ROCHESTER, N.Y., and CARROLLTON, Texas, Feb. 28, 2005 - By automating its production operation with continuous feed printers from Xerox Corporation, Fast-Tax, the nation's leading processor of trust tax forms, is sailing through the tax season with fewer errors, higher quality output and a 83 percent reduction in temporary staff.
Fast-Tax, part of The Thomson Corporation, performs about 50 percent of the nation's annual trust tax processing. Working with Xerox, Fax-Tax automated the labor-intensive process of assembling and stapling printed tax documents.
From mid-January to mid-February, Fast-Tax prints nearly 2 million images per day, seven days a week, in an operation managed by Xerox Services through an outsourcing contract. A new automated system has resulted in fewer assembly and mailing errors, and a reduction of seasonal staff from 270 to 45.
"Improving production automation helps our customers comply with privacy requirements in recent legislation, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley and Gramm-Leach-Bliley Acts, and also boosts productivity and quality control," said Ken Adams, vice president, development and support, Fast-Tax. "Automating the operation was complicated by the need for staples of various sizes to accommodate 1041 and 1099 tax form packages that range from two to 40 pages in length.
"It quickly became clear that nobody could handle precisely the kind of assembly we had," Adams said. "But Xerox helped us to understand what we were up against and had the willingness to try and solve the problem."
Solving the Technical Challenges
At the heart of the new system are three Xerox DocuPrint 500 CFs, which print on roll-fed paper at the super high speeds of more than 229 feet per minute. Each DocuPrint 500 is equipped with feeders and rewinders from Roll Systems, Inc., which reduce manual paper-loading and unloading requirements. They also employ the same Xerox DocuSP controller used on the shop's four cut-sheet Xerox DocuPrint 180 Enterprise Printing Systems, giving operators a common system for easily balancing workloads.
In addition, Xerox worked with Bell & Howell to custom-build a high-speed, variable-stitching machine that automatically matches staple size to document thickness for automatic stapling.
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