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Scan-Optics Helps Time Customer Service Reduce Overhead While Automating Subscription Fulfillment

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Press release from the issuing company

Manchester, CT – January 25, 2006 - Scan-Optics, LLC, an internationally acknowledged innovator and provider of information capture and recognition solutions, today announced that the purchase of two Scan-Optics SO Series scanners has allowed Time Customer Service to reduce its overhead while automating its subscription fulfillment department. With the addition of advanced OCR software, Time was able to streamline its department's headcount by 90% while increasing the accuracy and quality of data from hand-written subscription forms with less than 1% error rate. As a Tampa-based customer service, information systems, marketing services and subscription fulfillment operation, Time Customer Service, Inc. is a subsidiary of Time Warner, Inc. and provides fulfillment services for a broad array of marketing partners in a variety of direct marketing businesses. Its fulfillment services range from retail back office to simple data processing; from traditional customer service to outbound telemarketing; from list management to cutting-edge hybrid merchandise direct marketing. On a daily basis, the company manually processes between 60,000 and 100,000 new subscription and renewal forms from up to 30 different publications including Time, People, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, Money, Entertainment Weekly as well as Essence, National Geographic, Southern Living and Martha Stewart Living. The handwritten cards are manually entered into the company's circulation database by individuals through a time consuming process, requiring a team of 100 data entry operators per shift, all requiring working space and computers. When subscriptions or renewals spiked, Time Customer Service's only solution was to add more personnel and increase the physical space required to meet increased workloads. Time Customer Service settled on two Scan-Optics SO Series OCR scanners with serializers--an optional ink jet printer that imprints a number on the image, allowing for faster and easier retrieval of the images once they are archived. One SO Series will be used full time and the other for a back up and for use when subscription and renewal activity spikes. In addition, Scan-Optics' SONIX application was deployed, allowing the data entry operator to interpret the writing that is on the form. The scanner sends the renewals that need interpretation to SONIX, approximately 2%, and the balance are directly scanned into Time's circulation database. “Our department can now process several million subscription renewal forms annually,” said Sam Wilson, GS Purchasing Supervisor at Time Customer Service, Inc. “At 240 ppm, the SO Series from Scan-Optics has allowed us to reduce our operating expenses, while increasing the speed and accuracy of subscriber data.” Time also realized substantial dollar cost savings, in terms of reducing the number of data entry operators, from 100 down to 10 per shift, allowing them to better utilize office space and create a more relaxed working environment. In addition, they reduced personnel-related costs, including training. They also experienced dramatic productivity gains, less time to produce higher volumes resulting in faster renewal times, data accuracy and better overall customer service.




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