Keeping the mail flowing

Editorial Type: Case Study Date: 2021-02-01 Views: 460 Tags: Document, Covid-19, Capture, Workflow, Business Continuity, EDM Group PDF Version:
EDM Group has helped Direct Line Group to empower its workers with a rapid installation digital mailroom that has helped the business to continue operations throughout the Covid-19 crisis

Direct Line Group is a leading UK insurance company that provides policies in four areas: motor, home, rescue and other personal lines, and commercial. Headquartered in London, the group has more than 10,500 employees based in offices around the UK.

When the Covid-19 crisis emerged in March 2020, Direct Line Group took the decision - following government guidelines - to realign its operations and put into action a strategy to enable its employees to work remotely from home. This included five business centres that processed physical mail from customers and businesses.

With the operations no longer open, there would potentially be around 4,000 items of post arriving each day via Royal Mail that could not be processed and ultimately not available to staff. The solution to the challenge was to set up an emergency digital mailroom through which physical mail items could be re-routed, digitised and then made available and processed by staff working from home.

Direct Line approached EDM for a digital solution, as an existing supplier which has provided records management services to their firm for many years. The requirement was for a digital mailroom which needed to be operational as quickly as possible so that business correspondence could be dealt with swiftly and effectively.

EDM Group is a leading international provider of digitisation, digital and information management solutions. Through a combination of innovative technology and deep industry knowledge, EDM Group provides highly customised solutions that help organisations automate and streamline business processes and workflows.

As a key supplier to both the private and public sectors, EDM is deemed by the government to be providing essential services, so was able to continue operating during the crisis with Covid-secure measures in place.

EDM was able to get the emergency digital mailroom up and running within a week. Initially, mail was collected by EDM's in-house transport division and taken to their scanning and mailroom operations based in Wolverhampton. Within two weeks all of the organisation’s mail was being redirected to EDM through a Royal Mail PO box re-routing service.

This mail is delivered to the scanning facility before 9am with the aim that all circa 4,000 mail items are opened, prepared and scanned by experienced EDM staff before being uploaded into EDMonline - the company's proprietary hosted document management platform - by 5pm the same day. As each item is scanned, the digital images are immediately uploaded into EDMonline and made available to the client's remote working staff.

It is also important to note that each of the individually scanned mail items are encrypted as part of the process to ensure full compliance with data protection and information security protocols. During the mail sortation and scanning process 'cherished items' such as cheques, passports and birth certificates are also scanned but the physical original items are then logged and securely packaged for return to the client on a daily basis. The final part of the process is that all the original mail items are boxed up and relocated to one of EDM's off-site document management facilities for their secure storage and retention.

"When the Covid-19 pandemic emerged, we urgently implemented a home working strategy to adhere to government guidelines and to ensure the safety of our people," says Andy Payne, Head of Logistics at Direct Line Group. "With thousands of mail items being received into our offices across the country it was imperative we found a way to make physical mail available to staff at home to keep the business moving. We approached EDM with this challenge and within one week they had implemented an emergency mailroom solution, and inbound correspondence was available to staff electronically the same day it was received. We were very impressed with the speed of implementation and the management of the project considering no company was immune to the effects of the recent pandemic."

The emergency digital mailroom service provided by EDM delivered an immediate solution to Direct Line Group's home working strategy in compliance with Government advice and directives, and also ensured that important customer and business correspondence continued to be processed, ensuring staff could continue in their roles and the business was functioning as fully as it could under difficult circumstances for all.