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HOV Services Manages Legacy Applications


Difficult to work with print-ready files had become a roadblock to winning new business for this print/mail outsource provider. But now, with the use of Crawford Technologies’ software solutions, HOV Services can accept any print-ready files while gaining the ability to optimize the production workflow.

The Challenge

HOV Services needed the ability to work more effectively with legacy print-ready files. HOV Services is a global outsource provider with high volume print/mail production centers located in Troy, Michigan and Southlake, Texas. HOV customers include FORTUNE 100 companies across nearly every market and the company boasts state- of-the art production capabilities.

But according to Kevin McRae, IT Director for HOV Services, the constraints of working with print-ready files had become a barrier to winning new business. As a result, the company set out to gain more flexibility.

“We were working with one customer who is a well known national healthcare provider, and they have 14 different legacy systems that create a variety of documents using all kinds of different composition tools,” explains McRae.

“For us to ask them to give us the raw data, so that we could create print-ready files to our standards was unrealistic. More and more customers are simply not interested in digging into the legacy code. We needed a way to accommodate them.” In addition to the technical constraints of working with print-ready files, McRae points to the need to accommodate the kind of ‘high touch’ workflow that customers are often used to.

“With this customer especially, there were a lot of programming problems that caused a number of errors and quirks over time,” says McRae.

“As a result, they were manually pulling and processing problem documents. We needed to give them an electronic viewing tool so they could still look at and control their print files while we assumed the production part of the process.”


HOV Services accommodates customer requirements and optimizes production. To accommodate the growing market demand, HOV Services began to search for a solution that would not only give them the capability to accept and print legacy files, but also the ability to optimize the efficiency of the final production process with the same kind of advanced capabilities they were used to when working with raw data and from- scratch document composition output.

After a comprehensive evaluation, HOV Services chose a number of solutions from Crawford Technologies, including the PRO AFP, PRO PS, PRO PCL, PRO META, PRO PDF and PRO Concatenator products.

According to McRae, Crawford Technologies was the only provider able to meet all of their requirements. “We did an extensive proof of concept using CrawfordTech as well as a number of other vendors’ products and we found that CrawfordTech best suited our needs.”

Greg Carey, Technical Support Specialist, explains the capabilities of their new CrawfordTech products. “We can accept print-ready formats in PCL, LCDS/Metacode, AFP, PDF or whatever it is – and still do any enhancements that are required from that point on,” says Carey. “And these customers often want to retain a semblance of control over their final output. Now with CrawfordTech, we can take any print stream, run it up to our archiving system for online viewing where our customers can review or electronically pull documents. Then once released for production, we print those documents on whatever machine we want.”


Carey feels that the enhanced ability to work with legacy print-ready files gives HOV Services an advantage in the market. “It certainly has been a trend in our shop and had been a stopping point for many new accounts. But now we are able to bring in a lot more customers because of the capabilities we have gained with CrawfordTech.”

More than simply a software provider, Crawford Technologies is also an active participant in developing further capabilities and strategies for HOV. “Crawford has been an expert resource for us and they have gone a long way to expanding our understanding and our capabilities,” says Carey. “Now that we are working with CrawfordTech we couldn’t be happier with the decision.”

McRae agrees, saying that HOV Services now has the best of both worlds – the ability to work effectively with raw data as well as formatted print streams – opening a number of doors for the organization. “CrawfordTech has allowed us to get involved with more business than we would have been able to before. It has definitely expanded our horizon.”

Moving Forward

The future looks bright for HOV Services and Crawford Technologies. Both companies are actively planning the evolution of new capabilities and services. “We expect to make use of a number of more advanced techniques like white space messaging and transpromo as we continue with the process,” says McRae.

Working with Crawford Technologies means more market success for HOV Services. “We see more and more of this type of need,” says McRae. “We are in discussions with multiple clients that are going to have very similar applications and requirements. With CrawfordTech we have the ability to compete for and win this type of work. When I am sitting in a meeting I can literally say that we have something that nobody else can do.”

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