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How long have you worked in the mailing?
I have been in mailing for almost 22 years and 20 of those have been right here at Vision Graphics/Eagle:xm. I supervise the mailing department which includes the inkjet, inserter, handwork, and of course sending the product to the post office. When I was first brought on at Vision Graphics/Eagle:xm I didn’t have the extensive knowledge of mailing that I have now and I had never operated a machine before. When a position on the inkjet opened the company trained me as an operator. With hard work and a willingness to learn I worked my way up to supervisor.
What is a typical day like for you in the mailing department?
The first thing I do in the morning is pull up a schedule and make sure I am up to date on everything that’s due. Next I print job tickets for everything we are inking or mailing that day and I order all the stock, stamps, and tabs we need. I work side by side with Melissa Oviatt, who is supervisor of hand bindery. She will order her own materials and get her people set up. We work out any foreseeable issues that may arise throughout the day together.
At 8:30 every morning I go to the Vision Graphics/Eagle:xm production meeting, which involves the heads of each department and our customer service staff. This meeting ensures that the whole company is aware of everything on the schedule and also facilitates communication between departments.
What are some of the functions carried out in your department?
Mailing and hand bindery complete a variety of functions specific to each job. Some of these include shrink-wrapping, kraft-wrapping, drilling stock, hand labeling, gluing pocket folders, and inserting letters.
The videojet is one of the larger machines we operate in the mailing department. It prints addresses, return addresses, and indicia on items being mailed. It can also print barcodes and some pictures. We can do up to 16 lines of data and they can be printed in multiple locations at the same time. The most basic example is that we can print the return address at the top and send to address in the center in the same pass.
The other large machine we run in mailing is the inserter. It inserts up to six pieces at a time into an envelope then seals and stamps it. We have two different sized inserters to account for a wide range of envelope sizes. Certain specialty envelopes still have to be hand stuffed, but we don’t mind putting in the extra effort to get our clients the custom product they desire.
Our department also includes a number of smaller machines. The tabbers, for example, will attach to either the videojet or inkjet. Tabbers put circular tabs on pieces that mail folded without an envelope. Then there are some hand held machines we use periodically as needed. The corner rounder is one example.
Is there anything about the mailing department that you would like to add?
Yes, the real highlight of my department is the people. When Vision Graphics and Eagle:xm merged, I think there was apprehension from the employees of both companies. Vision Graphics relocated from Loveland to Denver and Eagle:xm had a new owner. Everyone was facing big changes and how smoothly those changes went depended heavily on working together. I knew I would be working closely with my Vision Graphics counterpart, Melissa Oviatt, so naturally having never met her, I was nervous about that.
Melissa and I got along right away and working together we were able to integrate our departments. It’s great to be working as a team and it increases efficiency as well. Melissa and I recognized from the start that an open flow of communication was vital. We were able to develop a sort of knowledge bounce off. She needed help learning some of the Eagle stuff and I needed help learning some of the Vision stuff.
At the end of the day we all have the same goal and that is to put out high quality products in a timely manner. If one of us has a problem we talk about it and find a solution together. The people are truly the best thing about my job and my department.