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Uttlesford transforms its services – and delivers £200,000 of savings

71,000 citizens in Uttlesford are now benefiting from a new system, designed to transform local services, which has been implemented by Northgate Information Solutions at Uttlesford District Council. In addition, the council itself is making over £200,000 of savings through the efficiency improvements to the services.

Northgate has delivered its ‘Front Office’ citizen relationship management (CRM) solution, which will enable the council to deliver continuous improvements in services for local citizens and businesses, including:

• providing high-quality one-stop services, enabling up to 80% of enquiries to be dealt with at the first-point-of-contact and in a consistent manner;

• improving citizen access with more ways to interact with the council anywhere, anytime, including an online self-service – empowering citizens with service delivery built around their needs;

• integration of front-office and back-office systems to allow staff instant access to the information they need to answer multiple service enquiries first time, every time;

• monitoring citizens’ requests, responses and satisfaction to help continuously improve performance and increase understanding of customer needs;

• improving the experience for council staff by providing new ways of working for staff – such as home, mobile and remote working – and reducing the bureaucratic burden on staff through automation of business processes;

• and delivering efficiency savings across the council’s services.

The new solution is one of the council’s initiatives to transform its services – which will also see the launch of uconnect, the new Customer Service Centre, on 8th February 2007. ‘Front Office’ is currently handling over 50 services across the council’s existing operations and uconnect, including revenues and benefits, licensing, transport and environmental services. Council staff have received extensive training to deal with the wider range of enquiries, enabling the council to make better use of its professional and technical staff.

The council has also undertaken Northgate’s ‘Organisational Re-engineering’ (OR) programme to redefine the way in which it delivers services. Working closely with the council, Northgate has implemented its OR programme – a unique methodology for achieving service delivery improvement and, through a knowledge transfer process, the creation of a skilled team of internal practitioners equipped to re-engineer every service in the council to be more efficient and effective. Non-cashable savings of £165,000 and potential cashable savings of £43,000 have already been realized from the first phase of the OR programme, and a further £250,000 of cashable savings alone has been estimated.

Alasdair Bovaird, Chief Executive at Uttlesford District Council, said today:

“Uttlesford aims to be a council for the 21st century, committed to delivering first-class services based on the needs of our citizens. The implementation of a CRM solution has been fundamental to transforming the way in which citizens and businesses access our services, and their experience when interacting with the council. We believe that, by working with private sector partners such as Northgate, our service transformation initiatives can help to underpin wider joined-up working across Essex, enhancing service provision and efficiency for local authorities and other agencies alike.”

David Meaden, Managing Director of Northgate Public Services, added:

“We are delighted to be working with Uttlesford District Council to deliver their vision for high quality, accessible and citizen-centred services. The roll-out of ‘Front Office’ to support the new Customer Service Centre demonstrates how the intelligent use of technology can help to deliver radical improvements to local services.”


For more information:

Fellows’ Associates:

Alastair Whitehead 020 7092 1806; 07930 566291;
Kathy Sutton 020 7092 1801; 07966 890401;

Notes to Editors:

1. Northgate Information Solutions is a leading provider of innovative technology solutions to the public services and utilities markets. Northgate’s task is to enhance public value through the intelligent use of people and technology, and to share in the economic and social benefits that this brings.

2. In the UK, Northgate works with four out of five local authorities and every police force. Its systems are used in the management of over 1.5 million local authority and housing association properties; in the administration of more than £17 billion of revenues and benefits; and in electoral administration systems covering over 18 million people. Founded in 1969, the company has over 3,300 employees.

3. ‘Front Office’ is Northgate's leading citizen-relationship management software solution – helping public sector bodies to improve transactions with customers, track the progress of queries, and review performance and other management information. Northgate’s CRM systems now serve over 8 million citizens in England – one in seven of the population.

4. At Uttlesford District Council, ‘Front Office’ is supporting council services including Revenues and Benefits, Licensing, Transport and Environmental Services. It has been integrated with council back-office applications including Northgate’s own Revenue & Benefits solution, and Environmental Services.

5. ‘Organisational Re-engineering’ (OR) is a unique methodology for achieving service delivery improvement, resulting in improved citizen interactions, improved internal efficiency, increased staff morale and, through a knowledge transfer process, the creation of a skilled team of internal practitioners equipped to apply OR techniques across the organisation.