Valldata Invests in Mailroom Equipment to Benefit Charities
Valldata works with more than 65 major UK charities including Macmillan Cancer Support, The Salvation Army, Cancer Research UK, RSPCA and Marie Curie Cancer Care to name a few. The company receives incoming mail on behalf of the charities, opens the mail, processes donations and thanks donators for their generosity on behalf of the charities. This allows the charities to focus on fund raising while Valldata ensures that donated monies reach their intended cause as quickly as possible.
As the leading company to provide this type of dedicated service to charities in the UK, Valldata’s peak season is October through to January. The challenge for this period has been to ensure that the peaks in donations are matched by the quality of service provided by Valldata.
Ahead of their peak season Valldata purchased 18 Rapid Extraction Desk Mail Opening Machines in order to automate the mail opening process. Totalpost also loaned 2 further machines, free of charge, to cover service level agreements and to help maintain maximum efficiency and throughput during the peak period.
This technology was purchased to speed up the hand extracting process of opening and sorting the incoming charity mail. The increase in efficiency has been dramatic following the deployment of these machines. Where previously Valldata were able to open some 150 mail items by hand every hour per person, they are now able to open approximately double that output. Previously the company were processing around 19,000 mail items on one shift, they are now averaging over 40,000, with the highest peak reached being 61,000 items in a day.
Speaking about the equipment provided by Totalpost, Jeremy Baber, Production Director at Valldata comments: “The equipment provided by Totalpost has proved a total game changer for us. It’s been a massive change in the way we do business and means we are able to provide charities with a much faster service.”
Valldata has invested over £50,000 in this technology to increase efficiencies and continually offer an improving service to their charity customers. The investment has helped them better manage the peak season in a cost effective but more importantly more efficient manner. The key for their business was to maximise work available to their regular staff who are the experts in processing their clients payments – this ensures accuracy and connects the team more effectively with the aims of the charities they serve.
Totalpost Services Plc is a business with an office that is local to Valldata. As well as providing the type and quantity of equipment required they have also given the approach that the company needed. Speaking about this, Jeremy Baber says: “Totalpost are much more than a supplier, they have developed a partnership with us, are always on hand to help and, work as an extension of our business.
Totalpost has been tremendously responsive, they have listened to our requirements and have been incredibly flexible. Every challenge that I have given Totalpost they have gone out of their way to find a solution. No other provider does that for us.”
From point of order to delivery, Totalpost installed the 20 machines for Valldata within just a few weeks. They are also providing a full maintenance service and have allocated an experienced engineer to the site.
Valldata provide an extremely important service to charities and at there peak, process one million mail items a month during this period. They process c.£8m in charity donations a year as well as processing gone away mail and handling charity raffles. In November alone they processed £1.8m in donations to the Ebola campaign for the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC).
By using Valldata charities save a considerable level of cost compared to if they tried to handle these processes themselves. It also means that donations reach the bank much more quickly so that donators are contributing to their chosen cause almost instantly.
Looking to the future, Valldata have further improvements in the pipeline and plan to spend around £0.5m on IT investments during 2015. Improvements which will no doubt place them as light years ahead of the competition in terms of the technology and service provided to their clients.