Earlier in the year one of our customers got in touch saying that he used a service called PC2Paper for sending out invoices, etc. and would like to see it integrated into KashFlow.
Essentially what the service does is allow you to send documents over the internet and someone else prints it and posts it for you – saving you the time and cost of doing it yourself.
I got in touch with PC2Paper and did a little bit of digging. They’re quite a small outfit so I was worried about if they’d be able to handle the potential volume we’d be putting their way and mantain the levels of customer service our users are used to. A 5 day wait for a response to an email confirmed it.
We were sold on the concept but needed a bigger player to work with. If I’m honest we also wanted someone with a brand we could get some leverage from.
Step in TNT with their TNT-IT service. A few phone calls established that yes, they did have an API and we could put in place seamless integration with them. Excellent.
Months later and seemingly endless back and forth with technical documents we were starting to get frustrated. It was very apparent that the service is grafted on to the side of en existing old fashioned mail delivery network.
Unlike the TNT service, ViaPost was started from day one to provide this kind of service, and it shows. They have an incredibly easy to use public API, are very quick in dealing with any enquiries and using the service is cheaper than buying a first class stamp.
The most appealing part of their service though is the green aspect, hence the title of this blog post. They have a network of printers all over the country. So let’s say you’re in Devon and you want to send a letter to Edinburgh. Using the ViaPost service the letter would travel securely over their systems to the printer closest to the recipient before it is physically printed and delivered. Obviously this massively reduces the impact on the environment as well as ensuring the letter gets there very quickly.
I’m not a green evangelist, but if you can save money and time whilst saving the planet then I don’t see how you can argue with the concept.
The integration is currently being tested by a few KashFlow users and will be available to all in the next couple of weeks. Keep an eye on our Changelog.
If you want to test the service yourself then open a help request in your account and we’ll give you access.
11/12/2008 Update: This service is now available to all users. See here.