Hybrid mail improves mailing procedures at Birmingham City Council

Employees can work efficiently and send letters from any office or home office

CONTEXT OF USE

Birmingham City Council is the local government body responsible for the governance of the City of Birmingham in England, which has been a metropolitan district since 1974.

The council headquarters are at the Council House in the city centre. The council is responsible for running nearly all local services, with the exception of those run by joint boards. The provision of certain services has in recent years been devolved to several council constituencies, which each have a constituency committee made up of councillors from that district. 

THE NEED

Birmingham City Council every day sends a large number of mails to its citizens around its different areas: These include Council Tax, Benefits and Support, Schools, Waste and Recycling, Housing, Roads Travel & Parking.

Employees use local printers (MFPs) on a daily basis and they manually fold hundreds of letters. This task is obviously very time-consuming. The situation was reinforced with the COVID-19 health crisis. 

The employees, during COVID-19 remote working, could no longer access printers and stationery. One employee from each department went into the office with the sole job to open hundreds of emails and print attachments and manually put documents into envelopes.

It had therefore become urgent to find a solution that would not only generate lasting savings and optimize the time spent on mail processing but also, in line with current events, be accessible for employees working from home, and all this while guaranteeing reliable and efficient access for users.

Hand with letters

THE SOLUTION

Following a successful Proof of Concept in late 2018/19 Birmingham City Council is now using MPI Tech’s Hybrid Mail solution ScopHybrid™ and the scheduling engine ScopIOM™. The Council knew the operational savings and that this solution could be deployed quickly.

ScopHybrid™ allows city employees working from home to create and send their mail from their workstation, using The Councils secured Virtual Private Network. Mails are sent directly to the in-house production centre in Dolman Street where they are printed, folded, and sent. In addition to the savings, the Council benefits from additional functions such as the addition of appendices or inserts, the management of page backgrounds directly from the solution, validation and signature functions, standardization of the address field, etc.

Using a professional solution such as ScopHybrid™ is also the assurance of seeing each mail perfectly produced, in compliance with the internal graphic charter.

“ScopHybrid – ‘Press to Post’ BCC Hybrid Mail solution has enabled our employees to print and despatch correspondence, whilst working remotely or in the office without access to local printers. This solution has allowed us to provide business as usual to the citizens of Birmingham during COVID19 and will continue to be the operating model when the pandemic is over”
Karen Price, Operations Manager Birmingham City council

Beyond these advantages, ScopHybrid™ was a pragmatic and quick response to the problem related to the global health crisis. Deployed in only 2 weeks, the solution handles hundreds of letters every day, allowing employees to respond to citizens’ requests and stay reactive during this period. Each document is then taken care of by ScopIOM™, which takes care of adding tracking and control barcodes and creates batch print jobs sent directly to production print devices. Mail are then produced and handled by the postal services. 

ScopHybrid workflow illustration

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