Our Commitment to Sustainability Has Never Been Stronger.

Established in 1973, BMS Direct is a local, family-owned business that will be celebrating its 50th year anniversary in August 2023.

BMS Direct’s commitment to sustainability has never been stronger. Their approach is integrated throughout the business to strive to protect the environment, empower people and get results the right way today and tomorrow.

Over the years, the BMS team has continually looked for means to be an environmentally friendly business, initiating sustainability initiatives with the lofty goal of protecting global ecosystems for the sake of future generations. Some of the initiatives include the installation of public Tesla and standard EV charging stations and the businesses’ use of Tesla EV vehicles. They’ve installed motion-activated LED lighting throughout the 80,000 sq. ft. facility and recycle all material waste. Their team believes in leaving their footprint on the environment and in 2016, decided to initiate a going green solar initiative by installing 922 panels. This supplemented approximately 55+% of their overall energy consumption. Since then and as energy prices have continued to rise, they decided to continue down the solar path and maximize their roof space with the addition of more panels. Now, with 1489 panels generating 696 MWh per year, BMS Direct should cover 100% of their on-peak demand each day while also feeding access power back to the grid.

As an industry leader in the transactional print and mail industry, in partnership with their clients, BMS will continue to leave green footprints because they see it is making a difference.

Our Commitment to Sustainability Has Never Been Stronger. Read More »

Color Paper: Paper Supply Issues, Mill Closures, and the Printing and Packaging Industries

Portions of this article were published initially on PiWorld. View the original article here.

The price of paper is on the rise. Color stocks are becoming a thing of the past. That’s no real surprise to anyone in the printing and packaging industries. In 2022, we continued to see paper demand grow and supply sink, which immediately saw a continued rise in prices throughout the year—clearly the same example of the economics of supply and demand in action.

  • Issues from 2022 — A few North American highlights: 9 closures. Closures didn’t stop. PaperMoney’s 2022 Closures and cutbacks article is just as long as the previous year. 
  • Issues from 2021 — A few highlights just from North America: 16 closures. Issues like raw pulp pricing increases and rising transportation costs — are also carried over into 2022. Paper and raw materials shortages were commonplace. Additionally, over the last several years, we’ve seen increasing numbers of paper mills shutter their doors, locally and worldwide. Early in 2021, PaperMoney outlined all the pulp and paper mill closures in 2021 — and it was sobering to see. 

Many of these closures are also in small towns, significantly impacting local communities. Our communities! For example, in a report by WJHG/WECP in Panama City, Florida, nearly 450 employees were let go when the WestRock paper mill closed. For many Bay County residents, the Panama City Paper Mill was where many families worked for generations.

Paper companies are merging, converting to corrugated, and even closing doors. BMS has been transitioning away from these colored papers to secure supplies of paper that we must use with our print equipment to ensure we meet our client’s needs. Digital Inkjet enables the transition to all white paper stock driving efficiencies and reliability for mail service providers. It lowers client costs, allows quicker turn-times, and reduces inventory. A significant trend is that people need on-demand access to what they’re seeking. Inkjet printing allows you to quickly run personalized and targeted print campaigns at higher quantities than what would make sense for digital. 

The marketplace is changing, inkjet technology continues to improve, and there are new print opportunities that can help you succeed. Here at BMS, we know how you can take advantage of inkjet.  

Color Paper: Paper Supply Issues, Mill Closures, and the Printing and Packaging Industries Read More »

Take Advantage of 2023 USPS Promotions

USPS Promotions to Take Advantage of in 2023

What’s New


  • Discount: Increase
  • New eligibility: Scent on the outside of the envelope

Discount: 5%


  • Timeframe: Moved from Jul – Dec to Feb – Jul
  • Eligibility: Add CRM/BRM inclusion incentive
  • Discount: Add tier for reply mail inclusion
    Discount: 3% or 4%


  • Combined promotions
  • Timeframe: Increase to 7 mos. (May – Nov)
  • Discount: Increase tier pricing
    Discount: 3% or 4%


  • Encourage reply mail customers to adopt IMbA static or serialized barcodes.
    Discount: 3% or 6%
    (on inbound reply mailpiece scanned)


  • An incentive for eDoc submitters
    Discount Mailers: 4%
    eDoc Submitter: 0.5%


  • Incentivizes marketers to send out a postcard to a recent website or mobile app visitor that didn’t convert.
    Discount: 5%

While it sounds old-fashioned, direct mail marketing is still a viable way to reach new and existing customers.

