Leicester City Council have an extensive and ongoing communication requirement to ensure that their residents and other intended recipients are engaged with in a professional and successful manner – including daily and scheduled mailings.
Across the Council a range of daily communications are sent to a wide range of different recipients. This information can vary from individual letters to multiple page documents including a variety of inserts and various bulk mailings from any of their sites across the area, including council offices, museums and libraries.
Previously the different departments across the Council managed their everyday communications manually in-house. The process included creating, printing, enclosing and franking each individual document. Whilst the Council sought to improve the process by implementing a centralised postage team, it still relied on the team collecting post from each Council site and bringing it to a centralised location to process and send. This process was time-consuming and expensive for the Council.
The IT team at the Council were tasked with implementing a new communication solution for multiple departments, with the aim of streamlining the process and reducing their current postage budget of £700,000.
Through an open procurement process, CFH Docmail Limited were selected as the chosen partner to supply the Council with a hybrid mail solution, with the aim of streamlining everyday communications. The implementation of Docmail into the council was planned, but this process was emphasised by Covid-19 and the requirement to send post.
During the initial phase of staff working remotely some departments managed their own communication processes but the loss of ability to send postal communications presented a problem immediately.
These departments were directed to Rebecca Cowen, ICT Commercial and Procurement Manager, who was busy implementing Docmail with the help of Nicki Newburn, Business Development Manager of CFH Docmail.
During these unusual times Rebecca and Nicki worked together to oversee the implementation of Docmail across the Council and enable staff to send out communications from their remote working locations. Whilst some departments already had access to Docmail as a hybrid mail solution, not all were utilising the system so training was planned to get users set up and running with the solution.
Training sessions were arranged for the Council on a group and individual basis, with Serena Schofield, Client Relationship Manager of CFH Docmail, delivering training remotely because of travel and other Covid restrictions.
CFH Docmail Limited went above and beyond during the training process, to ensure that all staff were confident in using the system and could make the most of the different functions. Along with the training provided informative user guides and videos were supplied to each department, as well as dedicated support from CFH to roll out the solution and answer any questions and queriers the Council may have. As well as this Docmail provided and continue to provide monthly reports for Leicester City Council so that budgets can be managed and communication output controlled and measured.
Initially the larger departments were trained in using the solution. These included housing, finance and income services, as the requirement to send postal documents was higher here than others departments. However remote working has meant that over 7,000 users have now been trained and are actively using the system to send communications.
Council departments are now effectively sending post from their PCs and laptops and the solution has been well accepted into the Council’s processes.
Covid-19 forced the adoption of Docmail to be pushed through more quickly within the Council because of the need to carry on sending communications to residents. The Council now send all their everyday letters through Docmail.
By working together Leicester City Council and CFH Docmail Limited have developed a strong relationship and now work together in a trusted partnership. This has allowed the roll out of Docmail to be completed seamlessly across the departments, with CFH Docmail Limited working hard to make the process hassle free and effective for each department, through ongoing support and availability.
The Council are anticipating that Docmail will save over £200,000 a year compared to their previous communication process whilst also being more efficient. Docmail has enabled the Council to send additional mailings during the pandemic, with minimal effort. The process has already provided instant savings in terms of time with an efficient process that is easy to manage on a department or user basis.
The solution is easy to use and requires minimal support on an everyday basis, whilst supporting Leicester City Council’s requirement to support homeworking and streamlining administrative processes. The Council are now able to send all their everyday printed output through Docmail, no matter the printing size or output requirement.
The Council have also begun using Docmail to send internal communications to their staff, as the light-touch solution provides a perfect tool to target both those internal and external to the organisation. The human resource department are utilising the system for this and are looking for further rollout where possible.
Implementing Docmail has been a complete success at Leicester City Council, which is demonstrated by the product being used council wide and the high mail volumes sent through the system. The partnership has allowed the Council to continue targeting their residents, ensuring that information is received and understood at all times but particularly during a time when it matters most.
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