Cumberland Council has changed significantly since the 2000 Summer Olympics. The number of residents has grown rapidly – from 58,000 in 2001 to more than 88,000 in 2015 – increasing demand for public services. The number of dwellings and infrastructure that require maintenance has also risen.
For many years, the council relied on a paper-based system to track tasks and schedules; an old-fashioned arrangement that reached its limits as the city grew.
“The rapid growth of Cumberland Council has been a positive phenomenon,” says Peter Fitzgerald, Executive Manager of Council Operations. “The community has never been livelier and more dynamic. But from an operational standpoint, we struggled to keep up.”
“We must strive to go beyond simply delivering public services,” says Mr Fitzgerald. “If there are technological solutions that allow us to make consistent decisions and confidently plan for the future, it is our duty to use them.
“However, It is not easy to change old habits. People have been filling out forms, processing cheques and estimating resources off the top of their heads for a long time, so it is hard to convince them of an alternative way of doing things, even if they are faster and more reliable.
To meet increased demand, Cumberland Council has shifted to an integrated enterprise approach, implementing TechnologyOne’s OneCouncil solution.
Employees can now access their enterprise software on mobile devices, allowing them to access critical data anywhere and at any time. This has empowered employees to keep up with community demand and offer top-class services, by being more agile to track tasks and manage productivity.
In 2015, the council made the shift to an integrated enterprise solution and implemented TechnologyOne’s OneCouncil solution. OneCouncil has enabled Cumberland Council to implement new initiatives, embrace emerging technologies and deliver instant information anywhere and at anytime.
By implementing its enterprise software on the cloud, the council has saved millions of dollars in capital expenditure, depreciation and in-house IT staffing costs.
The preconfigured approach also enabled the Council to reduce implementation time, cost and risk, with similar council implementations typically taking 12 - 18 months.
"Having TechnologyOne run and support the infrastructure and software means that accountability lies solely with them. Any issues are resolved very quickly, and so far we have had 100 per cent uptime of the software," Mr Drydale said.
"This has freed up our operational IT team to focus on driving new functionality, rather than just maintaining infrastructure."
TechnologyOne’s integrated approach helped us improve our processes, allowing us to redefine the way we deliver services to our community.
Since its implementation, the OneCouncil solution’s greatest success has been to give Cumberland Council unparalleled visibility over its assets.
“Our biggest transformation was to gain visibility where there was none or where it was limited,” says Peter Fitzgerald, Executive Manager of Council Operations. “We are now equipped to accurately plan for the future; whether it is a road, a park, or a barbecue spot, all long-term asset management can now be modelled for the next 20 or 30 years.”
This new confidence extends to other areas of Council’s day-to-day responsibilities.
“The use of interactive mobile tools has also transformed the way we help the community,” adds Mr Fitzgerald. “Our 50 field agents are kept up to date about pending tasks and can quickly respond to requests. From an administrative point of view, the real-time update of the centralised ledger allows us to better allocate tasks and track staff productivity, budget, time use and service delivery.”
The removal of unreliable data and redundant processes has also made the council a much more flexible and efficient work environment.
“Many of Council’s departments worked in silos, disconnected from one another,” says Mr Fitzgerald. “Today, information is freely exchanged and data is much more reliable, making it more fulfilling, rewarding and satisfying to complete objectives.”
A key improvement has been the speed at which jobs are attributed and completed.
“A major improvement felt by Cumberland Council residents is the speed with which we respond to their demands,” says Mr Fitzgerald. “In the past it could take days before a query made its way to the right person; service delivery was slow and impersonal. Now, everything is integrated and consolidated, allowing anyone in the organisation to see timelines, tasks and objectives, helping us solve problems in a matter of hours and reinforcing our outcome-driven approach.”
OneCouncil has also had a positive effect on decision-making and team leadership as it allows data to speak for itself. The detailed information the system provides enables fast and informed decision-making, removing doubts or emotional responses and making it easy to see why something didn’t work.
“The old system was a combination of many different programs and solutions,” says Mr Fitzgerald. “Supervisors were administrators; they had spreadsheets to update, meetings to attend, forms to verify and fill out. Today, supervisors actually supervise in the field, lead teams, check work and find time to innovate on new ways to deliver services.”
Mr Fitzgerald says TechnologyOne was instrumental in implementing the solution and promoting it across the organisation. It created a partnership that linked and empowered all team leaders.
“TechnologyOne’s integrated approach helped us improve our processes, allowing us to redefine the way we deliver services to our community,” he says.
About Cumberland Council
Cumberland Council was recently formed through the amalgamation and merge of the existing Auburn and Holroyd Councils and encompasses a significant portion of the former Parramatta City Council. The newly formed Council is one of the most culturally diverse communities in Sydney, and encompasses a significant portion of western Sydney.Cumberland Council website
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Local Government ArticleLearn how a contemporary enterprise architecture creates greater agility and better visibility over council finances.Read timePublish date 12 Aug 2019
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