Council worker using Mobile Capture on-the-go

Council Size: 275 Employees | Population: 57,800 | Solution: Mobile Capture

The Datacom Mobile Capture platform has allowed WDC to quickly and cost-efficiently work towards the strategic vision for the implementation of a digital mobility framework at WDC.     Jolanda Simon, Chief Information Officer, Waimakariri District Council

The Challenge

Waimakariri District Council (WDC) has more than 60 highly mobile staff/roles across council who spend on average 4,620 hours in the field every month. Consequently there is significant demand for a range of mobile services. These include the digital processing of service requests, inspections, audits, enforcement tasks, asset management and maintenance, and health and safety assessments.

Operating from both a desk and a mobile environment presents a number of challenges, and when something unexpected happens in the field, staff need to have access to the right information.

WDC needed a mobile system that could work 'off-line', as parts of the Waimakariri district are in rural areas with no or little coverage. WDC wanted to implement a digital mobility framework which would enable staff to access, process and update information for a range of services via a common platform while in the field.

The Datacom Difference

In 2016 WDC chose Datacom's Mobile Capture solution to help implement its mobility strategy. The goal was to implement a mobility platform as a core hub for the development of WDC’s mobility based services. Datacom's solution could manage access, security, and the development and deployment of user friendly mobility services.

As a shared Software as a Service (SaaS) solution, Mobile Capture enabled collaboration with other councils across New Zealand. WDC can share services, processes and forms with other Councils, thus potentially reducing costs and development time. WDC has developed a number of forms that have provided a launching pad for other Councils to utilise. For example, Dunedin City have picked up the Hairdresser, Licensed Premises forms and is also investigating the use of three other forms.

Results

Datacom’s Mobile Capture has so far delivered time and cost savings to various departments across WDC. The business benefits include improved productivity, customer service, staff satisfaction and data collection.

To date WDC has deployed 23 mobile forms through the Datascape platform, with 99 tablet devices for field use. A snap shot of the Datacom mobile forms as shown.
 
 
Prior to using Mobile Capture, field processes were paper based and relied heavily on staff to complete manual steps and upload data into office systems. The rollout of digitised mobile forms had some immediate impacts:
  • Paper based forms have been retired and replaced with mobile forms. This reduces double (or triple) handling and removes time inefficiencies.
  • Reports that were manually typed up from hand-written notes are now automatically generated and emailed.
  • Reports are now standardised, professional looking, easy to read and are delivered to customers in a timely fashion.
  • A number of reports are now automatically uploaded into the EDRMS, aiding compliance with the Public Records Act.
  • Data is now automatically populated back into the system, resulting in improved data quality and timeliness of information.

Execution of the mobility strategy has traversed a number of barriers for Council, the two biggest being change and use of technology. Over time field staff have embraced the use of mobile tablets as part of their daily work. They buy in to the vision of the organisation and are committed to using the forms.

For example, the Food Verification inspectors were initially sceptical, and wanted to continue with paper forms. But now they are one of the biggest advocates, publically stating their support at a Food Act meeting held at Council.

The team at WDC have been very happy with the results.

“Datacom’s Mobile Capture solution has allowed WDC to quickly and cost-efficiently work towards the strategic vision for the implementation of a digital mobility framework at WDC. The platform provides one overall mobility platform for corporate wide mobile services which feeds back into the line of business system therefore maintaining one source of the truth. It has also allowed us to deliver more IT services for less through increased collaboration with other councils to share and leverage digital services developed elsewhere.”
Jolanda Simon, Chief Information Officer, Waimakariri District Council

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