Merkle RMG has been growing for many years now in every way you can think of — new clients, more employees, and an expanded set of services. To accommodate this growth, there are many exciting changes occurring at our facility in Hagerstown.
What’s driving these changes? For one, we’ve been averaging 16 new clients a year for the last three years. Also, more clients are realizing the value of all the services we provide and entrusting us to handle more of their in-house processes. As a result, certain areas are growing even faster than we anticipated — especially our Contact Center, Exception Services and Fulfillment departments.
Accommodating High-Growth Areas
On May 29, Merkle RMG kicked off a project to expand and reconfigure these high-growth areas to support more staff and activity. But rather than broadening our facility footprint, we’re re-allocating our existing space to the areas that need it most — something we planned for when we bought the facility 11 years ago. This makes supporting our continued growth more sustainable and cost-effective.
Most notably, we’re enlarging our 3,000-square-foot Contact Center to 4,500 square feet to make room for our growing donor care team. Because of the strategic services Merkle RMG recently introduced under Rapport, we’re making more outbound donor cultivation calls than ever before. And as Merkle RMG gains more clients — and clients gain more donors — we need to scale to support more inbound calls and emails. We’ve hired additional staff to keep pace with this upsurge, and now we’re adding space to allow for ongoing growth.
Renovation is also underway in our Exception Services department. We’re thrilled that more clients are seeing the benefits of us handling more — if not all — of their non-standard responses. Instead of having these responses routed back to them, nonprofits are leaving it up to Merkle RMG to handle special requests and transactions — such as rejects, look-ups, sustainers, matching gifts, tributes, comment letters, literature fulfillment, and high-end acknowledgments using Auto-pen technology — so their staff can focus on activities more central to their mission. As a result, we’re reconfiguring this area to fit additional staff and workstations, which will be key to providing more clients with a complete back-end solution.
And with more nonprofits enlisting us to fulfill their acknowledgements and premiums, we recently increased storage capacity in our warehouse to hold more client inventory. We’ve also added new technologies. Last fall, we acquired a new inserter for acknowledgements that folds letters, uses pre-printed codes for accuracy on match-mailings, handles up to six inserts, seals envelopes, and affixes postage at a rate of up to 15,000 packages per hour. This is just another example of our commitment to investing in technology that enhances our capabilities and improves our efficiency, which helps minimize costs for our clients.
More Parking Options
As improvements begin inside of our facility, we’re also completing a significant change on the outside. Last fall, we broke ground on six acres of adjacent land we purchased to add 270 spots to our employee parking lot.
It’s interesting to see how an increase in client activity has driven the need for more parking. The first shift is a critical time for most clients, as virtually all of them require us to pick up and process their mail as early in the day as possible. As we gain more clients, we need more staff to be on site each morning to handle incoming mail. As a result, we’re expanding our parking facility to accommodate the recent surge of first-shift employees. The new lot is expected to open in August.
Change is Good
Sometimes change can be daunting. But in our case, it’s clear a sign of the good work we do and the loyal clients we serve. Stay tuned as we keep you posted on further developments as our business continues to grow.