This is a guest article from Racami, a valued BCC Software partner.
Nobody distributes information in a single channel anymore. Well, nobody that plans on staying in business over the next several years…
For organizations historically focused on print, the transition to multi-channel output has been accomplished in steps. New channels and ways to communicate seem to leap into popularity every year, and companies have responded by investing in point solutions to handle message generation. These solutions commonly rely on their own command-and-control structures. They usually aren’t connected to other software and hardware a shop uses to run its business.
More Channels = More Systems
Producing and distributing printed documents requires many operations including data intake, reformatting, postal optimization using software solutions through trusted partners such as BCC Software, segmentation, composition, printing, and finishing. Each of these steps may require products from multiple vendors. It’s not unusual, for example, for organizations such as insurance companies to deploy 15-20 document composition systems to produce policies, claim documents, bills, ID cards, and correspondence. Add the requirements for creating and distributing information via innumerable digital channels, and tasks like coordination and document tracking become even more difficult.
Most organizations struggling to keep up with customer demands to support a growing number of output channels could benefit from a centralized control, tracking, and reporting platform. It’s the only way they can reasonably address requirements for visibility, auditing, and regulatory compliance while avoiding the hazards that often accompany the implementation of multichannel communication strategies.
In-house and outsource document service operations must account for vital documents like bills, statements, cancel letters, and renewal notices. Their customers want to know the status of these items during production, be able to pull selected documents from the output stream on demand, proof their print jobs, or verify when documents were sent.
A Single Point of Control
A new all-in-one multichannel communication production system to handle the demands isn’t a feasible option. Companies have lots of money invested in their legacy solutions, and the expense of switching to an entirely new system is substantial. Besides, some of those system documents producers use to meet customer needs are unique. Many are home grown solutions built to meet specific needs of certain customers or applications. Off the shelf software won’t replicate the necessary functionality. Companies need platforms like Racami’s Alchem-eTM to bring all those disparate steps and processes together in a single control structure.
Alchem-eTM automates and monitors the entire physical and digital document production process. The system allows document-producing organizations to continue using those point solutions to create and distribute multichannel documents. Software from Racami enables companies to overcome difficulties like dissimilar reporting mechanisms that cause production inefficiencies and pose an error risk. With Alchem-eTM,document operations can be managed from a single consolidated viewpoint.
One of the toughest tasks of multichannel document distribution is tracking which documents were sent to recipients, when they were distributed, and over which channels. In a traditional document processing environment, customer inquiries about a single document trigger an intensive search through multiple log files, and sometimes even require inspecting mail trays by hand before an answer can be provided. With Alchem-eTM,document operations managers can quickly locate individual documents, answer customer questions at once, and resume their activities. With only a single system to access, print and mail providers can even grant their customers visibility into the production tracking reports for their own jobs. The customers can do their own research.
Proof of Delivery
Proof of delivery is another area where an on-premise or cloud-based platform like Alchem-eTM handles a challenge exacerbated by multichannel document distribution. Some electronic systems provide digital confirmation of message receipt. The confirmation methods are different depending on the channel. Alchem-eTM can collect confirmation messages and connect them to the outbound documents, allowing customer service representatives to verify that customers received the notification in question. For example, with BCC Software’s Intelligent Mail Tracking you gain better visibility into the mailstream using Track N Trace® — BCC Software's intelligent Informed Visibility® mailpiece tracking and reporting tool.
Customer demands for accountability and visibility have increased simultaneously with their adoption of new communication channels. In-house and outsource document service providers are always able to adjust and accommodate their customers’ wishes, but this is frequently accomplished with standalone solutions. Eventually, managing an entire physical and digital document production and distribution operation consisting of unconnected steps and processes becomes impossible. Adding a centralized system like Alchem-eTM can allow operations managers to regain control.