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In general terms, a portal is a way for a customer to access the computer files and information in a vendor's computer system. Specifically, our portals allow you to see the current status of your Direct Mail jobs and the level of any inventory items we store. You are able to browse all open and recently closed jobs to see the start date, due date, materials used, special instructions, notes and completion dates. You can see the current balance of your materials, any allocations against open jobs, and an audit trail of all transactions that have effected the item.
Obviously, this applies to customers which whom we have a more long-term relationship. There are other portal options available. For example, on some of our Bound Printed Matter mail manifesting systems, the customers post the weights for their products to a portal page. In other cases, internal mailing lists, form definitions and other data are uploaded. Some customers even maintain their message files through online editor programs.
Overall, the portals make everything easier for you and improve the speed and accuracy of communications. In a process with as many details as a Direct Mail campaign, the more communications, the better!