Behind the List with Andrew Orons
president of Priority Systems Inc.
Q: Tell us a bit about your company and its history.
A: Priority Systems was created in 1986. I started it here in Central Pennsylvania as a mailing equipment provider.
We branched out into software-related products in the 1990s. As software has become an increasingly important part of our line and of our service offerings, we actually changed our tag line ... (to) "Priority Systems Business Communications & Logistics." We did that to reflect a greater focus on the delivered product, which is often software enabled.
What are the most important things a company should focus on when moving?
If a company is physically moving, it is important they inform their local post office of their forwarding address. Many, many critical business communications are still handled via the mail, most particularly transactional documents (like) checks and invoices. It's important you inform the U.S. Postal Service of your move and your new address, and you're making certain you're doing the things necessary to inform your customers and suppliers that you have moved.
How is today's technology changing the way people send and store documents?
First, you have to think of where things were even five years ago, when the majority of business communication was being sent through hard-copy documents and stored through hard-copy documents. ...
Now, electronic documents are different from paper documents in that they can hold a lot more information within them than that paper document does. We're referring to metadata or indexing that allows them to be retrieved inside a document retrieval or content management system. ...
We find ourselves providing technology that's more and more designed to allow the user to maintain those documents in electronic format but make them both accessible and usable to the end user.
How can your products improve an office's efficiency?
The products we provide are designed to enhance customer communication management. While in the past our products were mostly limited to making it easier and faster to fold, stuff and mail documents, our products now offer customers the ability to produce those documents, to print them, to email them, to post them, to archive them, anything somebody is going to want to do with that document and manage those customer communications.
We also help customers in utilizing a variety of carriers. What's the best way to send it? What's the lowest-cost way to send it? What's the fastest way to send it? Our software products assist our customers in making those decisions, tracking those packages and ensuring delivery to the end customer.
What are some of your most popular products?
In terms of unit volume, our most popular products remain office postage meters and office folding and inserting equipment. Although the general volume of first-class mail is decreasing, those products are still utilized by offices of all sizes.
However, our most popular products that are garnering the most interest are those products that are transforming the nature of the mail. Those products are document output management systems, which are focused around customer communications management; partial logistics software, which is designed around the "best way" kinds of decisions that I was referring to earlier; and a variety of products that are focused on advertising mail.
Advertising mail — while people don't particularly love to get piles of magazines and fliers in their mailbox — advertising mail reflects a huge market. It's the only cost-effective way that many advertisers can reach targeted consumers. The average rate of opening of an email is less than one-half of 1 percent. A targeted direct-mail campaign that is well designed and personalized often has opening rates in excess of 5 percent.
About Andrew Orons
A Philadelphia native, Andrew Orons now lives in Lower Paxton Township. He was a business major at Penn State University and enjoys golf, traveling, visiting vineyards and cooking.
He and his wife of 29 years, Jo, have four children.