About Health provides community-based health services under contract to the NHS. Its service delivery covers a population of almost three million patients in the UK, from the North West down to the South Coast. From its head office in Blackburn, About Health sends out around 1,500 letters a week to patients and GPs, which was a considerable burden on administrative staff. The company sought to transform the time-consuming, manual way it printed, prepared and mailed outgoing letters with a rapid, automated solution which would also safeguard the sensitivity of its mailings.
Around ten members of staff in About Health’s head office in Blackburn are involved in outgoing mail preparation. In between other jobs, staff would spend around seven and a half hours a day folding letters, putting them into envelopes and applying postage. The company was also incurring unnecessary cost through the use of a franking machine supplied by the premise landlord. “It was all manual,” explains Tanya Ahmad, About Health’s Office Manager. “We had a person physically stuffing envelopes, so it was time-consuming, and the volume was increasing quite rapidly. We wanted to make things smoother and quicker.” With the volume of mail increasing, such a way of working was becoming unsustainable. The team recognised that a solution that could automate much of the process would be quicker and more cost-effective. Such a solution needed to protect data as the mail processed by About Health contains patient information. “A priority for us was data protection,” says Tanya. “We deal with very sensitive personally identifiable information and need to avoid any issues of human error, whereby mail could go to the wrong person. We have to have a secure process.” About Health reduces manual workload and protects customer data with Neotouch.
Tanya investigated options and initially looked at an on-site folder inserter to automate the most manual part of the outgoing mail process. Eventually, though, it was decided that Neotouch offered the most cost-effective solution to address the time and complexity challenges facing the team.
“We looked at a comparative solution from another company but Neotouch was better and we found it to be costeffective,” explains Tanya. “It would improve productivity because staff would be able to do other jobs rather than focusing on manually stuffing envelopes. It just made sense.”
Neotouch handles mail preparation so that busy companies don’t have to. About Health simply upload documents created in the usual way to the web-based portal, select the delivery method and a production facility takes care of the rest - printing, envelopestuffing, applying postage and posting. The multi-channel platform can send documents electronically via email or text, as well as by traditional postal mail and can archive documents for up to 11 years. “Once the solution was signed-off internally it was a quick process,” says Tanya. “Implementation went well and met our expectations. It was a first-class service. Our Neopost contact manager was very professional and was on-site for part of the initial set-up. With anything new, it’s good to know there’s someone there to help resolve any issues.”
Delivery and results
Neotouch has freed up staff time that was previously spent on the laborious and time-consuming task of letter-folding, envelope-stuffing and applying postage. About Health has the reassurance it required around data protection and the solution has been simple to learn and use. “It’s reduced the amount that we print and now we don’t use as much paper or ink,” says Tanya. “And it’s freed-up staff time which is better for our productivity. Working in a really busy office, we needed the solution to be as simple as possible, and it has been - we select the relevant template we need, and it generates the job. It’s working perfectly.”
Tanya Ahmad says: “As we are very busy and growing rapidly, we wanted to invest in the technology that would make our processes smoother and more streamlined. Neotouch has done that for us. We would consider contacting Neopost again for potential future solutions.”