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Case Study: Kirklees Council

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Case Study: Kirklees Council

Kirklees Council brings colour to its communications with Pitney Bowes’ Connect+ 3000

Kirklees Council Document Solutions is the print, mail and distributions service for Kirklees Council providing high quality, cost effective print, mail and distribution solutions for all council services, local schools and their public sector partners. Since 1994 the department has been in charge of distributing, collecting and delivering all internal and external mail for the Council.

On an annual basis Document Solutions handles on average 2.5 million items of external mail which are processed via franking machines. Six part time staff manage an output of between 3,000 to 5,000 mail items per day.

After seven years with their previous franking machines, it was time for an upgrade.  As a public sector body, Kirklees Council was obliged to launch a call for tenders where they looked at three different manufacturers, all competing for the contract. Following consideration of the three proposals, Pitney Bowes was awarded the tender.

Pitney Bowes assessed the council's needs and suggested two Connect+ 3000 franking machines. As well as automatically applying the correct postage to each mail piece, the Connect+ can print full colour marketing messages and logos across the length of the envelope. This not only allows the user to save on the cost of pre-printed stationery but also offers the chance to use every piece of mail as a promotional tool.

As Distribution Co-ordinator Neil Render explains, "We saw the benefit of colour printing on post and were drawn to the idea of being able to offer mail advertising to all our customers within the council.

"The functionalities of the new Connect+ machines are very user-friendly: the touch screen makes it quick and easy to use and the default setting allows you to see everything you're doing clearly. The staff find it much easier to use than the older machines."

The new franking machines have also helped the council save time. Previously three separate franking machines were required to cope with the daily output of mail but the speed and capability of the Connect+ has allowed the department to reduce this number to two.

"The new franking machines are almost twice as fast as our previous models. We can now finish any envelope printing and mailing jobs much more quickly than before and we don't have to bring in staff for overtime because we can meet our daily external mailing deadlines more quickly and efficiently," says Neil.

As well as all the management of internal and external mailing, the Document Solutions department also provides its printing and distribution services to all of its customers, including those outside of the main council body, such as local schools.

"We have now started to advertise council events on our external post, as the new franking machines offer us this capability. Customers are very impressed with this function as an alternative route for marketing council led campaigns which stands out and is very effective," adds Neil. 

"We have gained interest from a lot of local schools. They are aware that we can deal with high volumes of external mail and that we can add value to any mailpiece. We plan to offer a service in the future that will allow the schools to have their own logo printed on the post. This will help us grow the business and expand our offering to customers."

The colour printing capability of the machine has changed the way the Council looks at post. As Neil points out, "Our previous machines just franked. The new Connect+ systems can frank and it can provide colour advertising features which we could not do before. Now every piece of outgoing post has the potential to be used as a marketing tool." 

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