SALINA — Immediate Mailing Services, Inc. (IMS) is expanding and addressing a range of clients’ needs.
The company, based in Salina, offers a range of mail-sorting, printing, and direct-marketing services — it can print mailings like bank statements or advertisements, insert letters into envelopes, and presort mail so that the U.S. Postal Service delivers it at a discounted rate.
IMS also has the capability to generate and deliver electronic statements and advertisements. And the company’s diverse set of services are helping it grow.
“2011 was one of the best years in the history of this business,” says John Mashia, Jr., president and COO of IMS. “We’ve invested in technology, and our business has grown.”
Investments in technology at the company’s headquarters include two Pitney Bowes inserters that can insert up to 12,000 letters per hour into envelopes. The inserters, which IMS purchased in December, can handle a range of mail sizes.
Mashia declined to disclose the exact price IMS paid for the inserters. The company’s investment in technology, which also includes software, was “over seven figures” in 2011, he says.
In the last six years, IMS purchased a Xerox iGen3 printer and a Xerox iGen4 printer, which can print in color with variable names and data. Those machines enable the company to produce advertisements that contain details such as the number of reward points a specific customer has earned at a store.
IMS has 110 employees at its headquarters in Salina. Its employment rolls there have grown by about 10 percent in the last year, according to Mashia.
The company also has branches in Albany, Buffalo, and Rochester, as well as a location in northern Virginia that serves the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore areas. IMS employs about 260 people companywide, and has added 50 employees in the last 18 months.
Mashia anticipates IMS will continue to add jobs, although he says its rate of hiring will depend on its growth. The company’s future openings will likely be in software development, information technology, sales, marketing, and finance, he says.
IMS partners with New York State Industries for the Disabled (NYSID), a not-for-profit that works for employment for state residents with disabilities. That has allowed it to fill some of its staff positions with workers who have disabilities, although Mashia declined to say how many people work at IMS as a result of the partnership.
“We’ve been able to place individuals with disabilities and give them an opportunity for employment in our organization,” he says. “We’re fulfilling a need we have, but we also feel we’re contributing to the community.”
IMS generated $82 million in revenue in 2011. Mashia projects revenue growth of at least 10 percent in 2012, which he says would be consistent with the firm’s growth in 2011.
Transpromotional bank statements are currently a major source of that growth, Mashia says. Transpromotional statements are bank statements that carry advertisements alongside standard statement information.
IMS prints standard and transpromotional customer statements for financial institutions like banks and credit unions. If a bank wants to send statements with promotional material, IMS can insert advertisements at the bottom or side of a page that are targeted toward each individual customer.
“You’re trying to focus that message based on the individual data you get,” Mashia says. “You might be a good candidate to refinance your mortgage.”
IMS directs the advertisements on transpromotional statements based on information its clients provide, Mashia says. He declined to name any of the company’s clients.
Many financial institutions are migrating to transpromotional statements, according to Mashia. IMS can also produce electronic statements and bills, although some industries are adopting electronic communications more quickly than others, he says.
“Both in collections and medical billing, we’re seeing a very slow migration,” Mashia says. “People don’t want to see an e-statement as their doctor’s bill. They want to touch it.”
IMS started offering electronic services such as e-statements in the last five years. The company declined to disclose the portion of its revenue that comes from e-statements, but Mashia indicated that revenue from the service is growing at more than 10 percent per year.
Mashia says IMS has added new services since its owner and CEO W. Lee Vanderpool, Jr. started it in 1986 in DeWitt as a firm specializing in presorting mail. That is still a major part of its business — it sorts more than 3 million pieces of mail per day across its facilities — but it started printing in the early 1990s.
“People came to us with a need,” Mashia says. “We evolved into other business units.”
IMS clients include banks, credit unions, insurance underwriters, medical providers, colleges, transportation service providers, nonprofit groups, government agencies, and solicitation agencies.