Friday, February 23, 2024

Bass Coast to benefit from Council tech boost

Bass Coast Shire Council has bolstered Council services almost sevenfold thanks to a new technology upgrade.

The shire’s 40,000 residents and huge visitor numbers can now interact with the Council 24 hours a day, seven days a week thanks to a new online customer portal that’s available anytime, anywhere and from any device.

The tech upgrade has also benefitted Council’s field teams, with manual timesheets for 70 staff members now able to be accessed and updated while on the road.

“The customer is at the centre of everything we do,” says Council CEO, Ali Wastie.

“This digital transformation is about modernising our IT systems to help us be more effective and deliver better services to our growing community.”

The Council has also increased the number of services offered online, from six to more than 40 and enabled for the consolidation of six IT platforms to one, creating a single ‘source of truth’ for information and better connecting employees, field workers and customers.

“Residents can engage with the Council on any issue that is important to them, whether it’s planning, the environment, a community group, or making a rate or animal registration payment, in a way that works for their individual needs,” says Council General Manager of Business Transformation, Wayne Mack.

He says problems with Council’s existing IT infrastructure were impacting the its ability to respond to such growth. It used six different software applications which were not well integrated, meaning information was often duplicated, doubted or not easily available in real time.

In addition, the systems were on-premise meaning upgrades were complex and time consuming and the organisation was saddled with the cost of buying and maintaining equipment for a computer datacentre that had become an unwelcome drag on the finances.

A TechnologyOne customer since 2016, the council implemented a digital transformation project that included upgrading key systems – including finance, budgeting, supply chain, asset management and request management – to the company’s OneCouncil Software-as-a-Service SaaS solution.

“The upgrade allowed us to bring many different systems together and at the same time eliminate manual processes. Our teams are now doing work that benefits the community rather than pushing paper and entering the same data in multiple places,” says Mr Mack.

“We went from offering six services online to 40, covering almost every aspect of council’s operations. As a result, we’ve seen the number of customer requests coming in digitally increase from one or two a day to now closer to 80.

“Now that the council is connected to residents through the portal there is complete visibility of resident requests, from the time a request is entered through to a crew member in the field completing the work, all using one seamless end-to-end process.

“As well as giving a better customer experience, the new system better allows us to manage and act on those requests. Under the previous system every request would generate four separate emails to various departments. Now it’s all a single workflow,” he said.

Requests can range from inspecting drains for blockages to planting trees and tending to gardens in local neighbourhoods. With the requests all in one place, accessible anywhere, anytime, the field team can get through more, says Mr Mack.

“We’re able to support flexible and remote working, people can work anywhere at any time, which better suits their needs. It allows our employees to focus on doing more value-add work for our customers,” he said.

Chief Executive Officer of TechnologyOne, Ed Chung said the company was excited to be supporting Bass Coast Shire and their exciting community growth.

“We know the communities our councils serve are at the centre of everything they do. By helping them make the transition to our TechnologyOne SaaS platform, we are able to support our customers in delivering simplicity and outstanding customer service for their communities,” said Mr Chung.

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