  • Small businesses should look for current USPS promotions to reduce the cost of sending large amounts of direct mail.
  • Your business can send two types of direct mailers: First-Class Mail or Marketing Mail.
  • The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) often runs promotions and discounts on direct mail services, potentially bringing substantial savings to your business. We’ll highlight six current USPS direct mail promotions and explain more about mailers and mailing equipment.

What are the types of direct mail mailers?

The USPS breaks down its promotions by mailer type: First-Class Mail and Marketing Mail. These two types are standard classifications for direct business mail:

  • First-Class Mail encompasses cards, letters, flats, and parcels weighing 13 ounces or less. The minimum quantity to mail at commercial prices is 500 pieces.
  • Marketing Mail has a minimum quantity of 200 pieces, or 50 pounds of mail, and is used to send flyers, advertisements, newsletters, bulletins, catalogs, and small parcels.

The USPS breaks up its six promotions, so there is ample opportunity for senders in both mail classifications to benefit.

Take Advantage of 2023 USPS Promotions Read More »

USPS 2023 Holidays & events – plan ahead

Ensure Your Critical Communications Are Ready Early

Plan Ahead & Know the USPS Holiday Schedule

There are many ways to succeed in direct mail marketing since it’s an open-ended and creative space. However, here are a few tips on using direct mail for business to help ensure your campaigns’ success.

  • Keep your communication mail piece focused and clear of clutter.
  • Use clear, easy-to-read fonts.
  • Make your CTA the focal point of the mailer.
  • Know your audience and tailor your message to them.
  • Run data tests before sending out your entire campaign.
  • Proofread your forms and collateral material multiple times.
  • Send follow-up messages.
  • Drive traffic to your website by including a link or scannable QR code.

2023 USPS Holidays & events

  • MONDAY, January 2*, New Year’s Day
  • MONDAY, January 16, Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday
  • MONDAY, February 20, Presidents’ Day
  • MONDAY, May 29, Memorial Day
  • MONDAY, June 19, Juneteenth National Independence Day
  • TUESDAY. July 4, Independence Day
  • MONDAY, September 4, Labor Day
  • MONDAY, October 9, Columbus Day
  • SATURDAY, November 11* Veterans Day
  • THURSDAY, November 23, Thanksgiving Day
  • MONDAY, December 25, Christmas Day

* If a holiday falls on a Sunday, for most USPS employees, the following Monday will be treated as a holiday for pay and leave purposes. Likewise, if a holiday falls on a Saturday, for most USPS employees, the preceding Friday will be treated as a holiday for pay and leave purposes.

USPS service alerts have information for consumers, small businesses, and business mailers about postal facility service disruptions caused by weather-related and other natural disasters, special events, or other changes impacting service.

We can determine if mail is being delivered or if Post Offices are open. Let us help.

Contact Your BMS Postal Expert

BMS customers can first check the USPS Mail Service Disruptions website for current, frequently-updated information about whether mail is being delivered to their neighborhood or if your local Post Office is open.

Or you can call your customer service team at 1-866-816.2378.

USPS 2023 Holidays & events – plan ahead Read More »

US Postal Service Submits Filing for Price Increase to Go Into Effect January 2023

This article was originally published on Brand United. It can be viewed here.

Late on Friday, October 7, the Postal Service submitted a filing with the Postal Regulatory Commission proposing a price increase. This would be in effect on January 22, 2023. The PRC will review the filing to ensure that USPS calculations are accurate and the proposed prices comply with the statute. The PRC is expected to approve the request in November. Yes, postage increased in July, and now there will be another increase in January. We also expect another increase in July of 2023.

Here are some of the proposed rates:

First-Class Mail:

  • The stamp and Meter price differential will remain at 3 cents.
  • Non-machinable surcharge for Letters will increase from 39 cents to 40 cents.
  • The additional ounce rate will remain at 24 cents.
  • 5-Digit Automation Letters price will increase by 3.5%.
  • The overall increase for Flats is 6.2%.

Standard Marketing Mail:

  • Letter overall increase is 3.2%
  • The flat overall increase is 6.2%
  • Creation of 5 new discounts for flats on SCF pallets
  • EDDM retail increased by 1%
  • CRRT overall increased by 6.2%

Don’t let the postage rate increases scare you away from this vital marketing channel. Direct mail has the highest ROI of all marketing channels when done correctly. On average, the postage rates increased by less than a penny per piece, so they will not drastically increase your overall direct mail budget. Still, it is essential to account for the additional postage funds. It’s time to get creative and send direct mail that is interesting as well as cost-effective. Are you ready to get started?

