Making Print Consistent with Online Experience? Priceless!
By Guest Contributor on April 19th, 2011
I work at a company that is heavily focused on the online user experience for consumer and corporate identity risk management services – and I’m also a print guy. You might think that print wouldn’t be that important of a competency for us, but you would be wrong. Intersections Inc. is recognized as the preferred partner of major financial institutions providing custom identity management solutions. Clients leverage Intersections’ identity management solutions, offered under their own privately branded labels.
Private labeling. Branding. Corporate Identity– –just a few reasons print is important.
Supporting our customers’ unique brands online is relatively straight forward; doing the same in print is more complex and expensive. While many of our customers are serviced online for monitoring, alerts and extensive drill-down reports, the majority of our customers still prefer printed fulfillment kits.
Each customer who successfully enrolls in one of our credit and identity risk management services, either through one of our corporate partners or directly with Intersections, is sent a printed guide for using the services. It is a welcome kit, a user guide, and almost always contains their personal credit data and scores. This welcome kit sets the tone for the quality of the service that they have enrolled in.
In the past, Intersections created these guides by matching offset printed covers with dynamically produced booklet content. The covers were on heavy, die-cut stock in full color and the booklets were dynamically generated using Group1’s DOC1 and printed in black and white on an IBM 4100 with near-line booklet maker. While the content was informative and the covers were produced using our clients’ brand colors, the inside didn’t offer a customer experience that was comparable to what Intersections delivers online. For those customers who preferred print to online, there was a tangible lack of color and brand palate inside the guide.
We are always trying to deliver greater flexibility and value to our direct clients – the financial institutions who private label our products – as well as the end consumers of those products. By early 2009 we were convinced that going to a dynamic, full-color environment was the way to remain the leader in our industry. After an exhaustive evaluation of technologies on the market, considering both toner and inkjet solutions from a variety of manufacturers, in 2009 we selected the Océ JetStream 1000 system for printing and GMC PrintNet to compose the documents.
The redesign, reengineering and redeployment of our guides and other documents on the new platform has been tremendously successful. Not only can we support dynamic branding with ease, but we can use color dynamically to highlight key information for consumers and draw their attention to personalized information, much the same way that we do online. This is not to gloss over the complexity and the hard work it took to architect a high integrity solution that supports multiple partners in a true white paper environment. It took longer than originally scoped and we learned many lessons on the way.
The good news is that originally we knew we needed two engines for redundancy and failover, but were unsure if enough of our clients would be willing to adopt color to warrant the two engines. The best case has happened and by the end of the year the majority of our materials will now be printed in full on demand color in our new environment. Along the way we’ve eliminated the risk of managing preprinted inventories, eliminated the matching process and are able to deliver a superior product to clients and our end customers in a very cost-effective way. Making the printed experience consistent with the online experience – priceless!
Since the conversion to full color, Intersections’ financial services product was rated “Best in Class” by Javelin Strategy & Research (September 2010) and we were ranked among the 500 Top Technology Innovators Across America (2010 InformationWeek 500, September 2010). I’d like to think that us print guys (and gals) had something to do with that!