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Rebate Outsourcing: The Benefits of
Processing from Image
Rebate Processing White Paper www.DATAMARK.net
BUSINESS PROBLEM Rebate offers vary greatly among manufacturers and distributors. The processing of rebates must be customized for each client to meet the service standards customers demand. Underestimating this critical aspect and attempting to transition to a rebate processing outsourcer without adequate planning can result in poor quality and damage long-standing customer relationships.
SOLUTION OVERVIEW This document highlights DATAMARKs strategy for managing the transition of rebate processing to an outsourced provider. It also demonstrates the benefits of implementing an image-based processing system. Our rebate processing workflow is based on the knowledge weve acquired through long-term partnerships with some of the largest rebate processing firms in the U.S. DATAMARKs strategy focuses on taking over the process "as is" for a reasonable period of time before transitioning it to an image-based platform. New clients or new programs for existing clients are image-enabled from the outset of those engagements. Leveraging the latest imaging technology to automate processing, improve turnaround time, and reduce costs not only improves customer satisfaction, but offers our clients an advantage when competing for rebate opportunities from other manufacturers.
RETHINKING REBATE PROCESSINGMOVING FROM PAPER TO IMAGE For many companies, rebate submission and validation is still a paper-intensive process. Rebate forms are mailed in, then distributed to manual data entry staff who may be at a central location, or, more often than not, at locations scattered across the globe. The process is slow, cumbersome and error-prone. Turn-around timesfrom the time of rebate submission to "check in hand" can be as high as 12 weeks, resulting in a poor customer service experience.
KEY FROM IMAGE VS. KEY FROM PAPER The following example illustrates the potential savings available by transitioning from a Key from Paper (KFP) rebate data-entry process to a Key From Image (KFI) system. DATAMARK understands that current best practices leverage paperless solutions such as online rebate submission portals, as well as centralized mailrooms with high-volume scanning equipment and platforms to distribute rebate images for processing 24/7, anywhere in the world. Paperless processes improve quality and accuracy and, depending on the validation requirements, can deliver turn-around-timesfrom rebate submission to "check in hand"of three weeks or less.
DATAMARK's rebate processing workflow is based on the knowledge weve acquired through long-term partnerships with some of the largest rebate processing firms in the U.S.
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In addition, substantial cost savings can be realized through the efficiency of paperless processing, as well as through reductions in labor costs by leveraging onshore, nearshore or farshore processing teamsor a blend of all three. Depending on the outsourcing solution, anticipated cost savings can be 20 to 40 percentor even more. The assumptions for this example are:
A 12-month time frame with a volume of 5 million units processed
A shift of production from the U.S. to a farshore DATAMARK facility in India
Implementation of imaging and automated, intelligent data capture software
A mix of document complexities, from "easy" to "difficult": o 63 percent Easy Process o 20 percent Medium Process o 17 percent Difficult Process
IMAGING-ENABLED AUTOMATION OF ORDER PROCESSING
POTENTIAL SAVINGS WITH A FARSHORE SOLUTION
Base Service Annual Volume Savings
Easy Process 3,150,000 $32,439
Medium Process 1,000,000 $93,215
Difficult Process 85,000 $213,303
Annual Savings $338,957
OUTSOURCING REBATE PROCESSINGA SUMMARY OF BENEFITS For typical rebate operations, there are three main business functions that benefit from processing via image: Customer Call/Contact Center Customer service representatives gain the ability to instantly access the customers records along with the images of the original rebate via a web-based tool. This significantly reduces the average call time and the number of follow-up calls required to satisfactorily close the case. This one-call resolution can result in a cost savings of nearly 50% and a lead to a significant increase in customer satisfaction. Rebate Fulfillment Image-enabling the rebate processing function facilitates automated order processing through intelligent data capture systems that auto-sort qualified and unqualified refunds. Images can be transmitted to farshore processing centers, such as DATAMARK's India facilities, for additional cost benefits associated with manual data entry.
Substantial cost savings can be realized through the efficiency of paperless processing, as well as through reductions in labor costs by leveraging onshore, nearshore or farshore processing teamsor a blend of all three. Depending on the outsourcing solution, anticipated cost savings can be 20 to 40 percentor even more.
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result in a cost
savings of nearly
50% and a lead to
Sales to Clients A lack of image enablement is quickly becoming a barrier to selling rebate processing services in the market. Imaging gives your sales and marketing teams the competitive tools necessary to offer existing and potential customers the services they require. Instant access and viewing of end-user images, online process auditing for accuracy, online archiving and many other services can be easily created and sustained in an image environment. This can dramatically improve your sales teams ability to differentiate your company from competitors.
