Peter Ellis joins The Bank of England’s Decision Making Panel

Smith & Ouzman’s Finance Director Peter Ellis has been confirmed as a member of the Bank of England Decision Maker Panel for Brexit implications.

The Bank of England acts as an advisory body to the Government and plays a key role in managing the economy. In the wake of the Brexit vote it has launched an important initiative to engage Finance Directors from across industries and around the country to be part of a Decision Maker Panel.

The purpose of the panel is to help the Bank understand the implications of Brexit for businesses on the ground. Peter will be telling the Bank what Brexit means for Smith & Ouzman on an on-going basis as the process of leaving the EU unfolds in the years ahead.

“This is a very important initiative and I am proud to be able to contribute to the process on behalf of Smith & Ouzman,” said Peter. “Obviously, it is important to stay aware of the risks and opportunities brought about by our leaving the EU. The Bank will be giving feedback to all participants about the collective impact of developments and policy decisions as they occur, so this is a two way process which can only benefit us as a company.”

Smith & Ouzman is helping Royal Mail overcome poll card processing problems

Automated sorting equipment has streamlined mail sorting in the UK, but not without creating many challenges for Royal Mail, especially when processing card products such as poll cards.

At Smith & Ouzman we are currently working with Royal Mail to help them resolve these problems without changing the unit cost of the poll card product, thereby minimising the impact of change upon local authorities.

Two issues that cause rejections of poll cards within the feeding and sorting processes are the flat nature of card material and the dual address format printed on the face of the cards.

Sorting equipment is designed to deal with an envelope, something which contains air and as such is easily gripped and separated by the equipment feeders. Poll cards are flat, contain no air and are much harder for the equipment to grip and process. An additional problem is that most poll card providers use a guillotining process that causes fibre crossover which can result in multiple feeds or jams in the automated sorting machines.

Smith & Ouzman has designed an innovative process which removes any risk of fibre crossover to combat multiple feeds and jams. We are also testing a solution that introduces air between individual cards after cutting, but before final packaging.

The second issue that causes problems with successful poll card delivery is two addresses. The typical UK poll card design carries two addresses on the front, the polling address on the left and the delivery address on the right, which can confuse the sorting equipment and cause rejections.

In an attempt to improve address identification and reduce rejection, new layouts of the poll cards incorporating clear zones are being reviewed by Royal Mail, and we will adopt these recommendations when finalised.

We regard working closely with Royal Mail to resolve such issues as a vital part of establishing a clearer understanding of our clients’ requirements that will ensure that we deliver trouble free mail-pieces and on-time mailings.