Dynamic Books Printing Using Current Marketing Campaign Data

Industry: Marketing company focused on new home owners

Solution: Elixir’s document composition and production system

Situation: The marketing company has to distribute 2 million gift books annually to promote local businesses to the new homeowners and prints millions of additional direct mail annually. Large inventories of pre-printed documents are maintained, due to which marketing offers are not current. Existing software had poor graphic handling resulting in slower than rated print speed.

Goal: Grow business, offer timely promotions based on current marketing information, and eliminate pre-printed stock.

Synopsis: Books are dynamically created at print time to include time-sensitive, highly targeted offers that appeal to the new home owners interests. Customers more responsive to the timely offers. Vendors receiving higher ROI and doing more business with the company. Now printing full color variable to plain stock, at rated speed, customer purchased two iGen 3 printers.

  • Gift books are dynamically created at print time using current marketing campaign data

Increased Print Volume By 20% With Elixir’s Document Production System

Industry: Large print service bureau headquartered in Australia

Results: Increased print volume by 20% with Elixir’s document production system 

Solution: Elixir’s document composition and production system

Situation: This print service bureau was hampered by the massive amount of programming required to produce attractive variable data financial statements.

Goal: Elixir’s powerful document composition solution drastically reduced development time in a visual environment.

    Synopsis: Now the company works faster and more efficiently, and can produce better-looking documents. They have time to take on additional work and realize increased profit because of it. Overall volume is up 15-20%.

    • Moving to a graphical development environment from a programming-centric method has drastically reduced development costs
    • Decrease in printing turnaround time has allowed the company to take on more projects and increased profitability

    Elixir Solution Helps Print Bureau Prosper

    Industry:  Service Bureau in Philippines

    Results:  Elixir solution helps print bureau prosper 

    Solution:  Elixir’s document composition and production system

    Situation:  A large provider of enterprise document production services in the Philippines was using a mainframe system to produce a wide variety of documents such as billing statements, letters, notices, reports and direct mailers. Finding the right mainframe resources (Pagedef, Formdef, Fonts, etc.) was difficult and time-consuming. Creating customized resources was even less cost-effective.

    Goal:  The service bureau was interested in moving their document production off the mainframe. They needed an easy-to-use versatile solution that can design and update all of their applications.

      Synopsis:  Using Elixir Solution, the service bureau can now do more jobs in less time. Client satisfaction has increased with faster service. Eliminating the use of the mainframe has reduced operations costs. Efficiency in operations and document application development was increased due to Elixir’s document composition system’s easy-to-use features that simplified many tasks. The results from Elixir solution exceeded the customer’s expectations.

      • Elimination of mainframe has significantly reduced operations costs
      • Faster turnaround has allowed the company to take on more projects and increase profits
      • Service bureau can now fulfill customer projects in less time which is creating return and new business from the existing customer base

      Increased Profitability Using Elixir Design Application in VIPP Environment

      Industry: US print service bureau

      Results:  Implements VIPP designer and VIPP printers and increases profitability 

      Solution:  Elixir’s VIPP designer

      Situation:  The service bureau had identified some key areas in the production process where improvements could be made. First, their outdated system could not read or process the files their customers were providing. They needed a tool that could accept a variety of modern as well as legacy resources. Second, the proofing process of mailing documents back and forth to customers was taking too long, especially for customers with monthly print runs who didn’t want or have time to deal with a lengthy proof process every 30 days. Customers were frustrated and the company was at risk of losing its most profitable print jobs — those that represent ongoing business.

      Goal:  The Company wanted to serve its customers better by providing an electronic method for sending and receiving proofs. In addition to satisfied customers, this plan would result in reducing postage and overnight package costs.  The company also saw opportunities for added profitability if they could find a solution that supported the wide variety of print resources and data their customers were sending.

        Synopsis: Customers now receive a PDF proof via email which arrives instantly once the design is complete. They can use PDF comments to note changes or mark up the printed version and fax back.  The postage and overnight delivery costs have been all but eliminated.  Development time has reduced to the point where the company can take on more work with the same equipment so profitability has increased.

        • Proofing process starts immediately now that the document is emailed rather than sent overnight
        • Postage and overnight delivery costs cut by using email for proof transfers
        • With development time reduced and printers running at optimized speeds the company’s profitability is up

        Data Recognition Corporation (DRC)

        The print service bureau had a large potential opportunity if they could satisfy the prospect's requirements. The prospect wanted to service an organization that facilitated fundraising for non-profits and political campaigns. The process from the evening phone call requesting a donation to the follow-up letter needed to take place within 24 hours for maximum effectiveness. There were 14 different follow-up letters depending on the outcome of the phone call. The prospect's requirements include:
        • Timely content for each recipient's letter.
        • Letters must contain content related to previous 24 hour events/phone calls such as national news events.
        • Reduce reliance on IT. This was a scheduling bottleneck to get proofs created.
        • Enable account managers to work directly with customers to develop proofs. The design process managed by IT was a programming effort which made it impossible for account managers to be an interactive part of the document creation process.

