Day-Timers, Inc. Right On Schedule
KeyMark, a systems consulting group, solved Day-Timers' overwhelming forms processing problems and put the personal organizer company back on track.
When Day-Timers, Inc. - an Allentown, PA, company that makes personal organizers to fit all kinds of scheduling needs - chose "It's All About You" as its slogan, the company meant it. Since 1947, Day-Timers has been determined to keep that promise to its customers - partially with the help of OCR for Forms, installed in the mid-1990s.
Customer demands for scheduling products had become fairly complicated, so Day-Timers needed a lot of forms. It needed forms such as preprinted reminders for reordering, catalogue order forms, acquisition forms for prospective customers, and two-sided personal page forms for custom-printed calendars. Of course, the volume had increased tremendously, too, and so had customers' expectations for ever-faster turnaround times.
For help with the problem, Day-Timers called KeyMark, a systems consulting group based in Greenville, SC. After surveying Day-Timers' needs, KeyMark general manager Jim Wanner and sales manager Jim Henderson had a solution: OCR for Forms information capture software designed by Microsystems Technology (Tampa, FL).
No Need To Change Forms
Wanner and Henderson started off by researching Day-Timers' situation. While Day-Timers had definite forms processing troubles, the company had a reservation about using OCR for Forms. If the forms used by the company had to be redesigned to make the software work properly, OCR for Forms could cause more delays than it cured.
"Not to worry," said Henderson, who used Day-Timers' own forms in demonstrating OCR for Forms to company officials. The tests went well - so well, in fact, that Day-Timers decided OCR for Forms was a perfect fit, and gave KeyMark the go-ahead. KeyMark installed OCR for Forms for use with Day-Timers' renewal forms.
Installation began in December 1996. Three months later, OCR for Forms went live, first with renewal forms, then with introductory offers for prospective customers. A key individual in the installation preparations was Pat Confer, a group leader whose areas of responsibility included data entry, spreadsheets, and workflow issues. Although Confer had no formal technical training, her natural computer aptitude was good. She was given two crucial tasks: attend Microsystems' week-long training session in Tampa, then fully train Day-Timers' staff back home in OCR for Forms procedures.
Software And Scanner Process 6,500 Forms Per Day
The realities of Day-Timers' adoption of OCR for Forms became apparent soon after the installation. Currently, Day-Timers scans 26 different types of mail order forms with a Bell & Howell 6338 duplex scanner. Able to enter at least 60% to 65% of all orders through OCR for Forms, Day-Timers has processed as many as 6,500 forms in a day with the software.
OCR for Forms boosted Day-Timers' productivity. The software allows operators to complete forms at a rate that's three to eight times faster than if the documents are keyed in by hand. This depends, of course, on the type of form that's being processed.
The bottom line: OCR for Forms is paying off. Day-Timers' expected return on investment of two years was on schedule for the entire period.
Building On OCR for Forms
Day-Timers was so pleased with the benefits of OCR for Forms, that it looked for an opportunity to integrate some of Microsystems' companion software. In Fax Manager, Day-Timers found a tool to more efficiently handle the increasingly high volume of orders that are faxed into the company. "The benefits here are terrific because Fax Manager begins the process immediately," notes Wanner. It receives, sorts, and routes faxes to user-defined directories or printers for unattended processing. So, Fax Manager has the ability to take orders on up to 32 fax lines. The orders then proceed through a single PC directly into OCR for Forms.
"It's crucial that we have a productive and efficient way of getting our orders processed," notes Confer. She has been promoted to image processing specialist due, in part, to her role in the successful adoption of OCR for Forms. "The business world moves at such a fast pace. And, after all, we are a time-management organization."
Questions about this article? E-mail the author at AnnD@corrypub.com.