Frontline CRM improves customer service for Scottish citizens
11 August 2005 - East Dunbartonshire Council has chosen Lagan's Frontline CRM solution to improve provision of information at first point of contact in its new, purpose-built contact centre that will serve it's 110,000 residents. Lagan is helping the council to support the delivery of efficiency savings in line with the Scottish Executive 'Efficient Government' targets. East Dunbartonshire Council chose Frontline because it allows staff to introduce new services quickly and easily to the contact centre and help deliver savings.
Council Leader John Morrison explained: "Previously only the Housing Repairs Service had a customer-facing telephone call centre. This is what we wanted to change - we wanted all our services to become more customer-friendly. Introducing a multi-service contact centre was a very new concept for us, but it was becoming increasingly important as we moved towards a more efficient delivery of council services. We wanted our citizens to have easier access to our various services, which in turn would help us to improve our relationship with the public."
The council selected Lagan's Frontline solution to provide a front-end CRM system to improve efficiency in the contact centre, and to ensure that customers could obtain accurate and consistent answers quickly when they contacted the council. The system was implemented in only five weeks including the training of council staff. In addition to housing repairs, the centre now covers several different services including human resources, service payments, general enquiries and, more recently, waste disposal. Citizens now receive a better service from the council. For example, online job application forms are now handled by Frontline. The council's e-payment system has also been integrated and can take online payments for services, such as council tax and housing rent, helping to reduce costs.
A new service launched recently is the 'bulk uplift service' - a waste collection service for large items. "Previously customers had to leave a message on an answer phone to arrange collection of items, and invoices had to be generated and sent out after collection," said project manager Ellen Beattie. "Now, using Frontline, customers can call the centre, speak to someone, and staff can log the collection on the system. Payment can be taken upfront, which removes the bad debt from the Council and reduces the amount of paperwork as we no longer have to generate invoices after collection."
As in England, Scottish councils have been encouraged by the Scottish Executive to move processes from the back to the front office as part of the 'Efficient Government' initiative, similar to the Gershon initiative in England. The initiative aims to deliver public sector savings of £500m by 2007-8. East Dunbartonshire recognised that by improving services, it would be able to free up professional time to focus on its service delivery tasks, and provide a consistent and high standard of service to residents.
The council is focusing its efforts initially on improving telephone contact, as 88% of its Citizens' Panel said this was their preferred method of contact with the council. Some services are available on its website and the council plans to extend the number of services available online. Face-to-face enquiries will also be extended and improved, with all customer requests for services tracked and recorded by Frontline solution, to provide a complete customer history.
MSP Tom McCabe, Minister for Finance and Public Sector Reform, officially opened the new Customer Contact Centre. He said that the centre was "a fine example...where the commitment to providing a first class service to their customers was plain to see. I would like to see this type of service replicated in every council in Scotland."
Philip Murray, General Manager UK Local Government at Lagan, said: "This contact centre is part of the council's wider Access East Dunbartonshire initiative. We're delighted that Frontline will improve access for the community across East Dunbartonshire to the council and its services. This partnership establishes Lagan in the Scottish local government market and shows clearly how a well-managed CRM project can be deployed very rapidly with immediate, tangible benefits to both council and citizens."
The council is one of the original seven Scottish authorities piloting an authentication project to help in the development of the national citizen account and associate security and authentication management processes. The Frontline database will store and maintain the council's Citizen Account records and the council will work closely with Lagan to accommodate the requirements of the National Project.
About East Dunbartonshire Council
East Dunbartonshire Council was established in 1996, and is situated just North of Glasgow. East Dunbartonshire covers an area of some 77 square miles, with around 110,000 people living within the area, which is bounded to the north by the Campsie Hills. Local communities served by the council include Bearsden, Bishopbriggs, Kirkintilloch, Lennoxtown, Lenzie, Milngavie, Milton of Campsie, Torrance and Twechar.
The council provides the majority of local services within the community including: schools, housing, rubbish collection, recycling, environmental health, consumer advice, sports and leisure centres, libraries, parks, transport, roads and lighting, social services, planning and building services and economic development.
Lagan was established in 1994 and delivers CRM solutions, principally to the Government sector, through Frontline - a sophisticated software solution that allows organisations to communicate effectively with their citizens or customers by telephone, face-to-face and electronic channels and in any supported language.
