As the council’s buildings closed at very short notice in late March 2020 due to the pandemic, employees had to rapidly transition from office-based working to more remote, agile work styles to maintain service delivery with as little disruption as possible.
Unfortunately, this rapid shift meant that usual printing and postal services could not be maintained for receiving incoming mail or sending printed correspondence to Birmingham citizens and businesses. The council immediately explored digital solutions to overcome these challenges as soon as possible.
- Press to Post print solution - as the council had already been working on a proof of concept project for a ‘Press to Post – Hybrid Mail’ solution, it was possible to implement a live digital solution to resume printing services within just four weeks. This enabled all council staff to send printed correspondence remotely, without needing access to a local printer.
- SharePoint solution for incoming mail – within four weeks the council was also able to use its existing Microsoft Office 365 technology to provide all council employees (regardless of location) with secure, online access to digital images of incoming mail, whilst complying with data security and GDPR requirements, with no risk of lost mail.
Crucially, both solutions were introduced in record time to overcome the major logistic challenges of resuming print and mail services throughout the pandemic.
These new digital services have also achieved cost savings and efficiencies by enabling front-line teams to focus on their core business.
Furthermore, the council has reduced its carbon footprint, as its courier delivery and collection service has not been required due to Covid-19 restrictions.
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