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When Flintshire County Council approached FDM Document Solutions in January 2017, it was with a generic enquiry. The Council was looking for a solution to a common problem: too much time and money was being spent on administrative tasks that could be managed off-site.

FDM recommended implementing the hybrid mail system, Hi-mail. This would allow for all documentation to be managed centrally and securely at the touch of a button. The system was installed and a test and measure for council tax billings for the Revenues and Benefits department was put in place.

Measuring a return

As with many Councils, Flintshire worked closely with FDM to measure the impact the Hi-mail system was having in order to justify the proof of concept.

From the outset, the Council was able to free up staff time, support productivity with home working, improve efficiencies through switching to digital ways of working, and reinforce confidence that all documents were stored safely.

In just six months the Council recognised that more could be done with Hi-mail to extend the positive impact that it was having throughout other departments.

A wider remit

Having used Hi-mail for a year, Flintshire was required to tender the contract and invite other parties to bid for the work. Thankfully, in addition to securing the contract, FDM was also able to show how the Council could further benefit through rolling it out to other departments at the Local Authority.

The benefits

While the benefits of the hybrid mail system were evident from the outset, further positive impacts included:

  • Removal of the mail room from the office
  • Reduction in resource required to manage the process
  • Speed of jobs, with some mailings taking just 20 minutes
  • Automation of complex document configuration
  • The ability to manage documents in multiple languages
  • Mailings can be timed to give greater control for the Council and meet with strict deadlines

Sharing the success

Flintshire Council sent 225k letters in 2022 using the system. Given the results achieved, the Council has taken the decision to roll out the system to all departments and corporate partners including leisure centres and public sector organisations. In addition, all internal mailings and communications are also managed through the system.

In fact, the system has become some an integral part of the critical and general communications at the Council that they are in the process of migrating to Hybrid Mail Hi-Mail 2. This is a cloud-based solution that is more stable and delivers better performance. It can manage larger volumes faster, offers digital delivery and is customisable for different departments.

Chris Adams, Digital Services Manager for FDM Document Solutions, comments: “Flintshire Council are a perfect example of the positive impact that our Hybrid Mail solution can have. In fact, they are a great showcase of just what can be achieved when the Hi-mail system is rolled out and used to its full advantage.

“We have a great relationship with the teams at Flintshire. This means that when we make recommendations, the customer knows that they are for good reason and will deliver even greater results.

“They are the first Council to implement Hi-mail 2 and we know that it is going to make life even easier for the teams that use it.”

Lisa Brownbill from Flintshire Council, comments: “Back in 2017 we were relying on manual processing and the figures simply didn’t add up. The resource taken to complete these administrative tasks was becoming overwhelming.

“When FDM suggested the Hybrid Mail solution, Hi-mail we felt it was the perfect opportunity to put in place a test and measure. It was quickly evident that it was the solution we needed to meet the challenges we were having. Six years later and we can’t quite believe we used to process our critical communications without the system in place.

“Moving to Hi-mail 2 is really exciting for us and we are looking forward to sharing the benefits it brings to the Council and also our corporate partners.”