SMP rebrands and changes sponsor

Max Goldbart
Monday, September 12, 2016

Direct mail network the Strategic Mailing Partnership (SMP) has rebranded and changed sponsor in a bid to recruit new members.

It is now the Strategic Mailing Partnership: The Mailmakers and is sponsored by Royal Mail Wholesale, instead of Royal Mail Retail.

The partnership, which was launched in 2008, has more than 150 members but has mainly stayed out of the public eye since 2010.

SMP chair Judith Donovan said: “This was set up by Royal Mail in 2008 so will be eight years old at the end of the year. The object behind it is to widen and deepen the relationship with Royal Mail and the mailing houses, which historically hasn’t been close.

“Wholesale as the new sponsor is a new part of Royal Mail that probably makes more sense because the majority of bulk direct mail is produced by my members and the majority goes through the downstream access operators. So our new sponsors take the opportunity to say ‘let’s give the brand a makeover' and make us more visible in the marketplace."

Donovan said she wanted the SMP to start staging the various training programmes and events that were successful when it first started. It will also be sending out monthly newsletters, along with continuing its six-time-yearly board meetings.

Royal Mail Wholesale director of network access Jenny Ledgar said: “I am so delighted to be part of SMP again. I genuinely believe that those of us who work in the mail supply chain have a critical role to play in ensuring our customers get a great service and great value for money from their investment in mail. 

"It’s my job, as the new sponsor, to really keep investing in this great relationship and giving our valued board members a reason to keep on representing mailing houses at the SMP board.”

The SMP’s members manufacture around 80% of the bulk mail carried by Royal Mail and it is said to be the only supply chain partnership in post in Europe.

After its 2008 launch, the partnership went on the first of its recruitment drives, and was successful in recruiting more than 100 members by 2011.

In 2012, it changed tack, taking on more of a manufacturing focus, which it said had been a success.

Donovan believes this second recruitment drive and a stronger media presence will lead to further growth.

Current SMP board members include employees at GI Solutions, Communisis, Hallmark Cards and Adare.

Donovan added: “The point is to help each other with technological advances, to assist each other, add value to both of each other’s processes and all the things you would expect in a manufactured partnership.”

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