Experienced enterprise mailroom management Capability to handle hundreds of thousands of inbound documents every
day Automatic mail sorting capability reduces manual touches and headcount Software development department to create custom applications Assurance that DATAMARK will make every attempt to reduce severance
costs and other human resource issues by offering talented and experienced employees opportunities with DATAMARK
Incentives tied to transition milestones to ensure success Facilities available for business continuity/disaster recovery plan should the
service be required Imaging and other associated features such as web-based reporting offer
sales and marketing teams competitive differentiators
Terminate existing property leases Convert fixed cost operational model to variable cost Image-enable existing rebate offers as soon as possible to reduce order
processing costs Relocation of functions such as data entry to lower cost labor markets that
comply with security requirements
Reduce call center costs by providing online access to images for CSRs
Lean Six Sigma implementation to eliminate non-value-added steps to decrease cost and improve quality
Business Engineering Department oversight of the entire transition Quality benchmarks of all processes with continuous improvement
initiatives Installation of a proactive Quality Assurance System that will accomplish
the following: o Standardize all functions o Document all processes, policies and expectations o Establish online training tools for initial certification and ongoing
decision making o Quality sampling steps after mail opening, sorting, prepping,
scanning, indexing, and document destruction to gather and report quality on every employee
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Lean Six Sigma implementation eliminates non-value-added steps to decrease cost and improve quality
Automated Document Tracking System tracks mail from initial receipt through completed rebate upload
PCI-DSS certified Quality Calibration System that allows DATAMARK clients to Audit the
Audit for increased collaboration and confidence Employee Incentive Compensation Plan based upon meeting quality
benchmark target initiatives
Flexible staffing and cross training to absorb spikes in volume Web-based rescan queue to allow users to request a rescan and track
progress until the document is available online Online hold queue for rebates received prior to offer setup, allowing
faster processing once setup is complete
Automated Document Tracking System to track mail from initial receipt through completed rebate upload
OCR, OMR and intelligent data capture to improve quality and automate order processing
ONLINE WEB REPORTING BENEFITS
Real time reporting of in process documents at each step in the process Aging report of all documents in each step of the process to include:
inbound mail, prep, scanning and all indexing queues Real time quality reports: weekly, monthly, and annually Real time timeliness reports: weekly, monthly, and annually Web-based historical trending reports of all documents at each step in the
process: inbound mail, prep, scanning and all indexing queues. Options for daily, weekly, monthly, and annually
DATAMARKS TRANSITION PLAN A seamless transition to outsourced handling of rebates is a critical element of DATAMARKs plan. Everything from mail pickup to delivering of processed rebates to customers must be documented and understood. DATAMARK follows a highly detailed, step-by-step transition plan known as the Evolution Solution to transition to an outsourced process without any disruption in quality or customer service. The Evolution Solution consists of an initial PREP phase, which is an analysis and documentation of the "as-is" rebate process.
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With onshore and offshore centers, DATAMARK delivers process optimization, technology and Enterprise Content Management solutions to help organizations achieve efficiency and profitability in all back-office business functions.
The PREP analysis gathers useful information and data used by our Business Engineering Department teams to develop a redesigned rebate process.
Business process re-engineering methodologies, supported by Lean Six Sigma principles are used to design an improved process, integrating trained staff and the latest in automated software platforms and document processing equipment. The next step in the Evolution Solution is the Process Migration Methodology. PMM is a highly detailed transition plan, designed to be as seamless as possible. This includes working closely with our clients to transition talented and experienced staff to DATAMARK, to minimize employee severance costs and human resource issues. After the transition is complete, the Evolution Solution remains active in the sense that DATAMARK will work to find ways to continually improve the rebate process, and also to identify opportunities in other business areas that can benefit from an outsourcing engagement.
ABOUT DATAMARK DATAMARK is a leading provider of digital mailroom management, data entry, document processing and business process re-engineering solutions for Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and other large organizations. Founded in 1989, our company is the strategic business process outsourcing partner for Top 10 companies across several industry sectors, including transportation and logistics, healthcare, insurance, banking and financial services. With onshore and offshore centers, DATAMARK delivers process optimization, technology and Enterprise Content Management solutions to help organizations achieve efficiency and profitability in all back-office business functions. For more information on how DATAMARKs business processing solutions can reduce operating costs while improving efficiency, flexibility, and customer satisfaction, call 800-477-1944 or email [email protected] DATAMARK, Inc. 123 W. Mills Ave., 4th Floor El Paso, TX 79901 USA www.DATAMARK.net
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