Pitney Bowes Boosts Efficiency for City of West Haven
WEST HAVEN, Conn., May 15, 2007 - A new mailstream management system for the City of West Haven has already reaped rewards in the form of significant cost savings, improved data accuracy, and faster payment processing. With the help and expertise of Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE: PBI), the City has updated and streamlined its mailstream process to operate more efficiently and better serve constituents.
“Pitney Bowes evaluated our overall system and identified several areas where there was room for better performance,” said West Haven Mayor John Picard. “Pitney Bowes provided us with custom solutions that have already had a meaningful impact on our operations.”
According to Mayor Picard, the volume of undeliverable tax bills has already dropped by 70% since the new system was implemented in 2006. This has brought in approximately $210,000 in tax revenues to the city coffers that would otherwise have gone uncollected.
Before Pitney Bowes amended the department’s mailstream operation, mailings were outsourced and resulted in a high percentage of returned mail. The former system was expensive, and the West Haven tax department was suffering from foregone payments on bills not received by taxpayers. Re-creating and re-sending the bills was an additional cost.
The City implemented the VeriMove™ Net address correction tool that regularly updates mailing lists with the latest U.S. Postal Service change of address data, and there was a sharp drop in the number of undeliverable tax bills in the next mailing. By successfully delivering tax bills on time, the City’s cash flow improved considerably.
Pitney Bowes also deployed the PB First™ file management software program that imports address data and applies postal barcodes to mail to help ensure that each piece is deliverable. The barcodes also enable the City to qualify for postal discounts, saving taxpayers approximately $40,000 in postage costs.
To improve the department’s productivity, the City installed a Pitney Bowes DM Series™ DM800™ digital mailing system, which was integrated with a DI950 FastPac® Inserting System.
“The Pitney Bowes systems have performed wonderfully and service for both the software and hardware elements has been excellent”, said West Haven Manager of Information Technology Alan Olenick “The addition of the mailing system and inserter dramatically improved labor productivity by automating what was formerly a mostly manual procedure and has helped us achieve our goal of bringing work in-house where we can.”
Each June, the City mails out nearly 20,000 real estate and sewer bills, 37,000 motor vehicle bills, and 2,500 personal property bills. This is a challenging schedule because the City Council sets the mill rate at the beginning of May and three separate fire districts set their mill rate by mid-May. Finally, the City must ensure that the Assessor’s office has all property values calculated properly before the mailing can begin.
By investing in up-to-date mailstream equipment and services, West Haven is already experiencing a significant return on investment in the form of faster and more efficient billing and payment processing. “Now our staff can spend their time on more important things, like helping solve problems for our taxpayers,” said Picard. “Other City agencies are also exploring similar upgrades by running their respective mailings through the system.”
Besides running other bills for the tax office, the city has mailed out postcard reminders on where to vote from the Registrar’s Office as well as the spring newsletter from the Park and Recreation Department. The Board of Education has also used Pitney Bowes equipment for newsletters from the administration and High School.
About Pitney Bowes:
Pitney Bowes is a mailstream technology company that helps organizations manage the flow of information, mail, documents and packages. Our 35,000 employees deliver technology, service and innovation to more than two million customers worldwide. The company was founded in 1920 and annual revenues now total $5.8 billion. More information is available at www.pb.com.