17 March 2008 | Paul Snell
Housing associations could save up to 58 per cent on postal services after the introduction of a framework agreement.
The deal, organised by membership group Procurement for Housing (PfH), will cut costs mainly by using an electronic mail service. E-mail is used to send letters for most of their journey, and then are printed, folded, enveloped, addressed and sorted at the supplier's premises for final delivery.
This reduces the costs of stationery, printing and franking for the associations. There will also be savings on traditional mail: 40 per cent cheaper for first class post, and 13 per cent less for second class.
PfH said housing associations send an average of 194 letters a day, and spend £40,856 a year on the whole post process. The sector is estimated to spend £139 million on mail annually.
Suppliers appointed to the framework are Inkfish/DeskDirect Global, Royal Mail and TNT Post.
"We want to provide housing associations with clear ways in which they can reduce their impact on the environment through procurement," said Julie Craig, director of procurement for housing. "The agreement presents the sector with an opportunity to reduce postal costs and meet green objectives."