  1. As operating expenses continue to rise, these price adjustments provide the Postal Service with much-needed revenue to achieve the financial stability sought by its Delivering for America 10-year plan. The prices of the U.S. Postal Service remain among the most affordable in the world.The PRC will review the changes before they are scheduled to take effect. The complete Postal Service price filing, with prices for all products, can be found on the PRC website under the Daily Listings section at The Mailing Services filing is Docket No. R2023-1. The price tables are also available on the Postal Service’s Postal Explorer website at Postal Service generally receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products, and services to fund its operations.

US Postal Service Submits Filing for Price Increase to Go Into Effect January 2023 Read More »

A New Postal Network and Your Mail

This article was originally published on Snailtalk. It can be viewed here.

If you think changing a tire on a moving bus is tough, try doing it with a blindfold on.  This is kind of what the Postal Service is doing with its network right now.  The blindfolds are actually on the industry and postal employees.  Someone there knows what they’re doing.  Right?  Right?

There is much more to these changes than learning some new initials…we think.  The Postal Service has only shared with the industry and public that is legally required.  The industry that will need to interface with this network has been largely kept in the dark, only getting snippets of the plan from required communications between the Postal Service with their unions.  It’s not unlike looking through a hole in the plywood surrounding a construction site.

Even the timing and details of some of the changes happening this fall are difficult to ascertain.  This will be a particularly important season to be tracking your mail.  Here’s some of what we do know:

  • NDC will become SDC – Sort and Delivery Centers.  These would consolidate existing facilities into a single facility, where mail would be sorted and given to carriers.  Carriers may need to drive up to 30 minutes (maybe more) to reach their routes.  There are expected to be 60-75 of these facilities.
  • No implementation schedule has been released beyond the first few locations.
    • Athens, GA, will consolidate about 180 carrier routes serving 123,000 delivery points.  This unit is expected to be completed by September 24.
    • Mid-Hudson, NY, will consolidate 160 routes serving 100,000 delivery points.  Scheduled to be completed this fall.
    • Bryan, TX, will handle 150 routes serving 117,000 delivery points, completed by February.
  • Regional Processing Centers (RPC), also known as Mega-Centers, will provide the equivalent function for larger cities.
    • Atlanta, GA, could consolidate 73 existing stations into 7, with 2,327 routes serving 1.74 million delivery points.
    • Indianapolis, IN, would have two facilities housing 1,058 routes serving 710,000 delivery points.
  • Overall, the Postmaster General hopes to consolidate 19,000 carrier units into 12,000 or 13,000.
  • 6,000 or 7,000 local post offices will lose their carriers.
  • The whole realignment is expected to take 2-4 years.

There is a lot more to the realignment than these facilities.  Surface Transfer Centers will manage the routing and transportation of Marketing Mail letters and flats.

The point of all of this is to simplify the network and run fewer trucks.  Clearly, a change of this degree may impact delivery.  SnailWorks will be watching delivery in the established facilities during the holiday mailing season, as this may give us a clue as to what to expect in the future.

As we learn more details, of course, we’ll share them with you.

A New Postal Network and Your Mail Read More »

US Postal Service (USPS) Mail Delivery Timeline Getting Better

Looking ahead to the 2022 holiday peak season, the US Postal Service (USPS) announced the dates for the “Temporary Rate Adjustments.” This year, the higher price rates will be effective from October 2, 2022, through January 22, 2023.  In addition, USPS National News states that the average delivery timeline is now steady at 2.5 days.  For the quarter, overall mail volumes were down 3.4% over the same period last year (SPLY), while revenue was up 5.0%.

The USPS service performance report during the 4th quarter indicates their scores covering July 1 through August 5  are consistent.

They included:

  • First-Class Mail on time: 93.1 percent.
  • Marketing Mail on time: 94.2 percent.
  • Periodicals on time: 86.3 percent.

One of the goals of “Delivering for America, the Postal Service’s 10-year plan” for achieving financial sustainability and service excellence is to meet or exceed 95 percent on-time service performance for all mail and shipping products.  But, of course, this is once all elemental implementations of the plan.  The Postal Service defines service performance as the time it takes to deliver a mailpiece or package from its acceptance into their system through its delivery, measured against published service standards.


