After an extensive period of working with Govtech to test and enhance its Universal Credit Digital Service (“UCDS”) Kirklees MBC has deployed the UCDS to great...
What are your expectations and aspirations for automation in Revenues & Benefits? Who set these expectations? Are your aspirations high enough? Are you worried that using automation will mean losing control? We want to shatter some myths.
Firstly, expectations and aspirations for automation are definitely too low. You can completely automate day-to-day processing in Revenues & Benefits, from end-to-end; Govtech automated 23 million R&B transactions last year. The issue is whether local authorities correctly understand the scope of automation, how it is controlled and monitored and what benefits they will gain from it.
Automating the loading of information into a Revenues or Benefits system is NOT automation if your staff still have to look at, check or complete every item. Real automation means your staff will only look at things where your rules determine that they need to intervene. End-to-end automation completes transactions, right up to generating refunds and credit transfers and it automatically indexes and archives associated documentation without any staff intervention.
Change doesn’t mean difficult
There is a common perception that with end-to-end automation must come risks, including a significant amount of work for over-stretched councils, to the point perhaps where the effort outweighs the benefits. WRONG – this is a myth!
The end-to-end automation delivered by Govtech is a hosted service, not a licensed product. You set the business rules for automation by answering simple questions. Govtech configures its system to match your business rules. You fill out web forms to test your configuration and examine the results in your test Revenues system. Has your configuration completed the transactions it should have completed, has it triggered interventions on all the others, and has it correctly classified those interventions as High, Medium, or Low priority? You can configure, test, and deploy end-to-end automation in as little as 8 elapsed weeks.
A typical project takes 12 weeks. In the first 4 weeks, all you will have done is complete a configuration workbook. In the last 4 weeks you will be testing that configuration using a test pack and test scripts. Only around 1 day’s assistance is required from ICT to connect the service to your systems. There is no new technology to buy and no new software to master – nobody has to learn how to use a new system. They just have to get used to the old system doing much more for them.
Once you ‘go live’, your relationship doesn’t switch to a Help Desk. The partnership deepens as Govtech consultants monitor your automation and conduct service reviews with you to optimise this. You will see how your automation rates compare to other, similar councils. You’ll understand how small changes to your business rules will improve automation and free up even more of your precious resources.
The prospect of change can be scary, but the experience can be extremely rewarding. Govtech has a community of customers who have all been through the same journey. And they will be happy to share with you their experience, answer any questions and respond to any worries you may have.
We pride ourselves that each and every Govtech customer is willing and able to be a positive reference site. That isn’t an accident – one of our objectives is to make every customer an advocate for automation. So, it’s never too early to ask to speak to a Govtech customer – there is plenty of information on our website and we’re happy to make introductions!
Automation can fill the gap
We know the difficulties that councils are having in recruiting new staff and in replacing experienced staff who move on. For the last two years, often at the drop of a hat, councils have been asked to do more with the same, or even fewer, resources. Workloads have risen and resources have been stretched ever thinner. But there is more than a glimmer of hope. End-to-end automation relieves pressure on your staff, taking care of day-to-day tasks that consume their time but to which they are adding no value.
So how do you determine whether your solution is providing good automation? Hopefully your answers to this checklist of questions will help you to determine that:
- When citizens submit transactions online, are my staff still having to check and/or complete most of the work items created?
- Do my staff still manually index associated documents?
- Does my system ‘automatically load’ new work but then put most of it into a work queue?
- Does my system support the automation of post-dated transactions?
- Does automation only work on the simple transactions, such as Direct Debit?
- Will my system completely automate the processing of a complex change of address, including a post-dated credit transfer, without any intervention by my staff?
- Would I trust my system to do that?
- Do I know what automation I am actually getting?
- Do I understand why some things are not automated and what I can do about it?
If you want to hear what we think the answers should be, (some quick and useful automation stats can be found here), then please get in touch and we will share our expertise. In 2022, we’re on a mission to help councils understand what can actually be automated in their R&B systems. It’s time to create higher expectations and aspirations for automation.
Don’t dismiss automation before you’ve spoken with Govtech
You have nothing to lose and, we promise, plenty to gain.
Isn’t it time to talk to Govtech?
Get in touch for an informal (and free) consultancy call to discuss what you would like to achieve from automation and how it best fits into your local authority. Our friendly and approachable team will listen intently to your requirements and only recommend the best approach to help automation succeed for your council.
We’ll put your mind at ease and detail how with our solutions, you are fully in control of what gets automated and what gets referred. Tell us what you'd like to fully automate, and we'll tell you if that's possible. If it is, we'll also show you where we're already doing it (like a reputable supplier should).