Beyond the Digital Postroom – what happens next?
How Digital Automation Drives Operational Efficiency and Cuts Costs for Local Government
In our last blog post we examined how automated and digital postroom solutions are supporting organisations to effectively manage and route inbound documents, saving company resources whilst increasing productivity and customer satisfaction.
However, implementing mailroom automation is just one system organisations can adopt to capture, interpret and manage the ever increasing amount of documentation it receives. Intuitive data capture techniques can be applied to a raft of highly-different business processes, transforming unstructured information, such as e-mails, texts and hard-copy information into useful, shareable documents. Such automation results in smoother, streamlined interactions with customers, employees and other key internal and external stakeholders.
Under pressure – process challenges faced by Local Government
Both central and local government organisations process high volumes of electronic and paper-based documents daily, for example a local council’s daily post could contain anything from planning and grant applications to council tax enquiries and benefits claims. However once a citizen has made contact with a council the clock is ticking for the right department to deliver an accurate, timely response in line with stringent Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and data regulations.
Already under pressure to demonstrate efficient use of resources and value for money to constituents, the recent move to shared services arrangements sees at least 96% of councils sharing services with other councils, further complicates accountability and communication issues between councils and its end customers.
Automating Local Government processes to improve customer service and reduce costs
In a bid to increase customer engagement and deliver a better end-to-end customer experience, local government operations are increasingly turning to automation to streamline and expedite routine and complex back-office processes.
Case Management – automation replaces traditional file-based case management by merging existing and inbound information and images into one centralised electronic record. This enables caseworkers and legal service teams to better meet the demand of processing several hundred cases per month. As well as giving individuals and departments instant access to a constituent’s specific case details across multiple programmes. Automation also enables quicker, easier reporting and decision-making.
Benefits Applications – automated solutions allow councils to offer constituents self-service access to benefit applications via smart phones and tablets. Automating manual, administrative-intensive processes for primary services, such as housing, childcare and pensions, boosts claims handling efficiency, shortens the benefit delivery time to applicants and reduces time and revenue spent on each interaction.
Complaints Management – providing constituents and other stakeholders, such as MPs and councillors, with a convenient self-service platform to raise complaints or offer feedback is paramount for improving quality of local government services. Delays in complaints handling are often exacerbated by needing to pinpoint precise area of responsibility within the council, a partner organisation or external provider. The danger of late response is escalation of the complaint to local and national media, causing significant reputational damage.
Intuitive automation technology enables councils to capture, manage and disseminate complaints and feedback – whether submitted by text, email, fax or letter – and direct it to the correct department for appropriate response handling. Such systems allow complaints to be handled quickly and consistently, as well as giving organisational visibility to the status of a complaint so key SLAs aren’t missed.
HR and Payroll – automated workflows streamline repetitive transaction-based functions carried out by HR, finances, payroll and benefits. Automating routine back-office processes, from managing invoices and purchase orders to conducting performance appraisals and employee onboarding, not only improves efficiency, but enables council employees to spend more time delivering essential front-line services.
How we can help
AAC systems have wide experience of assisting local government and government agencies replacing out-dated paper-based processes with rapid, large-scale document automation. The results are far-reaching, from better management of day-to-day case work to increased employee and customer satisfaction.
To find out how we can boost your overall operational efficiency with a digital postroom, contact our automation experts via our online contact form or call us now on 01628 421 569.
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