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Manufacturing Call Center Services Case Study

OnBrand24 Masters Many Marketing Tasks for Sappi

Long-time OnBrand24 outsourced call center client Sappi Fine Paper“R&R” usually means Rest & Relaxation – but when it comes to the call center services OnBrand24 provides for Sappi Fine Paper, it stands for Responsiveness & Relationships.

OnBrand24 is a full-service call center based in Beverly, MA, that uses a full range of call center services in support of Sappi, a preeminent North American producer of coated fine paper with production capacity of 1.3 million tons of paper annually. Each year, OnBrand24 transacts hundreds of thousands of communications with Sappi customers across the U.S. and Canada.

The OnBrand24-Sappi relationship, rare in the call center industry for its longevity, dates back to 1990. OnBrand24 customized call center services program is integrated throughout Sappi’s CRM strategy – from inbound customer service, order processing and mail fulfillment, to outbound marketing awareness, to email outreach and database maintenance, to product warehousing and archiving.

The centerpiece OnBrand24 service is rapid and accurate response to specialized paper sample requests from Sappi customers, who include designers, printers, paper merchants and publishers. Hundreds of complex sample orders are handled every day by OnBrand24 agents, who process the orders and export them to Sappi’s shipping center in New Jersey. This requires thorough knowledge of the Sappi product line, accurate reporting of the sample order (including brand, weight, color and size) and real-time tracking information.

OnBrand24 is measured on timeliness and accuracy, and the call center services provider consistently measures up well.

“OnBrand24 is very reliable,” said Patti Groh, Director of Marketing Communications, Sappi Fine Paper North America. “We depend on them to seamlessly handle the critical first phase of the sales cycle – the sample request – and also to relate to customers on a personal level that represents Sappi well and reflects our culture.”

Over the years, OnBrand24 staffers have developed strong relationships with Sappi customers.

“Some customers like to take their time, tell us about their weekends or their kids, while others are all business – they just want quick detailed response and rapid feedback,” said Mark Fichera, OnBrand24 CEO and President. “So calls can last anywhere from 1 minute to 15. We know how to treat each customer, how to handle a variety of situations. We get the order details right and we handle the relationship right, too.”

OnBrand24 also works closely with Sappi’s regional sales representatives, processing high volumes of sample orders over the phone, by email, fax or online. Orders can be highly complex -- for example, requesting that 25 separate sample items be sent to 15 different customers. All of them are dispatched quickly and with maximum attention to detail.

And because OnBrand24 is in operation 24/7/365, the call center is always available to provide order shipment tracking updates in real-time.

Managing Sappi’s sample order operation is just the start of the paper company’s relationship with OnBrand24. The call center services company’s outbound capabilities are used to support two of Sappi's industry award programs, Ideas That Matter and Printers of the Year.

Ideas That Matter is an annual grant program that helps designers transform their creative ideas into a powerful force for social good, such as anti-smoking and environmental conservation. The Printers of the Year award is a highly prestigious industry honor given for excellence in printed communication.

For both, OnBrand24 serves as a “call for entries” generator, calling thousands of contacts and encouraging them to participate in the awards competitions.

In addition, OnBrand24 manages Sappi’s email outreach program, which includes maintaining their email database, updating and editing tens of thousands of customer email records and developing segmented, specialized lists. Those lists are critical to rapidly notifying customers about special promotional offers, price changes, new products and targeted offers for market segments.

“The typical email service firm would put Sappi at the end of a queue and make them wait their turn, but we get their emails out in a matter of one or two hours,” said Cecilia Thompson, OnBrand24, Director of Major Accounts. “Managing their emails is very detail oriented with a lot of real-time edits and alterations. Sappi is in a highly competitive, fast-paced industry, so that’s the kind of agility and quick turn-around they need. We’ve optimized our operation to meet that need.”

OnBrand24 also handles brochure and literature fulfillment for Sappi promotional programs, with mailings numbering over 10,000 annually.

And the call center serves as archivist of Sappi promotional and advertising campaigns dating back more than 10 years. Hardcopy content is kept available for Sappi marketing staff and their ad agency for review of previous creative work.

“OnBrand24 call center services are woven into the Sappi fabric – we think of them as part of our own staff,” said Groh. “We have complete confidence in their ability to respond rapidly to our customers and maintain great relationships with them. They know Sappi so well – and they know our customers so well – that they’ve become an important contributor to our success.”


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