Currently working on modernizing a clients systems to a suitable standard is tough..
Especially when the things they want aren’t supported properly.. Darn Label systems
Dymo Label Printers are fantastic things.. Postage labels, folder naming systems, Courtesy labels for the boxes of customers new PC’s. The software with them and cross platform support?.. Not so fantastic..
For example, you can keep a list of people you regularly mail out to (sort of the point of having a label system..), print your labels easily from your application, but you can’t have 3 people use the same contacts part of the program (an address book file..) at the same time, Slightly silly when you have 3 people handling mail and customers.
We throw a few options around the office and we get the ‘We are far too reliant on expensive Microsoft Office comes along’ when I mention mail merging with Word and Access. There are other ways but investigating a Google Docs method would be less configuring.. Or so I thought..
It appears you can not choose what size to make paper in Google Docs, or specify a printing area. Merge functions aren’t available unless you use Avery’s add in for Avery sheet labels, a very select range of them.
Or there’s some Java code you can use to print directly from a Web-app to a label.. (specifying what data to print is in the actual script, and a quick look shows it not to be reading from a database or source file..) Other than that? Forget it.
Add some functionality to that idea
As part of the brief was also looking at Postage as well as address labels. One Application I’ve been using for years without issue is Royal Mail’s Smart-stamp, which also handles contact management and prints postage stamps directly from a Prepay account with Royal Mail. Very Handy..
…And get beaten down by Big Business’s mistakes..
Unfortunately with a few technical issues a couple of years back Royal Mail decided not to allow new subscriptions to this fantastic service, and this got forgotten about with all the hassle over the ‘Sell off’. Shame really, because with a bit of work and user friendliness added to the program, This will be a money maker for Royal Mail..
After watching how the client processes their outgoing mail, this would of saved them time, money and the hassle of putting together a jigsaw of postage stamps on their envelopes.. and we aren’t talking a few letters, well maybe a few normal letters, large letters with technical specifications, some stuff weighing up.. At least £10 worth of business to Royal Mail, and 30 minutes wasted preparing it all.
End of the day, It seems adding the information into the shared Outlook contacts file is the way to go and continue using the old Dymo software, and stick with the ancient postage ritual until some clues appear in the postage industry.