To maintain our position as a market-leading transcription service provider, we continually invest in technological advancements, which enable us to realise greater cost savings for our customers and reduce any delay for the end-user. Our technical capabilities include efficient data transfer procedures, electronic text extraction and high quality print solutions.
These, combined with below, enable us to mitigate the risk of human error and increase the speed of delivery.
- Itemisation Transfer Tools (ITT)
- Automated Transcription Systems (ATS)
- Our in-house Input Buddy system
Preparation of Masters, brochures, leaflets etc.: 5 business days
Preparation of copies, brochures, leaflets etc.: 2 business days (24 hours)
Preparation of statements and letter: 2 business days (24 hours)
Preparation of PIN services: 1 business day (same day)
Continuity of Production
To ensure the continuity of production in the case of an event that requires the evacuation of the VST premises VST has an alternative site that can be used when required. This alternative site whilst still located in Chester operates of a separate utility and telecom grid. The recovery site is also located 5 miles from the standard production site.
In the event of any situation that renders the use of the usual site unfeasible the disaster recovery provision will take effect. Full details of the key personnel and their individual responsibilities accompany this document.
Both the physical elements (informing staff, furniture, health and safety, production equipment etc.) and the IT recovery are audited on an annual basis.
This audit is undertaken by the senior management team and the results of the audit are presented to the VST Board.
Those systems and individuals required to ensure the first level stage of production comprising of;
1. Notification of Clients
2. Security of premises and information
3. Receipt of information
4. Transcription processes
6. Dispatch of items and originals
All of the above will be operational within two working days.
Secondary production elements include;
2. Human resources
The business will be fully operational in all primary and secondary areas within three working days.
Client Information Library
All items of work that are transcribed for each Client are retained on the secure system for potential orders in the future. These items are retained on the system at no additional cost to the Client. Items are kept for a period agreed with the Client and only removed from the system before or at that point with the permission of the Client.
Each Client has their own directory on the system which is accessible only by those authorised to undertake the work. This directory is split into individual files which are clearly labeled in terms of the area of the Client’s portfolio that they represent. These files are stored using Client reference numbers which ideally relate to the production codes used by Clients for each item. Access to the files is continually reviewed and the content constantly updated in line with the procedure above.
VST is ISO9001 certified covering all production elements from receipt of information to dispatch, continual improvement registers and the provision of management information.
Whether items are received electronically or physically it is logged and allocated as batches for production. Each batch has a unique reference number allocated and all items are recorded by Client Team Supervisors and distributed to the team.
All items received are confirmed by e:mail to the point of contact provided by each Client. This is done on the day of receipt. Each Client has a dedicated point of contact within VST and dedicated e:mail service. This ensures that each Client is kept fully up-to-date as to the work received. This process of communication can then be continued throughout the production process.
At this point work is then transcribed, proof read/QA checked and then fulfilled/enveloped. Work will not leave the secure area unless sealed/enclosed for posting.
Collection of completed items is direct from VST. The items are not transferred off site unless taken by the approved mail carrier.
All work produced in the restricted area is saved in the restricted folders on the file server.
Periodic data combing of the server files for obsolete material is undertaken. Our software ensures secure deletion.
All items are tracked from the moment that they are received through the production process to completion through Management Station, our MIS system, which ensures that all items can be tracked to the point of postage.
In addition a database of special requirements is kept that records customer requests that are tailored to the needs of an individual. This may be larger font, easy read, variations in the colour of both font and paper or placing items within tamper proof poly-wrapping should it be sent to a communal area. VST tracks these customers using name and address only to ensure that all customers get exactly what they need without the Client having to make continual system refinements.
VST are also ISO 14001 (environment) certified and have extensive policies and procedures relating to Health and Safety, strong Corporate Social Responsibility standards as well as our commitment to positive recruitment for people with a disability.
ALL ISO CERTIFICATIONS ARE AUDITED THROUGH AND AWARDED BY Lloyds Register.
VST also provides additional services including:
Relationship Management is a part of the service VST provides to our Clients. In addition to the provision of production information and daily interaction at an operational level we would like to provide support at a more Executive level.
VST proposes a support mechanism for the Equality Act initiatives. This includes support and advice on related services and the customers it helps. VST will provide a consultation service involving a dedicated point of contact to meet regularly and be open to communication to address best practice and the adaptation of the service over time.
VST through the links with our Parent Charity and other disability advisers can offer active project management and consultation on a variety of issues.
VST can adjust the paper or font colour depending upon the requirements of the customer. With full conversion from the original offered including illustrations.
Range of production and binding options
VST offers a range of production options for Client approval with full branding, including colour logos, and presentation options available. Clients can also select their preference from a range of binding options.
In addition all items are despatched in a plastic tamper proof outer to improve security.
VST can provide colour print production on all output items from Braille to Audio. This facility can accommodate complex designs and is included, if required, within the prices quoted.
VST also prints the original items for many Clients providing a one pack solution for their customers. VST are a member of the BPIF (British Printing Industries Federation) and registered with UKPA (UK Payments Administration Ltd.) for the production of payment methods including payment slips.
VST operate focus groups to test our products with visually impaired end-users. This allows VST to ensure that all product developments meet with the approval of those requiring the service. This ensures that our products remain accessible and functional before being offered to Clients.
These focus groups are open to Clients that want to ask questions or test new services. This option is included into the VST service.
