What is our primary use case?
We are a direct mail business producing advertising and marketing materials for a wide variety of different clients who require input and output in numerous formats and volumes. This often involves spreadsheets and text file sources or captures from documents such as PDFs. From there we may manipulate these records in any number of ways to fulfill the clients' requirements to produce leaflets, postcards, letters, invoices, statements, labels, flyers, etc., for despatch not only mainly in the UK but also around the world.
How has it helped my organization?
Previous solutions we have used for satisfying customer requirements have been much more cumbersome in their use with painfully slow processing speeds by comparison. In one example, a task which would have taken a couple of hours previously had been reduced to just a few minutes.
What is most valuable?
The intuitive way that workflows can be composed and organised goes a long way towards minimising the necessary complexity of tasks. While esoteric knowledge is essential to using the tool effectively, this structure makes it much easier to grasp than otherwise might have been the case. It also makes it much easier to label items clearly and introduce new options later without having to fundamentally alter what has been done previously.
What needs improvement?
The help system is quite thorough if you know where to look, but I find that its search facility is perhaps not as extensive as it might be and often returns fairly random results unless the search terms used are very specific.
It would also be advantageous for more help with regards to scripting as I'm still something of a novice when it comes to that. But in fairness, it should be pointed out that the provider does have a very good support network in place with expert users proving most helpful. Quadient University is a valuable resource where experienced users are on hand to provide prompt solutions to even complex problems; even sometimes going to the lengths of creating example scripts and workflows to carry out the required task.
For how long have I used the solution?
One to three years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Our team has been using Inspire for over a year and has been enormously impressed with the consistency of performance. The sheer breadth of what it can do has necessarily caused us delays in acquainting ourselves with how things can be achieved, but these are limitations in our experience, rather than a fault of the package. In terms of the system itself, I cannot recall any major issues we have suffered regarding its stability.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
The product has radically improved our setup and processing efficiency and has enabled us to offer clients options and turnaround schedules that would not have been possible previously. We have completed tasks of wide-ranging scales and complexities with a highly impressive performance from Inspire, including recently the two largest volume campaigns the business had ever been involved with. From what we've seen, there is still plenty of scope for growth and no consideration in looking for other solutions.
How are customer service and technical support?
As we have widened our usage of Inspire, we have obviously been presented with more challenges that we have not faced before. The inherent help system is quite good, but I find it sometimes does not provide what I'm looking for clearly. However, the online support has proved invaluable many times with very helpful users not only on hand to expertly solve our problems, but occasionally even prepared to construct and supply example workflows guiding us through the process.
If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?
The previous tool we used was much too cumbersome to use and seemed not to be efficient in helping us meet our clients' requirements promptly and effectively. Processing times also proved to be a problem, especially when we began to appreciate the power of Inspire.
How was the initial setup?
Given that this was a significant change in what we were doing then, it was inevitable that there would be a challenging period of transition. Thanks in part to the intuitive structure of the product itself, and also to the help we received from the provider, this process went much more smoothly than might have been expected. It is only to be expected that complexity will increase with time as we appreciate what the solution is capable of and that in turn will improve the level of service to our clients.
What about the implementation team?
We had on-site support to help us with the implementation process as this was something we were completely new to. From my own experience, and in discussing with my colleagues, it is clear that we were collectively impressed with the expertise and assistance we received as we came to terms with the new system. We were able to make the transition surprisingly quickly and efficiently.
What was our ROI?
That is information that I'm not in a position to know within our organisation.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
I am not privy to the costing and licensing details, but I have been made aware that due to the vastly improved performance and efficiency compared to previous methods, the product would effectively have returned its investment in a very short time and that the management of the business was delighted with it thus far.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
I was not formally a part of the selection process, but I understand that more than one option was considered due to the limitations of our existing package.
What other advice do I have?
From my own personal use of Inspire, I can wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone considering it as a solution for their business in the right circumstances. Although it is quite daunting to take on something as radical as this, the scope and power of what can be done makes it highly adaptable and effective.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.