Bedfordshire County Council Becomes First Local Authority to Begin Using Industry-Leading mySAP CRM

Successful stand-alone SAP CRM implementation completed in just five months

LondonHBS Business Services and Bedfordshire County Council have completed the first implementation of mySAP CRM in a UK local authority as part of their ongoing multi-million pound 12 year partnership. The partnership’s Customer Contact Centre is enabling easier access to information and improved services for the county’s 380,000 residents.

The solution has replaced a number of disparate systems and local databases, and staff are now able to offer a more responsive service that can resolve enquiries at the first point of contact. Initially, there will be up to 25 staff using the solution which supports a range of council departments, from Highways, School and Public Transport to Trading Standards. This is expected to rise to 50 by May 2003 as additional services are migrated to the system.

The implementation is seen as a catalyst for creating consistent, modern and efficient services across the council and forms the cornerstone of Bedfordshire’s electronic service delivery and e-government strategy.

“E-government is about people and service,” said Bedfordshire County Council’s chief executive Dick Wilkinson. “We have a clear vision which involves a step-change in the way we interact with our citizens. This will be enabled through new technologies but will be driven by the needs of our community.”

The mySAP CRM solution brings together information from across the council enabling non-specialist advisers to access this and deliver a consistent and accurate response. A multi-skilled team has been created that provides a greater body of resources for dealing with enquiries than was previously available in individual departments. This will help the Council in dealing with seasonal peaks and troughs associated with services such as Highways and Student Awards, improving accessibility to customers. The customer contact centre can build up a picture of callers’ needs, offer a more personal service and provide analysis of customers’ queries and demands to help the council identify how services can be refined or improved. Extended opening hours and the ability to provide a range of contact channels through a common operating platform mean greater choice and flexibility for citizens.

Councillor Richard Stay, the Council’s Executive Member for Information and Systems, said, “Our vision is to put the citizen at the centre of service provision by extending choice, providing improved access and more effective and efficient services.”

The project attracted government Invest-to-Save funding as part of the Bedfordshire and Luton On-Line Consortium, whereby the county council is engaging with its public sector partners across Bedfordshire to develop joined-up services through shared technology.

“While Bedfordshire initially wanted a stand alone CRM implementation, they also wanted a CRM solution that could be integrated with other back-office systems,” said Sean O’Brien, account manager, SAP UK. “The solution has been configured to integrate with some of the council’s core business systems, supporting a closed loop process, and the authority is currently implementing R/3 Enterprise to re-engineer and integrate back-office business processes and deliver efficiency savings whilst improving overall service.”

“The combination of SAP’s technology, the delivery capabilities of HBS and Bedfordshire County Council’s visionary approach will put the council at the forefront of customer service,” said Terry Woodhouse, HBS regional director.