Achieving the Right Result
Summer feels more welcome than ever given the circumstances of the past 18 months. As the weather continues to improve, the summer holidays begin and hopefully lockdown restrictions end, there is a celebratory feel in the air.
Students who completed their GCSE’s this year will be eagerly (or nervously!) awaiting their results and making plans for what to do in September. Many will continue into Further Education, applying online for their chosen course at the college that best suits them, but what happens when confirmation emails or calls fail due to incorrect contact data? We learn from South & City College Birmingham how costly these errors can be.
Temperature-controlled vehicles transporting goods are at greater risk of spoiling their cargo during the summer months. Find out how Stone Hardy, specialists in tail lift and shutter repairs, rely on address validation software to find the right location and quickly have an engineer reach a vehicle requiring assistance.
Accurate Channels of Communication
Winner of national awards that recognise both the quality of teaching and its focus on student support and progression, South & City College Birmingham helps 22,000 students achieve their academic goals each year.
For over 20 years the college has relied on AFD’s address validation, allowing staff to speed up the enrolment process and validate student address data.
Avoiding Costly Errors
We caught up with Paul Brownlow, Systems Development Manager, to understand the continued importance data validation plays at the college, and the new challenges that have arisen: “We have now moved our enrolment process online for students to complete by themselves. We needed to make this quick and easy to keep students engaged whilst also ensuring we accurately capture the required details.
By adding AFD’s address validation to the website, students can enter a postcode and house name/number to quickly find their address. This benefits both student and college by making the process faster, whilst also removing the need for staff to be manually checking and rectifying errors.
Funding for students is set at postcode level, so errors in addresses have a direct impact on the source of funding for that student. If we do not get this right and claim from the wrong source, we then have to rectify these mistakes, costing staff time having to report the mistake to the relevant funding bodies.”
In addition to getting address data right, the college were concerned about the accuracy of studententered phone numbers and emails. Paul continues: “When contacting students for course interviews, open days and other key information, we found multiple instances where the email addresses and mobile phone numbers provided were wrong, either due to error or intentional misinformation.
Each student studying at the college between 16 and 18 years old effectively provides us with £5,000 per annum of vital funding, whilst students over 18 provide £2,000. Preventing one or two students from slipping through the net, because they would otherwise miss a key communication and fail to enrol, more than covers the cost of email and phone validation from AFD.”
In recommending AFD’s solutions Paul concludes: “From sales through to support, all the team at AFD Software are friendly and quick to respond to any queries we have. We had no problems in setting up the software when our requirements changed, and the length of time we have relied on The Postcode People at AFD is a testament to their skills and expertise.”
If your organisation faces challenges in getting address, phone and email data right, contact Joel Miller on 01624 811709, or email email@example.com to explore a partnership in data quality.
Keeping the Country Moving
Stone Hardy is the UK market leader in the service and repair of tail lifts and shutters for commercial and passenger vehicles. First established in 1976, the organisation has grown, offering a 24/7 national service that helps ensure the vital logistics sector continues to operate.
Amanda Cook, Group Business Process Manager, explained the role Stone Hardy plays in keeping the nation’s infrastructure moving: “Our engineers service multiple sectors, including healthcare and food delivery, which have both grown in importance over the past 18 months.
Fast response times and experience are vital to get vehicles moving again. a supermarket must be unloaded within a certain time frame or the food will be wasted; a generator failure on a Mobile Covid Testing vehicle would put a halt to timecritical testing; a patient transfer vehicle with passengers who cannot be safely unloaded in a timely fashion would potentially even put health at risk – these are just a few examples of this urgency.
Minimising customer downtime is an essential part of our customer support, and we must fit in with our customers’ schedules - which can mean services and repairs late at night or during the weekends depending on the customer’s requirement. Our 24- hour service makes us a perfect fit.”
Of course providing a 24 hour service and timely despatch are not the only essential requirements to get the right result for Stone Hardy’s customers. Amanda continues: “Making sure our engineers get to the right place is essential. Prior to travelling to any location, we must check we are sending them to the correct address. Using Postcode Plus from AFD Software allows our team of 25 Controllers to quickly search for and confirm the address the engineer needs to get to - we simply cannot afford to get this information wrong.
Once we know the location of the vehicle, we then need to understand the specific situation. For unscheduled callouts in emergency situations, our systems allow us to prioritise the response based on each scenario.
