With over 27 years of experience, AGPIT has a wide range of consulting services for the Mailing, Packaging and Printing Industries. Projects are evaluated on a case by case basis and a cost budget and scope are

developed with each customer prior to the start of Consultation.




Here is an example of the factors to consider when Automating Business Mail.


When making the decision to automate the task of  folding, inserting, and sealing your business mailings it is important to understand certain aspects of this activity in order to determine the cost advantages of transitioning away from performing it manually. The following analysis is intended to provide you with the type of information you will need to consider and is broken down as follows:


A.        Steps involved for manual preparation

B.        Factors to consider when performing the cost analysis

C.        Industry average for hand folding and inserting

D.        Manual versus Machine example



A.        Steps for manual preparation:


Performing a fold and insertion mailing by hand involves the following steps:


  • Folding the document (s) to the desired fold.

  • Inserting the folded document (s) into an envelope.

  • Verifying that the address is showing properly.

  • Correction for incorrect address placement or insertion.

  • Stacking

  • Breaks – on longer jobs rest and food breaks will extend

                   completion times.


B.        Factors to consider for cost analysis


The key elements of a manual versus automation cost analysis are time and labor.  Accordingly you need to consider these components as follows:


  • Labor rate of person(s) performing the manual folding and insertion

  • Lost opportunity – for example; if a manual task takes 4 hours and the same task takes 1 hour to complete via automation then the difference, 3 hours, represents labor time that could have been spent completing other tasks. So, the 3 hours saved with automation plus the 3hours gained back from lost opportunity minus the 1 hour of automated labor time provides an effective productivity gain of 5 labor hours.  Putting this into formula format provides something that looks like this:


    (Man. Labor Hrs x 2) – Auto. Hrs = Effective productivity gain

         in labor hours


  • Productivity rate (quantity over time) for completing a task manualy.

  • Productivity rate (quantity over time) for completing a task via automation.



C.        Industry Average


In the mailing business the accepted industry average for performing hand folding, insertion and sealing is 140 / hour.  Bear in mind that this is an average and that a simple operation may be higher and a more complex operation may be lower. 


To check this average against your job, observe the task for 15 minutes and then take a count.  Don’t forget to factor in 20 to 25 percent of your time count to accommodate breaks, corrections, etc.



D.        Example: Manual Versus Automated


2000 invoices must be sent out for company ABC.  The manual productivity rate for folding, inserting and sealing this job (using the industry average of 140 / hr) provides a raw time count of 14.3 hours to prepare the invoices for mailing manually.   Factoring in an additional 22% for breaks, meals and corrections brings the total for manual mailing to 17.4 hrs. 


Using the Datatech 2600 a 2000 count fold, insert and seal job delivers an automated productivity rate of 1.1 hours (2000 / 1800per hr. = 1.1).  Allowing .4 hours for set-up and occasional jams results in a total of 1.5 hours to complete the task via automation.


      Using the formula developed earlier results in the following:


            (17.4 Man. Hrs. x 2) – 1.5   =   33.3 hrs. Effective Productivity Gain in

  labor hours.