Turning Up the Volumes
From a business standpoint, one of the big pluses of variable data printing is that the required expertise and infrastructure is very scalable. Even a daunting program becomes much more manageable if it is produced over time as a series of daily, shorter runs. This decreases the workload demands put on a Web-to-print system and digital press, helping to level the playing field for print providers.
A case in point is the solution used by MFS Investment Management to produce customized 401(k) sales proposals. The financial services company sought a more efficient and effective way to quickly fill proposal requests from the more than 100,000 financial investment advisers that offer its products. Working with Bowne Enterprise Solutions (now Bowne Marketing & Business Communications), it has converted from a completely manual fulfillment process to automated production of 30 to 50 customized packets on a daily basis.
[ The Proposition ]
MFS wanted to eliminate the manual assembly involved in producing its proposal kits and reduce turnaround time to less than one day. It also sought to improve the style and look of the materials and take advantage of the marketing possibilities afforded by personalization and customization. Reducing costs was another goal.
Proposal materials are targeted to two groups of people—investment professionals who sell 401(k) retirement plans and the personnel at corporations and public entities responsible for buying/managing such plans. The company wanted to be able to do customization and personalization targeted to both the adviser and buyer.
[ Development Process ]
Before selecting a production partner, MFS spent several months refining its list of needs and studying various options. The company’s request for a proposal elicited responses from 10 vendors. Bowne ultimately was selected because its proposal met all of the requirements and the two companies had worked together in the past.