March 2020 - Latcham

Rewriting the rules of member engagement

We’re excited to announce that we are sponsoring the MemberWise seminar “Rewriting the Rules of Member Engagement” on the 17th of March 2020 at the RCoA, Holborn, London.

It all starts with communication. But in today’s world, what was once simple, has become complicated by the need to compete against a multiplicity of information and channels, and to create a consumer-level experience. There are two great tools in your armoury – the ability to combine technologies to provide your members with a fully integrated experience and the opportunity to have a one-to-one conversation. So whilst the rules are being re-written, you too can re-imagine your members’ journeys, mapping this from vision to execution, to ensure not only that they remain connected and engaged, but that you continue to deliver value to your members.

Our Managing Director Mike Hughes will be joining Richard Gott, founder of Memberwise, to discuss driving member engagement, with a focus on data-driven communications. There will also be a case study from the Royal Horticultural Society, expert Q&A and professional networking lunch.

We’ll also be discussing harnessing your data to deepen personalisation in your member communications, and how this can help you to create a better member experience. This is crucial for deepening member value and ultimately helping you to retain members and decrease member churn.

This free half-day seminar is open to all membership bodies with 5,000 individual members or 100 corporate members and above. It will focus on increasing member engagement via implementing eSolution frameworks, using smart personalisation to create rich member experiences, examining blended communications for achieving organisational objectives and the power of data to transform your membership offering and services.

Latcham – coronavirus (COVID-19) statement to customers

Latcham – coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updated statement to customers 220/10/2021: read our up to date risk assessment here.

Read our guidelines on how we’re staying COVID-secure here.

Latcham will remain vigilant and will be following guidelines that maintain the safety of our staff, suppliers and customers.

The situation and government advice regarding coronavirus are changing rapidly and at Latcham we continue to review the most up to date guidance provided by Public Health England and The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy “COVID-19: guidance for employees, employers and businesses.”

Following the global outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) Latcham implemented a Coronavirus Management Team (CMT) which has been closely monitoring the situation and the guidance being provided by the government via GOV.UK. The health and welfare of our staff, visitors and customers is our first priority, closely followed by maintaining the continuity of our business operations.

Commercial impact of coronavirus

As a result of the changing commercial picture within the UK, we have now completed an initial financial assessment based upon our revised trading forecast to the end of this year. We have assumed a six-month period of disruption due to the COVID crisis and have in turn ensured that we have adequate funds with reasonable headroom to trade through this period and into a strong last quarter of 2020. We are pleased to confirm that the Latcham business will continue to operate and deliver an essential communication service to our customers. We are in a strong position with contingent plans in place to secure the long-term sustainability of our business during this challenging time.

To ensure we are able to continue to provide essential services during this period, we are now adopting a priority requirement process for all customer requests. This process will highlight those customer communications that are essential to support the national interest in managing this crisis and ensure they are allocated the production capacity on a priority basis accordingly.

Within this priority based production environment, it is still our intention to support our wider customer base with their needs and therefore we request that all customers keep discussing their requirements with their Latcham contacts, in order that we can schedule all work in a timely and transparent manner.

We are confident that all of our customers will appreciate and support our priority scheduling for essential communications and will work with us to set production timescales for other communications on a flexible basis.

Minimising the risk to staff, customers and visitors

Visitors to Latcham’s facilities, customers, suppliers and other visitors are being asked to avoid visiting our sites and to use remote meeting facilities such as GoToMeeting instead. Those who do need to attend our sites for essential work and meetings will be asked if they have recently returned from “higher risk” areas (as per Public Health England guidance) within the last 14 days and if they have coronavirus symptoms. This may cause some delay when arriving and accessing the site and we would ask for your support and patience.

Anyone who has been to a high-risk area or who is feeling unwell, will not be allowed to enter the site. Any meeting with visitors will be held within our meeting room facilities and we will avoid any further access to the site unless absolutely necessary.

Infection minimisation measures

Infection minimisation measures have been implemented as instructed by the Public Health England, including but not limited to hand-washing, enhanced surface cleaning, cough etiquette, social distancing and ventilation. Members of our staff who have coronavirus symptoms have been instructed not to attend work and to self-isolate and to consult with our HR team by telephone who will provide them with the most up to date guidance. The company is also observing the government guidance regarding sick pay.

