We are now FEPE members. But… what is FEPE?

In order to deliver the best to our customers, in each of our product lines, it has proved essential to contact organizations and external partners with whom we can share experiences. This contact ensures us a better knowledge of the markets where we work on, of the markets we want to evaluate and the general trends of our industry.

In this context we are now members of the European Envelope Manufacturers Association (FEPE), which represents more than 100 companies directly and indirectly involved in the production of paper envelopes in Europe.

FEPE

The market for paper envelopes is in a transformation time. We saw the reduction of its more conventional use, the sending of transactional documents by letter, and a large increase in the use of the envelope as a vehicle for the delivery of online orders. This and other trends deserve to be carefully monitored and discussed in a way that we can tailor our business to the needs of our customers in the most innovative and efficient way.

Tips for choosing the right envelope

Did you know that all the houses in the world, even in the most remote areas, can be reached by post?

In the European Union alone, and according to data from the European Federation of Envelope Manufacturers, 30% of households do not have access to the Internet, which means that post mail remains the only way these people can receive things at home.

According to this organization, consumers have, contrary to what is often led to be believed, a very positive perception of traditional post and even prefer it to electronic mail in situations such as:

  • Personal messages (holiday cards, for example);
  • Important and confidential information sent by your management, your employees, your insurers or your banks;
  • Diplomas, certificates or other similar documents;

The paper comes from a renewable source – the trees.

For each tree that is cut down in Europe to produce paper, two other trees are planted.

The European organization of envelope manufacturers also adds that an electronic direct marketing campaign produces between 3.5 and 4.4 times more CO2 than the same campaign thought and executed with the printed paper as the base, with at least 3 emails being required for the impact / return of the campaign to be equivalent to that of regular mail.

Now that we have shown you the arguments that (rightly) defend the prevalence of paper over e-mail, it’s time to tell you about another very important thing: the envelopes.

Indeed. Although it is an issue that seems irrelevant, it is anything but that.

When deciding what we are going to send and where we are going to send it to, we must be careful to understand the path that this envelope will make to ensure that an appropriate envelope is used, especially if we are talking about envelopes that are going to be used in automatic enveloping machines.

So, there is much more behind the production of envelopes – or rather, of better-quality envelopes – than you might think.

Automatic enveloping machines.

Producing the best of envelopes also means that we pay attention to the fact that it passes the most difficult and demanding of the tests with distinction: automatic enveloping machines that examine each envelope, one by one, thereby making these machines the most demanding consumer we may have to face.

These machines have very high quality standards and require a huge prevalence of manufacturing techniques:

  • The paper must have the fibres in the right direction, as well as perfect porosity, strength and stiffness;
  • The envelope must have the same perfect and extremely specific folds as it should be properly sealed;
  • Lastly, adequate glue is necessary.

All of this proves one very important thing: making (good) envelopes is much more than simply folding paper.

Some tips to help you choose the right envelope

Finally, here are some tips to help you with this difficult and demanding process of choosing the right envelope for your communication piece.

  1. Enveloping: know the model and brand of the machine that will automatically process the envelopes.
  2. Size: it is fundamental that you choose the right size for that particular machine;
  3. Uniformization: this is one of the fundamental aspects of the whole process. There can be no variation in size or shape, as it could risk causing greater problems in the machine that will delay the enveloping process;
  4. The paper: must be thought of and specially designed as well as made for envelopes. The paper used for envelopes is different from all the other types of paper.
  5. The glue: must be appropriate for the envelope function. That means that, if it involves automatic enveloping the glue that is used should be one that reacts to the moistening with water (used in enveloping machines), if it is intended for normal use, active glue with protective tape should be used (to prevent the envelopes from sticking together inside the boxes and to facilitate the closing of the envelopes without the need to use normal glue).
  6. The envelope window: which is normally made of acetate (plastic) – must ensure enough transparency to allow the automatic or human reading of the address during the mail processing and distribution process by postal operators.
  7. Storage: Envelopes must be properly stored and ready for use at any time. The area where these will be stored should be dry and well ventilated.

In summary, the above are some of the most important points which should not be overlooked when we are talking about envelopes and automatic enveloping machines which, as we have been able to show you, are extremely sensitive and have very demanding standards.

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Millions of graphic pieces on its way to France and Morocco

We started the year in the best way with millions of A4 sheets and envelopes on its way to France and Morocco. By the end of the year, we estimate that more than 100 million A4 sheets will be shipped to France just for one of our customers! Other similar projects are coming to life in France, Morocco, Spain and Belgium, so the exportation perspectives this year are very positive.

As for most SMEs in Portugal, the process of internationalization is also part of the growth path for Contisystems.

The approach of new geographical markets brings challenges resulting not only from physical issues, such as distance and specific packaging needs, but also from cultural issues such as the different product descriptions or the language itself.

In order to face these challenges and provide all our customers around the globe with an experience of excellence, we have ensured adequate transportation and also language training to our commercial and support teams.

