Excellus BCBS Crowned Mail Center of Year

Standing by the Kodak NexPress 2500 at Excellus BCBS are Jim Little, Catherine Ciardi, Randy Neth, Joe Ferrara III and Ajay Amin.

Work Flow Analyst Joe Ferrara III (left) and Publishing Systems Engineer Kevin Wake stand near the LaserMax Roll Systems LX 535, which runs in line with the in-plant’s Océ 7650cx continuous feed printer. The LX 535 slits an 18˝ web of paper down the middle to create two 9˝ webs, then merges one on top of the other.

Named Mail Center of the Year by the In-Plant Printing and Mailing Association, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s full-service mail facility received its award at IPMA’s conference in Charleston, S.C. Catherine Ciardi, director of Document Services for the Rochester, N.Y.-based in-plant, accepted the award for her team of 15 mailing professionals.

“I’m thrilled about this award, and especially happy for my staff,” says Ciardi. “They’ve worked very hard over the past year and have done a fantastic job. All of our success is attributed to this team of extremely focused and dedicated employees.”

The mail team, which shares 5,100 square feet with its printing counterparts, processed a staggering 27,274,200 pieces in 2010.

“The mail center staff shattered its mail volume in 2010 by processing 264,000 letters in a single day,” notes Ciardi. This makes the operation one of the highest volume mailers in the Rochester area.

The facility provides intelligent inserting utilizing a 2 of 5 barcode read by Pitney Bowes inserters. A Mail Run Data File (MRDF) ensures the content integrity of each mail piece.

The mail team generated a savings of approximately $81,000 during 2010 by leveraging BCC Mail Manager software’s presort functions.

The group also helped to launch a major cost saving initiative which resulted in a savings of $590,000 in 2010. To reduce print volume and postage costs for the company’s provider directories, the team worked in tandem with three other departments to create and distribute a custom postcard containing a URL and a QR code for smart phones to direct members to the provider directory.

“I expect our mail facility to continue to grow in the upcoming year, adding new capabilities that will help us produce a wider variety of products and better serve our customers,” says Ciardi.

Related story: Excellus BlueCross BlueShield: Diversify and Thrive

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