Swift Suite Helps Gecko Automate 50% of all Data Work

About Gecko

Gecko is a leading communications business specialising in highly personalised direct marketing. From offices in Leeds and London Gecko’s 50+ staff deliver strategic communications, digital print and direct mail services for an enviable roster of clients from VW Commercial Vehicles to British Gas.

The Situation

In recent years Gecko has seen an increasing demand for regular, event driven, automated communications. Often generated by transactional systems, CRM’s and client databases, these regular jobs are supplied with a standardised data structure on a routine schedule either daily, weekly or monthly. Examples include a legal client who requires daily consolidation and mailing of case file correspondence. Another organisation needs tens of thousands of birthday cards to be delivered to customers each week.

The Challenge

Processing these routine jobs was taking too much operator and machine time and the data team regularly became the production bottleneck. Gecko needed a solution to speed up data processing and improve the efficiency of the data function. The team began looking for a way to automate their most commonly required data processing functions such as PAF validation and enrichment, deduplication, cleansing and sortation.


“Within 2 months of working with the Swift Suite we have automated 50% of all direct mail jobs.”

James Beal, Head of Technical Production, Gecko

The Solution

After another vendor had failed to deliver the speed, automation and ease of use Gecko needed, they approached The Software Bureau to trial the Swift Suite of Data Processing, Hygiene and Sortation software. Working closely with The Software Bureau’s team, Gecko’s head of Technical Production James Beal was able to automate the first routine jobs from data input to PAF validation, Deduplication, Cleansing, Sortation and artwork creation in just a few days.

The Software Bureau’s development team were quick to respond to requests for additional functionality too and expedited planned developments to help achieve Gecko’s vision of ‘Lights Out’ production.

Where other vendors required the team to learn specialised data programming, the Swift Suite provides Gecko with an intuitive and consistent interface for all products. Flexible configuration steps are used for data normalisation, processing and output leading to faster setup times, reduced opportunity for errors and minimal requirement for operator training.


“One job used to take over an hour each week to run. With the Swift Suite it now only takes a couple of minutes when a file is added to a folder.”
James Beal, Head of Technical Production – Gecko

“Another large monthly job used to tie up a production machine for more than 3 hours for Sortation before it could be separated into daily files. We can now run as a single job which takes less than 30 minutes.”
James Beal, Head of Technical Production – Gecko

The Results

Within less than 2 months of initial installation all routine Data Processing jobs have been automated using the Swift Suite. This equates to approximately 50% of all production work at Gecko. Processing speed has improved considerably too. One benchmark job which used to take 55 minutes to run is now processed in 13 minutes with the new software.

Swift Suite allows Gecko to setup jobs faster, process them in a fraction of the time and automate-away the Data Processing of their routine work. Implementing Swift Suite has inherently reduced the cost of pre-production whilst freeing up the data team and their processing infrastructure to work on other projects.

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