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Statement Reformatting in Less than 4,000 Hours

By on September 14th, 2010 in Statements

At a document strategy conference today, I attended a presentation on how a large insurance company handled a recent statement reformatting project. Incorporating onserts and messages, they enabled different business groups within their organization and their employer sponsors to include targeted marketing, regulatory, educational and informational messages on their quarterly statements.

Cool stuff. No doubt about it.

The presenters described their research and design process as well as the technical and production issues that they tackled along the way. After spending untold tens of thousands of dollars (or more) on research, software and consulting services, their in-house IT staff spent 4,000 hours on preparing their statement data for the transformation. 4,000 hours! 500 days! 100 weeks of paid time!

I left the presentation impressed with the statement design and the inherent value of incorporating multiple messages to meet a variety of customer communication needs. Cost savings resulted from a 75% reduction in statement stuffers. And the customers, sponsor companies and transactional document industry all speak very highly of the finished product.

But, I didn’t feel that the statement was way out in front of the rest of the industry — or even what LKCS does for our clients every day. It was a laser printed statement on a full color preprinted form. Nothing revolutionary. I just can’t get over the massive investment in 4,000 IT hours – a factor 40-80 times higher than the longest reformatting project LKCS programmers have ever been involved in. For a result that just doesn’t seem 40-80 times better.

This insurance company hadn’t changed their statement design in 10 years. I can understand why. It will be at least another 10 years before they could come close to justifying this kind of cost again.

These types of statement reformatting and transpromo document projects are well within reach for companies of all size — without massive costs, timelines and process re-engineering.