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Digitising and automating financial documentation

NHS

The NHS ran a shared printing service from their Bristol office. This service enables NHS departments and trusts to create compliant financial documents such as invoices, credit notes and statements for their customers.

However, the system was outdated and struggling to meet peaks in demand. Managers also needed to free up office space, reduce headcount and remove capital expenditure from the budget. Digitising and automating the shared service was recognised as a method for delivering these goals and improving performance.

Challenges

The NHS was facing several challenges with processing, distributing and managing documents:

  • Once a month, the volume of documents processed would increase by up to 25,000, straining resources and impacting production.
  • Project needed to be completed within 6-8 weeks due to the in-house print and mailing functionality being disabled internally with a drop-dead date.
  • Lack of visibility over performance due to limited management information.
  • High cost of post and poor delivery rates due to low-quality address information. 

An agile delivery team from DocCentrics was able to rapidly evaluate the customer environment and deliver a live digital communications solution in five weeks. Our phased approach to delivery meant we could replace existing services with minimal interruption or risk.

Solution

An agile delivery team from DocCentrics was able to rapidly evaluate the customer environment, create the requirements and deliver a live digital communications solution in five weeks. Our phased approach to delivery meant we could replace existing services with minimal interruption or risk.

  • Enriched management information (MI) - with a live operations and production dashboard, managers can now see how many messages have been sent and how many are in the queue.
  • Self-serve customer communications – our solution automatically checks and validates incoming documents to ensure they are correctly addressed and formatted. Documents with errors are quarantined for NHS teams to review.
  • Accurate addressing -  Each document address is validated against the PAF (postal address file) and corrected where necessary to maximise postal discounts 
  • Automation – we removed layers of manual intervention and automated the customer communication management (CCM) production process, as well as the returns process.
  • Complete audit trail – each document can be reconciled from data received to mail delivery.
  • Optimising and outsourcing printing and mail production – we were able to automate daily volumes on high-capacity equipment to better accommodate peaks in volume during the month.
  • Document barcodes – the addition of unique identifiers improves efficiency, adds a layer of audit and control and reduces the cost of inbound mail processing.

By working closely with NHS-SBS, we were able to implement a solution that addresses their challenges and delivers the expected savings in both costs and employee effort.

Results

  • Significant cost savings due to greater economy of scale
  • More accurate postal addresses - better delivery rate and lower cost
  • Reduction of employee effort by automating returns processes
  • Enabling teams to focus on strategic objectives – rather than day-to-day communications management
  • Increased capacity so their communications solution can cope with fluctuations in demand
  • Delivered a solution that can accommodate further communications such as cheques