The combination of these factors with a consistent level of high quality and on time delivery has allowed Contisystems to grow in markets as diverse as Europe and North Africa by providing quality paper and envelopes to customers in a variety of business areas such as Banking, Insurance or Telecommunications.

Find out what we can do for your business.

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The Importance of Paper

As we look at the role of paper today, we are faced with the following questions: Does paper still remain important in these times we are living? Is direct mail (possibly one of the bastions of printed paper) still as relevant in the communication process of some companies? Read this article to learn more about the importance of paper.

We start with these questions, telling you right away that you will be able to find the answers in the course of this text, but what is important to emphasise here is that we live in an age in which we repeatedly and cyclically witness chronicles of announced deaths.

  • TV is going to die;
  • Twitter is going to die;
  • Facebook is going to die;
  • Newspapers are going to die;
  • Direct marketing is going to die;
  • People are pronounced dead – but are still alive after all – and even human beings have been foreseen to die at the hands of Artificial Intelligence, robots and extraterrestrials.

You get the idea . Right?

The same thing is happening with paper. In a time when everything is digital, scanned or scannable, the role of paper appears to have been forcibly relegated to second place.
Confused? We’ll explain.

To be more concrete, a plan seems to be in place to try to show that the paper is indeed dispensable and easily replaceable. Well, we have the hard mission of demonstrating just the opposite.
And nothing beats using concrete examples to do so.

Take the case of Tetra Pak, which announced in May of this year that it will replace plastic straws with paper ones.

We also have the example of Inapa, which presents kraft paper (the brown and recyclable one) as an alternative to plastic bags.

Renova itself has launched this year in the United Kingdom toilet paper packaging made of paper and not plastic.

And a Portuguese paper napkin factory that has also abandoned plastic (saving up to 460 tons/year ) to start using paper packages.

McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, Starbucks, Disney, Ikea, Super Bock and Sagres, Sonae, Jerónimo Martins… all of them have already started the process of abandoning plastic in favor of … paper.

And if we remember Marketing and Advertising, for example, it is difficult to think that paper is dead or to striding towards extinction.

As you see, paper is a long way from being extinct. Don’t believe it? Let’s move right on to the examples, so that you can see why we say this with a lot of certainty.

Let’s observe and contrast digital vs.offline.

Looking at digital, we can easily conclude that email is now one of the main forms of communication on the planet, and it is possible to send targeted and personalised emails with excellent pieces of content that result in the lead becoming a conversion, a buyer becoming someone who is going to consume our contents and buy our products.

It is also possible to measure opening rates for these same emails, and to compose them by resorting to the most varied platforms, without forgetting the RGPD rules, etc. Therefore email is indeed a very complete communication tool. However, as far as personalisation itself is concerned, few things can beat a good direct mail. Especially if the sender really works on the copywriting, paper, graphics, personalisation and content he or she is sending.

Did you know that the email opening rate in 2017 was 36%? This means that 64% of outgoing emails are deleted before they can even be read. The information is from the Litmus Email Analytics study, from 2017.

Having a higher success rate, the waste associated with direct mail is considerably less, especially because the brand can and should adapt the message with points that capture the interest of that particular recipient and offers that are difficult to ignore. This is a communication technique that works in almost every market and with almost every product or customer.

If it is possible to transport something by mail, it is possible to choose direct mailing as a means of communication, with the guarantee that the degree of satisfaction of the recipient will be high.

When a brand chooses this type of channel, deep down it is offering something to the customer. At the very least, the brand is offering the client an immersive and completely different experience that is hard to forget. And this, dear friends, the email cannot do.

In many of these cases, direct mail is the essential complement to a marketing strategy, which has a maximum exponent of customer care in this format.

This is an act that can take place only for the simple pleasure of doing it, combined with the intention of pampering a customer with something that should preferably last and be a constant reminder of that brand in the life of the customer who receives it.

In the field of Marketing, there are still flyers, catalogs, brochures, pamphlets, banners, posters, billboards, letters (yes, letters) and so many other means of communication – some more effective than others – whose existence and reason to exist are based on paper. Not to mention books. E-books are spectacular, but the paper books are unbeatable.

Have you ever wondered where you would write down notes to leave at home, if paper ceased to exist ? It’s best to not even think about that .

As you can see, good examples are not lacking, so our task has become much easier. Paper seems to be decidedly determined to let itself remain with us for a while.

The way we use it is changing as well as society’s awareness of the need to use environmentally friendly paper and recycle it in order to make the industry itself more sustainable and cleaner.

Take, for example, the use of FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) paper which gives the consumer full assurance that the raw material used comes from a certified forest. By opting for the consumption of materials with the FSC seal we are actively contributing to the improvement of forest management worldwide. In addition, we are also contributing to the certification of new forest areas and new companies.

It is therefore then possible to conclude that paper is far from dying. Quite the contrary.

Despite the ease of the digital world in terms of time savings and optimisation of tasks and resources, it is still very difficult to obtain the level of personalisation and conversion efficiency that direct mail has.

