North West Air Ambulance – Back Scan and Digitisation of Paper Forms

Stratas delivered a back scan and digitisation project for North West Air Ambulance to improve the management of documents and information in the charity's retail shops.

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North West Air Ambulance (NWAA) is the helicopter emergency medical service that covers North West England. The NWAA reach, treat and transfer patients to a treatment centre as quickly as possible to improve the chances of survival. The service gets funding through donations, fundraising, lottery membership, and a network of 14 retail shops in the North West.

Stratas delivered a back scan and digitisation project to digitise paper forms and improve the management of documents and information within the retail shops. We came highly recommended for our digital transformation solutions by an NWAA employee who had worked with us previously at YMCA England, another of our charity customers.

In this case study, Paul Partridge, Head of Data Insight and Supporter Engagement, provides his perspective on the successful project.

Process Prior to Implementation

Prior to the start of the project, staff would have to manually scan each document and upload them to the shared area. They were manually processing around 150 scans per week, which took a lot of time. As a result, the paper was building up in their retail shops.

In response to these challenges, Stratas provided an automated solution for scanning and storing images for Gift Aid and GDPR purposes.

Key Benefits of Back Scan and Digitisation of Paper Forms

Having scans of these important documents within the solution has enabled NWAA to improve its support experience. Now, the team can easily look up the image relevant to any supporter quickly and efficiently. Therefore, if a supporter has a query related to their donation, their record can be accessed easily for resolution.

Additionally, as the Gift-Aid scans are important for HRMC, another benefit is that the information can now be found a lot easier.

“We wanted to access information quickly – Stratas provided a solution for us to do just that.”

Paul Partridge, NWAA

Savings and Improvements in Productivity

Previously, NWAA would have had to move paper forms to an external supplier for secure storage. This had had high associated costs for the charity. The project has saved the charity a significant amount of time and reduced the operational costs from manually scanning forms.

The charity was spending 5 hours a week manually scanning documents and keying the data in afterwards. This is time better spent on other business-critical processes.

“The solution has saved us time and operational costs from manually scanning each form have been significantly reduced.”

Paul Partridge, NWAA

Implementation and Support from Stratas

NWAA were particularly impressed with the straightforward implementation and the level of communication from Stratas. It was important that they were kept up to date throughout the project as they had time scales internally to be accountable for.

“What I particularly liked about Stratas was how efficient they were. As soon as we were given the go-ahead, they provided an implementation plan and all the relevant documentation to get started. They arranged frequent check-ins to ensure we were satisfied with how the project was going.

The team were fantastic and the support we have received has been very good. We had quite a specific set of requirements that they were able to meet. Therefore, we cannot fault the service.”

Paul Partridge, NWAA

Impact on the Wider Business

This project has made the organisation seriously consider how to become more efficient. The project formed part of a larger initiative called the “Go paperless project” that the NWAA has introduced.

Furthermore, the project has started to get the wider organisation thinking about utilising digital transformation companies such as Stratas to digitise crucial business information securely, instead of storing information physically at a central office or storage facility.

“We would most definitely recommend Stratas’ digital transformation solutions to other organisations. Keep doing what you’re doing!”

Paul Partridge, NWAA

Learn more about North West Air Ambulance.