Digital post gives Odense municipality millions of savings

Better to spend money on a good citizen service than on paper and postage. That's the rationale in Odense, which is one of the municipalities that has come furthest when it comes to digitising citizen communication. The goal was to save working hours, postage costs and create an effective and secure two-way communication with citizens.

Since September 2009, e-Boks has been in close contact with Odense Municipality to ensure as optimum a solution as possible for the municipality as part of the roll-out of Digital Post.

Two-way communication is key

A key element in the Digital Post solution is the two-way communication between citizens and the municipality. This means that not only is post sent to citizens via Digital Post, but that citizens also have the opportunity to respond directly to their post, and can also use the system to send enquiries to the municipalities. The benefits of two-way communication in e-Boks is not reserved for public organisations - private companies can also make major savings by e.g. automating holiday requests.

Major financial gain

"The major financial gain lies in the two-way communication, where we are now able to automatically register citizens' communication, so that it is quickly and easily archived in the correct journals. A third of our total savings comes from two-way communication, the rest from saved work hours and postage costs. This gives a total saving of at least DKK 25 per letter. If we take e.g. the service area in Odesne, which sends out 200,000 letters a year, it is a significant amount we are talking about," says project manager for Digital Post Odense, Birgitte Hjelm Paulsen.

Digital post for all municipalities

Odense Municipality realigns funds from administrative work processes to citizen-focused services. In short, paper and postage has been replaced by elderly care and childcare. Meanwhile, it supports employee expertise, as they can focus on expert services for citizens instead of wasting time on printing, stuffing enveloped, scanning and diarising.

"After the first two years, it has been confirmed to us that we were right to choose the ambitious and long-term strategy. We can only recommend other municipalities do the same. Technological development happens every day - you can't just sit idle and wait," concludes Birgitte Hjelm Paulsen.