Designing and implementing the program took eight months. During that time, staff members from both companies worked together to write the copy for the kits, craft the design and integrate the various systems that would be involved. At the same time, testing and research was done to develop the most effective presentations.
[ Producing the Job ]
Using the new system, financial advisers can customize and order materials through an online Web-to-print interface. Bowne created a workflow that extracts data from the MFS proposal request system and feeds it into the service provider’s internal Documents on Demand (DOD) job creation platform.
Bowne’s DOD system incorporates the extracted data into electronic versions of the requested proposals and produces PDF proofs for review. Each proposal can include a blend of custom content that is generated automatically and generic preprinted elements, such as the covers and tabs. Bowne handles all aspects of printing—using a Xerox iGen3 digital press driven by custom software—and shipping.
Printed materials are provided for use in face-to-face sales presentations, but advisers are also sent electronic versions for distribution or reference. In addition, they can take advantage of a Web-based proposal tracking tool that helps them keep track of proposal shipments and follow-up telephone calls.
Each proposal is unique in terms of its content and appearance. Data selection and customization rules set up in the DOD determine the choice of text and graphics (including charts and graphs) for the variable content areas. The design of graphics and charts can vary based on fund selection and other para-meters. MFS believes it is critically important for the text and supporting graphics to be tailored to the pitch an adviser is delivering to a specific client, since generic, canned information would not be as persuasive.
MFS staff and investment advisers can further customize a proposal at the PDF review stage, but before the order is placed, by uploading additional components (as PDF files) or pulling content from a repository.