And that, dear reader, will be difficult to change, at least in the near future.

Oh, and let’s not forget one important detail: if digital fails, paper is always there to save the day.

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Offset printing, the most used printing process in the world

The printing process nowadays called Offset is the result of an evolution of lithography, which was developed at the end of the 17th century and consisted of printing using direct contact between the paper and the matrix that contained the image , a matrix that, at that time, was a polished stone and which today is known as plate.

Initially referred to as offset lithography, the main difference was that there was no direct contact between the paper and matrix by the introduction of a new rubber-based element called blanket, which avoid “smudges” and excess ink because of its better absorption capacity.

With the strong technological development from the mid-twentieth century, it is still one of the most used printing processes in the world today , presenting as a strong point the possibility of being used in a large number of formats , including practically all types of paper, from the more basic uncoated paper such as newsprint to high quality paper such as Conqueror or heavy paperboard and also plastics, namely polystyrene.

With the main characteristic of this process being the high quality achieved, the possibility of using various types of paints in combination with the various types of support enables the creation of high perceived value pieces, both for their utility as well as their differentiation, while transmitting to the end user a unique Customer Experience through virtually all senses, with the use of colors, textures and even smells that send us to other sensations.

The products resulting from this printing process are thus present in almost everything we use in our day-to-day lives , from the packaging of the products we buy to the books we read or the tickets of the shows we see, to the bank cards we use or even in decoration elements in our homes.

Despite the appearance of new printing processes and the growth of digital communication, offset printing is still the most widely used printing process in the world and will continue to address many of our communication needs across a wide range of industries.

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Secure and valuable printing!

Despite the new technologies that have brought online digital solutions to the market, the printing of security and legal documents, such as checks, game cards and tickets or ballot papers, continues to play a significant role in the printing industry.

The printing industry, facing the challenges created by the new technologies over the last 10 years, has responded with technological evolution and with the introduction of new “functionalities” that added value to the printed product, both in terms of safety and customer experience.

In this context, new solutions have been developed combining traditional raw materials such as security and invisible offset inks, which have long been used in the printing of checks as an anti-fraud element, with elements of variable data customization such as QR codes, micro lettering, stamping of holograms or laser micro perforation.

These new solutions enhanced by the cross-over of traditional printing technologies, such as offset or screen printing, and digital printing now allow our industry to offer innovative, high value-added products with high levels of security that can additionally provide users with a valuable Customer Experience recognized for its differentiation and perceived high quality, in different products such as vouchers, tickets, coupons, game and voting cards, checks or the well-known scratch cards.

Printing with value, innovation and safety is one of Contisystems activities. We will continuously monitor developments and respond to new trends in this market.

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Duarte Conceição’s Nomination for Graphic Personality of the Year

Duarte Conceição, the CEO of Contisystems, was nominated for the Graphic Personality of the Year prize of the 2018 Papies. The nominations for this prize were made by professionals of the graphic industry and were followed by a public voting period, which has ended in the meantime. The results of the aforementioned votes will be revealed at the annual Papies gala, which will take place on June 6 at the Figueira da Foz Casino, and Contisystems will be present.

 

After Contisystems was restructured, both in terms of performance as well as in terms of management and shareholder structure, Duarte Conceição became the “steersman”, succeeding Pedro Caravana as the new CEO of the company. As he was one of the drivers of diversification as well as growth of the company, not only as a CEO but also throughout his 15 years of collaboration with the company, Duarte is certainly a personality worthy of recognition in the graphic industry.

 

The nomination of Duarte Conceição fills Contisystems with pride and represents yet another recognition of our company as a market reference.

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Exporting to grow and learn

Exporting does not only mean growing, it means taking Portugal further, contacting other markets and getting to know different realities, products and services. And this knowledge enables us to provide the best service to both our national as well as international customers.

 

In the first quarter of this year Contisystems developed a set of endeavours in the external markets such as participating in international events as well as paying visits to various Customers, focusing particularly in France and in Morocco.

As an example of the type of endeavours carried out, we will share with you the most recent one which was our participation as exhibitors at the conference Africa Pay & ID Expo in Marrakech, Morocco on March 22 and 23, invited by as well as in collaboration with our local partner Gemadec. Although the main purpose was to present to the African market the “Customer Communication Management & Legal Archive” solutions, we also very actively promoted the 3 business divisions: Payment Solutions, Customer Communications Management and Printing Solutions.

 

As a result of this participation, we have obtained a significant set of new business opportunities in several countries. In an African market, which has proven to be quite receptive to innovative and quality solutions that enable businesses in these countries to get effective answers to the specific challenges of this geography, we have confirmed some of the trends that we already know about the national as well as the European market, particularly regarding attracting customers as well as retaining these, information security as well as storage capacity and secure management of their customers’ data.

 

The good results obtained through the endeavours carried out in this last quarter reinforce our conviction regarding the importance of exporting within the growth and development of Contisystems, thereby helping us achieve the goals we have set for the next coming years.

 

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