TPI, a family-owned company that has grown from its inception in 1973 by William and Donna Benskin to approximately 200 employees, is a leading provider of variable data print and direct mail campaigns for the gaming and casino industry. Located in Des Moines, IA, the company produces consumer loyalty programs that focus on acquiring new casino customers, retaining existing customers and encouraging the reactivation of previous customers.
TPI’s multi-channel marketing services include print, email, SMS, personalized URLs with “flipbooks” and mobile applications. The company specializes in integrating the customer databases of its more than 300 casino clients with digital technologies to produce four-color variable print and email communications that can contain anywhere from a dozen to hundreds of variable fields. These highly personalized mailings help TPI’s clients deliver solid customer retention programs that keep players coming back.
As TPI’s business grew exponentially, the company was using three different variable data software solutions from different vendors to handle the increasing volume. Its production department was experiencing a bottleneck because none of the tools used could render files quickly enough. It could take up to three days to get client data processed, which was resulting in a great deal of overtime just to meet deadlines. TPI decided it was time to look for an alternative.
Improved throughput to meet growing demand
“We met with the Quadient team about four years ago. After a review of Quadient Inspire, we knew we loved the system,” said Rodney Wells, vice president of operations for TPI. “It certainly could do everything our other solutions could do—but it could do even more. For example, the issue we had rendering files fast enough, Quadient Inspire immediately took care of that.
“Our variable data print and direct mail campaigns focus on intricate consumer loyalty programs with the current volume of variable data direct mail pieces at approximately 12 million per month. That includes everything from self-mailers to postcards and stuffers, as well as scratch-offs and pull-tabs. We also send out vouchers that are redeemable for money at the casinos. These are highly personalized in terms of the dollar amounts, images and messages depending on whether the recipient is a lower tier customer or considered a high roller. They also contain barcodes that help the casinos keep track of how they are used.”
Given that the data the company receives from clients comes in a variety of formats, TPI really liked the fact that the solution is able to manage data from almost any data source, including CRM, ERP, SAP, ECM, web-based XML and even real-time data. While Inspire completely solved the composition bottleneck, TPI ran into another challenge as its business continued to grow—efficiently handling the volumes of customer data it was receiving from its growing casino clients.
Building an end-to-end, streamlined print and mail process
“Our clients send us customer data for their loyalty programs in many different formats with fields and data matrices that change from month to month,” said Wells. “We had to find a way to implement more efficient processes to keep up.” One day while working with the Quadient Inspire solution, Wells just happened to see that one of Inspire’s modules was associated with data processing. He immediately went on the website and read about the company’s Ignite product that seemed to be exactly what TPI needed. Extremely pleased with the efficiencies made possible by Quadient Inspire, Wells had Quadient do a proof of concept with Quadient Ignite to see if it could provide the robust automation for the data management and postal optimization the company needed. Ignite passed the test with flying colors.
“Using Quadient Ignite for postal presort alone increased our capacity by approximately 30 percent,” said Wells. “We started with some of our simpler jobs, which took 45 minutes to complete with our old workflow. With Ignite, they were done in less than a minute. And it was a huge plus that Ignite and Inspire integrate so well together. The average number of jobs completed per month have increased from 831 pre-Ignite to 1,024 with Ignite.”
Wells also appreciates the support TPI is receiving from the Quadient professional services team. When TPI needs a specialized application to meet a client request, all Wells has to do is pick up the phone. “I can say to the Quadient team, ‘Here’s what we are looking to do,’ and they will customize a solution that meets those requirements and insert it into the workflow. We receive exceptional support from Quadient.”
The advanced automation made possible by integrating Ignite and Inspire has been a huge benefit for TPI in other ways as well. Often, clients are inconsistent in the reports sent to TPI, such as changing the way they name data fields. Before adopting the strength of these two Quadient’s solutions, a job with 80,000 records could take up to one hour and forty-five minutes to process and generate proofs for the client. Now, the same process takes as little as one minute and six seconds.
Looking forward, Wells reports that TPI intends to leverage Quadient’s powerful automation capabilities to streamline processes even further on its more difficult jobs. “We break our jobs down into three categories: level one, two and three. Level one jobs are the easiest and level three are the most complex. With the marriage of Inspire and Ignite, our level one jobs are now in and out in the same day. We are now in the process of rolling out full automation to level two, and we are confident we will improve our efficiency even more.”
Wells sums up his experience with Quadient, naming speed and advanced automation as the top business benefits. “Before Quadient, we had to count on several software tools from several vendor partners just to get a job done. And now we have just one partner—and it has made all the difference in our ability to meet our customers’ needs. Integrating the two solutions provided a huge comfort zone for us from the very beginning because they work so well together.”
- Needing a robust customer communications management solution for quick turn-around times
- Gaining the ability to handle growing volumes of customer data and automating postal workflows
- Quadient Inspire for fast, reliable and automated document production
- Quadient Ignite for complex data handling and automated postal processing
- Quadient Professional Services
- Reduced overtime and enhanced production capacity
- An increase in the average number of jobs completed per month from 831 to 1,024
“It used to take us up to three days to get client data processed, which was resulting in a lot of overtime just to get jobs out in time...Once we switched to Quadient Inspire, rendering the files quickly was no longer an issue.”
“We started with some of our simpler jobs, which took 45 minutes to complete with our old workflow. With Ignite, they were done in less than a minute. It is a huge plus that Ignite and Inspire integrate so well together.
- Rodney Wells, vice president of operations for TPI