City of Kingston is a local government area in South East Melbourne and is a diverse community with estimated resident population of nearly 160,000. In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, Local Government Victoria released a bulletin to local councils instructing that all council venues including libraries and community venues must close indefinitely. Municipal offices state-wide were affected. City of Kingston, following many other councils within Victoria adhered to the State Government direction and closed all its public venues and offices. The majority of council staff then moved to working from home for the length of the shutdown.

Challenges posed by COVID-19 closures

The primary challenge faced by City of Kingston due to COVID-19 restrictions concerned incoming mail that could no longer be received, sorted or forwarded to relevant contacts. The digital solution required would potentially;

  • Provide remote access to the council mailbox
  • Identify the type of mail received (e.g. applications, rates notices, etc.)
  • Forward correspondence to identified relevant contact
  • Support a prompt response to customer enquiries within existing timeframes

Project goals as set out by Grace Information Management experts involved in the transition focused on creating a digital route by which mail items would be opened, sorted, correctly named by relevant metadata, identified by sender and recipient, digitised and archived within a central repository. The case scenario City of Kingston included digitising processes to cope with at least 70 incoming mail items per day which required systematic processing.

Grace Digital Mailroom

The highly complex problem required a bespoke solution, and one that could be implemented without disrupting existing service level timeframes. GIM experts collaborated closely with stakeholder teams to offer an innovative solution – Grace Digital Mailbox.

Grace initiated the project by working closely with City of Kingston stakeholders to establish a set of “mail handling business rules” and list of metadata that was required to be captured, to ensure that all mail types were handled correctly by Grace operators.

 

The workflow set in place to provide a Digital Mailroom solution to City of Kingston included:

 

 

Project Success

By utilising Grace’s BCP Digital Mailroom solution, impact to the provision of services for City of Kingston was minimal.

The implementation of Grace digital solution had allowed all processes to continue unimpeded with zero downtime and no impact to the

To read about the project in detail, please download the project sheet here.