Mailing Solutions, Equipment, & Software | Pitney Bowes

Allison Payment Systems

APS switches to more agile inserters and world-class on-site support to meet wide-ranging customer needs.

Client profile

Based in Indianapolis, Indiana, since 1888

Specializes in digital presentment of billing and payment documents, print and mail services, and Electronic Document Delivery and Management (EDDM) tools

Processes as many as 14 million pieces each month in its two production facilities

Business Goals

Reduce total cost of ownership.

Increase throughput with minimal impact on staff.

Simplify maintenance.

Benefits

Significant reduction in operating and maintenance costs

Expanded opportunities in high volume, quick-turn jobs

Technology used

Mailstream Productivity Series

Reliability meets flexibility with this high-performance inserting solution. Process a broad range of jobs with increased speed and efficiency to help grow your business.

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FlowMaster® RS Flex

Meet SLAs faster with this high-speed, one-operator inserting system that automates manual tasks and can process letters and flats on the same platform.

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Overview

“During the trial period, we were very tough on the machine in terms of changeovers, because we run many different types of jobs. We found that the MPS inserting system can handle changeovers very well and gives us the setup flexibility we need.” Renee Durre
VP, COO
Allison Payment Systems

Priding itself on doing whatever it takes to help customers grow their businesses, Allison Payment Systems (APS) often accepts demanding or unusual document production jobs its competitors can’t, or simply won’t. So, when it needs to accommodate rapid input changeovers or ensure high performance to meet a tight deadline, APS relies on Pitney Bowes inserting systems and proven technical support

Nearly 130 years of innovation

Since 1888, APS has been redefining the way businesses interact with their customers. From the day it introduced coupons as a means of conducting payment transactions, APS has been a customer communications trailblazer. It now leads the industry in the production and delivery of periodic billing documents, statements, customer communications, checks and other critical customer relationship documents.

The company is the largest first-class mailer serviced by the Indianapolis Post Office and the largest commercial printer in the Indianapolis area. With such a high volume of output, it’s no wonder that APS sets its standards high when it comes to its production systems. These systems, which include Pitney Bowes Mailstream Productivity Series and FlowMaster® RS Flex inserting systems, as well as on-site support services, do more than preserve APS’s solid reputation; they also enable the 140-employee company to improve on its hallmark agility, serving the pressing needs of companies in healthcare, insurance, government and many other sectors.

Business challenge

“We’ve taken on a couple of huge jobs that require next-day turnaround on up to 500,000 pieces,” Durre reports. “We were able to accept them because of the Pitney Bowes machines and on-site support. I wouldn’t have dreamed of that before.” Renee Durre
VP, COO
Allison Payment Systems

Renee Durre, vice president and chief operating officer at APS, is responsible for building and maintaining a fleet of production systems that optimize the company’s business opportunities while streamlining costs.

When she assumed the helm of operations, Durre inherited a mix of document production systems from Pitney Bowes and other vendors. The heterogeneous production environment was intended to encourage cost reduction through competition among the vendors. But Durre and the management team had some concerns. Some of the systems from other vendors did not handle changeovers well, and the ability to quickly move from one job to another is a key requirement for supporting APS’s widely varying workloads. Other systems were expensive to maintain.

Consolidation was key

APS’s management team perceived that consolidation on document-production solutions from fewer vendors would enable operations to more effectively meet the company’s needs. Furthermore, the company’s expansion to a new facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, created a need for additional production capacity.

APS’s experience with Pitney Bowes began ten years ago, when the company brought in two Pitney Bowes FlowMaster RS Flex inserting systems. These systems had served the company well, so Pitney Bowes solutions were naturally among those considered in the consolidation process.

After evaluating systems and support services from several vendors, APS selected the Pitney Bowes Mailstream Productivity Series (MPS) inserting system to extend its high-output capabilities.

Solution

Durre recalls a demanding proof of concept: “During the trial period, we were very tough on the machine in terms of changeovers, because we run many different types of jobs. We found that the MPS inserting system can handle changeovers very well and gives us the setup flexibility we need.”

In addition to accommodating varying paper stock and envelope sizes, the Pitney Bowes inserting systems offer dual input and fanfold options, which enable APS to move toward a White Paper Factory™ setup. Durre values the opportunity to eliminate pre-printed forms and to start most jobs with plain white paper. She expects these capabilities to reduce costs and simplify operations significantly.

Hard-working hardware

Although all of its document processing systems are workhorses, Durre says APS’s Pitney Bowes systems hold their own, meeting the demand to process 8,000 to 18,000 pieces per hour. “We only have that one Mailstream system at our Las Vegas facility,” she says. “It reliably outputs quite a lot of work for just one machine.”

APS’s operators agree. Durre says that when the company first began using the Pitney Bowes systems, some operators complained that the machines were “too fast.” Durre chuckles, “They just weren’t used to the other machines working at their stated speed.”

APS contracts with Pitney Bowes for on-site support both at its Indianapolis and at its Las Vegas facilities. Good availability of parts has been a major contributor to APS’s satisfaction. Whenever a Pitney Bowes system has an issue, the Pitney Bowes technicians have been fast to respond. “I can think of less than ten instances with all three machines where we have been down for longer than three hours. Most repairs are gauged in minutes (less than 20), not hours,” Durre reports.

Noting the continuous development of the Pitney Bowes inserter product line, Durre says, “Pitney Bowes has done a good job growing and maintaining its hardware business, unlike some of its competitors.”

Benefits

Satisfied with its recent Pitney Bowes installations, APS has ordered a second Mailstream Productivity Series system, which will enable it to decommission less cost-effective equipment from another vendor.

“The installation of the Pitney Bowes machine and the removal of the legacy machines are netting a very nice maintenance cost reduction, a throughput increase and better staff utilization,” Durre says.

That cost efficiency is felt at the front end of the business as well. “Our salespeople are able to go to market at the most competitive rates, with the usage of the Pitney Bowes machines in our operations,” Durre says.

The Pitney Bowes systems are also expanding the range of opportunities APS can pursue. “We’ve taken on a couple of huge jobs that require next-day turnaround on up to 500,000 pieces,” Durre reports. “We were able to accept them because of the Pitney Bowes machines and on-site support. I wouldn’t have dreamed of that before.”