Automated Mailing & Fulfillment
Client Background:

This valued client is the foremost legal association in North America with over 350,000 members. The client is certified to provide law school certification, legal education, and programs to aid lawyers and judges, as well as develop and implement proposals to better the legal system for the public.

The Challenge:

The client welcomes approximately 150,000 new members each year. The Welcome Stream Program consists of a series of communications in which each new member receives 5 different mailings over the course of 2 months. Depending on the type of membership selected, these mailings include unique selections from a resource of 33 various communication pieces to welcome new members and familiarize them with the association's offerings. This mail stream presented a unique set of challenges in that it utilized all the different classes of mailings. The client was looking for a method to streamline this program for greater accuracy, cost-savings and internal efficiencies. In addition to the complex print and fulfillment, this would include:

  • Improving the retrieval of new Hertz Rental Car Membership ID Numbers for each new member, which was currently delaying the Welcome Stream Mailings
  • Housing the entire member database
  • Imprinting personalized membership cards
  • Receiving already produced inventory of printed materials to verify, label, code, and manage within an on-line inventory system
The ABS Solution:

The first steps in providing a solution were to fully study and understand the intricacies of the Welcome Stream Program so that ABS Graphics could gain the trust of this association and provide solutions that accomplished their business objectives. In the end, it was ABS Graphics' thorough understanding and ingenuity that stood apart from the four other vendors and prompted the client to rely on ABS for this program.

For weekly new member mass mailings, ABS created a secure portal so data could be uploaded by the client on a weekly basis. ABS built an automated data processing solution that converts, encodes and then parses the new member data into 6 different mail streams.

ABS implemented automatic integration with Hertz Rental Car through the secure portal that allows for data exchange to be completed efficiently and without human intervention. ABS automatically sorts data according to Hertz specifications and appends a two-digit code to each file. Hertz is then able to immediately and automatically append member ID#'s to each file and return it to ABS. This new process reduced the data exchange from one week to less than a day.

Additionally, ABS Graphics created an online order system for use by the client's call centers. The association's welcome stream administrators can pull up the membership data by name or ID number (over 350,000 records), make necessary changes to the data, and issue automatic replacement kits, certificates and membership cards for those members that did not receive them or lost them. Any requests from the online order system, unless they were classified as urgent, would be joined with the weekly new member data being uploaded by the client each week.

New member data is uploaded weekly from the client and joined with the online replacement orders. These files produce 14 separate mailings, ranging from 50-1500 addresses each, and incorporate 33 different components.

Within the portal, ABS Graphics also developed an inventory system that was accessible to the client at anytime. This system recorded item images, numbers, descriptions, and total balance. It also sends a notification email based on predetermined re-order points to the client informing them to re-order mailing supplies before they are exhausted.

Upon notification that they were being replaced, the client's previous vendor backed out of the project with only 5 weeks notice. This necessitated an instant response from ABS to take on the entire program immediately. ABS was able to effectively implement the new program including: receiving and sorting 87 skids of materials for inventory; accomplishing card imprinting procedures and processes; and, developing and executing a fully-tested customer service portal in this timeframe.

Eventually ABS also recommended and implemented an automated, monthly invoicing system which includes detailed information needed for all related waves of mailings under one invoice in a user-friendly format.

How ABS Uniquely Met the Client's Needs:
  • Created new efficiencies through automated workflows.
  • Developed a 24/7 online portal for immediate processing of replacement items, and updating of database and inventory reporting.
  • Developed a quick and easy, secure data upload system for new membership information. Created automated data processing based on established rules for accurate mail stream fulfillment.
  • Reduced time frame for receiving Hertz Membership ID information from 1 week to 1 day.
  • Received and verified skids of materials that required verification, labeling, bar coding and inventory staging and placement. Created inventory reporting system for prompt replenishment of low-inventory items.
  • Implemented personalized membership card imprinting and integration into welcome mail stream workflow.
  • Provided automatic email reporting for re-order points, weekly production summaries and status, and invoicing.
Reasons for Success:

ABS was successful with this project because of the ability to fully understand the challenges of this program and envision a bigger picture for how this program could be implemented to create greater efficiencies for the client. In addition to recommending and implementing unique methods of automation, ABS had the capability to effectively handle all aspects of the program including custom online portal development, secure data integration and management, print and fulfillment of complex personalized mailings, inventory management and tracking, and automated reporting. ABS offered a single-source solution to the client that translated into greater convenience, accuracy and cost-effectiveness.

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