North Yorkshire County Council

Developing a Modern Council

Briefly describe the initiative/ project/ service

Against a backdrop of austerity, North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) designed a programme of work using technology to completely transform our internal operations. Five years on, our modernisation programme has innovatively improved efficiency in service delivery and supported wide-scale cultural change and demand reduction. This initiative has been driven by customer insight – staff have been involved in developing requirements and customer journey mapping has been undertaken with the end user at the heart. We have developed:
• state of the art self-service systems for staff;
• systems providing our managers with tools and data to manage independently;
• technology that provides for agile and flexible working;
• tried and tested approach, used with customers, suppliers and partners.

Our intelligent use of technology has made huge efficiencies, protecting and enhancing frontline services, improving user experience and supporting our ‘can do’ staff. Early roll out of this proven approach to external customers is also going well.

Why do you think it should win this award?

We innovatively used strong internal ICT and robust project management to create whole-scale transformation based on customer need. We involved staff via a ‘model office’ to test technology, shadowing to find solutions and many other methods to make our solutions fit for purpose. We developed state-of-the-art self-serve systems to enable staff to
• Use mobile technology in the field
• Access BI to understand complex data
• Access learning online
• Connect electronically eg. Skype
• Self-serve all key processes from any computer
Systems empower our managers
• All key management processes are online-systems are integrated with automated workflows
• Interactive dashboards give management information on consumables (eg.print) and workforce data
• Financial systems with interactive dashboards enable managers to control budgets without usual finance support. Collaboration ensured we could also deliver these systems for partners
We created an agile workforce with
• wi-fi in all corporate buildings
• smartphone technology
• virtual PCs enabling shared workspaces
• interactive meeting spaces
• improved data strategy reducing paper usage
Our ‘digital by default’ ethos enables our customer to pay, book, report & apply online.

What are the key achievements?

Key achievements include:
• Reducing sickness rates–mobile working enables staff to work elsewhere when unable to get to their work-base due to sickness, or complete admin/e-learning when unable to work directly with customers. This increased flexibility has helped deliver very low sickness rates of 6.21 absent days per employee in 2015/16.
• Improving staff IT literacy with staff supported to assess and develop their IT skills.
• Improved innovation-our annual staff survey (2016) showed a 4% improvement, with 70% staff now feeling they are encouraged to think innovatively.
• Over £1m saving from reduction in spend on paper/related costs–the 12 months to 2016 saw post &print spend reduce by 18% & 23% with spend on other related consumables (stationary etc) reduced by 60% through new systems (eg secure email, e-signatures).
• £200k savings on venue costs in the last year due to mobile &flexible working practices enabled by technology.
• 25% reduction in support staff (HR, Business Support) &initial finance savings of £450k by introducing modern financial systems.
• Significant time saving, such as automation of processes, including voice recognition software being used to type up case notes, saving time for social workers.

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