Council Officers started working closely with the Vanguard Consultancy in 2013. The 'Vanguard method' considers that all services and procedures should be designed through the eyes of the customer. The following Council services have been redesigned using this method to become more customer focused, resulting in the following changes:
Benefits Service: A simpler system that is tailored to the customers' individual needs, along with the removal of long and complex letters, has helped to considerably reduce the time it takes to process an application for housing and/or Council Tax benefit.
Housing Repairs: Instead of adopting a 'standard fix for all' approach, officers have been working to understand the individual needs of customers, with the freedom to solve the problem when they are at the property, however long it takes. This approach has helped to dramatically reduce the days it took to effect a repair.
Parking Enforcement: Civil Enforcement Officers have been given more freedom to talk to customers and make common sense decisions on whether to issue a penalty charge notice based on the facts in front of them. This approach has considerably reduced the number of challenges made and the amount of officer time spent dealing with them.
The Recruitment Service: The application process has moved from a 'one size fits all' approach towards a bespoke service that is tailored to the individual nature of the job.
All employees within the individual service areas will now learn the new methods of working.
Early work on understanding the needs of planning applicants has also resulted in a reduction in the time it takes to process a planning application. Further efforts will make sure the process is easy, quick, clear and fair.
Executive Leader of Fareham Borough Council, Councillor Seán Woodward, said: "Vanguard is a fundamental rethink of service provision through the eyes of the customer. Fareham's "whole organisation" approach is different from most other Council interventions. It is reassuring to see that it has already made a positive difference in a number of service areas and I am looking forward to seeing how all of our other services can be made more customer focused."
Whilst the main reason for using Vanguard has been to improve the customer's experience, to date, efficiency savings of £168,000 a year have been identified as a result of the changes made to the way the Council delivers its services which far more than covers the costs of the consultancy.
You can read the report in full at www.fareham.gov.uk
For further information contact:
Roy Brown, Customer Engagement Manager, Tel: 01329 824409
fax: 01329 550576, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
This and previous media releases can be viewed on the Council's website: www.fareham.gov.uk/pressreleases
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