A platform which is efficient, simple and speeds up the proofing process

Using technology to streamline the process

Client: LGSS
 Public Sector
Solution: Democratic Services, SmartApproval



Local authorities across the United Kingdom are responsible for the management of local and national democratic elections within the constraints of their regional boundaries. In the UK democratic system, general elections, local elections, mayoral elections, police and crime commissioner elections and referendums are managed locally despite many having a national focus.

After a competitive tender process, we were successful in securing a 4 year contract with one of the UK’s largest public sector shared service operations, delivering a full range of business support services to a variety of public sector organisations – LGSS. Our contract is with LGSS Procurement in partnership with Northampton Borough Council, Daventry District Council, East Northamptonshire Council, Corby Council, Milton Keynes Council and more recently South Northamptonshire Council having just joined LGSS.

The Challenge

Despite the parameters set out by the Electoral Commission, local authorities still have options and flexibility at multiple stages of the electoral printing process such as the design of certain products i.e. postal voting packs.

Inevitably, this delivers multiple designs of the same electoral product and multiple methods of delivery across the UK.

Given that the original 5 local authorities forming LGSS came to market as a partnership conveying a uniform message, this ensured a willing and supportive client regarding optimisation. However, it also provided the challenge of working with and fully satisfying 2-3 stakeholders for each authority.

Designed to be as
cost and time efficient
as possible

The Solution

Our solution for democratic services is designed to be as efficient as possible, optimising and rationalising product options to reduce costs and consolidating production across multiple local authorities to realise the benefits of scale in print production. We have created a single, cost and time efficient production process for a series of uniform products provided to our local authority clients. Furthermore, we operate our own C9 licence, meaning we can manage postage providing significant savings over Royal Mail rates.

Combining production and mailing routes across over 30 local authority clients delivers cost savings for organisations under intense pressure to optimise its expenditure of public funds. Furthermore, the introduction of our SmartApproval online proofing system provided a real benefit in the project management between us and each client. Lots of different electoral products are able to be presented and approved or rejected for changes online, building greater efficiency into the process.

Due to the efficiency of our solution and the experience and capabilities that underpin it, LGSS assessed our offer against other tenders and concluded that ours was the best option for the proposed 4 year contract.

We now support Northampton Borough Council, Daventry District Council, South Northamptonshire Council, East Northamptonshire Council, Corby Council and Milton Keynes Council via the LGSS contract with a range of printed electoral products including, Poll Cards, Postal Poll Cards, Proxy Poll, Cards, Proxy Postal Poll Cards, Postal Votes, Spare Postal Votes, Ordinary and Tendered Ballot Books, CNL1s, CNL2s and Large Print Ballot Papers.

The Benefits

For these LGSS clients, technology utilised in the process was considered the major benefit as it simplified the process. All four Northamptonshire councils agreed the SmartApproval platform was more efficient and speeded up the proofing process compared to the previous supplier who did not offer this facility.

For more information about our solutions get in touch.

01484 867 411

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