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10% cost reduction and 80% customer satisfaction for a major local government IT service

Serco was delivering the IT service for Coventry City Council, including the management of networks, desktops and telephony and the delivery of new social care, revenue and payroll applications. The service suffered from poor performance, technical problems and growing customer dissatisfaction. Significant improvements were urgently required and Serco was at risk of losing its contract.

Project background

Serco had been delivering the IT service to this large city council for several years and, more recently, had been commissioned by the council to design, develop and deliver a range of brand new IT applications and help to implement new processes.

The council was spending a significant amount of its capital resources on the new applications, but was frustrated by the poor performance of the existing IT and was facing a range of key technical problems. For example, the basic email service was not performing reliably. A small, highly experienced team, led by Steve Bannister, was brought into the Serco local management team to lead and drive the turnaround programme for the council’s IT service.

Key problems and challenges

At the outset of the programme the end-users were suffering from poor quality service, high service costs, and a lack of clarity of leadership and accountability. In particular, the email service used by several thousand council employees was performing very badly, with long delays and the daily occurrence of email backlogs.

Our solution

The first step was to develop the transformation strategy based on:

  • Implementing the industry-standard IT best practice framework (ITIL),
  • Introducing new leadership and skills, and
  • Restructuring the organisation to use the best mix of on-site, off-site and offshore resources.

A critical component of our success was establishing the buy-in and commitment of the leadership team from the outset, and clear communication throughout the programme.

A full programme governance structure was put in place with clear milestones and timetable. Specialist resources were brought on board as a “SWAT team” to tackle the most urgent performance issues, to drive and embed the new ITIL services processes and to turn around the poor service culture.

Results

The IT service transformation programme was implemented on time with a reduction of 10% in the cost of the service and an improvement in customer satisfaction from 60% to above 80%. Serco’s reputation was restored, leading to the council extending the contract term by a further two years.

“The team of consultants did an excellent job for us.  Under extremely challenging circumstances they turned round a bad situation.  We were suffering from systemic instability in the technical infrastructure and very poor customer feedback.   We were at risk of losing the contract. By the end of the transformation programme, customer satisfaction had improved significantly, the infrastructure was consistently stable, and most importantly the customer was happy to extend our contract”.

Steve Morriss, Operations Director

Serco Solutions

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