Trio sat at table with devices
A number of local councils in the UK are successfully responding to funding cuts by implementing mobile working for field-based staff.

Planning, repair and refuse teams are experiencing significant boosts to efficiency through the use of cost-effective mobile apps that allow remote access to key back-office systems.

According to public sector software specialist, NDL, many corporate mobile transitions fail because processes don’t accurately reflect tasks; with unreliable access also adding to frustration.

However, local authorities are now looking to build practical mobile apps in conjunction with users which accurately reflect user need. Crucially, they can be used anywhere, irrespective of whether or not the user’s device has a signal.

This has led to a number of successful mobile implementations, matching wide adoption with tangible savings. These include:

Bolton Council

Bolton Council embarked on a cross-authority mobile programme which has saved time, enabled resources to be more appropriately deployed, improved customer service, increased take-up and streamlined delivery processes and routes.

Their highway safety inspections project has saved more than £50,000 a year, as well as eliminating a backlog of four weeks. Another, for waste bin deliveries and removals, has eliminated the use of paper and manual input for managing 5000 transactions a year. A spokesperson said: “In the current economic climate, these mobile implementations are critical. They support savings and efficiency reviews, but at the same time limit their impact on service delivery and customers’ experience.”

Moray Council

This large rural area has patchy mobile coverage yet has still introduced significant efficiencies to its housing repairs service by implementing mobile working. By enabling operatives to receive job details and input job completion details while in the field, travelling time has been cut and seven members of the team have been reallocated to other areas. It has also reduced missed and re-arranged appointments, in particular by updating stock levels remotely to ensure operatives have the right parts on their vans.

A spokesperson said: “We’ve got a lot of connectivity black spots in our area, so automatic connectivity handling is very useful. Users will be able to just get on with their work without worrying about whether they have signal or not, which will result in better adoption of the app and fewer calls to the helpdesk.”

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