US Postal Service (USPS) Mail Delivery Timeline Getting Better Read More »

Variable Data Printing (VDP)

What is Variable Data Printing (VDP)?

VDP is a method of digital printing that allows graphic or text elements to be easily and efficiently swapped out throughout a print job – making it more personal to the receiver. It is commonly used in the direct mail industry and generally yields a 42% response rate. This is a great way to cost-effectively personalize your marketing effort for specific demographics.

86% of consumers say that customizing a piece of mail, has some impact on their purchasing decision. VDP can offer to streamline efficiency – it’s easy to change out a name and address on each piece that mails. It also offers a great way to track your customer response with the use of customized codes etc.

Put yourself in the client’s shoes for a moment.

Receiving huge amounts of junk mail, ads, and other promos –  that have nothing to do with their needs or interests – can get old quickly! It gets annoying pretty fast, too. Variable print can change that for you, helping you make a good impression in the long run. It makes you more memorable.

Current clients will be more likely to respond back to you or stay with you, while prospects are more likely to buy something from you the next time they make their next purchase.

How can variable printing be made – uniquely?

Other than changing out the address block, on a typical mail piece, you can also do the following:

  1. You can change the header information, such as a name or salutation. See the example highlighted in yellow.


  1. Adding pertinent information, such as a savings or specific promotion – just for the client it is being sent to. See the example highlighted in yellow.


  1. Personalizing an image is also an option!



And, remember, the address block should always include the following:

  1. Full name
  2. Company name (if needed)
  3. City
  4. State
  5. Zip

Here at BMS Direct Inc., we are committed to helping you strive for that perfect piece of mail that will help you grow.

Variable Data Printing (VDP) Read More »

Print Ready?

Is Your Art File Print Ready?

Many things go into getting a file ready for print. For print, this process is called Prepress, assembling and editing a product (such as a book or newspaper) before printing. (Source: Merriam).

Creating the Perfect Printed Piece

Without the proper knowledge, it’s hard to create the perfect printed piece.  It’s not just about the right design, colorful logo, flowing fonts, and excellent pictures. That’s why a prepress department is so important. Making the correct modifications will ensure that your work outputs perfectly. Below are some step-by-step measures that you, as a client, can make before sending your work to the printer.


Proofreading the document before sending it to the printer is essential. Catching any grammatical or spelling errors, information, or flow of the document before your printed piece is in the hands of the recipient is important.

The Prepress department will essentially check and adjust the spacing such as kerning, leading, and tracking, line breaks, uniformity of the text throughout, and make sure all the fonts are available and embedded within the document.

Image Resolution & Size

There are two different types of images used in a design – a raster or vector graphic. If using a raster image, be sure to not enlarge it more than 15-20% of the original size to avoid pixilation and make sure it is at least 300 dpi. Common file types include PNG, JPG, GIF, PSD and TIF. Vector graphics are a series of lines and curves. You can scale an image created purely as a vector file to any size without loss of resolution. However, most images will still contain at least some raster elements. (Source: BMS).

CMYK Color

 The printing process uses CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black). CMYK is a subtractive color model, so this adds pigment or dye to a page to subtract white from an image. (Source: BMS). Did you know that most design software use RGB as a default color mode? It’s true! Since most printers print in CMYK, a good rule is to switch the software color mode from RGB to CMYK.

A prepress technician will always check for color accuracy of the design and images before sending it off to print.

Bleed or No Bleed

 A bleed is the image or color area that’s extended beyond the final trimmed product. It’s just a way to reduce misprints and provide a margin for error. The general rule of thumb allows for .125” bleed extended past the trim mark.

Cutting machines will trim the printed image to your specifications in the printing process. If you haven’t left a bleed, the cutting machines will trim 0.5mm past the edge of your graphic. If you haven’t extended the image beyond a bleed area, this cutting will leave a noticeable white line and look unprofessional.

Need more help, BMS Direct, Inc. is here for you.



Print Ready? Read More »

For Transactional, Direct Mail, and In-Plant Printers

This article is a reprint from Canon Solutions America.

How Production Inkjet Can Help You Achieve Your Sustainability Goals

The Digital Advantage

If you currently print predominantly on offset or other non-inkjet technology, reducing your environmental impact and boosting your reputation for sustainability are just some of the substantial benefits you could achieve by moving to inkjet production printing.

