The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services in Kingston, Ontario in Canada, sends out vital programs, services, and products — ranging from health card to driver license notices, — to help create a better quality of life for Ontario's families. This involves managing large mailings to residents throughout the entire province of Ontario. We spoke to Joel Lyman, Manager of Print & Distribution Services at the Ministry, about his mail processing needs and why he opted for a DS-1200 folder inserter, a DS-180 folder inserter, OMS-200 document output management software and the Authentication and Insertion Monitoring System (AIMS) from Neopost. Neopost was awarded this on a competitive process.
Mr. Lyman and his team of 22 staff mail out between 100,000 and 140,000 pieces on a weekly basis. These letters are sent to clients to tell them to go into their local office either to renew their health card, driver’s license or parking permit. The team also mails out reimbursement checks. However its main area of activity is focused on the renewal of health cards. The Ministry mails letters to residents informing them about their health card renewal and the actual health cards are then mailed out by a vendor. There is a confidentiality element to all of this as the letters contain individuals’ health numbers in addition to personal address data.
Mail Processing Challenges
Before investing in solutions from Neopost the equipment being used at The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services was ageing. A folder inserter with a lot of belts and drives had been installed in 1993. And although it had served its purpose at the time it was no longer up to the job. In order for Joel and his team to run jobs on this equipment everything had to be just perfect. For example they had to ensure there weren’t any flaws on the paper. And recycled paper started causing issues. As Joel explained: “Time was an issue for me. The folding machine was doing our business but not in the required time. And we were struggling with an increased workload.” As a result a Request for Proposal (RFP) went out and the successful vendor was chosen. This process involved lawyers, as well as other professionals. And in the end Neopost was selected as the Vendor of Record (VOR) for the organization.
New Folders Inserters and Software for an Increased Workload
Neopost’s intelligent high-performing DS-1200 folder inserter was chosen to handle the Ministry’s growing number of mailings along with the DS-180 modular folding machine. An investment was also made in OMS-200 document output management software for automated collation, folding, insertion and sealing. The Ministry also invested in Neopost’s AIMS software for real time information and statistics for managing its mail center activity.
The OMS-200 software is linked to the DS-1200 folder inserter that is used every day. The DS-180 is used as a backup solution. The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services has only handled a couple of small jobs on the DS-180 when it didn’t want to interrupt the larger machine. “Both pieces of equipment are very good. The technology is excellent and right now we haven’t had any major issues. I wish we’d had this solution 10 years ago as it’s certainly less stressful with the Neopost equipment.” confirmed Joel. The machines and software solutions were delivered 9 months ago and Joel and his team have treated over 3.5 million pieces already. The touchscreen on the DS-1200 makes it easy to use. And as Joel said: “We just touch it and everything adjusts.” The mailing team is very satisfied with its investment and the Ministry’s mail jobs have been on schedule since the new equipment arrived.
When the equipment and software were initially delivered, an expert from Neopost’s head office in France went over to Canada to train Joel’s staff along with a group of people from Neopost Canada. By the third day of training Joel’s staff had a pretty good grasp of the technical side of the solution. “The training that Neopost provided was excellent. It’s a pretty straightforward piece of equipment and when we do have to call for a technician he’s usually onsite within three hours.” explained Joel.
Higher Productivity with an Intelligent Folder Inserter
The Ministry was running anywhere between 5,000 and 6000 pieces per hour with the older equipment. But with this new hardware and software from Neopost, Joel’s team is now running anywhere between 8,000 and 10,000 pieces an hour. As a result, mail processing productivity is much higher and the Print & Distribution Services staff is less stressed. As the technology is newer and up to date, they don’t have to constantly make adjustments or deal with jams in the equipment. As Joel said “It’s a nice piece of equipment, the technology is excellent and it’s working well for us.”
He went on to add that: “Before investing in such solutions organizations need to take a look at the technology being used, the speed of the equipment and of course the service.” Service is one of the key priorities for The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services in Kingston. A quick turnaround is important; from the time the call is made, to the time a technician arrives on site. And to date Neopost has proved it can deliver this service. “I would recommend Neopost to other organizations. The higher technology of the DS-1200 folder inserter is user-friendly. Even though the overall operational aspect of the machine is very hi-tech, it’s also very simple.” We’ve certainly come a long way from what we had been used to.” confirmed Joel. This satisfied customer has told his Account Manager from Neopost that if she wishes to use his site to demonstrate the solution to other customers or potential customers, she is very welcome.
The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
What they do:
- champion inclusion and accessibility initiatives across the enterprise, support all ministries to build an even more accessible, inclusive workplace
- promote good recordkeeping practices across the government and provide strategic leadership for freedom of information and privacy protection, and information management
- collect, manage and preserve the records of Ontario and promote public access to Ontario's historic documents and records
- help individuals and businesses access government services and information
Delivers driver license notices, val tag plate stickers, health card notices, and other services provided by the Ontario Government.