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Old October 5th, 2011, 11:38 AM
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Default VDP Booklet Mailer - Multiple Records, Multiple Addresses - Solution?

We have a variable data project we're about to embark on, and I'm wondering if there's an easier solution... Here goes...

The job is a 28-page booklet for 200-some different insurance agents. Each agent then has a list of people to which they will be sending the booklets. Is there a way I can compose ONCE, chunking the files by insurance agent and their mail to addresses? Or, do I manually have to compose 200-some times, switching out the data input file each time?

I've searched through the forums and found some similar solutions:

"25 Different Versions" - http://forums.printable.com/showthread.php?t=1168

"External Data File Sample - Very Simple Statement" - http://forums.printable.com/showthread.php?p=1247

The "25 Different Versions" solution seems doable, however, if I have 200 different agents for a 28 page booklet, that's 5600 pages I'll have to create in my template. .

The "External Data File Sample - Very Simple Statement" solution also seems viable, however I'm just not sure how I'd compose to different files. I'm certain each agent will have a different number of addresses to send to, so "Output to multiple files" and specifying a number won't work. Well, it will, but not as I'd need it to.
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  #2  
Old October 5th, 2011, 02:36 PM
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Default Re: VDP Booklet Mailer - Multiple Records, Multiple Addresses - Solution?

We're working on adding support for grouping variable numbers of output records into multiple output files (we call this "arbitrary chunking" internally) for FusionPro 8, for exactly this kind of job. This will also allow arbitrary stack sizes for imposed jobs. But the new version won't be available for a least a month, and unfortunately, there's no easy way to do this kind of thing now.
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Old October 5th, 2011, 03:02 PM
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Default Re: VDP Booklet Mailer - Multiple Records, Multiple Addresses - Solution?

Ah, bummer. At least I'll be kept occupied, manually composing the files

And that's good to know "arbitrary chunking" is in the pipes... I can imagine that ability will be very beneficial to a lot of folks.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 04:04 PM
rpaterick rpaterick is offline
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Default Re: VDP Booklet Mailer - Multiple Records, Multiple Addresses - Solution?

Is each agent getting ALL of their clients books shipped to them?
So each agent has different QTY.'s depending on their client list, correct?
What is variable on the printed piece?
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Old October 6th, 2011, 04:20 PM
rpaterick rpaterick is offline
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Default Re: VDP Booklet Mailer - Multiple Records, Multiple Addresses - Solution?

If each book has no variable, I would say it comes down to your time and the presses time for ripping each AGENT's book qty.

We just did a similar project. Around 250 agents with over 4,000 books.

-Printed the 4,000 books

-GROUPED the records in excel to show the QTY for each agent. Extremely easy to do in 2007 Office.

-Hand Bindery has the Grouped Records excel data file PRINT-OUT to show them how many books go with each group(or in your case, each agent).

-Shipping gets a file with each AGENT's address to print the FedEx labels out and checks qty. against printed out data list.


If you have a pretty big hand bindery dept. to put the correct qty of BOOKS in shipping boxes for each agent, I would go that route.

If you need clarification on the Excel Grouping feature, let me know.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 08:48 AM
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Default Re: VDP Booklet Mailer - Multiple Records, Multiple Addresses - Solution?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rpaterick View Post
Is each agent getting ALL of their clients books shipped to them?
I'm actually not sure if we're handling the mailing to the Agents' lists, or if we're mailing in bulk to each Agent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rpaterick View Post
So each agent has different QTY.'s depending on their client list, correct?
Correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rpaterick View Post
What is variable on the printed piece?
There are a few pages with Agent contact info, and a couple pages that either do or do not feature the Agent's head shot with their signature. One of the pages itself is also variable, depending on whether or not the headshot appears. The back of the booklet also has an Agent's client's mailing address on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rpaterick View Post
If each book has no variable, I would say it comes down to your time and the presses time for ripping each AGENT's book qty.

We just did a similar project. Around 250 agents with over 4,000 books.

-Printed the 4,000 books

-GROUPED the records in excel to show the QTY for each agent. Extremely easy to do in 2007 Office.

-Hand Bindery has the Grouped Records excel data file PRINT-OUT to show them how many books go with each group(or in your case, each agent).

-Shipping gets a file with each AGENT's address to print the FedEx labels out and checks qty. against printed out data list.


If you have a pretty big hand bindery dept. to put the correct qty of BOOKS in shipping boxes for each agent, I would go that route.

If you need clarification on the Excel Grouping feature, let me know.
Nah, unfortunately each Agent's book is personalized so I don't think this would work. Thanks for the suggestion though!
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Old October 7th, 2011, 09:16 AM
rpaterick rpaterick is offline
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Default Re: VDP Booklet Mailer - Multiple Records, Multiple Addresses - Solution?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stack View Post
Nah, unfortunately each Agent's book is personalized so I don't think this would work. Thanks for the suggestion though!

If the data file had the agent's info and then in the same row, had the QTY. that needed to be printed for each agent, FusionPro could output the file correctly for each agent.

Let me know if you want the code or more clarification?
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Old October 7th, 2011, 09:29 AM
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Default Re: VDP Booklet Mailer - Multiple Records, Multiple Addresses - Solution?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rpaterick View Post
If the data file had the agent's info and then in the same row, had the QTY. that needed to be printed for each agent, FusionPro could output the file correctly for each agent.

Let me know if you want the code or more clarification?
I'm afraid I don't quite grasp it. Could you clarify?
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Old October 7th, 2011, 09:46 AM
rpaterick rpaterick is offline
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Default Re: VDP Booklet Mailer - Multiple Records, Multiple Addresses - Solution?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stack View Post
I'm afraid I don't quite grasp it. Could you clarify?

Is your data file setup similar to what is attached? sample.txt

Just seeing if your data file has the qty input that is requested for each agent. If so, FP can output each agent correctly based on the QTY input.
Attached Files
File Type: txt sample.txt (182 Bytes, 3 views)
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Old October 7th, 2011, 10:04 AM
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Default Re: VDP Booklet Mailer - Multiple Records, Multiple Addresses - Solution?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rpaterick View Post
Is your data file setup similar to what is attached? sample.txt

Just seeing if your data file has the qty input that is requested for each agent. If so, FP can output each agent correctly based on the QTY input.
It is basically like that, yes. Except that, assuming John Smith and Barb Thomas are Agents, there would be additional columns with mailing addresses. And if John Smith is ordering a quantity of 25, his name would be on the list 25 times, with each instance having a different client mailing address. Does that make sense?

You know, as I actually type out my intended approach, it does seem like complicated overkill, haha... But everything is ideally done digitally inline, e.g. we'll have a PDF file for each agent with all their client's addresses already placed. We wouldn't be printing a bunch of flat sheets and then later inkjetting all the info on.
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