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Customer stories

Flatfile helps Inkit save $100K+ in data import costs

It's easy to forget about the offline conversations that are critical to how companies run their businesses now that we live in a heavily digital world.

Unlike other platforms in their space, Inkit strives to eliminate the manual work involved in managing online-to-offline programs. With Inkit, every action can be automated, tracked, and analyzed in one place. The process requires less time and people overhead, resulting in cost savings and a faster time to market for Inkit's customers.

In this post, we examine:

  1. When buy vs. build is the best option

  2. The data import ROI

When buy vs. build is the best option

Inkit's personalized and targeted direct mail approach has had a massive impact on its clients. Some of them, like Naturebox, have increased revenue-per-customer by 60 percent using Inkit's automated re-engagement system. Inkit is a SaaS product that directly addresses this gap with consumers. It automates direct mail to connect hundreds of digital applications (like Salesforce, HubSpot, or Braze) with printers, brokers, and postal services.

Inkit frequently needed to work with customers directly to fix import issues and the Inkit team would frequently run into a variety of problematic edge cases around data imports. With one client, they found files with a German location had EU-encoded files that could not be imported at all.

From improper file types to bad data inputs, Inkit reached the point where the company was spending several hours a day addressing data import issues. Building their own import tool was not only bogging down development resources, but customer support at Inkit was being stretched thin, handling data import requests left and right. As Inkit scaled, the customer support team became overwhelmed with import-related requests. By the time they came to Flatfile, the team was spending roughly 30 hours a week answering support tickets directly related to data import challenges.

To use Inkit's direct mail automation solution, customers need to import their clients' data from a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform. To handle data import, Inkit developed its own tool internally, but it quickly became apparent that the build-your-own-solution route was not working well—for Inkit internally as well as its customer base.

Michael McCarthy, CEO of Inkit, describes what brought them to Flatfile:

"We home-built our uploader. It was very problematic if customers uploaded files that didn't meet our requirements. We had to give them our exact specifications, which ended up being a huge bottleneck. Any time someone would upload a file that was not encoded properly, everything would break."

Once Inkit realized the extent to which they were losing precious productivity hours on data imports for their customers, McCarthy sought a solution. Enter Flatfile. It took Inkit one week to implement Flatfile's data onboarding platform with their React front-end framework.

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"We were in such a bind--we bought the Flatfile's data onboarding platform immediately after a quick demonstration and a look at the API documentation," said McCarthy. "It was really easy once we got it up and running and a huge time saver across the board. It didn't make sense to continue to invest our resources on building and maintaining this core yet secondary part of our product. We stopped spending time on data import issues and now see a 100 percent data import success rate. Flatfile exceeded our expectations."

With Flatfile up and running, Inkit no longer needs to deal with data import support tickets from customers and focuses on their more important product-related success, which has greatly impacted their business.

"Six or seven of our clients actually had weekly issues," said McCarthy. "After adding Flatfile, all of them stopped sending in tickets for help."

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The data import ROI

When it comes to the return on investment of Flatfile's data onboarding platform, McCarthy went on to say:

"A viable data import solution easily represents a hundred thousand dollars a year in savings for Inkit. We had two clients that were paying upwards of $30,000 a year and were at risk to churn if we didn't figure this data import issue out. There's also a ton of engineering time that we saved by partnering with Flatfile. Without Flatfile, we would have had to dedicate one or two full time engineers to the development and maintenance of an internal data import solution, and honestly, it would never have been as good as Flatfile's product. I could see a bigger company looking at a million dollars a year in cost savings."

"Thanks to Flatfile, we were able to deliver a 10X better product and save hundreds of thousands of dollars."

About Inkit

Inkit helps companies connect to hundreds of printers with complete visibility. Instantly leverage global print infrastructure with Inkit's developer friendly APIs, dashboards, and reporting. Connect, track, and manage critical business communications faster than ever before.

About Flatfile

Flatfile's mission is to remove barriers between humans and data. With AI-assisted data onboarding, they eliminate repetitive work and make B2B data transactions fast, intuitive, and error-free. Flatfile automatically learns how imported data should be structured and cleaned, enabling customers and teams to spend more time using their data instead of fixing it. Flatfile has transformed over 300 million rows of data for companies like ClickUp, Blackbaud, Benevity, and Toast. To learn more about Flatfile's data onboarding platform, reach out to our data experts or get started for free at

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Find out how Flatfile can help you reduce costs and improve data quality.

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Editor's note: This post was originally published in 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.