Project highlights: More productive for staff
- End-to-end process flows – supporting residents becomes easier
- Self-service handling of routine requests
- Tasks are simplified and transparent for audit
- Savings in process time and resource costs
Project highlights: Easier for residents
- Faster resolution with real-time responses and email status updates
- 24/7 residents access to report problems
- Streamlined user journey within RBKC’s brand
Project highlights: Efficient paper-free processes
- Digitised systems: no more paper, double-entry or conflicting systems
- Updates reduce resident complaints – penalties are auto-issued
- Real-time responses and notifications – Releasing up to 60 minutes per officer
A digital future
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) is the smallest London borough. A museum and cultural hub, its diverse economy depends on the billions of pounds that tourists generate.
The IT department’s primary focus is corporate infrastructure and any solution must align to their strategies, governance rules, and have self-supporting maintenance. Integrations with legacy systems, easy connection with front-office and third party contractors is essential.
Revolutionising waste service processes
Waste collection is a highly visible council service. Clean, tidy and well managed streets are assumed and the regular influx of tourists in the area means that the streets are constantly on show. Residents demand waste collections and more than 30,000 of them contact the service to make requests and report problems annually. The Enforcement Officers are stretched to capacity and making savings with bigger bins or reduced collections are not options for RBKC due to the narrow, old and busy streets.
These constraints and fines also generate a storm of paperwork, around 50,000 annual prints. Complaints take time to resolve due to the processes. And residents want answers quickly and digitally.
Duplicated manual processes
The old process involved a duplication of work. Siloed systems printed out paper, manually sorted into in-trays. Each Enforcement Officer picked up their jobs on clipboards and set out for the day. Handwritten notes were typed into duplicated legacy systems at the end of each day.
So much time wasted and long hours for the team. The manual system meant residents, could not track the progress so often called in for an update, using agent time. Plus reporting from disparate, paper-based systems was slow and open to error.
Innovation using low-code
Looking for a tool which offered future independence, RBKC considered low-code digital transformation solutions to jump-start their process improvement. They chose Liberty Create. They knew that one in four councils trust our low-code or contact centre solutions to make life easier for their residents and staff.
Phase one automated 80% of the volume of tasks. Reporting and monitoring activity to inform future policy was integral. One in-house builder was trained and worked alongside the Netcall team. The solution went live within 5 months.
After a successful go-live, they trained seven admin staff to work on the remaining 20% of tasks, which needed to automate more bespoke processes.
We wanted to ‘get ahead of the curve’ with standard tasks, as preventing the crimes is more powerful than processing fines. As well as saving resources and freeing Officers for more valuable duties, it keeps the borough beautiful. This project also exceeded our initial savings expectations. Low-code has enabled us to achieve this.
A low-code digital transformation
Now, residents or staff can log any request into a single system. All information is stored in a single database. The service request is automatically assigned and sent to the mobile device of the correct contractor. This means that:
- The contractor can get to the site faster, investigate and update the system in real-time
- 60 minutes are saved per day per officer (there are 18 officers) – the annual time savings mean the officer team has increased their work capacity by about two additional officers
- Improved customer service – residents are quickly and proactively updated (reducing chase-up calls)
- Photo and map integration – tasks are more quickly identified
- GDPR compliance
- Saving trees – printing and paper are no longer needed as case materials are sent by email and available only on password protected devices
- When needed, warning letters or fixed penalty notices are automatically generated
- Improved admin productivity – no more paper files (or mis-filings)
- Management get real-time reports of all activities and are rapidly able to respond to concerns.
What I love about the system is that it makes our team look very professional. Officers are informed as something happens. We no longer have to come back into the office. I know my list, I can get it done and now paperwork doesn’t take up my lunch break.
Improving customer journeys: Contact handling
RBKC has used Liberty Converse for contact centre communications for many years. It handles more than 450,000 calls annually across 23 different lines. The council has already gained productivity by automating some routine requests using voice bots within a couple of departments, including Switchboard. But, digital needed to step up a gear.
Move to omnichannel and MyRBKC
Residents want channel choice. They want to transact when they need, 24/7. RBKC wanted to drive self-service to more cost-effective online channels. So, they adopted Liberty Create to develop a portal – MyRBKC – which invisibly integrates workflows with back-end systems. Residents and agents can now enjoy a seamless look and feel throughout.
RBKC has rapidly transformed residents communication with the council. Queries or reports are quick and easy to raise on any device, 24/7. Some responses are in real-time, for example, Noise and Nuisance complaints are immediately sent to the mobile devices of an on-duty Enforcement Officer.
Residents can also:
- Access their Council Tax and Housing Benefits together directly from the portal. This handy integration helps them to keep on top of their money matters.
- Add case notes to their cases within the portal. This opens communication with officers, who see the updates in their systems.
- Sign-up to receive council emails on topics of interest or concern.
Residents may now use the portal as an initial contact. If they need to direct message or make a call, agents in the contact centre have easy access to the history within the portal, so they can continue without having to repeat details.
Uniting IT and council staff to rapidly improve services
While the journey to digital is never complete, RBKC can quickly add or make changes to process flows. A low-code digital transformation means that multifunctional teams are able to build rapidly together, creating solutions that are fit-for-purpose, now and in the future. The team has increased the quality of their service for their residents, saved time and improved resident and contractor relations. Upskilling their team means they will extend their savings to all of their processes.
The progress RBKC has made is impressive. What’s more, their projects are exceeding their initial savings expectations. In recognition of some of these efforts, RBKC was awarded the Bronze Winner for the Green Public Service Award at the iESE Public Sector Transformation Awards 2020. The award recognises environmental best practice where public sector organisation have helped the environment and improved sustainability in their own organisation and surrounding community.
The combination of Liberty Create and Liberty Converse have enabled RBKC to introduce speed, flexibility and control on their journey to digital. RBKC is now firmly on its low-code digital transformation path, revolutionising its service delivery.