Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Creative Electoral Service Officers migrate to Hybrid Mail to meet individual Electoral Registration challenge


Leading mailing specialist CFH Docmail Ltd has reported a major increase in business from electoral departments as Councils migrate from traditional methods of producing and mailing post to using a hybrid system to cope with the demands of delivering the requirements of Individual Electoral Registration (IER).

Dave Broadway MD of CFH Docmail Ltd says: 'When IER was introduced it not only resulted in additional bulk mailings but was also the catalyst for an influx of a torrent of individual requests which could be anything from hundreds to thousands a week. Some initial transitional funding from the Government has hardly touched the sides. Electoral departments have been spending days of staff time printing, folding and stuffing letters and forms. We work with over 60 Councils producing their bulk mailings but the new pressures of IER together with the need to deliver rolling post efficiently has seen a rise in use of Docmail of 40%.

'Docmail allows you to send letters and documents directly from your computer or device. Users can upload the document and address list to the website, or download a free print driver to print and post individual documents directly from their own computer software, or fully integrate the software into Docmail with the web service API. Vitally the letters are mailed the next day as no IT programming is required compared with other systems that take a week.'

Vicky Breading is Electoral Services Manager for Cambridge City Council. She says: 'Due to the increase in the number of letters that we are now required to send we have recently started to use Docmail to print, enclose and post our daily mail and it has revolutionised how we operate as a department.

'We send out a huge amount of post, on average over 1,500 items a week. Previously we had to print, stuff and frank every item. What would have taken one of our officers two days every week can be achieved with the push of a button. So we not only save time - 100 working days a year, Docmail also saves us money as it costs less than the price of a second class stamp to print and post every letter.'

Dave Broadway continues: 'As Councils experience yet another round of cuts it’s vital that they look for new ways to maximise the efficiency of their time and reduce costs. Election teams have been expected to absorb the IER process into the day to day running of the department and yet it brings the additional complication of an A3 form which most Councils can’t produce in house, an increase in the number of postal reminders that need to be sent together with the usual deadline driven pressures which come with all election work.

'It’s great to be able to deliver a service which can lighten the load of election teams, allow them to clear post on a daily basis and offer the very best communication service to residents whilst making the very best use of tax payers’ money.'