BlueCrest’s software solutions enable the State of Michigan to be productive, compliant and cost-effective.
To satisfy its complex set of challenges, the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) uses Output Management software and a file-based processing environment from BlueCrest to optimize print and mail processes. File-based workflows link barcodes printed on every element of a mailing to an information-rich data file that controls production processes, mail piece tracking and postal optimization.
The BlueCrest solution helps the DTMB:
- Simplify print management and distribution
- Enhance documents to drive an efficient and intelligent print and mail operation
- Automate job setup and reprints, to eliminate error-prone human intervention
- Verify the expected content of each mail piece
- Improve reporting for chargebacks and proof of mailing to simplify audit response
- Control costs
Like all state agencies, the Michigan DTMB’s centralized print and mail operation has multiple, urgent needs. It must optimize efficiency and productivity while maintaining the flexibility to handle a large variety of application types. It must eliminate errors and offer the highest levels of data security and mail integrity. And, as a dedicated provider of services to over twenty internal customers—each with unique communications and compliance demands—it must ensure that the right communication reaches the right person on time and be able to prove compliance.
Simplifying and automating print and mail processes therefore represented an important goal. It needed to:
- Replace its legacy output management offerings (a mix of solutions from different vendors) with a solution that offers flexible and swift printstream transformation.
- Enhance data and mail piece integrity to comply with SLAs, as well as state and federal law.
- Automate reprinting, eliminating time-consuming and error-prone manual “touch-and-toss” methods with a faster and more secure procedure to deliver both greater productivity and integrity.
- Streamline reporting via a real-time progress dashboard and detailed proof-of-mailing for swifter audit response and internal accounting.
- Offer proof of mailing and compliance, to provide a documented solution when questioned, or when required to deliver a ”post-mortem” response for a department or client.
- Normalize processing to optimize efficiency and provide a uniform barcode, necessary for consistent mail processing across all types of work.
“Service is a critical component of any solution. We have an excellent relationship with BlueCrest. They know our business, our requirements, our processes, and our equipment. Their intimate knowledge has helped guide us through this extremely important transition.”
— Kristen Hampton, Print and Mail Management Division Director, Michigan DTMB
The department turned to BlueCrest for a solution based on file-based workflows. Michigan DTMB has enjoyed a long and productive relationship with BlueCrest (and its predecessor company, Pitney Bowes Document Messaging Technologies), with seven high-speed BlueCrest insertion systems on its premises.
Over that time, BlueCrest has become intimately familiar with the center’s evolving needs, environment and challenges. Working together, BlueCrest and the DTMB designed and implemented a comprehensive solution encompassing software, professional services, and insertion solutions.
“We’re a service bureau. In the past, our customers have used a variety of non-uniform and even outdated barcoding solutions. On the mail side, we’ve really benefitted from BlueCrest’s uniform code placement and code demographics, which has eliminated job setups and improved our production efficiency. BlueCrest tracking has helped us identify and eliminate errors—whether they come from duplicates or missing documents—and know what we’ve processed and when.”
— Tom Goodine, Manager of Mailing Services, Michigan DTMB
The new environment is off to a successful start. The BlueCrest software is “robust, available and reliable,” said Tom Goodine, Michigan DTMB’s Manager, Mailing Services. It’s already helped the department slash the number of job setups, automate error-prone, formerly manual processes like “touch-and-toss,” delivered new insights on operator efficiency and inventory control, and simplify charge-back and accounting activities.
Early benefits have been significant. They include improvements in:
- Productivity through a number of breakthroughs.
- Automated reprint saves up to three hours a day in operator efficiency.
- Pre-processing has accelerated.
- Job setups have been slashed from up to 60 setups on a single inserter to one.
- Mailing workflow and new job on-boarding have been streamlined using uniform, 2-D barcode placements.
- Mail integrity has improved by identifying errors, duplicates and missing documents.
- Reliability and uptime have been enhanced through on-site service, which gets systems up and running in minutes as opposed to hours.
- Accountability and compliance processes have been strengthened, because of superior mailpiece and content tracking.
- Cost-efficiency has improved through automation.
Crucially, the system is winning converts among Michigan DTMB’s internal customer base, Goodine noted. “We’re proving the concept and convincing agencies to migrate to it,” he said. “Many of them have traditionally had ownership over their look-and-feel and their processes. Now, with BlueCrest, the success story will just build on itself and give our customers the confidence they need to make the change and ease their transition.”
“With BlueCrest, our file processing performance has significantly improved. Data transformation used to typically take six or seven hours with our old system. Now, we can get all our nightly data transformation work done in two to three hours and accelerate the print and mail process.”
— Bradley Best IT Systems Analyst, Print and Mail Management Michigan DTMB