Quality assurance and inspection of variable data documents with DocBridge Delta at Data-Mail Inc.

„Compart provides the responsiveness and customer service of a small agile company yet delivers a product akin to one that a blue chip company would be expected to produce.“

Chris Bennett

Data-Mail

Raising the Bar on Variable Data Accuracy and Efficiency

Data-Mail Inc. selected DocBridge Delta when searching for an efficient tool for the validation process of their complex documents with variable data. When they began using DocBridge Delta, about 80 percent of the documents compared ran at an acceptable speed, which was a definite improvement.

over 1.5 billion mail pieces annually

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80 percent of proofing processes faster than before

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Raising the Bar on Variable Data Accuracy and Efficiency

The strong portfolio of services has helped Data-Mail Inc. to sustain its position as an industry leader in the direct mail marketing industry for forty years. Data-Mail can attribute its success to the seamless internal coordination of services available to clients.

Accuracy and accountability is critical at Data-Mail, a full-service direct mail company based in Newington, Connecticut, which churns out over 1.5 billion pieces of correspondence annually, many containing personalized variable and customer data. The content and logic changes combined with the high volumes of individualized documents make traditional proofing methods costly, time consuming, and error prone.

Data-Mail’s customers - major companies in finance, insurance, utilities, and healthcare are using complex variable data in their new client acquisition efforts. The companies’ brands are reflected in these documents, and increasing regulatory exposure makes accuracy a paramount concern. Because the documents change regularly, ensuring every change is made correctly is a major challenge. The validation process must look beyond basics such as dates, names, and addresses to subtleties like differences in construction, positioning and embedded data.

To enhance Data-Mail’s comprehensive QC procedures, Bennett wanted the flexibility to handle the challenges common to managing changes in complex variable data output projects. He sought to compare words and fonts, sometimes independently of each other, and make contextual comparisons of content, but the tools available were unable to provide that level of detail,

"Most of the software tools can compare one character to another," notes Bennett. "But when a client wants to change the font on a large section of a document, or make changes based on variables in the data, and we’re responsible for making sure those changes happen correctly, these other tools are useless."

Delta Means Change

Bennett knew that the Greek word for "change" is "delta," and knew his processes had to change, too. Compart’s DocBridge Delta software looked promising, so he ran tests to see how it worked.

"We ran comparisons using several documents and Compart walked us through the results, which helped us see what their software could do with real materials," explains Bennett. "We saw right away that it could make the proofing process around changes faster, more accurate and more efficient."

With the testing complete, Compart worked with Data-Mail to ensure the DocBridge Delta implementation went smoothly. "When we began using DocBridge Delta, about 80 percent of the documents compared ran at an acceptable speed, which was a definite improvement," relates Bennett. "Then Compart showed us how to optimize the PDFs we were creating to make the process even faster."

"Compart provides the responsiveness and customer service of a small agile company yet delivers a product akin to one that a blue chip company would be expected to produce."

Positive Impact

DocBridge Delta is now an integral part of Data-Mail’s data center. When documents are output, DocBridge compares them to an original version to identify any changes quickly. When the Data-Mail team is working on a proof with a large number of pages, they produce a QC proof internally. If they find changes or if a client wants to make changes, they output another proof and use DocBridge Delta to ensure only the intended changes were made. Some of the key advantages include:

  • Portions of a document can be "masked" to exclude them from comparison. This speeds up comparison so only areas that have changes are examined.
  • Comparisons can be made on a contextual basis so individual words can be compared without the fonts also having to match.
  • Areas containing a different font can be examined to ensure they fit on a page correctly and that text flows properly.
  • Characters and spacing can be compared at the pixel level to ensure a font, its spacing, and the flow of other text is accurate.

Compart DocBridge Delta has had a positive impact on Data-Mail’s productivity and quality. "We can check more pages and do audits more accurately and much faster than with traditional methods," affirms Bennett. "And we can be confident that proofs are accurate when we give them to customers."

While Data-Mail’s clients may not know that DocBridge Delta’s proofing capabilities are ensuring accuracy and efficiency, they recognize the results. "Recently, we went to an event at a customer site where there were several other vendors, competitors and marketing agencies in attendance," notes Bennett. "The customer made a public statement that Data-Mail set the standard for quality."

Data-Mail makes a point of recommending effective software tools to its customers, has recommended DocBridge Delta to a major financial institution, and will continue recommending the solution. "The product managers wanted to know how we did such a good job, and we told them about DocBridge."

"We’re always looking for ways to add new technology that will allow us to do more, and do it better, but it can be a challenge to find solutions that have a clear impact on production. Compart DocBridge Delta is a product that impacts production positively."

© Data-Mail Inc.

Data-Mail Inc.

Data-Mail was established in 1971 in Newington, CT as a leading local print and lettershop helping Hartford, CT area businesses with its personalization and direct mail services. Since then Data-Mail has grown to become one of the country‘s leading full service direct marketing enterprises. Data–Mail is now one of the largest employers in the Hartford, CT metropolitan region with over 800 employees working across three shifts and support some of the largest companies and advertising agencies in the country including Blue Chip companies in Financial Services, Retail, Publishing, Healthcare, Insurance, Telecom, and High-Tech - many companies and brands you would recognize immediately. The Windsor facility is itself the largest Post Office between New York and Boston.

Document Checking Automated Quality Assurance

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