There’s a saying that artisans use - measure twice, cut once. It’s about taking care to get the planning and preparation exactly right before taking action. For artisans, read IMS, Inc. – an omnichannel communications specialist based in Liverpool, New York State. Founded in 1986 by current owner Lee Vanderpool, the growth of the business over the space of more than three decades can be attributed to service excellence and the continued search for innovation. It is precisely this experience and top-ranking standing within the industry that enables IMS to plan, prepare and move forward with real authority.
IMS serves clients in the healthcare, financial services and government sectors. When it comes to communications, these sectors have two key factors in common – regular high volumes of mail and a requirement to meet strict compliance rulings. Put simply, any error in communication can mean sensitive information going to the wrong recipient, with obvious repercussions for the brand or government department.
These two factors – volume and compliance - combine to present mailing specialists such as IMS with a major challenge, namely - how can we ensure that things are done at top-speed whilst still maintaining document processing integrity? John Mashia, President & COO at IMS recognized this challenge was only getting more demanding, and serious planning and research began to find technology to help the business address today’s client needs and provide capacity for future growth.
“We looked for an end-to-end, compliance driven solution that gave our clients reassurance and security but also had the necessary level of performance to drive efficiencies internally,” said Mashia.
“The BlueCrest name immediately came to mind, specifically the Epic inserting system. We already use BlueCrest’s Mailstream Evolution and Mailstream Productivity Series inserters across our sites, and we knew all about the reliability of the technology. We also knew that investing in the latest Epic would take our business to the next level.”
The Epic has been specifically designed to deliver consistently high productivity regardless of the format or complexity of the job. The system can reach speeds of up to 24,000 cycles per hour without compromising control or accuracy.
As might be expected from an experienced, industry-leading service provider, IMS’s own research into the system was thorough and extensive.
“We were aware of the Epic, but we took the time to speak to numerous people within the industry with first-hand knowledge of the system. We never make any investment decision without intensive testing, so we ran our own jobs and materials on the Epic to get a clearer understanding of its capabilities,” continued, Mashia.
“People always talk about the speed of inserting technology, but it’s not just about speed, it’s about performance. Can the system maintain high throughput while minimizing diverts and delivering on accuracy and integrity? Results were excellent.”
IMS made its first Epic investment at the Print19 show in Chicago, and purchased a second system quickly thereafter. The resulting impact on business performance is evident.
“Firstly, compliance is key,” states John. “Epic uses file-based processing which reads the barcodes on the documents and matches it back to the barcode to a record in the file. Every page of every mailing is verified.
At IMS we process high volumes of both letter-size and flats applications, and the Epic makes it incredibly quick and easy to program jobs and to change applications on the fly. Downtime is kept to an absolute minimum. It really boils down to a math problem. We’re a 24/7 operation, so when you combine this period of operation with minimal downtime, productivity can climb. The power and automation of the Epic has enabled us to drive greater productivity using fewer operators. This is an important consideration at a time when it’s increasingly hard to find skilled people on the job market.”
In fact, output on the Epic is doubling that of IMS’s other systems, a performance level that is further aided by the investment in expert service support from BlueCrest.
John comments: “Having a BlueCrest technician on site has delivered clear advantages. We are certainly seeing increased uptime on our Epic system. However, further to that, the BlueCrest Global Service has also been working to help cross-train our internal technicians to assist them in continuously supporting the operation. We’ve been able to increase our volumes and are now taking on full workloads from clients for whom we had previously only done a percentage of work.”
It’s not just IMS who express themselves happy with the Epic investment, the company’s clients are also taking a keen interest. “Increasingly, customers want to know what you’re investing in,” says Mashia. “They want to know that you’re a progressive organization, one that is equipped with market-leading technology which enables the business to stay relevant and better serve them as a client.
“Ultimately, BlueCrest is now a true business partner. Together, we are working to deliver better outcomes for clients. The Epic have given us a real security blanket by delivering the very best levels of compliance with breath-taking speed. Over and above that, BlueCrest has provided the expertise and willingness to find solutions and further improve our operation. It’s a partnership approach that we really appreciate.”