The need for automation is now, IRRV Annual Conference ’23 recap

Earlier this month we attended the IRRV Annual Conference and Exhibition 2023 in Telford. Although we support many, if not most of the IRRV expos across the UK, this is by far the largest in our industry. And judging by how busy our stand was, it appears that the majority of local authorities across England and Wales attended – we got to meet our Scottish peers at their own Conference last month.

Each year we always leave with the sentiment ‘this is by far the best year’ and having returned to the office to take time to reflect on those conversations and discussions we had around automation and our new service GOpaperfree; the influx in interest surrounding our services at the conference still seeks to amaze me (and I’ve been here over 10 years.) We all take so much pride when councils come seek us out for help with automation, especially when it’s so easy to remember how, only a few years ago, we were the ones actively seeking them out! It’s rewarding that we’ve come full circle and councils are realising the potential with automation.

Engaging with our peers

A highlight for us as a team is to be able to engage with potential new customers, to show them our services and the benefits we can offer to them because of the high levels of automatic processing we achieve. At a time where council budgets are constantly being reduced and experienced staff are leaving local authorities, automation is key to the council’s ability to continue to deliver their services. However, council budgets are tight and therefore there must be a compelling business case for them to invest their limited resources in services like ours. Fortunately, each one of our customers are a reference site and due to our harmonic partnership, their testimonials and success stories showcase what can be achieved by using our automation services and give reassurance that we are the right partner to deliver it for them.

“The people in your company are warm, friendly, and quite clearly care about their customers. That’s my take home from meeting you…you are now my second adopted team!”
Jane O’Connor, Head of Council Tax, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council



The team with Cheshire East Council


The team with City of Bradford Council


Karen with Bristol City Council


The team with Wolverhampton City Council


Karen with the winner of our automation competition


Karen with Cheshire East Council

Our growing community 

Recently, we've welcomed 5 new councils to Govtech and these councils are currently in the implementation stages of delivery. We don’t want to jump the gun, but there are a number of other councils who we hope to announce shortly as there is clearly a need for automation and that need is happening right now. As we’ve mentioned our stand was noticeably busier than in previous years and the quality of the conversations were very positive. These conversations happen not only because we are getting a bit better about shouting about ourselves, but more importantly from our existing customers who are happy to talk about the high levels of automation they are achieving. These levels are only achieved because of the effort and hard work invested by everyone at Govtech, from innovative design & development of new solutions, quality data matching, professional technical support, stable & secure infrastructure, to delivering complex automation configuration projects rapidly and without disruption.

Automation made easy, paperless billing made easy

Whilst at the conference we took the opportunity to launch our new service GOpaperfree, paperless billing made easy. And whilst the new branding caught people’s attention (a win for marketing) it’s the simplicity of the service which really caught the attention of councils. 

At the start of the year we questioned, ‘why in 2023 is there so little take up in paperless billing? Especially at a time when postage costs are ever increasing?’ With so much potential savings in postage costs, we wanted to address that. That’s why our new GOpaperfree service provides:

  • Simple sign up
  • Safe & Secure delivery
  • Savings

We think councils should have the same paperless billing take up rates that banks and utilities enjoy. GOpaperfree will help you achieve this by removing the existing barriers and making the whole process easy.

Gaining the recognition, they deserve

Another string to the IRRV conference’s bow is the much-celebrated IRRV Performance Awards and gala dinner. Sadly, we didn’t get the chance to join in person, but we were eagerly watching across the social channels as winners were announced and we must provide a special mention to: Salford City Council, Bradford Council, Ealing Council, and Reigate & Banstead Borough Council for picking up awards!

Our customers go over and beyond to service their citizens, so we’re delighted that they have picked up a merit and are recognised for their hard work. See the IRRV website here for a full list of the winners and even some videos of them collecting their awards, it really does mean a lot to them – check out some of their dancing moves!

There’s no time to sit still

We have so much going on at Govtech and with so many wheels turning we can’t wait to continue those discussions/introductions we formed at the conference, as well as picking up some new conversations as we continue to be back out on the road. As one of our customers simply said; “spending some time together in person just goes to show how important it is that us humans interact” and that’s what we plan to continue doing.

Yes, there is a lot happening here, but we always have time to discuss automation in Revenues & Benefits. And for those who haven’t met me yet, I’m the Head of Service Solutions here at Govtech, fully dedicated to maintaining and enhancing our service partnerships. It’s our goal to maximise automation at each site and we do this by constantly reviewing performance through service reviews which are provided complimentary as part of the service. These reviews also give us the opportunity to identify new development opportunities to improve automation and create further efficiencies. There’s no ivory tower at Govtech, we understand more than anyone that the best innovative ideas come from our customers who are facing the challenges every day. We just help them overcome them.

Author: Graeme Maychell


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