The company has introduced the following measures: segregation of teams and individuals where practicable through the use of home working, rearranging the work place to increase social distancing between teams and individuals, reduction of traffic in and around the site, provision of a break between shifts, reduction of the number of people gathering in communal facilities such as kitchens and toilets at any one time by staggering breaks. All of these measures are intended to reduce the number of staff who will be affected in the event of one or more employees contracting coronavirus.

Business continuity

Postal services have been classified as an essential service by the government and therefore Latcham is taking steps to maintain business services during the coronavirus crisis.

We have carried out a risk assessment of key services and roles which are essential to maintaining our services should an outbreak occur, together with people who have transferrable skills and are therefore able to work across other functions. Many of our staff are cross-trained to carry out multiple duties such as operating multiple pieces of equipment.

We are extending the option to work from home for our office staff where appropriate and eliminating all unnecessary travel. Greater use will also be made of virtual meetings and customers and suppliers may be asked to participate in these as an alternative to face-to-face meetings.

Minimisation of business/economic disruptions, including possible shortages of supplies

All print and postal services can be fulfilled at our Bristol production site in Hengrove. In the lead-up to Brexit we built up supply chain stocks of inks, papers and production consumables in order to ensure continuity of production in the event of a supply chain blockage or failure. We have reviewed these levels of consumables and placed further orders to ensure a minimum of month’s supply of leading stock items.

Latcham is taking steps to reduce the risk of impact to the business as a result of Covid and to continue to provide services during this difficult period which may continue for some time with current estimates being 14 weeks.

Workplace closure

Latcham is not planning any closures as we continue to provide essential postal services.

Further updates

We anticipate that this document will be amended and updated as the situation on the ground changes.
If you require any further information, or would like to provide us with any feedback, please contact your Account Manager or Specialist Client Director.

We’ve donated £250 to Tree Aid – but that’s just the beginning!

Latcham have partnered with Tree Aid, who are dedicated to ending food poverty, combating desertification and helping the environment.

Earlier this year, our Managing Director Mike Hughes met with local Bristol charity Tree Aid, which helps people in the drylands of Africa to lift themselves out of poverty and protect their environment.

Tree Aid has partnered with the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) to grow trees in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali and Niger. This is to support the Great Green Wall initiative, an Africa-led movement to tackle desertification which is helping to reforest some of the most climate-change stricken areas of Africa.

Deforestation and land degradation has had catastrophic consequences for the planet. The desertified areas Tree Aid work in, enjoy improved water security through increased rainfall and retained groundwater, and provide a habitat for endangered species.

The Great Green Wall initiative works so well because it isn’t just about the environment – it tackles poverty and food insecurity in the areas where the trees are planted. These are managed forests, managed by the people who live in the dry lands. Looking after these trees and harvesting their crops, provides food and business for the local people, allowing them to survive and thrive in areas previously rendered nearly uninhabitable.

To kickstart our relationship with Tree Aid we gave them £250 to plant 100 trees in the Great Green Wall – but we are looking to build a longer and deeper relationship with Tree Aid.

Through voluntary donations from customers, fundraising events and corporate donations, Latcham want to help Tree Aid meet their goal of enabling people living in the drylands of Africa to unlock the potential of trees, to reduce poverty and protect the environment. Our customers can choose to make a donation with their order to Tree Aid and we will be donating throughout the year.

On the 3rd of May Latcham staff will be taking on the challenge of the Bristol 10k Marathon to raise money for Tree Aid, and we will be participating in further events throughout the year.

To find out more about Tree Aid and how you can help, visit their website.

How can housing associations increase resident engagement through personalised communications?

With the National Housing Federation (NHF) recently unveiling plans to improve the relationship between housing associations and tenants, there has never been a better time for associations to review their communications strategy to ensure they’re doing everything they can to increase engagement with their residents.

With that in mind, in our latest blog Josh Armstrong from our Public Sector sales team discusses the reasons why housing associations should make their customer communications more engaging.

