Sefton MBC is a large metropolitan local authority created by the local government reorganization of 1974. It was a metropolitan district of the metropolitan county of Merseyside.
Until 1986, the five metropolitan borough councils of Merseyside shared power with the central Merseyside County Council, but this was later abolished and its functions devolved solely to its districts. As a result, the borough is effectively a unitary authority within the ceremonial county of Merseyside.
At the heart of Sefton MBC is its Finance Department. The department’s objectives are set out by Sefton MBC best value performance plan (BVPP) including maximizing income and minimizing spend, providing best quality financial and supporting services that resources permit, developing new or improved performance indicators and participate in delivery of best value.
So here's the business challenge. Managing a combined total of 120,000 documents per month, Sefton Council’s Finance Department face the task of ensuring that each document leaves the department with optimal integrity, security and speed.
The Financial Department process an array of communications of varying sizes from each directorate.
To handle this volume and wide range of mail, Machine Operator Ray McGinn says, "Having technology that is versatile and reliable is essential. On the other hand, we are also under extreme pressure to manage resources effectively and control costs."
McGinn was aware of the considerable scope of introducing a more systematic and automated approach to document handling in the Finance Department.
He says, “The folding machine which we had been using, had reached the end of it feasible life and was performing poorly. The Finance Department needed a replacement which would be both more efficient and reliable than the machine they were replacing.”
Sefton Council reviewed six folding machines before a decision was made to lease a Pitney Bowes DI642. Ray says, “The quality was important when we were looking for a new machine. The DI642 looked like it could perform all the tasks we required it for and was within budget set for the lease of a new machine.
“There was also a time saving element with DI642 as it was faster than the machine we were replacing. We use it daily to insert between 500- 600 single documents, documents with variety of attachments through the hand feed, documents with a standard insert plus a return envelope and to insert booklets into envelopes without a seal."
Designed for mid volume mailing, the DI642 combines flexibility with mail piece security and integrity. The operator is required to run a trial piece at the start of each new job to ensure accuracy and if a double feed is detected, the DI642 stops the system so that the necessary correction can be made, avoiding documents being mixed with another set.
McGinn concludes by explaining how the folding and inserting equipment has improved the preparation of mailing for dispatch, “We generally find the machine easy to use. We had two training sessions but that was more than enough to provide all the information we needed to program and run the whole machine. The machine reliably inserts documents in line with the selected program, which allows us to use it for jobs which we would previously have done by hand.”
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