By its very nature, digital printing offers many sustainability benefits, such as less waste, chemical-free production, and reduced make-ready and set-up time

By its very nature, digital printing offers many sustainability benefits, such as less waste, chemical-free production, and reduced make-ready and set-up time. You also can add cost-efficient production of shorter runs matched to actual demand, even down to a run length of one, among its green attributes. And being a digital process, efficiencies and consequential sustainability benefits can be enhanced—and the risk of human error reduced—by putting in place fully automated workflows managed by software.

Digital printing also gives print providers access to more sustainable business models, such as:

  • On-demand Printing: Sell first, then print.
  • Dynamic Publishing: Highly targeted content based on streamlined data workflows and automated production processes, resulting in lower page counts.
  • Programmatic Print: Linking marketing automation platforms and highly-automated print production workflows.

If you’d like to find out more about these business models, you can read our reTHINK Commercial Print guide here.

Elevated by Inkjet

Through the use of production inkjet technology, however, the environmental benefits of digital printing can be elevated to an even higher level—starting with the printheads.

Engineered for precision and durability, these printheads can have a lifespan of thousands of hours and may only need to be replaced after years of use.

Most inkjet sheetfed and web presses use piezo printhead technology, which works by rapidly passing an electric charge through a piezo crystal that flexes and, in doing so, forces a drop of ink out of a nozzle. Engineered for precision and durability, these printheads can have a lifespan of thousands of hours and may only need to be replaced after years of use. The longevity of the print heads also is aided by the close interdependency between the printhead technology and inkjet inks, resulting in minimal maintenance costs.

Eco-Friendly Inks

As for inkjet inks, the most environmentally friendly are stringently manufactured aqueous pigment inks. Being water-based, the inks emit low odor; do not carry substances of very high concern (SVHC); and are free of mineral oil, aromatic hydrocarbon (MOAH), and saturated hydrocarbons (MOSH). Look for process-color inks listed in the Nordic Swan database of approved printing chemicals that show good deinking properties, according to INGEDE method 11, when combined with appropriate substrates.

Look for process-color inks listed in the Nordic Swan database of approved printing chemicals that show good deinking properties.

Solvents used and produced in the manufacture of inks, coatings, and paints contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), human-made chemicals that may have adverse health effects. However, sustainability-conscious suppliers see to it that the VOC emissions of ink and paper conditioning products remain well below the levels allowed by governmental guidelines. In addition, some inkjet presses use innovative technology to further reduce the impact of VOCs. For example, some drying technology uses a sufficiently low temperature that any VOC particles that do enter the paper fibers are not released into the air, so no exhaust air cleaning is required. Other presses also have integrated exhaust air cleaning systems that can eliminate VOC emissions.

Even More Sustainable Credentials

The main sustainability benefits that can be gained through adopting inkjet production technology offer a lot to consider. But there are other features and sustainable benefits to seek out when evaluating an inkjet press investment. For a start, energy consumption: while a press that is robust enough for heavy-duty 24/7 operations is a given, there are inkjet presses that feature low energy consumption per printed page.

Then, hand in hand with durability are longevity and upgradability. Though digital machines have at times been associated with “built-in obsolescence,” look for an inkjet press that has proved itself in the market and offers a clear upgrade path for new features and speed enhancements, maximizing the lifespan of the system and making it truly sustainable. An inkjet press that has been built to last and to operate around the clock—especially one that incorporates preventive maintenance concepts—is most likely to deliver the high levels of uptime and productivity required and, potentially, up to 10 million impressions per week.

An inkjet press that can be refurbished and has multiple recyclable parts also will add to your sustainability credentials.

Finally, an inkjet press that can be refurbished and has multiple recyclable parts also will add to your sustainability credentials. So, look for a supplier that maximizes the economic life of its inkjet presses with a high refurbishment rate and that recycles, within industry standard recycling processes, a high percentage of the parts in its presses.

Plus Canon’s Commitment

With sustainability becoming an increasingly important topic for print service providers, it is even more of a reason to think about moving some, if not all, your work to production inkjet and assessing which technology partner is going to be best for your business. Not only does Canon Solutions America offer a range of production inkjet presses to suit every application and run-length but, for us, sustainability is a key consideration from the very start of the inkjet innovation and development process—including using sustainable and/or recycled materials and energy-efficient manufacturing processes and eliminating hazardous substances wherever we can.

For Transactional, Direct Mail, and In-Plant Printers Read More »

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