You’ve got mail
The project team (from left): Danny Lim (OCA), Gelasia Chew (OETU) and Soh Qianni (OETU)

You’ve got mail – digitally!

In 2019, the University facilitated over 200,000 incoming and outgoing physical mail between internal departments, as well as with external parties. This resulted in substantial mail transportation costs, and approximately 13,000 man hours spent on sorting letters and other mail items.

When the mailroom operations were temporary suspended during the ‘circuit breaker’ period, a project team comprising staff from the Office of Campus Amenities (OCA) and OE Transformation Unit (OETU) was formed to explore environmentally-friendly mailing solutions across campus.

Danny Lim, Manager at OCA shared that the team analysed mail volume data to identify units with the highest mail volumes on campus, before engaging them to understand their mailing processes. “We were heartened to learn that most units we spoke to were receptive to replacing hardcopy mail with digital alternatives, and some had even started automating their processes,” Danny added. For instance, NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine had formed an internal taskforce to reduce their mail volume while working concurrently on digitising physical mail.

As for the Development Office, where physical mail is fundamental in fundraising campaigns, the team converted hardcopy donation receipts for $10,000 and below to electronic receipts, thus reducing their mail volume. For mass giving appeals which were previously mailed to the staff community, a segmentation strategy was created to explore other modes of communication.

Soh Qianni, Manager at OETU noted that the launch of cloud HR system CHRS enabled the Office of Human Resources (OHR) to reduce the number of forms and insurance letters sent to staff. OHR also worked with the University’s healthcare insurer to convert the staff medical insurance card to an electronic version. “When Finance System 2.0 is launched in 2021, the Office of Finance will be able to digitise invoices, statements of accounts, as well as digitalise the inter-department billing process,” shared Qianni.

The enhancements made to the mailing processes across campus are slated to reduce the University’s physical mail volume by at least 70% in 2021, paving the path for digital transformation in other administrative processes.

Organisational Excellence is a strategic initiative undertaken by the University to develop best practices for an efficient and world-class administration to better support NUS’ Vision and Mission. It aims to bring about improved work processes and policies as well as create opportunities for talent development and growth.

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