Our particular line of business is described as business-to-business-to-consumer. Our business unit, a provider of B2B2C insurance-type products, processes several thousand contracts monthly. Our partners at the dealership, more commonly referred to as a “store,” often prints a set of terms and conditions of the coverage product the consumer has purchased at the time of vehicle sale. This occurred at the stores that electronically sold vehicle coverage products. This was a pain-point for the store. They needed to upkeep their printers, copiers, and paper supply.
Our agent partners as well as our field sales team expressed a need for a better solution to take the burden off of the dealer. We as a provider of these products needed to reduce this pain-point by providing a booklet with the terms and conditions already printed.
The consumer electronically purchases a coverage product from a store
- We the provider process the contract
- We then ship the booklet to the consumer within 45 days
- The consumer has a nice booklet that is functional
- The store advises the consumer to keep the booklet in their glove box
- This printed piece has a nicer feel as a quality tangible branded item that the consumer to keep!
Version 1 of the booklet
In a sense, the booklet was the minimum viable product. Most of our competitors already provide a similar solution. We explored ways in the design that presented value and quality in a tangible piece.
We worked with our print vendor to bring this to life. We fulfilled the customers’ order. Shipped straight to their homes. The sales of the coverage products were climbing, and climbing fast.
2nd iteration of the book
When we ran out of booklets, there was pressure on the printer to restock these. I took the initiative to present a redesign, sought the buy-in from the product and marketing managers. My goal was to streamline the design from a production and fulfillment perspective. Collaborated with our vendor with some back and forth ideas. We killed the hook and loop fastener and the flap itself for production efficiency!
The Next Big Thing
Our processes are constantly improving and there is no sign of slowing down. I still felt there was a way to make it better. Our competitors have a similar product fulfillment book for their respective products, but they lack the functional pockets and tear-away business cards with emergency contacts.
Our partners and their customers and their customers love these. They want to keep them in stock at their stores. The challenge was managing version-control. Certain products and coverage levels can be offered in certain states.
We pride ourselves in maintaining a high level of service and quality. We didn’t want to have the potential of providing the wrong version of the booklet to the customer. I also aim to reduce the shipping time as well as cost.
The current process:
- print mass quantities
- stock them
- ship out weekly
- restock when approaching a re-print level
For a long time, it was assumed this was the only process, to mass produce upfront then ship. I felt it was important to challenge that and felt the need to find a way.
“Nature always finds a way.” is a quote from Jurassic Park. I like this line because I always find myself interested in finding ways to accomplish something rather than harp on limitations. Finding ways to say yes, rather than immediately say no.
My team travelled to the production facility to hold meetings to talk through ideas and meet with the people that make the magic happen behind the scenes. It was an excellent collaborative opportunity. We discovered that our long-standing assumptions were actually not the case.
The proposed new process
- Produce these in-line as they come in through the system (order/print-on-demand per se)
- The shell, the contents, and the cover letter and inserted autonomously
- Slides down the line to the shipping department
- Mail out to the consumer right away
We are currently gathering the necessary requirements and doing the legwork to pull in the right resources to develop a rollout plan.
Still in the works, but we already see the huge potential in cost-savings as well as reduced shipping time (Currently at 10 business days, and will potentially reduce by half [results to be determined!]).