        Print service bureau implements the Elixir solution as an online service to provide template-based document creation and proofing for their end customers.

        Each morning after the previous night's phone call campaign, the customer creates various follow-up letters from easy-to-use smart templates. Each template contains a totally customized message with some areas open to editing while others are locked to ensure consistent branding, legal compliance, and security for data that cannot change.

        Before and After process diagrams are shown at the bottom.

        • Editing process reduced from hours to minutes.
        • Production fully automated and runs 24/7.
        • Production initiates as soon as customer drops data file on service bureau's server.
        • Print service provider increased profitability for current services and added new service offering.
        • Donations increased.


        DRC Before & After

        Buck Consultants

        Solution Profile: Buck Consultants Employee Benefit Statements

        Buck Consultants, an ACS Company, is a global HR consulting firm that helps organizations develop, deploy and manage their human capital. With more than 2,000 professionals serving clients across the US and around the world, Buck is one of the largest and most comprehensive human-resource and benefits consulting providers in the country. Headquartered in New York, NY, Buck has offices located worldwide. Buck's technology solutions group helps companies solve complex HR issues through the creative use of data, communication and technology. Buck’s solutions include online total rewards statements, benefits and HR Websites, decision-support tools, modelers, document management tools and other print and digital communication applications.

        Before: Outsourcing and Limited Functionality

        Prior to licensing Elixir’s document composition and production system in 2000, Buck’s technology solutions group approached personalized print engagements with a combination of in-house and contracted application development and printing. The 401(k) Defined Contribution Statements were developed by a programming group and then printed internally. For more complex applications, like total compensation document packages, Buck was outsourcing application development and printing to regional service bureaus. Their analysis of document composition software systems concluded that they could become more responsive to customer requirements and achieve considerable savings by bringing composition in-house.

        Buck’s Objectives

        • Speed up development cycle
        • Improve the informational quality of the documents
        • Improve the clarity of printed documents, including variable data
        • Expand graphics, layout and digital color capabilities
        • Generate designs that can be produced on a variety of printers allowing Buck to shop out their printing for best price
        • Achieve cost savings by removing print costs from the equation when delivering statement images online and/or eliminating the need and costs associated with preprinted forms

        Specific Objectives Not Supported by LCDS/Metacode Environment

        • Data-driven pie charts and bar charts
        • Multicolor support – Highlight color printers limited their offerings to one color per document or to printing on preprinted stock

        Solution Evaluation Process

        Buck recommended document redesign and then applied the resulting requirements to define their criteria for selection of document composition software. The decision was selecting Elixir Technologies’ document composition system which met all Buck’s objectives.

        Application 1: Total Compensation Statements

        This statement provides a complete snapshot of the company’s total compensation spending.

        Before: Formerly, one design format that displayed the overall benefits value was in the form of a check image that showed the total estimated value of all company contributions as the check amount, with the employee’s name and benefits information laser printed onto a preprinted form.


















        Now: All total compensation statements developed by Buck are totally personalized, and each employee statement may include one or all of these elements: cash compensation, medical elections, 401(k) contributions, life insurance, and even 401(k) and retirement plan projections. Data-driven graphics are used heavily in these statements to give a vivid representation of employee benefits. Printed as flats or booklets, these compensation statements are also produced in Adobe Acrobat PDF for reprinting and archiving.















        Application 2: Defined Contribution Statements for 401(k) Plans.

        Before: Buck formerly offered these as simple line data statements with one fixed-pitch font printed on pre-printed forms or plain black-and white.

        Now: Statements include dynamic images, variable text messaging, and pie charts that are entirely data driven. A typical statement will outline the status of 10 to 35 funds and display 10 to 15 quarterly activities that demonstrate opening balance to closing balance cash flow. Asset allocation pie charts and fund activity tables are big selling points for them. Many of the 401(k) statements are generated for Web viewing and represent the printed statement with 100 percent fidelity. Elixir solution’s flexibility has also allowed Buck to be flexible and responsive to unusual customer requirements. One such requirement utilizes the ()feature to imbed key attributes within tags that are then used by Buck’s online statement viewing process.

        For highly compensated individuals, the statement design can be 3 to 5 pages, depending on each individual’s data profile, which displays:

        • 401(k) Plan
        • Pension
        • Non-qualified Retirement Plan
        • Stock Equity

        Application 3: Ad hoc Communications

        Before: This type of spontaneous communication was not supported due to the developer’s statement application development backlog.

        Today: Now, Buck can respond to customer requests as they are submitted. Thus far, Elixir’s document designer has been used to develop a wide variety of letters, confirmation statements, worksheets and statements for employees and retirees.

        Buck has been able to meet or exceed client expectations with respect to personalized communications and satisfy customer requirements for document complexity.