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Confirmed Email Solution Reduces Administrative Costs at Media Buying Agency

The Company:

Willis Felton of Richmond, Inc. (WFofR) is a media buying agency located in Richmond, Virginia. WFofR specializes in purchasing local television time on a regional and national basis which allows their clients to reach a greater number of market segments and maximize their advertising budgets.  For over 30 years, WFofR has successfully worked with their clients and local television stations across the country to help increase awareness for their clients’ brands in a particular region.

The Problem:

A long-time STR Software customer, WFofR originally came to STR to purchase a fax solution so they could efficiently fax purchase order contracts and advertisement traffic schedules to local television stations. Once implemented, a media buyer would fax contracts to the stations, where the appropriate person signed it and faxed it back to WFofR. Upon receipt, the media buyer would manually enter contract information into their customer management system; then the Traffic Department would fax a traffic schedule to the TV station with instructions to run advertisements.

Although faxing met WFofR’s need of requiring confirmed receipt of contracts and traffic instructions, faxing back and forth with stations became cumbersome when faxes failed or receipt was unconfirmed by the specific person who needed the documents. According to Donna Wilson, Traffic Manager at WFofR, buyers could spend up to two hours per day tracking down lost or failed faxes. If the faxes were successful but the buyer received no confirmation from the station, then they had to personally call to make sure the contracts were received by the right individual.

These faxing inefficiencies coupled with requests that contracts and instructions be delivered via email, finally led Jake Willis, IT Manager, to search for an email solution. Because WFofR works to schedule media time, receipt confirmations are critical to ensure that WFofR’s clients are certain the TV stations will uphold their desired schedule.

With these requirements in mind, Willis first evaluated WFofR’s infrastructure and determined that developing a solution in-house was not an option as cost and system requirements were too high. Next, Willis considered and eliminated Outlook because recipients have the ability to opt-out of read receipts, and attachment file size constraints limited the amount of information buyers could include in one email. Willis then decided it was time to shop for a solution offering email with confirmed receipt and the ability to include large attachments. Willis mentioned his challenges during a call with his STR Software sales consultant and soon realized STR Software had the perfect solution.

The Solution:

AventX Mail SC from STR Software provided automated email with the confirmed receipt so needed by WFofR. Upon seeing a demonstration, Willis was excited to learn that AventX Mail SC would integrate seamlessly with their current system and would not drastically change the process users were accustomed to.  WFofR users would be able to send emails to stations, and once the recipient clicked a link to download the documents, the WFofR user would see a confirmed status in the web-based document status table, the AventX WebManager.

As Traffic Manager, Donna Wilson manages the traffic employees and works closely with buyers who regularly communicate with stations. Since implementing AventX Mail SC, Wilson has seen an uptick in her team’s morale and efficiency because “worrying about failed faxes was a big stressor and an annoying part of the job. Chasing down failed faxes took about two hours of our day when a mass fax would go out.” Now, AventX Mail SC has reduced the time it takes for receipt confirmation of contracts and instructions from up to three days to about 30 minutes. Quick email receipt confirmations have given Wilson’s team time to focus on other projects. Wilson and her team “have had a really good experience, and are very happy. Everyone who uses AventX Mail SC at WFofR says the recipients are pleased with the experience as well; it’s a huge positive here.”

In addition, switching from fax to a confirmed email solution allowed WFofR to eliminate 2/3 of their fax lines, thereby decreasing long-distance dialing costs and drastically reducing paper consumption. From an IT perspective, Jake Willis notes, “the best thing about AventX Mail SC and other STR Software products is that we set and forget, then don’t worry about it at all. The benefit of not having to worry if this is working or not on a daily basis is great.”

STR Software specializes in document delivery solutions for email, fax, and internet fax. The AventX Product Suite integrates with internally-developed and host ERP applications including Oracle EBS, SAP, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, IFAS, EAS, and more in UNIX, Linux, MPE, and Windows environments.

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