City of South Perth
The City of South Perth gained a more agile and cost-effective approach to operations and unified its fragmented business systems by adopting the OneCouncil SaaS ERP solution
The City of South Perth is a local government area just two kilometres south of the Perth CBD. Bordered by the Swan River, the City covers 20 square kilometres and provides services to more than 43,000 residents.
The City of South Perth wanted to simplify its IT landscape to provide a better service at a lower cost. The City’s CEO Geoff Glass said an internal review had highlighted the risks of relying on a number of best-of-breed systems, including the growing cost of licensing and support.
“Different areas of the business would make decisions to use software with a siloed approach. Not everyone was working on the system, just in it,” he said.
“Having systems operating in isolation with little to no integration added to the total cost. Not only was it challenging to maintain, but it led to duplication of effort and inefficiency.”
The number of overlapping systems meant that not all functionality was implemented fully, resulting in a high total cost of ownership.
“As a business, we had few end-to-end processes, multiple data entry points, duplication of data entry, and no single view of our customer,” Mr Glass said.
In 2019, the City of South Perth initiated a phased strategy to transform its customer experience and administrative operations by replacing multiple software products with an integrated solution.
Originally intending to use OneCouncil on-premise, the City changed direction after investigating the merits of a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution.
“Best-of-breed could never deliver a customer-centric approach unless we spent more on integration at the expense of other priorities. That led us to TechnologyOne,” Mr Glass said.
“We developed a business case for both options, which concluded that from a support, cost, and quality perspective, the SaaS solution was the right choice for the City.
“TechnologyOne’s SaaS platform offered increased uptime, ongoing maintenance and high availability, enabling the City to continue to operate more reliably and at a lower cost.”
Adopting a world-leading SaaS ERP solution has helped the City of South Perth to fundamentally change how it operates, enabling its staff to focus more on adding value.
Phases one and two of the project, completed over 2019-20, saw the City adopt the OneCouncil SaaS ERP solution to manage its financials, supply chain, HR, recruitment, payroll, asset management, and business strategy and planning practices.
All employees use OneCouncil, replacing many paper-based processes and enhancing mobility.
A holistic view of operations and intuitive reporting tools has aided the City’s decision-making.
“As the City experiences a period of fiscal constraint, there is increasing pressure to maximise workforce performance and find new ways to create efficiencies,” Mr Glass said.
“The project has definitely contributed to breaking down silos. We’ve gained a better user experience, less duplication of data and an increase in automated workflows.
“We now spend less time on cumbersome processes, manual data entry and workarounds and more time on the things that matter to us and our community.
“We are still at the beginning of our journey but we have seen changes in terms of simple things like end-to-end procurement, booking leave online, managing team leave, and being able to handle timesheets on a mobile phone.
“We only have to train new staff in one user interface and employees only need one login. The navigation is simple and our workforce has picked it up quickly.
“We have deployed mobile devices to our outside workforce to realise the benefits of being able to use the system anytime, anywhere and on any device.
“Before OneCouncil, it was difficult to extract reliable data from our systems as there was no 'single source of truth'.
“Historically, managers had to wait for monthly reports from finance. Now they have access to information in real-time. We can now also report on time worked - by task and asset - for deeper insights.
“Managing the entire asset lifecycle in the system has allowed the City to streamline processes and undertake complex modelling to inform business decisions.”
City of South Perth’s perspective
Partnering with TechnologyOne to purchase, implement, and maintain its solution has enabled the City of South Perth to smoothly transition to SaaS.
The City has successfully embraced the new system by establishing its own experienced project team, having a strong focus on change management and building its employees digital literacy skills.
“Completing phases one and two on-time, on-budget, on-scope and on-quality was an amazing achievement, recognised by the internal customers, which is where most of the functionality of the modules were implemented,” Mr Glass said.
“This is not an IT project: it is a digital transformation. It is all about cultural change and leveraging technology to deliver improved outcomes to our community. We had to rethink how we use our systems, people and processes to change organisational performance.
“As with most business transformations, there is still work to be done to embed a continuous improvement approach.
Moving to a unified SaaS environment also triggered an internal restructure whereby dedicated IT resources now work on the system across key functional areas, leading to better ‘business as usual’ results.
“Upgrades are now carried out on a regular basis and not managing a desktop client has made life easier for the IT team. This project has also led us to introduce a more structured and efficient change control process.
The next phase of the project would focus on digitising customer-facing processes to provide excellent online services for residents, visitors and suppliers.
“We are conscious that we are operating in a society experiencing rapidly changing expectations for how services are accessed and delivered.
“We are well on the way to becoming a more innovative, responsive and agile local government,” Mr Glass said.
Spotlight on SaaS
Empowered by a SaaS ERP solution that offers a simpler, more reliable and efficient way of running operations, the City of South Perth is confident about adapting within an evolving digital economy.
Mr Glass said that TechnologyOne’s ongoing investment in, and support of its SaaS platform was key.
“In addition to the SaaS cost-benefit advantages, TechnologyOne’s ongoing enhancement of the platform was one of the deciding factors.
“The SaaS offering pretty much forces an annual upgrade forcing us to stay relevant - hat was very appealing.”
TechnologyOne has spent hundreds of millions of dollars building the world’s most trusted enterprise SaaS platform and continues to commit 20 per cent of its annual revenue into research and development.
“By partnering with AWS, we are able to deliver the City of South Perth the ability to rapidly scale, and a superior level of service to an on-premise environment," said Daniel Sultana, Director of TechnologyOne’s SaaS Platform.
More responsive systems proved valuable when the City needed to switch to remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The TechnologyOne slogan of any device, anywhere, anytime really came to the fore, especially due to the supply chain hardware issues that arose. We had just completed a rollout of smart phones to our outdoor staff and we could provide system access for staff using their own devices.”
About City of South Perth
The City of South Perth is a local government area in the inner southern suburbs of the Western Australian capital city of Perth about 4 kilometres south of Perth's central business district. City of South Perth is the local government authority for Como, Karawara, Kensington, Manning, Salter Point, South Perth and Waterford.
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