Lagan has been instrumental in working with the public sector to design, implement and maintain Customer Relationship Management solutions. Lagan is now a leader in this market with over 60 public sector organisations having selected Frontline as their CRM platform, including three of the top five UK metropolitan authorities. Today, Lagan solutions serve over 8 million citizens in the UK.
Lagan's Frontline Government solution is designed to provide the full range of functionality required by public sector organisations, but at a cost they can afford. Frontline supports a wide range of citizen and employee access channels (assisted and self-service). Frontline enables customer-facing CRM processes to be integrated with a wide range of existing departmental systems - seamlessly and without the need to invade, replace or modify them. Frontline empowers business users - without recourse to scarce technical skills - to design and manage customer service processes themselves, and enable the delivery of priority service outcomes consistently and cost-effectively.
Lagan has enjoyed substantial and sustained growth over the past three years. This success has been reflected in its appearance in the Deloitte Fast 50 for four successive years, and a listing in the Sunday Times ARM Tech Track 100 as one of the UK's fastest growing technology companies.
Lagan operates from offices in Belfast, Northern Ireland and Maryland, USA.
For more about Lagan and Frontline, please visit http://www.lagan.com
Tel +44 (0)1625 506427
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11 August 2005 - Zen Internet, a leading UK ISP (Internet Service Provider), is working with Introspect IT Solutions Ltd, to provide the communications links for the V Festival at Weston Park, Stafford, on 20-21 August. To replace last year's satellite links, Zen will provide the production company organising the festival with a broadband connection. Introspect IT will implement a VPN (Virtual Private Network) for the organisers, and will oversee the project.
The festival organisers, Roseclaim Ltd, will be provided with e-mail, and file access to its office based network. Last year, the production company ran its onsite communications via a satellite link, which proved unworkable in such an environment. The ensuing communications problems led them to look for an alternative solution this year.
Mike Dixon, technical director at Manchester-based Introspect IT Solutions, a Gold ZenPartner, explained: "We have chosen Zen to provide a broadband solution because of its excellent service and reliability. Last year, there was no active broadband exchange in the area, but coincidentally the BT exchange has just become ADSL active. The time span for the project only runs the week before to the week after the festival, so we needed a provider that would be ready to go when they got the green light. Zen was a perfect fit."
Zen is providing four ADSL lines. One is for the production team to enable them to run the event smoothly, with communications links back to their Manchester office, enabling them to access all their event data as easily as if they were in the office. The remaining lines are for Internet access for the bands and road crew to access their e-mail. Introspect IT Solutions is setting up the wireless networks to enable this access.
Zen was able to meet the requirements for this time-sensitive project by providing a one-month contract for ZenADSL Office 2000 for the promoter's office, site office, 'general' and touring office. ZenADSL Office 2000 is Zen's top of the range broadband service for business that fills the gap between megastream leased lines and dial-up connections, and has a 2Mbps download speed.
Iain Johnstone, Sales and Partner Programme Manager, Zen Internet, said: "We have worked with Introspect many times on big events such as these. They choose to work with us not only because of the short contract we can provide but also because of our vital service provision. At a previous event, the organiser was let down by another provider, and we stepped in and provided what they needed in two to three days. There is no margin for error at events like these, so an immediate response is vital, and we take great pride in our ability to offer this level of service."
About Introspect IT Solutions Ltd:
In 2001 Steve Holland and Mike Dixon created Introspect I.T. Solutions Ltd. They decided to implement their intensive experience (over 16 years) in the fields of CAD 3D Visualisation and Information Technology, working for the UK's largest AutoDesk reseller, by combining their knowledge and expertise and offering it to a select group of growing businesses. Dealing mainly with blue-chip clients they saw that the small business was being left behind in the quality of I.T. service provision as most of the real expertise was being focused on the larger organisations. Introspect are now one of those small businesses and understands how information systems can be utilised best within this market.
About Zen Internet:
Established in 1995, and one of the first ISPs in the UK, Zen Internet provides a full range of high quality services to the home and business user, from the latest in high speed DSL Broadband Internet access and complete hosting packages to state of the art Web site design and e-commerce solutions. Zen Internet are recent winners of the ISPA Best Light Business Broadband award in 2005, and won the PC Pro Best Broadband award in 2004.