Case Study Highlights
• Client: DLC Management Corporation
• Industry: Commercial Real Estate
• Service: Print On Demand (POD) Portal
• Results: Reduced project turnaround time by 70%, improved direct mail response rates by 500% and reduced costs by 50%
Since 1991, DLC Management Corporation has been a leading owner, operator, and manager of retail shopping centers located throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and Midwestern United States. The company, with headquarters in Tarrytown, NY, has developed a long term vision to ensure successful operation of all of its properties through the ups and downs of financial and real estate cycles.
DLC uses a print-on demand (POD) portal to streamline the development and ordering of branded content, including letterhead, business cards, panel cards, and direct mail pieces. A POD portal consolidates the development and administration of all of these pieces into one place, so that administration and management can control the brand while giving users flexibility to create pieces that work for their specific needs.
However, DLC had not been happy with the vendor providing their POD portal services. In surveying users of the system, they found that the time investment by the users was far too large, technical issues were encountered 75% of the time, the system was difficult to use, and the vendor was unresponsive when contacted about problems.
DLC knew there had to be a better system, and turned to Ballantine to see how the POD process could be improved.
Implementing a New POD System
Ballantine worked with DLC to determine their exact needs, and set up a POD system to meet it while eliminating all of the pain points that they experienced with their previous vendor.
The new POD portal allows administrators to customize access to a variety of templates for print products. For example, letterhead and business cards have a format that cannot be adjusted, but direct mail templates allow users the flexibility to customize their message.
When a user submits a project for approval, admin is notified by email and can easily log in and provide comments on the piece. The user is alerted when the admin approves a project or adds comments to the project. Under the previous system, any piece that was rejected had to be recreated from scratch, so this function on its own reduces the time required to develop content.
Our portal graphic designer works with DLC to create custom template designs whenever a new need arises. DLC currently has a variety of templates in place for postcards, full-page marketing flyers (1/2 fold and tri-fold), and other mailers, and photos of their properties can be easily dropped into the templates.
All of the mailing options can be selected right in the portal. For example, if DLC has a pizza shop space available, they can target mailings to existing pizza shops within a specific radius of the property and market the potential for expansion. The content can be customized to this segment, and can include photos of the property.
The new POD system was installed in the summer of 2014, and over the last year and a half, DLC has been extremely happy with its performance.
The new POD system provides DLC with technical flexibility, sensible admin control, excellent technical support, and an on-call designer to create templates for almost half the cost of their previous POD vendor. In addition, the print quality of all pieces has improved and admins are spending significantly less time wrangling with the system to get things done.
One of the biggest results that came from the POD upgrade was the significant improvement in turnaround time. Under the old POD, submitted direct mail pieces took at least 2 weeks to be mailed. The new system provides a much more reasonable and consistent 4-day turnaround that DLC can trust.
The company has also seen an increase in the response to its direct mail campaigns. Previously, they’d average one call per mailer, whereas now they receive six or more calls per mailer. This increased response has resulted in more qualified leads and more closed transactions.
Upgrading their POD portal has allowed DLC to spend less time trying to get a weak system to work and more time acquiring more customers.
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