The local authority uses the firm’s PTC software to automate a number of departmental processes, revolutionising the way it works.
The council covers a population of 85,000 and a tax base of 38,000 with over 10,000 live housing benefit and council tax reduction claims.
At Civica’s 2015 Expo last month, 24N caught up with Midlothian’s systems group leader Jane Harvey who explained that historically, the council had been reactive rather than proactive.
However, budget shortfalls led to staff reduction which led to remaining employees being overstretched – when the Systems Control team was left with just four full-time members, it realised that changes had to be made.
“There were cutbacks and cutbacks meant staff shortages from our team so we lost a member of staff for our team and what we had to do was find out how we could spread the workload without that extra person,” explained Harvey.
“We were already stretched to the limit,” she added.
After twelve months, the local authority opted to choose Civica to help automate many essential processes.
Harvey explained that they had previously looked at PTC and been impressed by a demo, but it was just too expensive.
“We had a demo from PTC when they were an independent company and we liked the product, but it was too expensive,” Harvey told 24N.
PTC was then acquired by Civica and the product then became affordable for Midlothian, which also received funding for temporary secondment.
“They were the first people that we actually went to and then we had some funding and by that time Civica had bought the product. We knew what we wanted and it came in on a budget that was actually affordable and that was the solution we were looking for,” said Harvey.
“We had a demo of automation and scheduling and consolidation and we took it from there. It looked great, it looked like it could offer us savings in time which is what we wanted and were looking for,” she added.
Harvey also told 24N that she doesn’t feel there is anything else out there on the market that offers similar services to the same high standard as Civica.
“The automation team has been fantastic, really helpful. They’ve answered all of our calls and helped us push the product to its limits of what we want to use it for,” she explained.
Officially, the local authority estimates PTC has saved 80 hours of staff time, but Harvey told 24N that she feels this is a very conservative estimate.
Tasks that typically used to take up hours of employee time were able to be reduced to just minutes instead.
“We’re saving, now I’m conservatively saying, an excess of 80 hours a month which is more than half a member of staff,” Harvey said.
She also praised the ability to be able to constantly change and adapt the system when and as needs change or evolve.