Part of our emergency response undertaking is to have an engineer at the required location within 90 minutes from receiving the call. Each of our engineers’ vehicles is fitted with GPS tracking that gives our team a clear visual of who is best placed to respond, allowing us to deliver on our promised expected time of arrival.
This functionality is business critical to our organisation and we simply have to have accurate data. We would not be meeting the high levels of customer service and expectation if we were unable to locate the address we needed to get to - AFD has helped ensure this has never happened in the 5 years since they first partnered with us.”
Selecting AFD Software as a data quality partner was an easy decision for Stone Hardy, Amanda concludes: “In 5 years of relying on AFD Software as our partner in address quality, we haven’t once had a depot manager complain that they haven’t been able to find the address or location to attend. Our requirements were listened to, understood and have been met.
Genuinely, I would say to any organisation that must get contact data right, The Postcode People at AFD Software do exactly what they say and deliver this accurate address data quickly and reliably.”
Is contact data accuracy, provided speedily, essential for your organisation? Contact Joel Miller on 01624 811 709, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to explore a partnership in address and data quality today.
HotSpot - Nicole Pressley (Finance Assistant)
Nicole’s journey with AFD Software started with a work experience placement in the Finance team while studying for her A levels. Her skills and appetite to learn were quickly recognised and Nicole was offered sponsored employment through her Accounting & Finance degree at University College Isle of Man. Her on-the-job experience gained at AFD during every college vacation - together with her natural talent of course - obviously paid off, since she graduated with First-Class Honours!
In discussing the opportunities Nicole has been provided with at AFD to learn and grow her skillset she says: “After completing my degree and having enjoyed a year settling in to a full-time role in the Finance team, I discussed the next steps in my personal development. I thrive on learning and challenge so I was pleased to be offered the opportunity to gain experience working on secondment within other department teams. This will help me to get a more rounded view of AFD and will allow me to push myself further with continuing professional development.”
Currently in the Support department with plans to spend time in the Administrative and Quality Assurance teams also, Nicole continues: “AFD has helped me throughout my studies and provided real-world experience with roles that are both challenging and enjoyable. The grounds of the office provide stunning scenery that I enjoy and take advantage of with walks through the green spaces. Friendships have been made with the team at work that will last a lifetime and the additional employment benefits - such as nominating a charity each year to receive a donation - make the job all the more rewarding.”
Outside of work, Nicole has 2 dogs, a Pug and a German Shepherd, who keep her busy. She is the captain of the local Netball Team and enjoys keeping active by attending the gym. If not playing netball, Nicole likes to relax watching the UK’s Vitality Netball Superleague, Australia’s SuncorpSuper Netball League as well as international netball competitions, due to the high skill levels of the players.
Showing she isn’t afraid of a challenge, Nicole recently took on the ambitious project of renovating her first house, though was wise enough to know she couldn’t do it on her own! Nicole says: “The house had unfortunately been left in a sad state but with the help of my dad, we have completely gutted the property and are now in the process of fully refurbishing the house to make it a home.”
Nicole also loves to get away, either relaxing by the pool somewhere hot and sunny, or spending a week skiing in the snow – luckily with a godfather in Switzerland, accommodation isn’t a problem!
Data News Q3/21 - PAF Changes
Between April and June 2021 there were significant updates to data on PAF. These included 17 new localities; 9,041 new postcodes; 113,948 new delivery points and 18,785 delivery point changes.
|Postcode||Double Dependant Locality||Dependant Locality||Post Town|
|CB23 6||WEST CAMBOURNE||CAMBRIDGE|
|CO10 8||BELCHAMP ST. PAUL||SUDBURY|
|CV33||UPPER LIGHTHORNE||LEAMINGTON SPA|
|DE74 0||CASTLE DONINGTON||DERBY|
|GU27 2||GRAYSWOOD COMMON||GRAYSWOOD||HASLEMERE|
|NE25 0||CHURCH FIELDS||NEW HARTLEY||WHITLEY BAY|
|NE63 9||PORTLAND PARK||ASHINGTON|
|NR32 5||CAMPS HEATH||OULTON||LOWESTOFT|
|PE7 5||GREAT HADDON||PETERBOROUGH|
|SP3 6||UPPER PERTWOOD||HINDON||SALISBURY|
|TF2 2||WROCKWARDINE WOOD||TELFORD|
|TR8 4||FIR HILL PARK||TREBARBER||NEWQUAY|
The most up to date PAF data is available now in our latest Q.3/21 update. You can order updates for any AFD Software solution by calling 01624 811711 or email email@example.com.