In-house dedicated software development team
VST provides in house software support to all Clients. This ensures that new systems and products can be provided to Clients more easily and cost-effectively. VST is constantly looking to new technologies to improve the products and services that we provide to both our Clients and their customers to ensure the best level of support.
This service also means that should any technological issues arise our team can resolve them quickly to ensure that systems are operational again as quickly as possible.
This is a service that VST does not charge its Client for.
Full business continuity plan
VST has a fully audited business continuity plan that ensures that after a serious disruption to the primary place of business VST will be operational in 3 working days.
Affiliations and certifications
a. ISO 9001
b. ISO 27001
c. UKAAF (UK Association for Accessible Formats)
d. BPIF member
e. PCI DSS compliant.
f. Investors in People (Silver)
g. Two Ticks Disability Standard
h. ISO 14001
i. ISO 22301
VST is a social enterprise, the trading arm of the Charity Vision Support. VST covenants ALL profits to Vision Support to enable them to provide services that help people with a sight impairment maintain their independence.
Vision Support was established in 1876 and today assists people with a visual impairment throughout North Wales and Cheshire. Vision Support has several resource centres throughout these areas and two mobile resource centres for more rural areas. The resource centres are a source of advice, practical support and information to support people with a sight impairment lead an independent life.
Vision Support provide rehabilitation services, social clubs, counsellors, expert information and many more services to help people in any way they can.
The purpose of Vision Support Trading is to provide funding to the Charity so that they can continue to provide these services and more.
For more information on Vision Support please visit their website www.visionsupport.org.uk
Bespoke Production Solutions
For items received in paper format VST provides a semi-automated scanning solution. This solution extracts the text from each paper document removing the requirement for template overtyping. Each document is passed through a verification stage that utilises bespoke software to proof check each document alerting the inputter to areas that require manual confirmation. For example that a character is a 1 or a I.
Once the verification stage is complete the text is then formatted into Braille, Audio or Modified Large Print. These items are then proof checked on screen before being sent to print or to be burned onto CD. An audit on the production items is then undertaken.
All items are then fulfilled and despatched through an on-site collection by the Royal Mail from VST.
VST has a dedicated in-house IT development team in association with local Universities and supported by agencies. This provides VST with a strong IT infrastructure and development capability. VST has strived to incorporate IT solutions to a traditionally manual process. VST can provide automated solutions for both the receipt of paper originals to direct data feeds. These solutions are already incorporated into the existing Client portfolio.
VST will provide a dedicated IT Manager to oversee the automisation project and provide active software development work to ensure that VST will implement a tailored solution in the shortest time possible. Once implemented the project management will continue to ensure that systems are maintained and developed further as appropriate.
If VST can receive the information via a direct data feed, for example XML, Flat Files or CSV and that all of the information contained within the bill is contained within these files, the price for all formats would be reduced further. VST also works extensively with PDF transfer via SFTP and the extraction of embedded text.
Through this flexible approach VST has been able to develop bespoke solutions for all of our Clients and reduced the time taken to produce documents, improved the quality checks on all documents and as such reduced the price of all documents.
VST can process information in a variety of formats and is used to working with Clients direct or third parties as the production process requires.
KPIs / Benefit Tracker / MI
VST records each stage of the production process to ensure that the production life of each item can be traced. VST can provide a full breakdown of production information to each Client.
This includes confirmation of the items received each day by customer, item and format. The time each item was produced and by whom. In addition the name of the person auditing the transcribed items, the time undertaken and the results are available.
The printing of the items is also logged allowing for daily confirmation of all items that are despatched. These results are then collated and provided to Clients in a monthly summary that provides a full breakdown of unique batch numbers, the production items contained in each batch, the unit cost of each items and the total production cost. Ad hoc items are also individually recorded and a full breakdown is provided. As the majority of items are set at a unit rate then these daily, weekly, or monthly summaries can be easily reconciled for the purposes of raising purchase order numbers.
In addition VST recorded this information over time allowing for trend analysis to be provided to each Client.
As such VST can provide comparison information based upon the following core criteria:
1. Cost savings against previous price.
2. Quality of production items by audit.
3. Production volumes completed each day.
4. Volume of output by format (Braille, Audio etc.)
5. Records of statement type (current account, savings etc.)
This production information can be incorporated into the project management information to provide a Client report that tracks all activity including developments in on-going projects, next steps, suggestions and recommendations.
This is a comprehensive report covering all elements of the relationship. It provides a summary of the present day information, compares this against the previous production elements and cost, new product developments and project histories and updates.
These can be provided monthly or quarterly as required.
The following is a breakdown of the process from initial receipt of the information to despatch and the reporting to each Client.
The process can be tailored to the requirements of each individual Client depending upon their internal processes and the format in which information is sent to VST.
Processes for specialist items such as PINs are available upon request.
VST are a member of the BPIF (British Printing Industries Foundation) and complies with their code of conduct.
VST is UKPA (UK Payments Administration Ltd.) registered and is responsible for the production of original bills including payment documentation as required by Clients.
ALL EMPLOYEES OF VST ARE RETAINED ON A CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT. NO VOLUNTARY STAFF ARE USED AT ANY POINT IN THE PRODUCTION PROCESS.
THE PRODUCTION OF ALL BRAILLE, MODIFIED LARGE PRINT AND AUDIO IS UNDERTAKEN AT VST AND NO THIRD PARTY CONTRACTORS ARE USED AT ANY POINT.