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John Hancock Boosts Retirement Planning with Merrill Connect

The Situation

John Hancock, a leading provider of Retirement Plans, supports a vast network of Retirement Plan Advisors, who require easy access to a system that can seamlessly execute detailed, time-sensitive, personalized and targeted Retirement Plan proposals. John Hancock Retirement’s previous vendor could not manage the volume of customized, and personalized Retirement Plan Proposal orders received daily. John Hancock field offices were forced to manually assemble their orders in a backroom to ensure delivery times on important proposals. John Hancock was also looking for an easier ordering system that allowed for variable products in variable formats, depending on the audience, while continuing to ensure compliance timelines were met.

The Challenge

John Hancock needed a partner that could develop a portal for variable items to be selected at the time of ordering as well accommodate for customized files, uploaded by the order placers to flow through to a digital print area and collate into a final product. This all needed to happen within an easy to administer ordering portal while maintaining compliance, quality and on-time delivery.

The Solution

The Merrill Connect Retirement Plan Proposal system is the answer. Merrill provided John Hancock a front-end portal, built on Merrill Connect, the industry leading marketing communication portal used by over 30 leading financial service companies.

The Merrill Connect solution provided a high level of customized options to Plan Advisors, as well as filtering options for content by the individual plan advisor, and Cost Centers to allow access to specialized materials. The new system allows Plan Advisors to select a plan proposal type, select recipients, upload custom documents specific to that plan proposal and seamlessly assemble the entire document. The system allows up to 60 pre-determined pieces, and the Advisor can make changes on the fly.

This system was set up with the ability to ensure compliance pieces were included within each proposal order by noting which materials were optional or mandatory. This streamlined all manual processes and provided traceability for all orders within one user-friendly website. The ability to pass cost centers allowed John Hancock to process invoices easily.

The Results

The new system was an immediate success. John Hancock loved the new program and provided this testimonial, “Merrill, you are a LIFESAVER!!! You’re the BEST! Thank you so very much!” – Robyn Fatter, John Hancock Retirement Services.

Plan Advisors said it cut down on their administrative time by over 45%, and allowed them much more ease and flexibility in creating customized, targeted plan proposals. Additionally, John Hancock saw immediate cost reductions in material management due to the new system:

  • Receiving costs down by 37%
  • Warehousing costs down by 30%
  • Destruction costs down by 35%

Merrill is able to handle all daily order volume maintaining a 99.99% SLA on same day turn for orders received by an agreed upon cut off ordering time, allowing Plan Advisors complete confidence in knowing their orders will be produced and shipped on schedule.


Media Relations

Astrid Sandell

Communication Manager


Investor Relations

Bradley Carlson

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