Bad Mail Habits Pay Off31 Dec, 1969 By: Editorial Staff imageSource
Bad Mail Habits Pay Off
In the operations world bad habits form easily. Whether
good or bad, a habit is any action that we have performed often enough that it
becomes nearly an involuntary response.
People and organizations spend countless hours and dollars each year attempting
to break these bad habits, often with limited success. It’s no surprise,
because there is no magic answer.
A first step in breaking these negative behaviors is to try to understand why
this action so compelling. Put another way, what's the payoff for doing this
seemingly negative activity?
For example, you might have a bad habit of not reconciling the entire direct
mail production run by reasoning that recipients who didn't receive those
damaged packages weren't expecting the offer anyway. Here, the payoff is that
you exhibit less control and quality, but finish the job faster and take a
What is the cost of your habit? This process is generally straightforward and
much easier. Not accounting for all of the direct mail package offers is a bad
habit to get into because you allow poor quality and complacency to take root in
your operation. To obtain longer breaks, the operation is trading off having a
high-quality, high-integrity production process. When you look at it that way,
it doesn't seem like you are making very wise choices, does it? There has to be
a better way.
Time to Make a Choice!
After evaluating both sides of the proposition (your payoff and your trade-off),
it's time to choose. By raising the level of consciousness in specific areas of
focus, such as quality, process integrity and utilization, it's no longer an
involuntary act. The awareness fosters an understanding that you know you are
making a choice every time you perform this action. You are choosing what you
value more: the payoff or the trade-off!