Mid Bedfordshire district council has completed installation of a Livelink electronic document and records management system from Open Text in a move aimed at boosting customer service.
The system gives customer service staff immediate electronic access to documents that were previously held on paper at different locations, forcing members of the public to go in person to individual council departments with their queries.
Planning, council tax and benefits documents from the past seven years have now been digitised, along with council committee papers going back to 1974.
Clive Jones, Mid Bedfordshire’s head of customer services, said the electronic document system was “the first building block in enabling transformational change and driving efficiencies”.
The council's 18 customer service staff can now deal with 12,000 phone calls a month, plus 150 personal visitors and 40 incoming emails a day, solving 80% of inquiries at the first contact.
Previously, lack of immediate access to information in different premises meant that the council could respond to only 3,000 calls a month with a team of 21 staff.
Jones added: “The ability to access and share all information across multiple touch points, whether in person, email or telephone, is a cultural change for staff and for customers. The introduction of Open Text was easy – the bigger challenge was changing the processes and the way people worked.”
Mid Bedfordshire has now integrated the Open Text system with the content management system for the council’s website to ensure that new documents are automatically uploaded and available online.