Faces of NYCM: How Our Mail Center Transitioned During A Global Pandemic - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Jul 1, 2021

Faces of NYCM: How Our Mail Center Transitioned During A Global Pandemic

With much of the world on pause during the beginning stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, the NYCM Mail Center Team never wavered. Although the transition to what we now refer to as our ‘new normal’ may have felt abrupt at the time, the team was able to adjust almost instantaneously. Continue reading to learn more about the NYCM Mail Center and the team’s amazing efforts to meet not only the company’s business needs during a difficult time, but also the needs of their fellow employees.

The Transition

Although the team’s goals remained the same throughout the course of the pandemic, the ways in which they were able to accomplish them completely changed. “When it first happened, we had to flip a switch almost overnight,” says NYCM IT Operations Supervisor, Tony Berryment. NYCM strategically partners with a local business called IMS, Immediate Mailing Services. This company offers mail-related business continuity and disaster recovery guidance and options. Partnering with IMS went a long way this year helping NYCM prepare for situations such as these. With a plan already in place, the Mail Center Team was able to switch gears effectively and seamlessly.


“I think people might be surprised to learn just how much mail is actually processed through our facility,” says Tony. “Although it varies, on average the mail center processes over 130,000 images per day, and about 15,000 pieces of mail. Fun fact: We process over $2.6 million in postage alone, each year.”


To ensure the safety of NYCM employees and their families, the amount of traffic in our offices had to drastically decrease. In order to accomplish this, the mail center staff began a new routine. Only two employees were permitted to be in the office at a time on a rotational basis. “We knew that we wanted to limit the amount of hands that would physically touch the mail that we were processing,” says Tony. To do so, two things needed to happen.


Tony goes on to explain, “The first task that the mail center team undertook was transferring a percentage of what was being printed from our office to IMS’s larger facility in Syracuse, NY. The print we send up to Syracuse equates to 25% of our total mail volume for the day. The majority of the print and mail being generated in Syracuse are the large envelopes.”  Doing this allowed the team to meet the needs of the company in a timely fashion and limit physical contact while focusing on what was most important.


The second task was to start moving towards a more electronic process. While NYCM isn’t completely paperless, the Mail Center Team has made a significant impact on  reducing paper-consumption during the pandemic and have encouraged others to do the same.


Eco-Friendly Advancements 

“Something that became immediately evident after the pandemic started and the offices were essentially closed, was just how much paper waste we accumulate as a society,” says Print/Mail Operator Brad Belden. “It was crazy to see just how much paper was being saved when personal printers were unavailable.” Brad says that, over the course of the last year, they were informed that several printing jobs were almost immediately recycled or thrown away. Brad continued, “We’ve really taken this as an opportunity for growth company-wide and have taken steps to help reduce the amount of paper we use while still getting information and products where they need to go. It all starts with awareness.”


Pre-pandemic, there were several employees whose jobs heavily involved working with printed documents. For a short period of time, the mail center was involved in helping these employees by having their incoming mail delivered to their homes. More recently they have developed a scanning system which has saved the company time and resources. Print/Mail Operator Rhonda Cote says that she likes the new direction we are taking when it comes to limiting our printing and focusing on what's necessary. “I think the pandemic challenged us in many ways, but this challenge was unexpected. It really helped us realize just how much waste we can avoid by leaning on our digital resources.


Making A Difference

When asked what their biggest take-away was, Tony emphasized that it was very important to him and his team that they were able to tackle individual issues during this time of transition. Jodi Hawes of our Underwriting Department had this touching story to share about the Mail Center Team, “Tony and the Mail Center Team have gone above and beyond for me on several occasions. One day, I was in a pinch trying to get a package to my son in Virginia. I called to see if I could send it through NYCM and Tony stepped right in to help me. ‘Yes, of course,' he said, 'Bring it right over.’  Tony met me outside and took the package. He even took the time to ask me how my son was doing. He showed genuine care for me and my son during what was a difficult time for all of us. The Mail Center Team is always doing things like this. It makes such a difference.” Brad Belden describes something that he noticed as a major positive to come out of all this change, “It was a huge opportunity to learn, and for others to learn about what we do. We were able to start making a difference to our co-workers on a personal level. I don’t think there was a division that we weren’t able to connect with.”


Tony shares that he is proud of the work his team has completed and of the resilience NYCM employees have shown over the course of the pandemic. “A lot has changed over the last year,” shares Tony, “but I have to say, I am completely amazed at not only how my own team handled the transition but how NYCM as a whole was able to switch gears overnight, and hasn’t missed a beat since.”