Shellharbour City Council
Embracing Software as a Service and integrating its systems has enabled Shellharbour City Council to mobilise its workforce and improve service delivery
For many years Shellharbour City Council relied on multiple, best-of-breed solutions. Lack of communication between the systems was leading to data silos, stretched resources, and poor decision-making, which was affecting the customer experience.
“With Council’s limited technology resources spread across disparate systems, functional use of systems was also low, hindering the delivery of efficient services to our customers,” Manager of Business Information Solutions, Adele Taylor, said.
Shellharbour City Council began a journey to consolidate and unify its business applications in 2013. By 2017, it was predominantly running on TechnologyOne’s OneCouncil solution.
“The preconfigured approach of OneCouncil reduces implementation time, cost and risk,” Manager of Business Information Solutions, Adele Taylor, said.
But Council’s digital transformation was far from complete. As its focus shifted to how to improve the customer and employee experience—such as by offering 24/7 access to self-service it decided to move its enterprise solution from on premise to Software as a Service (SaaS).
By adopting TechnologyOne’s Ci Anywhere platform in 2019, Shellharbour City Council was able to quickly gain web-based and mobile access to its existing software, without the hassle of a complex implementation or upgrade project.
Ms Taylor said the transition was successful because Council and the TechnologyOne team collaborated closely, through open and honest communication and issues tracking.
“The TechnologyOne team dedicated time to sit with key users to understand how the system worked and examine end-to-end processes to ensure successful outcomes were delivered,” she said.
Council also implemented TechnologyOne's Human Resource & Payroll (HRP) software as part of its OneCouncil solution, linking people management to other business functions including property and financial management.
Ms Taylor said that working with TechnologyOne to incrementally improve had made life easier for staff who were also dealing with substantial changes to business processes.
Real-time access to information means Council can better make informed decisions, deliver more efficient customer service, and reduce manual, paper-based processes.
The streamlined path to SaaS delivered by TechnologyOne helped Shellharbour City Council achieve a secure, connected system that drives agility and efficiency.
“Council is still relatively young in our transition and can see the benefits appearing already with a robust business continuity solution a key outcome for Council,” Ms Taylor said.
“Real-time access to information means Council can better make informed decisions, deliver more efficient customer service, and reduce manual, paper-based processes.”
Ms Taylor added that giving staff ‘any time, anywhere’ access to information has meant the community benefits from more effective facilities management, improved scheduling of works, streamlined operations and enhanced service delivery. A number of services were also digitised to allow customers to self-serve.
Council now has greater visibility of the cost of asset management by running financial enquiries through Ci Anywhere.
“Now that our system is integrated, Council can raise work orders and we can see the direct costs that are associated with a particular asset.
“You can see over the course of its life, how much that asset actually costs the council and forecast what it's likely to cost in the future,” Ms Taylor said.
Seamlessly linking Human Resources & Payroll with OneCouncil has simplified Council’s people management and payroll functions, and allowed employees to manage timesheets and apply for leave online.
With a SaaS ERP solution, as long as you have an internet connection and a laptop, you can effectively work remotely.
Shellharbour City Council’s Perspective
The SaaS model has given Shellharbour City Council a holistic view of its organisation and an informed and mobile workforce. It is better equipped to deliver quality outcomes across what it calls the ‘Four Cs’: customer, community, councillors and council.
“Council’s services teams have been positively impacted by the transformation with field workers able to access a fully functioning work order system on tablet devices,” Adele Taylor said.
“Previously staff would fill out details on paper, and then re-enter the work order information when they came back into the office to say the tree was prune, for example. Now staff are doing that in real-time, on site.
“One major benefit is that field staff can immediately report a defect. They may be four hours away from the office, but the defect can be logged straight away so that another crew can attend to the issue.”
Making self-service functions available to Council’s ratepayers, business customers, and the broader community—in addition to streamlined back-end processes—has led to more efficient service delivery.
“Customers can lodge applications online, request services, pay for rates and receive various other notices, as well as access our public mapping and spatial data via TechnologyOne’s IntraMaps solution,” Ms Taylor said.
Ms Taylor said that in light of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, it was a significant advantage to be able to empower staff work from home on any device.
“With a SaaS ERP solution, as long as you have an internet connection and a laptop, you can effectively work remotely,” she said.
“The Human Resources & Payroll solution also provides staff with online and mobile access to timesheet and leave functions, which has reduced data entry associated with paper timesheets for our Payroll staff.”
Rolling out the Human Resources & Payroll (HRP) solution on the Ci Anywhere platform has simplified the employee experience.
“Employees can easily and quickly access leave balances and apply for leave from anywhere. Timesheets can also be submitted, and managers can quickly approve these and leave requests from anywhere and at any time,” Ms Taylor said.
“It’s definitely reduced the amount of paper and made things more auditable—leave forms don’t get lost.”
“Even field staff find it easier because we have kiosks scattered across remote sites and depots that they can jump on to fill out their timesheets or apply for leave.”
Managers have real-time information at the fingertips, resulting in accurate reporting and better team management.
“Managers can, at a quick glance, pull up what staff have leave upcoming in the next month, or even further ahead. It helps in terms of planning and projects,” Ms Taylor added.
The HRP solution’s built-in Single Touch Payroll (STP) functionality also allowed Council to introduce STP smoothly.
“We have around 450 employees so you might expect that a change of this size could be disruptive, but it was surprisingly simple. TechnologyOne’s consulting arm helped Council through the change and Council was ready well within the timeframe,” Ms Taylor said.
About Shellharbour City Council
Located in the picturesque Illawarra region of New South Wales, 1.5 hours south of Sydney, the city of Shellharbour serves a population of almost 78,000 people over an area of 154 square kilometres.
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