Printed samples.

Allison Payment Systems

by Mike Herold

Happenings in 1880: James Garfield is elected U.S. president; the first Sherlock Holmes short story, “A Scandal in Bohemia,” appears in Strand Magazine; and the Allison Coupon Company is founded.

When Noah Allison created the Allison Coupon Company, it began as a way to print coupon books that coal mining company stores could offer customers to ease credit problems. When Noah died in 1890, his 18-year-old son James took over. Along with running the company, James invented two successful products, opened the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and inaugurated the “500 Mile Race” on May 30, 1911.

The Allison men were people of vision, certainly. As commercial printers, you, too, can understand the importance of a driving vision. 

Evolving with market shifts

Keeping a print business rolling for 127 years meant initiating quantum shifts in the marketplace.

Although still producing coupon payment books, Allison Payment Systems (APS) has adapted to today’s new world of work and is now a full service communication solutions provider, specializing in digital transactional documents, print and mail, and a host of electronic document delivery and management tools. It’s this transition that is helping their customers find new ways to capture, transform and manage the information that will help their businesses grow.

With 160 employees, APS serves the finance, healthcare and utility industries, generating revenues in the $40 million range while producing 15 million first-class mail pieces per month in addition to distributing millions of emails and housing billions of images on behalf of clients.

APS is now sparking another industry shift and has invested in yet another digital print solution and a new facility to support their innovation.

The newest print facility in Las Vegas, which supplements two centers in Indianapolis and disaster recovery capabilities in Pennsylvania and Minnesota, houses a fully integrated, full-color print, high-speed insertion and data-processing operation.

Allison Payment Systems today

Now, APS is allowing its clients to switch from pre-printed forms (roughly 90% of APS’ volume) to white-paper, inkjet-based technology. Further, APS is taking full advantage of sophisticated workflow software and precise variable content for all of their customers. The result is a union of refreshed teams, processes and facilities to better manage critical communications for clients who demand the very best from APS. Ultimately, the shift greatly helps APS utilize digital printing technologies to help grow their shop’s capacity.

So what are the keys to continued success with digital printing?

1. Hold the line on cost (or keeping at acceptable levels). Spend wisely and do it when the time is right to help make the information you provide your customers grow their businesses.

2. Promote savings by allowing clients to make changes before pre-printed stock runs out, rather than having to scrap expensive inventory. Today’s communications world is not “one size fits all.” Technologies like inkjet give you the ability to add more customization and flexibility. Take advantage!

3. Get the marketing team together and convince the operations crew that the costs of inkjet are competitive and the benefits are significant. Use examples of how the impact color inkjet can deliver, including those mentioned here.

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