Optimizing your document production and working smarter

Even though mailings have diminished over the past few years, document production, printing and mailing still make up a large part of an organization’s workload. According to Infotrends, printing still accounts for nearly 30% of customer communication expenses. Printing departments are frequently under pressure to do more without increasing costs.

No wonder one of our most successful customer stories is about how to optimize print and mailing services!

Rick Loiben, Operations Manager at Aon, told us last year how he was able to save an enormous amount of time automating tedious manual tasks in the document production process.

Here’s how he was able to improve the everyday tasks of his team, as well as those of the rest of the company.

Can you tell me a little about what you do at Aon?

Aon is the largest insurance broker in the world. We are the middleman between organizations and insurance companies. We insure the best rates.

I am the Operations Manager within our document production unit and I am the one that employees come to when a client’s request for document delivery seems impossible.

Which document production tasks were you able to automate with PlanetPress?

One of our customers had an extremely complex document delivery requirement. For each of their 4,000 locations, we had to mail a cover page, a list of doctors to contact in case of a workplace injury, and a Workers’ Compensation Posting Notice explaining what to do in case of a workplace injury. However, there were three different cover pages to choose from (based on parent company), 50+ state forms to choose from, and 4,000 unique lists of doctors. The worst of it was the fact that, while the 4,000 lists were saved as individual PDF files, they were not named in a common way, and we had to open each one up and rename it. We knew we needed help, but didn’t know who to turn to. One of our Ricoh reps told us that we could use PlanetPress to solve the problem and automate the entire process.

What is one of your favourite achievements in document optimization?

We have an overseas team that helps us complete document requests. While they can distribute documents electronically, they are unable to put any of those documents in the mail for hardcopy delivery. After sending a document electronically, they would attach the PDF to the request and route the request to our team in the US so they could print, fold, stuff, and then mail that document.

This was causing a lot of errors and some backlog in my printer rooms. I was able to create a process where our overseas team drops the file they created into a hot folder, which then starts a process to sort the document by page count and send the file to the printer, where it is handled automatically. That means no more congestion in my print rooms and 5 to 10 more employees who do not have to stuff envelopes.

And at Aon we don’t do layoffs. We just shift people around. Now those employees are creating documents . . . and not just distributing them, which makes for a much better work life.

We have many similar processes that take high error-prone tasks that can take up to three days and turn them into automated tasks that take 15 minutes. It’s been unbelievable! We have been saving so much time by just automatically pre-sorting our documents.

I love that a simple project that I am able to create easily can affect 10 to 15 people and make their lives easier.

What other projects are you planning in terms of document production?

Special requests are always coming in. Whenever there is something weird or out of the ordinary, people come to me and ask if I can help them. Most of the time I can, but as I have been infamously named the “efficiency manager,” my goal has always been to create more processes that will give people’s lives more fulfillment. Currently, I have 50 to 100 processes running with PlanetPress. They’re not all necessarily big jobs but they do make a difference.


Do you want to find out how you, too, you can improve your everyday tasks without having to change everything? Watch our video, Work Smarter not Harder with PlanetPress Connect!