Thursday, 24 October 2013

Veterinary Clinics Could Save £35m with Docmail

FIGURES released today by a firm behind a new generation of mail service, reveals that Veterinary Clinics across the country could be saving at least £35 million in mailing costs each year.

Hybrid mail specialists, Docmail has estimated that that if all 5,000 vet practices in the UK made a switch from printing, stuffing, sealing, stamping and posting their written correspondence to clients, their collective mailing costs would be reduced by over £35 million – an average saving of £7,000 per clinic.

With increased competition and many pet-owners feeling the pinch, it’s already a tough time for veterinary clinics, especially smaller, independent practices. Whilst vets remain focussed on delivering the best quality care and treatment, cost-effective and time-saving solutions are always welcome when running a business in the current climate.

With an average saving of 70 pence per printed letter over the traditional print and post method, the Docmail service offers significant savings in administrative time and postage costs, as compared with the labour-intensive task of a manual postal mailing, whilst not compromising on service or quality.

The efficiencies of hybrid mail has already been recognised in the healthcare sector, with EMIS, the patient information software, now integrating the rapidly-growing Docmail solution into its software package for GP surgeries and medical centres.  Docmail is used by a number of veterinary practices throughout the country, with many more clinics opting for this method to send out written communication to their clients and suppliers.

Dave Broadway, managing director of Docmail, explains:
“Hybrid mail is still a relatively new solution, but with the proven time and cost savings that it brings, all veterinary practice managers should take note. We appreciate that business owners, managers and finance officers have a tricky balancing act to make budgets go further, become more efficient, and deliver the same level of service and care. When you consider the time and cost efficiencies of hybrid mail, and the continuing uncertainty at Royal Mail, Docmail offers a tangible, exciting alternative to traditional post, and all for less than the price of a first class stamp.”

Docmail lets you write, print and post personalised correspondence through its online portal. Users compose the letter, select recipients from a personalised address database, and let Docmail do the rest, safe in the knowledge their mailing will reach its recipients securely, and looking just as professional as if they’d sent it themselves.

The savings were estimated as follows:

All 5,000 veterinary practices in the UK, each sending approx. 10,000 letters per annum (based on the average Docmail order from current clients)
The current cost per 2nd class item is approximately £1.12 – as follows:

•       Postage 50p (60p 1st class)
•       Stationery – 8p
•       Envelope – 5p
•       Franking machine rental / toner – 6p
•       Toner and Print Costs – 4p
•       Time at £10 per hour (3 minutes per letter – 45p)

Docmail prices for black-only letters are 35p (+VAT) - a saving of 70p per letter. For 10,000 letters, that’s a saving of £7,000 per practice, per annum.
Across 5,000 practices, that’s £35 million in savings across the country per year.


Emerson’s Green Veterinary Surgery in Bristol is a small independent practice, established nearly fifteen years ago. Serving clients across East Bristol, the award-winning surgery made the switch to Docmail around four years ago.

Martin Brice BVSc, MRCVS, practice founder, admits that although the advancement of technology in the last ten years has led to a lot more email and SMS communication, the surgery still relies on traditional personalised letters to send out appointment reminders, newsletters and other important information to clients. He said:

“Although we don’t send out quite as many letters as we once did, there is no doubt that the Docmail service is still incredibly valuable for us. Before we discovered this type of service, mailing out letters was a huge administrative task – the printer would be running for hours, sometimes days, at a time, which meant we couldn’t really print anything else.”

The practice, which was voted Vet Practice of the Year in the Petplan Veterinary Awards two years ago, sends out up to 1,000 appointment reminders every month, and thanks to the Docmail service, this is no longer a dreaded and time-consuming process. Martin continues:

“Its absolutely brilliant – the system is very user-friendly, and easy-to-use, and when we do have any issues, the telephone support is fantastic – they have always been able to resolve any problems or answer questions straightaway, which is incredibly reassuring.

“Undoubtedly, we have cut our stationery and postage bill, but by far the biggest benefit for us as a practice is the time it saves – not only does it save us time printing and stuffing envelopes, but being able to select different databases with a few clicks makes it easy  for use to organise and categorise our mailings.

“This level of efficiency for us as a small independent business is significant.  We have cut down staff time by 75% using Docmail, and that allows us to dedicate more time to clients and patients and maintaining our high standards of service.”