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A Progressive Operation

January 2002
Progressive Insurance

Highland Heights, Ohio

True to its name, Progressive Insurance's in-plant is always on the lookout for new types of work to bring in-house and new ways to save the company money.

"It's not always the obvious," remarks Jan Grega, manager of Corporate and Creative Services—like when she noticed the company was outsourcing the tipping of its plastic claims card onto a carrier sheet. The in-plant was already printing that carrier, so why not do the tipping too?

"As the volume grew, we found that that was something that we could save a lot of money by bringing in-house," she says. "In July we purchased a piece of equipment, and we've been doing that internally since then."

This is just a small example of the type of progressive thinking that goes on at this 78-employee in-plant, based in Highland Heights, Ohio. There are much larger examples, too. Take variable printing.

"We started seeing this growing as people wanted this type of work," she says. Unfortunately, a lot of that work was being outsourced. To bring some of that printing in-house, the in-plant started providing variable data printing services using Microsoft Word. Though this software was far from perfect for this use, it allowed the in-plant to get its feet wet.

Grega and her team then researched variable data software to see what would work best with the shop's Xerox DocuTechs and 2060 color printer. They found the answer in DocuRight software from Firstlogic. Grega says the software was not hard to learn, and before long the shop was doing large variable data jobs, printing post cards and letters with up to 14 different fields of variable data. Sometimes just names and addresses are changed, but other times letters are personalized with policy expiration dates, rates and other bits of information. These targeted mailings are getting a good response, Grega says, which is leading to more business.

"It's just really been a win for us," she adds.

Digital printing isn't all Corporate and Creative Services can do, though. Its offset operation prints a lot of envelopes, letterhead, business cards, forms and two- and three-color brochures. A small amount of this printing is done for customers outside the company. The in-plant does not actively solicit this insourced work, but word-of-mouth referrals bring in about $102,000 per year.

"It brings in money and it also keeps the shop running to full capacity," Grega says.


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