Howard Hunt improve efficiency with Imprint-MIS and matchIT integration | DMA

Filter By

Show All

Connect to


Howard Hunt improve efficiency with Imprint-MIS and matchIT integration


As one of UK’s largest producers of direct mail packs, with over 400 million door drops and around 1.2 billion inserts per annum, Howard Hunt prides itself on an ability to transform and adapt to stay ahead of the curve in a challenging and competitive market.

Even after 25 years of trading Howard Hunt continues to forge new paths of efficiency, ensuring their customers receive a service that keeps them coming back for more.

To process such incredibly large volumes of direct mail, Howard Hunt’s business proposition depends on accurate data and reliable systems. The process used to rely on a regimented routine where a data file would arrive from a client, with a member of the team manually setting up the workflow and file structure template within their Management Information System, Imprint-MIS. This would then be manually interpreted and input into a separate data processing tool for proofing or print. By working with the Imprint-MIS developers the process has now been streamlined as much as possible but a large job could still take a while to book in. Needless to say, dealing with direct mail on such a vast scale meant even small efficiencies would accomplish significant cost savings.

This method was effective for Howard Hunt, but as a business, where systems and processes are routinely scrutinised to drive productivity, Howard Hunt’s technical team began to research how they might further automate processes better and introduce interconnectivity between disparate systems. In order to maintain a competitive advantage, Howard Hunt wanted a way to drastically reduce the time it took to turn around data files. Howard Hunt wanted to do this without compromising data integrity or accuracy, but more importantly, reduce failure rates on automated regular or overnight processing.

After coming to the realisation that improving automation and systems robustness would provide the biggest benefits overall, Howard Hunt started looking for ways to integrate their Imprint-MIS Direct Mail system with a data Technology Partner to deal with the data side of the business. To realise this vision they asked Imprint to engage with helpIT systems and learn how matchIT SQL, a fully SQL Server based solution, could integrate, streamline and tie together all of their existing data workflows into one single workflow by fully integrating with Imprint.

“Integrating Imprint with matchIT SQL has drastically reduced the time of human interaction”, says Stuart King, Director of Technology. “A new job in our previous stack took 36 minutes; by integrating Imprint with matchIT we have been able to get this down to under 4 minutes.”

The 90% time saving aspect was of course a big game changer for a company that process in excess of 500 data files a month. The automation aspect alone gave a time saving of 250 man-hours per month processing time. But time saving was just the start; as a result of having the two systems talking to each other.

“By working with the Imprint and matchIT teams, we have complete confidence in data integrity, and now have a central platform that is easier to manage, and not reliant on another software platforms” says Stuart.

By having the two systems fully integrated has now completely changed the way jobs are processed and has enabled us to work with other web-based solutions. Files turn up and generate an automated arrival email, and a standard file structure template is applied. A proprietary system then offers visibility as to what has been configured, and settings such as, matching, PAF’ing, suppression and Mailsort levels etc. can be checked and validated before the job is executed.

“The fact that the matchIt data processing engine is not desktop reliant is one of its most distinguishing features”, says Stuart King, “and this opens up the possibilities to extend to offering services through web-portals."

Compliance, audit and customer security requirements are handled more easily with all the data stored in SQL Server e.g. it automates the process of clearing down routines per individual customer SLA’s and needs, with the ability for manual adjustment as required. The benefits of the

Imprint and matchIT SQL integration have been greater than originally sought, and more benefits are becoming evident.

Issued by

Wayne Beckett – Sales and Marketing Director



High Easter


Tel: 01245 231670

Hear more from the DMA

Please login to comment.