January 14th, 2016

Horsham District Council

Horsham District Council (HDC) is responsible for providing county council services to the region of Horsham, West Sussex, alongside West Sussex County Council and multiple local parish and neighbourhood councils. HDC’s responsibilities include providing information regarding council tax, local elections, and waste collection and household recycling.

Challenge

Automate time-consuming manual envelope insertion and letter opening which was impacting the team’s ability to fulfil other responsibilities.

Results

Drastic increase in efficiency and productivity, with positive effects benefiting the entire public sector organisation.

Solution 

Neopost’s DS-63 Folder Inserter is an all-in-one mail management solution capable of automatically filling 2,200 envelopes an hour and folding up to five documents in tri-fold format Neopost’s IM-19 Automatic Letter Opener can process up to 400 envelopes per minute and can reduce costs by 50 percent.

Method

Horsham District Council was made aware of Neopost’s experience and reputation of providing leading mailroom solutions and used the Crown Commercial framework to make a direct award.

With such a large volume of outgoing and incoming mail, the situation was becoming a real issue with important tasks being deprioritised as a result.
Furthermore, being a public sector organisation, we’re faced with a limited budget and the old folder inserter and letter opener were no longer providing the cost effectiveness we needed.

-Ben North


The challenge

HDC sends up to 3,600 postal items weekly. Outgoing documents often include letters, invoices, contracts and leaflets informing residents of changes to their local area, such as planned developments, alterations to car parking and information about local elections. With such a high volume of outgoing mail, members of the customer services team were finding that the existing folder inserter could not handle the workload, which meant they would often find themselves having to manually insert documents into envelopes.
Similarly, managing incoming mail was becoming a real issue too. The team had an older slitting machine letter opener that would often damage the documents inside meaning, again, these had to be processed manually. “Every day the team was finding that it needed to dedicate a lot of time to managing our mail,” said Ben North, team leader, customer services, HDC. “With such a large volume of outgoing and incoming mail, the situation was becoming a real issue with important tasks being deprioritised as a result. Furthermore, being a public sector organisation, we’re faced with a limited budget and the old folder inserter and letter opener were no longer providing the cost effectiveness we needed.”

The process

With a pressing need to ease the situation on the team, HDC turned immediately to Neopost for advice. Indeed, being a leading provider of mailroom solutions, Neopost was well placed to suggest alternatives to the team’s existing machines. As it is a public service organisation, HDC used the Crown Commercial framework to make a direct award to Neopost. Neopost suggested replacing the folder inserter with a DS-63 letter folder and the older slitting opening machine for an IM-19 letter opener. The DS-63 was installed and ready to go after a week, while the IM-19 was installed soon after, with a demo machine provided for HDC to use during the waiting period.

The solution

The DS-63 Folder Inserter is an all-in-one mail management solution. Able to fill up to 2,200 envelopes an hour and fold up to five documents in tri-fold format, it is fitted with an exclusive FlexFeed feeder mechanism meaning it can process just about any insert size or type. Moreover, the easy-to-use graphic touch screen allows for simple set-up, drastically increasing process efficiency and reducing the need for human interaction. For managing incoming mail, the IM-19 Automatic Letter Opener can process up to 400 envelopes per minute. 
Developed to increase efficiency, users can experience cost savings of nearly 50 percent compared to manual processes. Constructed with two metal motors for better performance and a longer life, the solution is also fitted with milling cutter technology that precisely slits envelope sides so valuable contents are undamaged.

Delivery and results

The DS-63 and IM-19 have greatly improved the efficiency and cost effectiveness of HDC’s mailing processes. The DS-63’s user interface means the team can easily organise the tasks that need completing and Neopost’s ‘Load ‘N’ Go’ feature automatically measures envelopes and sets the folds to match. HDC is now able to leave the machine to complete a number of jobs without having to worry about loading different sized envelopes for each task, enabling the team to fulfil their other responsibilities. Similarly, the IM-19’s ability to open such a large volume of mail without damaging the contents has been a huge benefit, especially to the electoral services team which deals with the greatest volume of incoming post.

Customer feedback

“Both the DS-63 and IM-19 solutions are incredibly easy to use and, unsurprisingly, are very popular with every member of staff across the organisation,” continued North. “With over 135,000 residents relying on us for information about their public services and elections amongst other things, the delivery of our mail has become substantially easier since adopting the two solutions.”