Belmont University Drives Economies of Scale when Recruiting New Students | Education
RRD’s comprehensive print support provides leading university with cost savings and strategy enhancements
Belmont University is a private university sitting atop Music Row in Nashville, Tennessee, and is known for many academic programs, including music and entertainment, healthcare, and business. The university's admissions department leverages its academic strengths and reputation to create compelling marketing materials to inform prospective students and differentiate its higher education offerings from the competition.
Belmont University's previous transactional bidding process required that its high-quality promotional collateral be sent to multiple printers to secure the lowest price. However, due to growing demand and complex print requirements, Belmont sought to simplify the process and lessen demands on its internal team by consolidating to a singular, dedicated print provider.
Belmont partnered with RRD’s commercial print experts to print and fulfill its postcard outreach campaigns. RRD’s scalability and internal structure ensured the ability to adhere to a production schedule aligned with Belmont’s recruitment calendar while simultaneously streamlining numerous processes. Bringing print, inventory management, and shipping fulfillment under one roof provided immediate time and cost savings.
In previous campaigns, Belmont's postcards included an array of sizes and formats. While maintaining that protocol would have been feasible, it also meant a certain degree of unpredictability in cost due to varied sizes, materials, and quantities. The Belmont and RRD teams agreed to standardize postcard sizing for better price consistency and predictability.
Belmont continues to design its materials and manage its lists in-house. However, in partnering with RRD, the university is now able to hand off everything that follows to a single provider. RRD manages the weekly mailings of Belmont’s undergraduate viewbooks and the undergraduate admitted student mailer, relieving Belmont’s internal staff to focus on other high-level matters. RRD prints bulk runs of postcards used in Belmont’s recruitment campaigns and maintains and manages a steady inventory. Leveraging economies-of-scale results in volume discounts due to larger runs, and ensures consistent availability by predicting when new materials are needed.
Belmont provides weekly mailing lists to RRD, and then RRD completes all mailing labeling and fulfillment directly. Streamlining providers and processes greatly simplifies the bandwidth required from the university’s internal staff while minimizing the time for inter-vendor transfers and associated shipping costs.
From a billing and administrative perspective, Belmont and RRD have collaborated to leverage RRD’s direct-ship capabilities and tie-ins within the university’s postal service account. Each university department has a unique identifier.
RRD programs each project to include department identifiers and project details within the United States Postal Service coding system. As a result, Belmont University receives simplified invoices that have detailed, itemized project listings that correlate to a given department. This simplification and administrative efficiency is made possible through RRD’s capabilities. Ultimately, this makes it easy for Belmont University to track project spending against each internal department’s budget.
Ongoing communications between RRD and Belmont University have strengthened collaborative partner relationships. Through strategic advisory services, deep production experience, and extensive capabilities, RRD has supported Belmont’s admissions outreach with creative solutions and recommendations.
Complementing Belmont’s talented internal team, RRD’s support has heightened both program results and return on investment through overall efficiencies. Additional benefits include:
- 8% reduction in print and fulfillment costs
- Additional cost savings through volume discounts and other print efficiencies
- Savings on outsourced talent
- Staff able to focus on strategic efforts rather than administrative tasks
- A more nimble, efficient approach to print materials and fulfillment
- RRD delivers an average of a four-day turnaround time from design file receipt to mail piece fulfillment; a reduction of three to six days
- Reduced turnaround time to ship campaign materials since they are now stored on-site with RRD — no longer any lost courier time
- Implemented invoicing best practices by clearly identifying spend by project and department