Pitney Bowes helps Aflac ensure colour integrity and brand identity for customer communications.
Digital inkjet colour printing brings Aflac increased efficiency, higher productivity and cost savings while driving higher customer response rates.
Founded in Columbus, Georgia in 1955, today serves over 50 million customers worldwide
Fortune 200 company; the number one provider of supplemental insurance in the United States
Aflac Support Services group produces 2.6 million mail pieces per month
Maintain its number one position as the supplemental insurance provider of choice among a growing sea of competitors
Attain the highest quality in customer communications while making them easier to read, more relevant and appealing
Ensure colour accuracy for the Aflac brand
Increased productivity and efficiency, reduced staff and opened up valuable floor space
Cut costs by moving to roll paper and eliminating the use of pre-printed forms
Improved customer response rates
“Pitney Bowes has created a great product and a great sales force, supported by an industry-leading service organisation. What else do you need?”
Senior Manager of Operations, Aflac Support Services
Just ten years ago, Aflac was one of only a handful of companies in the supplemental insurance industry. Today, it faces more than thirty competitors. To maintain its number one position as the provider of choice, the company must ensure that it retains its existing customers as well as attracting new ones. Today’s consumer expects easy-to-understand, informative customer communications, but the company’s monochrome transactional documents were falling short, risking customer retention. Aflac needed to upgrade its image to meet customer expectations while managing costs and maintaining document quality.
Aflac Support Services is charged with producing the bulk of the company’s transactional print load, which totals about 30 million impressions each month. The quality of these documents is vital, and for years the group had relied on pre-printed shells with monochrome printing, limiting the ability to redesign and improve their output.
Seeking to produce colour transactional documents that would offer the freedom to create easier-to-read, more relevant communications, the team began evaluating inkjet technology in the mid-2000s, but it was not until the introduction of the Pitney Bowes IntelliJet® 20 printing system that Aflac’s high print quality and colour accuracy standards were met.
Aflac installed a Pitney Bowes IntelliJet 20 high-speed digital inkjet roll to cut-sheet printing system, one of the first of its kind in the US. It was a brilliant move. Within two years, the company was able to convert fifty-four percent of its total volume to colour using that one machine, trimming costs and boosting productivity in the process. Based on these great results, Aflac added a second IntelliJet 20 printing system three years later. Today, just two inkjet printers handle approximately ninety-five percent of the company’s transactional workload.
The company had found the technology that offered high-speed, low-cost colour with the high quality that was critical for the Aflac brand. Document quality is an important reflection of brand identity for Aflac, and colour accuracy was a significant aspect of the IntelliJet 20 printer purchase decision: specifically, Aflac blue. Precision inkjet technology from Pitney Bowes satisfied Aflac’s requirement to achieve brand compliance for colour.
“Pitney Bowes has proven to be a great partner for us. They bring innovative solutions to the table. They provide peace of mind that our critical documentation is going to go out on time.” Mike Thomas,
Vice President, Operations
With the IntelliJet® 20 printing systems in place, Aflac Support Services has seen a significant increase in efficiency, with the printers handling ninety-four percent of the work in less production time. Previously, Support Services operated on a 2x12x6 shift, whereas now it operates on a 2x8x5 shift. Staff has also been reduced from 15 down to 7 employees as a result.
The company was previously using — and storing — ten different pre-printed forms, which had to be loaded and unloaded for each job run, and there have been cost savings related to moving to roll paper. Aflac has also gained valuable floor space by replacing 12 existing printers with the two IntelliJet printers and two cut sheet MICR printers.
What’s more, by transforming customer renewal notices into easier-to-read, attractive full-colour communications, Aflac has driven higher response rates at lower cost. Plus, the IntelliJet printers are so efficient that Support Services has capacity to spare, and quality is so good the team is engaged with the Aflac marketing group to look at ways to take advantage of white space in existing customer communications, adding even more value.