Excellus BlueCross BlueShield: Diversify and Thrive
In this digital age, not everyone views the subject of printing in an optimistic light. But Catherine Ciardi feels she has the perfect surfboard underneath her to navigate and tame the wave of the future.
Don’t bother checking Ciardi’s prescription; she has ample reason to look ahead to tomorrow with what some may consider rose-colored glasses. The director of Document Services for Excellus BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS) in Rochester, N.Y., Ciardi has the people, processes and technology in place to meet the needs of one of the nation’s largest medical insurers (6,000 employees, 1.7 million subscribers) while ensuring the future of the 55-employee in-plant.
“As we compete as in-plants, we have to broaden our horizons,” Ciardi says. “The Web is here, smart phones, QR (quick response) codes and more applications are going mobile. Our drive here is to be smart enough and efficient enough that we can provide those services, and not have the parent company use outside agencies or vendors. We want to make ourselves relevant wherever possible.”
Document Services took its relevance to another level when it installed a Kodak NexPress S2500 in early 2007. Prior to firing up the color production press, Excellus BCBS farmed out much of its color needs to commercial printers in the Rochester area. The shop’s volume of marketing collateral jobs has billowed in the past two years, from 4.4 million impressions in 2009 to 6.2 million in 2010. The latter figure, recorded at press time, was expected to reach 6.4 million once the final results are tallied.
The NexPress is generally used for short-run, print-on-demand (POD) jobs of frequently updated forms. Custom variable printing and the ability to send out queries using sort parameters such as age, sex and demographic played a pivotal role in bringing the NexPress to Document Services.
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