Southampton Council Adopts Customer Self Service Scanning and Saves £76,600 per annum

Background and summary of Self Scanning SolutionSouthampton Council Logo

As part of the channel shift programme there were several work streams designed to move client interaction from face to face meetings to using other forms of interaction and self service facilities.  As part of this transformation it was identified that there were a number of IT changes required.

It was identified that a lot of the processes within Southampton involved scanning and verifying documentation. The requirements outlined a new service that would allow customers of Southampton City Council to walk in and self-scan documentation.

A simple system was required to allow customers to self-scan documentation. This system takes the customer step by step through the processes detailed.

The output from the scanning is batched by process and document type and is categorised for automatic filing into the back office system, the format of these scans is in a format acceptable by any back office system.

At the end of the scanning process there is a receipt produced. This receipt is printed onto a thermal printer next to the workstation. The printer drivers for these printers convert an A4 page down to the size of the thermal printer so the system only needs to display the receipt on the web page and activate a print.

This printed receipt looks as follows and contains the information on what was scanned:


How does it work?

The output from the scanning can be batched by process and e-mailed to an e-mail address. The header of the e-mail contains details to allow the easy identification of the files. The documents are attached as individual scans, as a PDF.

Once users enter the system they can step back and forward through the process allowing them to amend what they have chosen on a previous screen. User details are not retained between sessions and there is a timeout with a warning message on each page after a period. Once the timeout is reached then the application closes and returns to the main menu screen, deleting all information stored or scanned.

To manage the system and avoid the need for further IT input when documents or processes change, customer services have the ability to add to the processes that can be scanned and amend the documents that customers can scan for that process. There is the ability to manage the e-mail queue and Comino Queue that the documents are sent to.

Scanning Solution

Many processes in local government service provision require the client to provide supporting documentary evidence to progress their application or claim. Typically, clients will bring their documents to a contact centre to be scanned or photocopied by the customer service team. This ties up the service team performing a routine task, and there is often a delay in getting the copy or scan to the relevant case worker

The solution frees up the service team to carry out more valuable activities and delivers high quality, verified images directly to the relevant case worker or team with zero delay.

Self-service scanning is an easy to use kiosk-style solution that enables contact centre clients to scan their own supporting documents. The software takes the client through a series of screens step-by-step, with clear instructions and validation at each stage

By providing unique identifying information and indicating which application or claims process they are scanning for, the client is able to scan and submit high-quality verified images directly to the handling process in real-time

A final, mandatory stage in the process ensures a floor-walker checks the scanned documents for image quality, validity and verifies key identity documents before submission.

Typical scenario

  • Client starts application process on the Council’s Web Portal
  • The web portal alerts the customer to the need for verified supporting documents
  • The customer takes the documents to the Contact Centre
  • The client enters the application number and scans documents
  • Floor walker verifies documents and scanned images
  • Documents submitted directly to EDM / CRM / Case Working Team
  • Printed receipt provided to client on document submission
  • Scan documents automatically uploaded to the correct indexing tray in Civica Camino



Ease of Use

  • Simple touch-screen process
  • Validation and correction at every stage
  • On-screen view of scanned images
  • QA and verification stages for compliance
  • Multiple language support

Ease of Management

  • Wizard tools to manage the system
  • Editable lists of document types and processes


  • Can integrate with multiple systems all Revenues and Benefits and EDM systems
  • Works with standard TWAIN scanners
  • Built on the powerful and extensible platform


  1. Frees up busy Contact Centre staff to do more valuable work
  2. Integrates seamlessly with the Web Portal, Civica EDM and provides Workflow email alerts
  3. Can integrate with any other line-of-business applications
  4. Easy to use and easy to manage
  5. Modular and extensible solution
  6. Built on the scalable platform


Savings – Delivered £76,600 or the equivalent of two front office FTEs 

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