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Has transpromo's time arrived?

Sep 1, 2009 12:00 AM


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InfoTrends (www.infotrends.com) recently held its Third Annual TransPromo Summit in Boston. It was an international gathering — of the approximately 225 attendees, 10 percent hailed from Central and South America.

“Case studies from a myriad of industry applications were among the most popular of the multifaceted sessions,” reports consultant Clint Bolte (www.clintbolte.com). “Users from Latin American and Europe presented case studies that contained explicit returns on investment experienced from their various transpromo applications. North American corporate end users shared the steps and stages from their transpromo journeys, but seemed more reluctant to share the specific ROI results.”

Let's get it started

Keynoter Barb Pellow, InfoTrends Group Leader and Conference Chair, offered 10 reasons to get started with transpromo posthaste. “[Pellow said] that there is no [external] reason for any end user of any size not to get on board and move forward initiating their own transpromo plans and initial pilot efforts,” reports Bolte. “You can use virtually any existing digital print equipment already in house or resident at your current transaction document printer. For a short-run pilot attempt, the software and workflow currently in use will suffice as adding an onsert to replace an insert is part of TP 101 in many cases. Manually tracking the responses to the offering either to a call center or website is cumbersome but doable.”

Xerox's Anthony Federico moderated a panel discussion with GMC's Rene Muller and HP Indigo's Alon Bar-Shany. Said Federico: “You can run transpromo with your existing hardware and software workflows. As success comes, goals for more sophisticated and powerful (capabilities) will naturally evolve.“ In a separate panel discussion, Kodak's Pat McGrew offered the same conclusion but added that the only key investment that the company need make is that of learning about transpromo.

Larry Beasley, vice president of marketing and corporate planning for Cathedral Corp. (Rome, NY), and William Chan, billing manager for Broadview Networks described Broadviews' transpromo experience over the past four years. Corporate mergers and acquisitions have fueled Broadview's growth. As a print service provider, it was Cathedral's job to take the legacy billing files from all of these new acquirees and output invoices to clients along with usable accounting data files to corporate headquarters, to assist cash management. In this account migration process, billing formats were consolidated, the transition from monochrome to color printing was achieved, and fewer pages were actually printed — which resulted in both printing and postage savings.

SynQ Solutions, a print services provider, hired consultant Roger Gimble to help sell Aaron Rents, Inc. on transpromo and to facilitate a successful transition. Aaron has 1,600 stores. “Gimble recommended that the 160 stores with the lowest volume comprise the pilot billing statement,” notes Bolte. “He rationalized to management that improvement in sales from good stores could be due to several reasons. But growth from the slow producers would be more assuredly attributed to the transpromo program.” A 3.4 percent response rate from the campaign covered the $175,000 transpromo startup costs many times over.

Jim Hamilton, group director for InfoTrends, cited the following hardware trends impacting transpromo: hybrid offset/digital print engines with good economics; high-speed continuous color on coated stocks; fifth station printing capability for spot color, MICR, coatings, and special effects; and improved speed, quality and economics on digital equipment.

(For more on transpromo, see Lee Gallagher's excellent blog: www.transpromo-live.com.)

On a personal note

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Unfortunately, October arrived a little early for me. In July, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I must thank the staff of AMERICAN PRINTER, particularly Scott Bieda, Denise Kapel, Michael Koch, Nsenga Thompson and PFFC editor Yolanda Simonsis for their compassion and selflessness. My uncertain schedule these past two months has presented many challenges, all of which they have dealt with quietly and professionally. They have provided much needed peace of mind.

I also must acknowledge the support, good wishes and prayers I have received from all corners of the industry. Many shared their own stories and offered help of every kind.

Originally I thought I was going to get my marching orders for Cancer Boot Camp on the double. But for now, I have a deferment from surgery and chemo. Instead, I am doing a hitch in the Cancer National Guard. Once or twice a month I have to report for duty at the doctor's office. In the meantime, I'll be here.

You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/APKOB as well as on my new blog: KOB on Commercial Printing at http://blog.americanprinter.com/kob.