Guildford Borough Council is a non-metropolitan district council in Surrey providing services to 150,000 residents in areas including planning, environmental, housing and leisure.
The council is committed to transforming its operations to better serve residents whilst reducing its costs and carbon footprint.
A large budget gap and increased demand for services meant that Guildford needed to transform its operations and modernise its services and systems to make the organisation more efficient and identify savings along the way. In doing so, they would also be able to improve their service delivery and customer focus.
As part of the initial review, they found that they had 20 in-house finance systems and around 10 other support services systems across areas like HR and payroll, so quickly realised that significant ICT investment was needed and that the focus should be on a single, integrated system to do everything for them.
Guildford chose the Unit4 ERP platform and worked with Unit4 partner, Embridge Consulting, to using their innovative Embridge Value Accelerator (EVA) Industry Model implementation strategy.
The EVA Industry Model is a full out-of-the-box ERP implementation strategy, created with industry-specific best practice and statutory and legislative compliance built in, that can also be adapted to specific client requirements.
In addition to the main drivers around business transformation and cost savings, the council also wanted to improving self-service options for both citizens and staff, be more agile around future organisational change and empowering staff to focus on deliver the best possible service to citizens.
By using the EVA Industry Model the Council was able to take full advantage of Embridge’s vast experience with both Unit4’s modular solution and the Public Sector, and achieve fast time to value while meeting tight delivery timescales.
Even after the initial implementations of HR, Payroll, and Finance, Guilford BC were seeing tangible results such as a 14% headcount reduction across HR and Finance departments as well as contributing around £1.3 million in savings to the Future Guildford program.
We had a number of systems, right across the council for various finance and HR and purchasing processes and we've been able to consolidate those systems into this one ERP system and streamline processes. We try to follow best industry practice along the way because, as with any organisation, over time people put in their own little practices and processes and things aren't as efficient as you might think they are. So having the benefit of that external review and saying 'No, actually, this is the way it should be done', that was really beneficial in making us see that maybe the way that we'd always done things wasn't necessarily the most efficient way of doing things. In particular, we’ve reduced our separate HR and payroll systems, separate Income Management system and separate Finance system into one. Having that integrated ERP platform is the main driver and the benefit of doing this.Claire MorrisDirector of Resources, Guildford Borough Council
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