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Automated Document Factory (ADF) with Quadient Inspire

Challenge

A high volume statement client needed a way to streamline their order entry and billing process. Too much time was devoted to writing work orders for daily jobs. The work orders were written before the data was processed causing the Client Services Team to go back to the MIS and re-input the numbers for each service manually. The manual process was causing errors such as number being transposed or items not be accounted for in the inventory system. In addition to incorrect numbers the process relied on someone being available to write work orders, files that came in overnight were on-hold until a Client Services Representative was available. Billing was also effected by the manual process as many jobs had counts that were not updated until the end of the billing cycle.  The client had various disjointed systems running a host of processes. BelWo was asked to review their process and identify opportunities to automate the process.

Discovery

First BelWo performed a week long analysis onsite to review the process steps of various jobs. During the discovery phase the BelWo team noted that many jobs in different verticals had similar processes. The client was utilizing an automation tool to kick start files for data processing but had no mechanism to auto trigger a work order. The client was utilizing Quadient’s (GMC) Inspire tool and had no way to do auto reprints for damaged pieces. In production Ironsides APT was utilized to monitor production and verify all the records within the job were inserted. Any pieces that were not captured by the camera resulted in reprint file by sequence number. The client would then use the report from APT to manually make a reprint file from Quadient (GMC). Reprints were delayed due to the manual process and sometimes were done incorrectly.

Solution

The BelWo team created a document outlining current issues as well as methodologies to improve the  system through the creation of Automated Document Factory (ADF). In phase one, BelWo addressed the challenge of kicking off a new work order automatically. The process began with identifying triggers to create a new work order . Then the team mapped service calculations to services. Next work order templates were built for the test cases. The templates contained all the services necessary to complete the job. BelWo picked up the files from FTP, and set an email to the client confirming receipt. The raw files was screened and counts were determined, next the file went to processing. If there were any errors with the file an email was generated and the job was put on hold. The system dashboard displayed each file status. After processing the information was pushed into the SQL database to update the work order with the correct counts for the services performed.

After processing,  most of the jobs needed to go to proof approval prior to release to production. BelWo developed an Online Client Proofing Portal to expedite the process. The end user received an email when the proofs were available. Clients reviewed the proofs online and marked them as Approved or Not Approved with a comment area to outline corrections. Client Services and Data Processing received an email regarding proof status and the MIS was updated to show proof approval. Next the files were released into production with a QC report noting randomly selected records, total page count, total image count, total envelopes and finally total inserts.

The next step in the process was  printing and inserting. The client was utilizing Ironsides APT to track jobs and reprints. The reprint file was dropped into a hot folder when the job was finished on  the inserter. Through a connection with GMC the reprint files were earmarked and a new reprint file were created. Using this methodology reprints could go out the same day along with the job. The reprints were scanned through the Ironsides APT and the job was marked completed in the MIS and in the Ironsides database. After this system was put into place the client’s productivity increased significantly and work order errors went down.  With the time savings from the automated tickets, the Client Services Team had more time to connect with customers, improving customer satisfaction. Additionally, the billing cycle was improved from closing on the 12th to having all invoices out by the 5th. Processing invoices in less than half the time has made cash flow increase as well as improved customer relationships.

Tools Used

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