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Mail Keeps Omaha In-plant Strong

With an impressive array of digital printing and mailing firepower, the Physicians Mutual Mail Processing Center is one of the busiest in-plants around.

October 2012 By Bob Neubauer
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Combining internal print and mail operations can place an in-plant in a much more secure position, since mail is often viewed as more mission critical to an organization. Nationally, 60 percent of in-plants have gotten this message and are providing mailing services to their parent organizations, according to IPG research.

One great example is the 42-employee print and mail operation at Physicians Mutual, in Omaha, Neb. Equipped with an arsenal of digital printing and high-tech inserting gear, the operation processes between 30 and 35 million mail pieces a year for the health and life insurance company.

With direct mail playing such an important part in the company's success, the in-plant's expertise is highly valued by upper management. This has fostered some very dedicated in-plant employees.

"Nobody cares more about our work than we do," remarks Sherry Monico, assistant vice president of the Mail Processing Center, which is located in a 92,000-square-foot facility in the northeastern part of the city, near the airport. With an annual operating budget of $3.6 million, the in-plant produces more than 45,000 jobs a year.

To handle this volume, the operation uses an array of Xerox equipment, including two DocuColor 8000s, two Xerox 495 continuous feed printers, two DocuPrint 135 MICR printers and two DocuTech 180 HighLight Color printers, supplemented by a pair of Konica Minolta bizhub PRO 1200s. About a quarter of the work is full color, Monico says, and 95 percent of it contains variable data.

'First Stop' for Marketing

The in-plant works closely with the company's marketing department to produce promotional and direct mail pieces. In fact, marketing approaches the operation very early in the process for each new project.

"We are the first stop," Monico says. "We have the right of first refusal in everything that they do."

This close relationship has developed over the past couple years, she says, after the in-plant worked hard to prove its value. Now the in-plant is able to offer suggestions early in the design process.

"Having insight into the front end concept and design process, we've been able to provide input," she affirms—to ensure pieces are printed and mailed efficiently and cost effectively.

In-plant Snapshot
Physicians Mutual
Mail Processing Center
Omaha, Neb.
  • Employees: 42
  • Annual Operating Budget: $3.6 million
  • Facility: 92,000 square feet
  • Jobs Produced Annually: 45,000+
Key Equipment
  • Two Xerox DocuColor 8000s with signature bookletmaker
  • Two Xerox DocuPrint 135 MICR printers
  • Two Xerox DocuTech 180HLC highlight color printers
  • Two Xerox 495 continuous feed printers
  • Two Konica Minolta BizHub 1200s with signature bookletmaker and perfect bind bookletmaker
  • Two nine-bin Pitney Bowes Flowmaster inserters with Infinity digital meters
  • Two six-bin Pitney Bowes Intelligent Flowmaster inserters with Infinity digital meters
  • Two eight-bin Bell & Howell inserters
  • One six-bin Bell & Howell inserter
  • Three Bell & Howell continuous feed inline folders
  • Three GBR folders
  • Two MBO folders with Böwe 310 cutters
  • One cut sheet Stahl folder with pile feed input
  • One Sure-Feed product attaching system with MCS 2˝ array inkjet
  • One MCS 6˝ array inkjet with inline tabber
  • Baum folder
  • Speedo cutter
  • Two Challenge industrial paper cutters
  • One Graphic Whizard CreaseMaster
 
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