When you produce over one million pieces of mail per day, many of them highly sensitive healthcare and financial statements, you need to get it right — every time.
South Carolina-based PCI Group has been a leader in the document delivery industry since its inception in 1970. Rapid growth, new postal regulations and increased security and compliance requirements have all created new challenges, and PCI needed a technology solution that would help the company maintain its competitive edge. Partner BlueCrest™ provided much of the core technology and support for their current solution, so PCI engaged BlueCrest Global Services to help support the technology transition in coordination with BlueCrest Solution Engineering.
PCI’s business was expanding rapidly. They had just won a very large client that would nearly triple their business. In a matter of just a few months, the company was undergoing radical change. At the same time, new postal regulations had created a huge demand for mailing multi-page statements and more complex documents, and PCI’s legacy systems could not scale to the task.
Compliance and security were also major concerns. As PCI extended its leadership in healthcare, insurance and other regulated industries, it needed a solution that provided full integrity 100 percent of the time. Every document going into every envelope needed to be verified and validated.
"Pitney Bowes* has been an incredible partner for
us. They delivered the expertise, consultation, and training we needed,
and guided us through the entire technology migration process."
— Perry Fernandes, VP of Operations, PCI Group
*Referring to services now provided by BlueCrest.
The PCI team was pleased that Global Services engaged quickly and understood their demanding production environment. According to VP of Operations Perry Fernandes, "Pitney Bowes* was right there from day one.They understood that we ran under a 24-hour service-level agreement (SLA) with strict compliance requirements. We had a lot on the line, and they appreciated the stakes."
The Solution Engineering team validated the solution design while Global Services worked with PCI to develop a comprehensive installation and support plan. The shift from legacy sheet-fed technology to the updated roll-to-roll solution was new territory for many members of the PCI team, and the Solutions Engineering and Global Services teams delivered comprehensive and customized training and support.
"Training the operators and the leads was important," says Chris Kropac, PCI’s president and co-owner. "Pitney Bowes* trained my supervisors too — really the entire team. It was a critical piece of the puzzle."
PCI was also able to shorten the cut-over and ramp-up of the new systems. "We went from a sheet-fed solution to roll-to-roll in about a day and a half," explains Kropac. "It really couldn’t have been done without the help of the services team."
As the new solution became fully operational, the Solution Engineering team provided a consultant to help PCI use analytics to improve system performance. Key performance indicators (KPIs) such as machine efficiency, operator scores and machine stoppages were regularly reviewed with the PCI management team, giving them the insight they needed to make ongoing improvements to system performance.
Global Services also provided PCI with a custom support model to help ensure a smooth transition. This ‘shared services’ program combined maintenance, escalated parts replacement, and repairs with onsite operator training to help the PCI team troubleshoot and maintain their new solution.
"The Global Services and Solution Engineering teams provide us with an excellent service that helps us understand our shop floor analytics. And that’s critical because a 10 percent improvement in my uptime represents a huge volume."
— Chris Kropac, President/Co-Owner, PCI Group
Asked about the role Pitney Bowes* Services plays in PCI’s technology evolution, Fernandes is clear. "Pitney Bowes* has been an incredible partner for us. They delivered the expertise, consultation and training we needed, and guided us through the entire technology migration process," he says. "Without them, we wouldn’t be in the vertical market that we’re in today. They’ve certainly helped make us more profitable."
The ongoing analytics engagement may yield the greatest returns over time. With baseline data established, PCI can monitor all aspects of solution performance and adjust for continuous improvement.
According to Chris Kropac, analytics allow him to schedule workloads more efficiently and get the most from his machinery and his team.
Explains Kropac, "The Global Services and Solution Engineering teams provide us with an excellent service that helps us understand our shop floor analytics. And that’s critical because a 10 percent improvement in my uptime represents a huge volume."
PCI continues to grow at a rapid pace. Their South Carolina headquarters is at capacity, and they’ve recently opened a new 63,000 square foot facility in Dallas. Kropac believes that PCI can sustain 15-20 percent growth, in part because of his technology and service partnership with BlueCrest.
*Referring to services now provided by BlueCrest.