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Customer Service Delivery in Local Government
98% customer satisfaction rating
>25 services delivered electronically
>60 business processes re-engineered
Swale was providing customer services through several channels. People had to call a variety of numbers to make enquiries and access services. This frustrated customers and staff. Just as damagingly, it was at odds with government performance initiatives such as Best Value, the ODPM Priority Service Outcomes and the Gershon Review.
Change was essential and the first step was to simplify customer access by implementing new customer service centre capabilities, based on Northgate’s customer relationship management (CRM solution and including business process management.
Swale worked with Kofax and the company’s partner Northgate Information Solutions to integrate its front and back office systems and re-engineer a range of business processes. The result is streamlined service delivery, with extensive automation, providing better service at lower cost. Information is no longer paper-based, and customer requests are processed across departments and locations without loss of data integrity. People receive decisions more quickly, and the new processes are flexible to evolve easily with the council’s future needs.
With a single point of contact in place, the next step was to integrate this front office activity with back office delivery. Using Kofax TotalAgility, Swale could upgrade internal services by effectively integrating a number of existing Swale systems such as recruitment, expense administration, invoicing and corporate complaints. Everywhere, the key to efficiency was to replace disjointed, manual and paper-driven processes that required several hand-offs between departments. Kofax TotalAgility integrated with Northgate’s CRM, accelerates processes, increases automation and accountability, and reveals process performance more clearly and quickly anticipated.
The CRM solution enables inquiries to be resolved more quickly because Swale staff now have a single view of the citizen and their issue, with all key information accessible via an easy to use interface. While the citizen can contact Swale via any convenient means – telephone, internet, email, fax, post or walk-in – the CRM in effect offers a single point of contact for the Council, equipping staff to offer better citizen service.
By modernizing service delivery, Swale has transformed how the back-office functions co-operate to achieve their service targets and streamlined more than 60 business processes.
Service improvements by Swale Borough Council have raised customer satisfaction to 98 percent, up from 78 percent. Some 25 services are now delivered electronically and the council has received the prestigious Electronic Government Award.
Just as significantly, this technological revolution has been accompanied by a shift in Swale’s organizational culture to ensure that the customer experience is a pleasurable one. Swale wants to see its service quality recognized nationally, and development is continuing with Northgate and Kofax.
According to Swale Council, “The joint Kofax/Northgate solution has been a significant factor in the success of our service transformation.“
Northgate Information Solutions plc, a Kofax partner, is the UK’s leading provider of specialist software and IT services for the human resources and public services markets. The Group has three major divisions – Northgate HR, Northgate Public Services and Northgate Managed Services. Northgate works with 80% of U.K. local authorities and all U.K. police forces.