Posts Tagged Strahm

Kansas City Project | Artist, Glen Hansen Features Strahm Neon Sign

Kansas City Project | Artist, Glen Hansen Features Strahm Neon Sign

kcprojectcoverStrahmSignSpread Strahm Automation has been honored by inclusion to the art exhibit and companion book “Kansas City Project” by Glen Hansen.

Glen Hansen specializes in art inspired by the architecture of cities like Paris, Prague, and Venice. Now he turns his pencils and brushes on Kansas City for a show featuring over 30 drawings and a half-dozen paintings of local buildings and their architectural and decorative details.

A beautiful depiction of the Strahm neon sign hanging at the corner of our building at 1700 Broadway will be part of the exhibition going on now through September 17, 2013 at the Central Library located at 14 West 10th Street, KCMO.

From the companion book:

Strahm Automation and Mailing
Washington Street, Broadway Boulevard, and 17th Street
George Brinkman, Architect (1920)
Holden, Ferris and Barnes, Architects (1927)
Neville, Sharp and Simon, Architects (1950)
Samuel J. Callahan, Engineer (1956)

The design of the neon sign attached to the building complex that now houses Strahm Automation and Mailing may speak to the past, but what goes on inside the 95,000 square feet of light industrial space is hardly a bygone operation. For one, a 70-foot long laser printer – that’s right, 70 feet – produces 52,000 digital impressions an hour. This and seven other digital printers pump out “hundreds of thousands of sheets a day”. Utility bills, jury notifications, credit union, 401k and pension statements, payroll checks, and invoices just to name a few, are printed and mailed. This year Strahm is celebrating its centennial, but the company hasn’t always been housed at the Crossroads location. Grace V. Strahm started the letter company, using her name, in 1913 in the Graphic Arts Building at 10th and Wyandotte. James Minick, one of Strahm’s employees who started as a delivery boy before the outbreak of World War II, became her partner and later purchased her shares from the family.  Strahm remained in the Graphic Arts building until 1980 when the company moved to three buildings located on 10th and Bank streets.

The company’s present location combines three utilitarian masonry structures, dating from 1920 – 1956. All but one were constructed for the Smith Grieves Company, printers and lithographers, who erected their neon sign, later altered to reflect the name of the current owner. The attached clock still works and, yes, the mail is always sent on time.

When asked “Why Kansas City”, Hensen says. “The cityscape of Kansas City is filled with iconic architecture from the late 19th century to the present day,” he says. “My visual survey highlights historic architecture, but also makes reference to oddities like the T.W.A. Building, Town Topic Hamburgers, and the Strahm sign”

We urge our readers to visit the Central Library to see this wonderful representation of Kansas City.  Admission is free to both the exhibit and the event. RSVP for Hansen’s talk at or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available in the Library District Parking Garage at 10th & Baltimore.

Hansen is on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.

Underwritten by a grant from the Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts, Commerce Bank, Trustee.

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Mail | Intelligent Inserters

Creating “Intelligent” Mail

IntelligentInserterWhat does it mean when my vendor wants to “add intelligence” to the letters/statements/invoices I mail?

You’ve probably heard a lot the past few years about the Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) and the need to become IMb compliant by January 2013 in order to receive automation discount postage for your mail.

But in this instance, your vendor is referring to something else entirely.

There are two kinds of inserting equipment – “dumb” inserters and “intelligent” inserters.  Intelligent inserters have scanning eyes that read a barcode or glyph to determine number of pages for that record, record number of that production mailing, etc.

At Strahm, our intelligent inserters have two electronic eyes.

3of9barcode The first reads a 3 of 9 barcode, which is placed in either the left, right or bottom margin.  This barcode tells the inserter how many pages to expect to insert for this envelope.  It also identifies first and last page of a set. This barcode includes a human readable number for accuracy.  In the case of a jam or misfeed, the machine operator can use that number to correct the page count/set count.

The second eye reads a glyph which is placed in the address block.  This is a 2D glyph (also known as a 2D Data Matrix) that tells us the record number of that group of letters – for instance record 29 of 200 records.  Again there is a human readable number for quality control purposes; it allows our QC team to confirm that we have the correct number of inserted envelopes at the end of the production run.  It also makes it easier to pull a letter from the mailing at the customer’s request.


What does this mean for your mail?  Adding intelligence to your mailed documents gives you increased peace of mind that your mail is being folded/inserted correctly; a reduced risk of Customer A receiving a page of Customer B’s statement, HIPAA compliance and more precise Quality Control by your print/mail vendor.

If you are not already taking advantage of all mailing technology available to you, please feel free to give us a call.  We are more than happy to explain options which will enhance your mail.

To see our inserters at work view our “Tour of Strahm” video below!

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USPS Update | Rate Increase January 27th, 2013

Increased 2013 Postage Rates – Effective January 27, 2013

Less than a year ago the USPS increased postage rates a penny and rates are going up again in 2013. Overall, prices will increase an average of 2.6 percent for each class of mail. The Postal Service filed new mailing service prices with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) in October 2012 and the changes were approved within the next month. By law, USPS cannot increase mailing service pricing no more than the rate of inflation, based on the Consumer Price Index. A completely self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products, and services to fund its operations.

Highlights of the pricing changes include:

– First-class letters will increase one cent up to 46 cents usps2013
– First-class postcard will increase by one cent to 33 cents
– Flats will increase by two cents to 92 cents
– International first-class pricing will change to one flat rate of $1.10 to any destination in the world. The USPS has also introduced a new Forever stamp for international use, called the Global Forever stamp. This new stamp will always be sold at the price of a single-piece first class international stamp.
– Forever stamps also will still be available and can be used whenever they are needed, as they don’t have a denomination. Forever stamps will also increase to 46 cents.

Several new shipping services products will be available in January as well as increased pricing. New domestic retail pricing for Priority Mail Flat Rate products include:

–   Small Box – $5.80
–   Medium Box – $12.35
–   Large Box – $16.85
–   Regular Envelope – $5.60
–   Legal Envelope – $5.75
–   Padded Envelope – $5.95

Prices for other mailing services including Standard Mail, Periodicals, and other business class mail will also see price increases in a variety of categories. For more detailed pricing information from the USPS visit Still need more? Strahm also offers a Customer Resource Center containing up to date information regarding the January 27th rate increase and much more!

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