Case Study | August 29, 2012

A Better Way To Process Mail Orders Does Exist

Source: OPEX Corporation

Renowned cataloger, The Johnson Smith Company, expects to save $1.5 million thanks to a mail extraction and document scanning solution that automates mail order processing.

The mail order catalog industry dates back to the days of our forefathers when Benjamin Franklin produced the first known catalog to sell academic and scientific books. Few industries have such a colorful past, and few catalog companies have a history as fascinating as The Johnson Smith Company. Founded in 1914, Johnson Smith is one of America’s oldest catalog companies. Influenced heavily by The Great Depression, the company has focused on providing an escape for its customers — an escape that comes in the form of the fun gifts and novelties it offers in its catalogs. Today, Johnson Smith produces a total of four catalogs full of lighthearted gifts, wellness products, and nostalgic items, but the company’s flagship catalog is Things You Never Knew Existed.

One thing that Johnson Smith never knew existed was a better way to process the mail orders it received on a daily basis. For the better part of 100 years, the company manually processed all incoming mail orders, but recently (and quite by chance) Johnson Smith became enlightened to the productivity, costsaving, and error-reduction benefits that document imaging and data capture technologies could bring to its mail processing activities.

Manual Order Processing Proves Time Consuming, Error Prone

Like most mail order companies, Johnson Smith has largely adopted a web-based business model. Today, approximately 60% of Johnson Smith’s catalog business is transacted online and through their call center. However, the balance of its customers still prefer to submit orders the old-fashioned way — by placing orders via the traditional mail-in order form.

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