NHS Scotland Significantly Reduces Its Postage Overheads

NHS Scotland Significantly Reduces Its Postage Overheads

With a requirement to post almost 900,000 flu vaccination letters, NHS Scotland were keen to save money on their postage overheads by taking advantage of a Royal Mail discount service. By using the print facilities of Atos Origin and a mailing solution from IDS, the cost of their first mailing was reduced by a staggering £58,000!


NHS Scotland outsources much of their production printing and IT infrastructure to Atos Origin.

Atos Origin is a leading international IT services company and a global provider of business consulting and technology integration services. It employs over 7,000 people throughout the UK, has a major IT centre in Dundee and three 24 hour production printing operations in Edinburgh, Paisley and Inverness.


NHS Scotland had a commitment to mail over 890,000 flu vaccination letters each year and occasionally other smaller volumes of correspondence. The postage costs normally involved in doing this were immense so a solution that would enable them to take advantage of the savings provided by a Royal Mail bulk mail discount service was required.


Following the successful integration of a connectivity, output management and document composition solution, IDS was instructed by Atos Origin to provide a bulk mail discount system capable of handling the high volume of NHS mail.

IDS used its MailSort On Demand software (part of Funasset's TN Interface solution) to satisfy the NHS' bulk mail discount requirement.

"We knew MailSort On Demand would have no problem handling the large quantity of mail because it is already used to process 50,000 letters a day for London Scottish Bank", states Rob Webb, Senior Consultant for IDS. "Furthermore, with considerable experience integrating the software alongside other IDS solutions, we could practically guarantee no problems would be encountered."

The quantity and geographical location of mail recipients meant that the Royal Mail's MailSort 700 would reap the largest postage savings when compared to other services the NHS was eligible to use. This equated to 29% discount which, when applied to 890,000 letters, resulted in a saving of £58,000 when compared to sending the mail using the standard Royal Mail postage rate.

Despite initially using the MailSort On Demand software to condition the vaccination letters for use with MailSort 700, the software was configured so it would automatically take advantage of other Royal Mail discount services such as MailSort 120, 1400, WalkSort, CleanMail and CleanMail Plus.

"The automated service selection makes MailSort On Demand perfect for the NHS challenge where a large number of letters are mailed once a year, and smaller quantities on an ad-hoc basis," states Rob. "No configuration changes needed to be made by us or Atos Origin's operators in order for MailSort On Demand to prepare the NHS data for the best savings. The software simply analyses the incoming data, conditions it and outputs it in a format that adheres to the strict Royal Mail guidelines."

The sophisticated method used by MailSort On Demand to sort and index the NHS data meant there was no need to maintain two separate address databases – a prerequisite of most other bulk mail discount software. Furthermore, the ability to process almost any form of data sourced from almost any host and load share it amongst any number of local and remote printers, made MailSort On Demand the perfect solution for the NHS and Atos challenge.

NOTE: Since integration, Royal Mail discount services have changed and the software supplied by IDS has been updated to reflect this.


  • Substantial Postage Savings
    All savings attained within the Royal Mail’s strict guidelines.

  • Immediate ROI
    The initial savings in postage costs alone paid for MailSort On Demand five times over!

  • Best Discount
    The most suitable bulk mail discount service is automatically chosen to ensure the maximum amount of money is saved.

  • Single Correspondence Source
    Only one database needs to be updated when customer address details change.

  • Fast Turnaround
    Facility to load balance across multiple printers minimises the time it takes for correspondence to reach recipients.

  • Future-proof
    Host and printer independent solution means future hardware and software integration is quick, easy and cost-effective.

  • Non-invasive
    No hardware or software changes required on the host or printers.

  • Small footprint
    MailSort On Demand installed alongside SpoolQ and FormScape in just one PC.

  • Minimal “down-time”
    Quick and seamless integration of all solutions.

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Funasset Limited is a UK software development company founded in 1986. It specialises in document and mail solutions that are used globally by businesses and organisations including Xerox, Civica, the NHS and local Government. Read more

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