MRS, a subsidiary of Telephone Electronics Corporation (TEC), started in 1999 as an internal department focused on printing and mailing telephone bills for TEC. Since transactional print and mail equipment was already in place, the subsidiary decided to branch out and serve additional industries in need of transactional print and mailing support. Choosing Transformation’s comprehensive customer communications management (CCM) software, Uluro, to build its workflow, MRS quickly grew into printing and mailing bank statements, collection letters and medical bills for physicians, clinics and hospitals nationwide.
Uluro’s core suite of easy-to-implement, integrated modules played a critical role in helping MRS streamline the company’s client communications, mail production and distribution processes. Also critical was the role Craig Pederson, MRS’ operations manager, played in the development of these communications.
Smaller businesses like MRS often depend on a single person or a few key people for their success. If a key person becomes unable to work, the business suffers by being temporarily unable to operate, resulting in frustrated customers and lost revenue. Such was the case at MRS when Pederson unexpectedly passed away.
Filling a Void
“With Craig gone, there were some very large shoes to fill here. He had been with MRS since the start and did all the development work, from the onboarding, creating maps for the printing, just everything when it came to producing the documents,” said Pat Weston, Office Manager for MRS. “With his passing being so sudden, the company didn’t have time to prepare or plan a succession route. Initially, we tried to share the work and do it ourselves, but we were fumbling and blundering. We quickly realized that statement mapping, along with the other development tasks, were beyond any of us because no one here had a technology background to bring to the table. It’s when we started getting behind with the onboarding of new clients that we called Transformations to get help.”
Uluro Professional Services offers technical support that range from support tips on troubleshooting and problem solving to customized training options that fit every level of expertise and consulting services to ensure a company is maximizing its investment in Uluro.
“Initially, the Uluro team came in and helped us find where Craig’s files were located. They knew we didn’t have any experience, needing to go even as far as telling us which button to click to go to the next screen. I just cannot say enough about how patient they were, how kind they were, just to get us up and going,” said Weston.
Calling in Support
Having the ability to onboard new clients in an efficient manner was a major concern for the MRS team, particularly for Joe Austin, the account executive responsible for sales and marketing. With Craig, onboarding was simple, straightforward and completed within a two-week span. Craig understood the needs of the client that he was onboarding, such as a medical biller that has multiple clients or a credit union that had very complex tax statements. With that knowledge lost, MRS found it was often taking three months to bring a new client onboard, especially a complex client like a hospital system or medical biller. The lag time of getting clients onboarded was affecting Austin’s comfort in bringing on new business.
For a time, MRS used the Uluro Professional Services team on an ad hoc basis, paying by the hour to support issues as they arose. However, the MRS team soon discovered that even though the training offered was helpful, each person on the 15 member staff at MRS had other duties to fulfill and no dedicated time to devote to development at the level that was required.
“We began to see the value of contracting a certain number of hours with Transformations,” said Chris Chelette, Vice President of Corporate Support at MRS. “We looked at all our options. One, of course, would be to hire a full-time person. However, we realized working on a retainer basis with someone who knows our needs was more efficient than hiring a new person at this time. We might get less hours than a full-time person, but we get the performance that we would probably be getting out of a full-time person in those hours because the Uluro Professional Services team knows what they’re doing. They don’t waste time and we don’t lose productivity.”
With the new process in place, MRS now had a dedicated developer to handle the account who fully understood Uluro and the MRS environment. Today, when MRS secures a new client, their Uluro account rep tells them exactly what information and files are needed. MRS simply gathers that information from the client, uploads it to the Uluro portal and the account rep handles it from there.
“It is so easy because he understands our system. He’s learned where everything is and can help us navigate. Having the same person is great because we’re comfortable with him. It’s not someone that comes in fresh and has to learn what we are doing all over again,” said Austin. “The fact that we have solved this problem within a six-month period is nothing short of miraculous. Our Uluro rep has developed a relationship with us that is just fantastic. He understands our business and he understands us. We are able to work with him very efficiently and we don’t have to micromanage a thing. I am now able to tell clients we can onboard them very quickly.”
The Value of Uluro Professional Services
With mounting labor shortages challenging businesses today, the staff in place at a company does not always have a strong background in CCM or, as in the case of MRS, operating a CCM system is not their primary responsibility. They may not have the time to learn these additional skills to take full advantage of the software’s capabilities. Uluro Professional Services team can examine an organization’s current customer communications challenge, determine the business impact it is having and create a plan that charts a new course for a more efficient operating environment. The Uluro Professional Services team has hands-on experience implementing Uluro within different environments and can help a company proactively uncover opportunities that improve efficiency and drive significant cost savings.
“We were faced with a big void in losing Craig and we were scrambling to keep afloat,” said Chelette. “By hiring Uluro Professional Services, we were able to right the ship and get it back moving in the right direction. We selected the number of hours we wanted and financially it’s working for us. They relieved us of a huge burden and got us back on track, back in business and moving forward again.”
MRS produces statements for many customers located across the United States. With state-of-the-art equipment from companies like Ricoh, Xerox, Pitney Bowes, Neopost and Transformations, the company has grown its capacity to produce statements and has added the ability to handle high-speed addressing of advertising, political mailings and bulk mail items. Today MRS offers the ability to process eStatements and printed statements from the same submittal batch, process online payments and provide detailed reporting back to its customers.
About TRANSFORMATIONS, INC.
Since 1988, Transformations, Inc has been an innovative developer and provider of business solutions for manufacturing and distribution centers throughout the country. Its software development efforts evolved over the years into include warehouse management systems, inventory control, and enterprise resource planning. Transformations extensive manufacturing knowledge was used to create Uluro, an all-encompassing solution for service providers and mailers challenged by the complexities of high-volume production and distribution of bills, invoices and other customer communications. Uluro allows for an application to be set up once and then initiated and deployed repeatedly without the need for manual intervention. It is a true front-to-finish suite of solutions all integrated into a single, fully automated document production system allowing service providers to streamline and reduce the costs of complex print and mail processes, enabling recipients to choose how they receive their correspondence, and helping deliver highly personalized mail across physical and electronic media. www.uluro.com