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PODi Best Practices Awards Recognize Innovative Digital Document Applications

Press release from the issuing company

Rochester, NY - February 24, 2004 - PODi, the Digital Printing initiative, announced the 2004 winners of its Best Practices awards to 250 industry leaders at the annual PODi Applications Forum in Las Vegas on February 10, 2004. The recognition honors organizations in the U.S., Canada , and South America whose digital print-on-demand strategies are best in class. Three categories of applications were considered: direct marketing, collateral management, and transactional applications. "Extremely innovative, highly effective work is being done, and it is appropriate to give these pacesetters the highest recognition for their outstanding efforts," saidRab Govil , president of PODi. "The PODi Best Practices awards offer a way to spotlight those projects that are truly best in class and encourage other organizations to consider these kinds of best practices for their own businesses." The number of entries for the PODi Best Practices in Digital Print report increases every year, and only those that demonstrated clear, measurable business results were considered for an award. Consideration was also given to projects that reduce costs through automation, or increase motivation and therefore effectiveness through relevant use of variable data. Projects using software tools that allow non-technical users to initiate a campaign or project were also preferred. Best of Show The "Best of Show" winner of the PODi Best Practices awards was Prudential Retirement and Royal Impressions with personalized 401(k) enrollment books and statements designed to increaseemployee enrollmentand encourage sound investment. A customenrollment book for each employee helped raise enrollment and contribution levels. Each 40- to 90-page book contained highly relevant, personalized data driven by the prospect's age and income level. "We are honored to receive the PODi award for our Personalization efforts, which enable our clients to communicate messages that specifically target participants' individual circumstances and needs," said John Corrieri, Vice President, Marketing and Communications for Prudential. "Retirement program participants are the real winners as they benefit from having a tool that enables them to make more informed decisions regarding their retirement futures." Direct Marketing Category In the category of direct marketing, the first place winner was Jay Pontiac Buick and Hot!deas.com for their personalized automobile service reminders.Jay Pontiac Buick dealerships needed to increase vehicle service orders and improve customer relationship management. Hot!deas.com generates visually stimulating brochures that are customized using the dealers' rich database of vehicle history to predict services that might be needed. The highly relevant content in the reminder encouraged retention and action. As further incentive, discounts were offered on needed services. "Jay Pontiac-Buick is a typical dealership that recognizes the importance of maximizing advertising and marketing dollars and they have found Variable Data Casting (TM) services highly profitable," added Kelly Chaloupka of Director of Information Services for Hot!deas.com. Honorable Mention in the Direct Marketing category went to United Stationers and Saphar & Associates for a Web-enabled application that allows resellers to produce direct marketing campaigns. Collateral Management Category Huntington College and Scope1 Marketing Technologies' "Build me a brochure" web application for prospective students took first place in Collateral Management.  The program had an ambitious list of objectives: convert web inquiries into students, encourage campus visits, address both students and parents, convey academic value, demonstrate career outcomes and explain the integration of faith and learning for this Christian college. A web inquiry page was designed to allow a prospective student to create a brochure by indicating areas of study and extracurricular activities that interested them. That data was used to immediately create a PDF brochure online, followed by a printed brochure sent via mail. "The automated response system garnered more new students than any other lead producing source," noted Jim Richardson of Scope1. "It's great to get this award from PODi because the many people who worked to bring this complex application together really deserve the recognition." Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance and Document Sciences received an Honorable Mention for their application server software to produce policies and quotes on-demand. Transactional Applications Category A Securian Retirement Services and DST Output color hybrid statement-newsletter solution were the top winners in the transactional category. The Securian newsletter content, migrated to the statement itself, is tailored with variable information. Securian met its objectives of delivering an improved 401(k) statement to plan participants, providing a more personalized investor newsletter to plan participants, and promoting participants' use of the Securian web site. Securian also enjoyed significant cost savings as postage was cut nearly in half by combining the two documents. "This Best Practices Award recognizes customer solutions that meet client expectations," says Wes Ervin, media, analyst and public relations officer for DST Output. "But here we have a winner that exceeds the client's expectations. The Securian statement not only won multiple awards, but it has succeeded in increasing traffic to the company's Website by 30 percent, more than double the goal." Honorable Mention in the Transactional Applications category went to Cigna and Art Plus Technology for their CRM statements. PODi Best Practices in Digital Print Report Available in March The awards complement the annual Best Practices report to be released by PODi in March 2004, which will include an in-depth review of the winning applications. For the latest thinking on real issues that impact the bottom line, companies consistently rely on resources like this report, available only from PODi. The Best Practices Report is free to PODi members and available for a fee to non-members.