04.04.2023 Case studies
How Luxembourg’s insurance leader successfully streamlined print and mail operations
An interview with Ayrton Froidbise, Foyer Group (Luxembourg)
Seven years ago in Leudelange, Luxembourg, the insurance company Foyer found itself facing a dilemma. Should they maintain their in-house printing room and mailroom? Or should Foyer outsource these activities? Despite being non-core activities, printing and mailing documents to clients were an essential part of the business. Outsourcing, however, would certainly reduce costs. But how could Foyer track quality if someone else was handling their client communications? And what exactly would the outsourcing process involve?
With constant economic challenges and the increasing importance of digital communication, maintaining an in-house printing room and mail service is difficult and questionable. Companies strive to optimize costs, resources, and even office space, all while retaining client service and satisfaction.
After thoroughly examining all options, Foyer made their choice. What looked like a big and complex change turned out to be the ideal solution, offering transparency and flexibility without compromising on quality and security. In 2023, they are still very satisfied with their decision. Ayrton Froidbise, Product Owner Éditique at Foyer, speaks about how and why they chose to outsource to Victor Buck Services (VBS), the benefits of this collaboration, and what he envisions for the future.
What is your role at Foyer?
Ayrton Froidbise: I have worked for Foyer since December 2015 and hold several roles. As the project manager for the Output Management department, I coordinate the business and technical teams on transformation projects. As of 2017, I am also the point of contact between Foyer and Victor Buck Services. With your help, Foyer generates about 8.6 million documents and 1.3 million letters each year for our clients, such as invoices, contracts, certificates, as well as marketing communications. It is my responsibility to ensure the smooth and high quality production of the documents.
We insist on building and maintaining solid relationships with our clients, which is why we have over 600 insurance agents across the country. Quick and clear communication is essential to client satisfaction, and client satisfaction is essential to remaining the leading insurance company in Luxembourg. I take feedback about document and mail quality from our clients and agents very seriously.
What were the reasons you decided to outsource your communications?
In 2016, the leasing contract for our printers came to an end. But our printing needs were still high, even increasing a bit, although production does fluctuate throughout the year. Additionally, several of our printing and mailing room staff were nearing retirement. If we renewed the lease, we would have to hire and train a new team. Our overall number of employees was already growing and we needed to find free space to welcome them.
We carefully studied both options, in-house versus outsourcing, on all aspects: office space, staff needed, cost and maintenance of machines, and stock management. Our research found that outsourcing was the best solution.
Why did you choose Victor Buck Services as an outsourcing partner?
There were many reasons. Victor Buck Services was the only company that could handle such a large volume of printed communications. Your reputation is strong. You have a large portfolio with many well-known clients. We know some of your clients, and some former employees of Victor Buck Services are now working for Foyer. They were all happy with the service you provide.
You also gave us the ability to observe our prints through VBS’ monitoring portal. This transparency is incredibly important to us. Our managers can closely follow the printing and sending of communications, and maintain direct contact with the print room, just like they were in the same building.
Due to our particular circumstances, you were able to take back one enveloping machine and retain one member of our printing team. We assigned the rest of the team to other tasks, such as managing the returned mail.
As a support-PSF company regulated by the CSSF, we knew security and confidentiality of data was as essential for VBS as for Foyer. What finalized our decision was that you have a back-up production centre that ensures continuous service, whatever the circumstances, unlike your competitors. This was vital for our internal auditors.
Are you satisfied with the quality of service and relationship?
Yes, very much so. There were some issues at the beginning, but once the process and machines were adjusted, everything improved. Now, everyone is satisfied. Delivery is always on time. The printing process is highly flexible and we can easily adjust the production if needed. The relationship with our contacts at Victor Buck Services is flawless: they are all very available and responsive. It was extremely important to us that the switch was invisible to our clients, and that was exactly the case. According to all feedback, the quality is the same and the mailings are just as fast. Regarding data security, we appreciated the efforts VBS made to bring security to the next level, especially this past couple of years.
Another positive outcome is that the floor space previously dedicated to the print/mail room can now be used for service shipment, internal mail and scanning of documents sent by our clients. Plus a new cafeteria!
What are your main challenges in terms of communications?
Speed and personalization. Foyer strives to have even faster and more targeted communications, for both our current clients and new prospects. Targeting is imperative so that the right people receive our messages and act upon them. Communications must be personalized, so the recipient feels seen and understood. For example, we recently wanted to promote our fine art insurance policies. In October 2022, Victor Buck Services printed a magazine about fine arts and sent it to 900 of our clients, along with a personalized letter. The campaign worked, and good targeting was critical to its success. We were very happy with the result. This is what we want to keep doing, and do it even better.
Thank you for taking the time to speak to us!
You’re welcome, and I look forward to another great year of working with you.