By Andrew Fish, QRoutes Customer Success Manager
Words like ‘excited’ and ‘delighted’ are sometimes overused in business, but how else to describe how we feel about our latest case study?
Perhaps it is because it shows a genuine step forward in the approach local authorities are taking to procuring systems.
Last year, Central Bedfordshire Council embarked on an ambitious project to streamline their applications process for home-to-school transport.
They’ve built a process that works for them by combining products from QRoutes and three other software suppliers.
Faster and more accurate
As a result, they’re now processing 53% of all applications automatically; a further 38% need only a light-touch review. Only 9% of all applications need full manual reviews.
This improves the client experience, with faster, more accurate responses through self-service online access. And it gives the planning team more time to focus on the cases that need their attention.
This modular and partnered approach marks a step-change from the cumbersome back-office solutions that have been prevalent in the industry for the last twenty years
The way things were
Typically, one central database with a rich and accurate dataset along with all-encompassing functionality on top seemed like a great idea.
The market became dominated by a few specialist suppliers who understood the business domain thoroughly and would adapt their systems by adding layer upon layer of fantastic new features.
But there were technical downsides…
Large information systems can be difficult to adapt quickly to the changing needs of an authority and technology advancements.
Organisations now want more agility, to be ready to respond to their customers using modern digital technologies.
All-encompassing solutions can take a long time to implement and onboard and are expensive to customise. Many authorities then found themselves locked-in for many years with a single supplier because the cost of change is so prohibitive.
But not any more…
Central Bedfordshire’s approach
Integrating multiple products that supports a variety of business services, such as education and transport, needs a fresh mindset. – Thinking outside the back office!
It can involve multi-supplier relationships, something which council IT and Procurement teams have been wary of in the past but, increasingly, are more comfortable with because software technology makes it easier.
Playing to partners’ strengths
This approach helps authorities build process and customer experiences that work for them. It combines the best partners’ strengths for a whole which is greater than the sum of its parts.
The modular model provides more flexibility for the council to adapt and evolve systems and, importantly, to have more control over products and investment costs.
The arrival of subscription-based pricing models further increases this flexibility.
Rebalancing the power
And, finally, this approach helps authorities ensure they are getting the best quality and service.
If they are not happy with an element, they can replace it with another service provider’s solution without having to overhaul the whole system.
This places greater emphasis on the software supplier to innovate and provide value for money, putting the power back into the hands of authority.
So, yes, we are excited about this latest case study. If you can think of a better word, let me know…
Read the case study here