued to keep your communities healthy, safe and strong, we’ve put together a high-level overview of the data and trends identified by our Nonprofit COVID Impact Surveys, a case study on emergency response from one of our incredible clients and more.

Start reading here.

Thank you for all of your expertise, generosity and positivity. Our partnerships with organizations like yours make us hopeful that better days are ahead! If you or your organization need assistance with your fundraising and membership goals, give Kelsey a call at 314.743.5736 or email kelsey.wuertz@gabrielgroup.com today.

We See You …      

… and we want you to know we are proud to work with amazing people like you! You inspire us as you continue to support your community as the months pass and the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

In this edition of The Messenger, you will find some news we are excited to share, reopening tips for membership, a case study from one of our incredible clients on recovering from an emergency and more as we all continue to navigate this new normal.

Start reading here.

Thank you for all you have done and continue to do – we appreciate all your hard work and dedication to those you serve! If you or your organization need assistance with your fundraising and membership goals, give Kelsey a call at 314.743.5736 or email kelsey.wuertz@gabrielgroup.com today.

Building Out A New Facility and A Bright Future

Even in the midst of a pandemic, Gabriel Group has some great news to share!

As some of you may know, the last few months at GG have been very exciting as we’ve been tearing down walls, building breakrooms and setting up new equipment in a brand-new building! Our newest addition is right next door to our Lakefront facility which has been used as our fulfillment and handwork headquarters over the past few years. While these services will continue, our “buildout” facility will now house an additional 40,000 square feet of production space to complement our existing operations!

On June 10, a small group of masked Gabriel Group team members got together to make it official with a ribbon cutting ceremony and a speech from President, Charlie Pitlyk. While there were many details to celebrate, one addition in particular has been on the wish list of many Gabriel Group associates over the years: a highspeed Ricoh color inkjet printer with dynamic perfing. The many benefits of this well-loved machine include the ability to print variable color in large volumes which eliminates the need for purchasing forms and the ability to perforate anywhere on any form while staying in line with personalization. (Are you swooning too?)

While continuing operations from a digital print and lettershop standpoint, Gabriel Group is also very proud to add additional capabilities to its list of specialties. These services include card affixing, mailing label personalization and production, multiple insert match mail (up to 12 inserts in a mailing package – doubling our former capacity!) and high-speed bindery that will improve our turn times.

This latest adventure has come with plenty of hard work, but also an incredible amount of excitement and anticipation for the future. With our additional capacity, equipment and associates who have joined our team in order to staff the buildout, Gabriel Group has already started to work with new clients, get new projects completed and out the door and translate our one-of-a-kind company culture to a completely new space – all things we are so very proud of.

And we’re not done yet! While we’re nearing the end of this chapter and stage of growth and development, there’s plenty more to come. Stay tuned, world …

A very special thanks goes out to Charlie Pitlyk, Dana Benbenek, Paul Hawkins, William Pingel, Michael Huff, Mark Kayser, Kevin Brennan, Ken Lindsey, Carolyn Bruce, Kim Brown, Joyce Berra, Kelly Murphy, Phyllis O’Gorman, Traci Young, Dave Hawkins, the rest of the Gabriel Group team, in addition to Cyndi Greenglass, Barb Graves and Kathy Marocchi from our sister company Diamond Communication Solutions for your dedication in making this massive undertaking a reality. Your hard work is so very appreciated and valued!

Willing, Ready and Open – Are You Prepared?

Written by Ryan Hartman, Senior Director of Client Strategy & Business Development

As the country gets ready to move into the next stage of life during a pandemic, businesses around the U.S. are scrambling to cover their bases as they get their “Open” signs ready to hang in their windows once again.

Between guaranteeing safe sanitation measures and communicating to your customers the right way, preparing can be daunting. But when it comes to your marketing efforts, we’ve got you covered. Look below at the three major checklist items that need to be on the top of your mind to make you feel willing, ready and able to open your doors.

  • Reach out and engage.
    While you’ve hopefully maintained communications while you have had to close, it is even more imperative to get in front of your customers now before you invite them back into your building. Let them know about your reopen date, the procedures you are taking to keep them safe and your expectations when it comes to how your business will be run in the future. After you get through all the serious, but necessary, talking points, do not forget to have some fun and celebrate! It’s been a long couple of months in quarantine … make sure and tell your customer base how excited you are to see (or at least interact with) them again!
  • Update your COVID-19 policies.
    Once you have your action plan in place, make sure you update your website, social media pages and signage. Your customers will be doing plenty of preparation of their own before coming to visit you in person, so ensure that all the information they are seeking is readily available on every one of your marketing platforms. Continue to stay updated on the latest CDC guidelines and best practices here so that you can adjust, if necessary, in the future. And if you do, always send out an email outlining the changes so that your customers have the most up-to-date policy possible.
  • Do not stop communicating.
    From your announcement of sharing your intention to reopen to posting community-driven messages on Facebook, you simply cannot overcommunicate right now. Uncertainty is still very much in the air, so continue to be a voice of reason and positivity for your customers while we shift into the next stage of non-normalcy. (Let’s be honest, right?) Once you do reopen, do not stop letting your customers know how things are going. Acknowledge that although the insurgence of masks, gloves and social distancing will take some getting used to, you remain thankful to be open again and to have their business.

This next big step towards recovery is an intimidating one – but no doubt an exciting as well. As you prepare to reopen, keep the three ideas listed above in mind and you can’t go wrong. If you need further advice on marketing your company in the best way possible, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at ryan.hartman@gabrielgroup.com or 314.373.6100.

From lessons learned to reopening preparation …

… we have everything you need in our latest edition of Gabriel Group’s nonprofit newsletter, The Messenger.

The last few months have been tough, but so has the nonprofit community. While you’ve been fighting to keep your communities healthy, safe and strong, we’ve put together a case study on emergency response from one of our incredible clients, membership recovery advice and more as we all prepare for the next stage of our new normal.

Start reading here.

Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do to be a constant source of support and positivity among the uncertainty. If you need assistance with your fundraising and membership goals, give Anna a call at 314.743.5796 or email anna.mcnulty@gabrielgroup.com today.