Why is engagement important?

Customer service is firmly under the microscope within the housing sector at the moment, and some of the associations we work with are telling us that their tenants are feeling disengaged. There needs to be an open channel of communication between the housing association and the tenant, and this also needs to be more regular too. At the moment, our work tells us that around 70% of tenancy communications is for responsive or reactive repair requirements, and only 30% is for ad hoc pieces. We think there is an opportunity to change this.

Ways to personalise communications
It’s important for housing associations to engage with tenants on a local community level. This means offering tenants information on local educational opportunities, jobs, clubs for kids and adults, as part of a pack of materials that they are given when they commence a tenancy. Most housing associations have their own portal for maintenance and repairs where tenants can go to log reports. The feedback that is collected here could also be used within communications – for example, the housing association could write to the tenant to thank them for their feedback and address the steps they are taking to put things right. Engaging on a consistent and frequent level with a tenant is important in terms of ensuring that they are getting a good service from their housing association.

Rent statements, either monthly or quarterly, are also another opportunity to engage with tenants. Within the pack that the tenant receives there is normally a breakdown of what the tenant owes and has paid, as well as a direct debit mandate. Information is often sent together as a means of cost-saving. A housing association could use this mailing to their advantage by including marketing materials that highlight things of interest to the tenant in the local area where they live.

At Latcham we are certainly seeing something of a ‘communications merry-go-round’ at the moment within the housing sector. If more communications were proactive, we think that the benefits for tenants and housing associations alike would be much better, and housing associations would see engagement with their residents increase. We know that housing associations have communications strategies in place, and these should always have the tenant in mind. We appreciate that personalising communications does come at a higher cost, but the possibilities for improved engagement are really exciting. For example, if a housing association has 100 tenants across four locations, a communication can be tailored based on where they live by flagging data at a data processing level. Making communications more frequent and more planned should be the direction that housing associations are heading in – at the moment some only see an opportunity to speak to their tenants when a problem arises, or money is required, but there is so much more than can be done to build these relationships.

At Latcham we provide print and digital communications that can be tailor made for housing association tenants. Digital print is so flexible, which means that we can create bespoke and personalised documents, such as emails and PDFs with imagery that is customised to the property or area in question. Through our partnerships, our customers in the housing sector regularly and proactively engage with tenants in a bid to further galvanise relationships.

Latcham works with the housing sector to increase engagement between housing providers and residents. We are EEM framework members with years of experience working within the sector. Find out more at the Latcham housing portal.

Latcham appointed as a hybrid mail, digital and transformational communications supplier for Crown Commercial Service framework.

Latcham are proud to announce that we have been named as a Crown Commercial Service supplier on Lot 7 of framework RM6017. The full press release is below.

Latcham, a market leader in print, personalisation and digital communications services is delighted to announce it has been named as a supplier on Lot 7 of the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) framework RM6017 which offers all public sector organisations access to Hybrid Mail, Digital and Transformational Communications. Solutions range from Click, Print, Post, through to Omni-Channel E2E Hybrid Mail incorporating e-communications and inbound communications.

The Crown Commercial Service supports the public sector to achieve maximum commercial value when procuring common goods and services. In 2018/19, CCS helped the public sector to achieve commercial benefits worth £945m – supporting world-class public services that offer best value for taxpayers.

Membership of the Crown Commercial Service framework will allow Latcham to extend its cutting-edge services and support to the public sector, building on the strong reputation Latcham has already established in this area. The framework agreement ensures a streamlined purchasing process and best value pricing, so public sector organisations can be confident of the service they will receive from Latcham.

Mike Hughes, Managing Director of Latcham, said “We are extremely pleased to have been appointed as a supplier on this framework. Latcham has trust, sustainability and value at the heart of our organisation. Our appointment on the CCS framework demonstrates our ability to deliver high quality and cost-effective solutions to the public sector.”

At Latcham, we have years of experience and speciality knowledge gained from working with the public sector. We’ve worked closely with the NHS, Local Government and Housing Associations. Together with our framework agreements with EEM, Crescent Purchasing Consortium and Achilles, you can be sure that your organisation is getting best value by partnering with Latcham.