Case Study – Bass Coast Shire Council
How Bass Coast Shire Council automated its processes to deliver new Infrastructure to its Community.
Structured, efficient planning and scoping of Capital Works Projects
Increased efficiencies across team departments
Immediate cost savings.
Improved user experience
Increased scalability and agility
Removed reliance on paper based processes
A smooth sailing process from start to finish.
Microsoft Power Apps
Bass Coast is one of Victoria’s rapidly growing rural councils, with a large focus on tourism, servicing the local community and over 3.4 million visitors each year. Bass Coast has worked with Cloud Solutions Group (CSG) on enhancing a number of outdated, paper-based processes into well orchestrated and automated business processes.
Bass Coast has approximately 300 staff including departments like Planning and Financial Services, encompassing both Procurement and Rates departments. The Council has a large Capital Works program and therefore requires Designers and Delivery teams as well as Community Safety and Infrastructure Maintenance teams to successfully execute projects.
Case Study: Conversations with Nicola Glassey, Business Transformation Lead, Bass Coast Shire Council.
Bass Coast have now implemented a handful of Microsoft Power Apps with CSG as their collaborative and trusted partner, which involved redesigning the ideal Capital Works delivery process and implementing an improved user experience for their Financial Hardship online application process.
Both were developed as low-code, Platform-as-a-Service applications that require minimal education for immediate user adoption, whilst also enabling teams to get more from their Microsoft 365 suite and dissolving the need for paper-based processes altogether.
What stood out most for Bass Coast Shire Council was the simplicity of designing the ideal process and implementing a technical solution in a way that even the most non-technical stakeholder could understand and follow.
“When working with technical team members it can be very challenging to find common ground as a non-technical manager. I found that CSG understood exactly what we were looking for and were able to ask the right questions and find a solution for us, quickly and efficiently.” – according to Nicola Glassey, Business Transformation Lead at Bass Coast Council.
Bass Coast paving the way for successful Capital Works Project Delivery
The Capital Works Power App put in place with CSG helped Bass Coast to tighten up procedures around their Capital Works Delivery program. Project Owners are responsible for the end product of the project as well as scoping and planning the projects thoroughly. Once the project passes through to the Infrastructure Delivery team they require all information to be able to deliver the project on time and within budget whilst also meeting community expectations. Before Power Apps, the Council (like many Councils) used multiple Microsoft Word document templates. Users found them old-fashioned and hard to work with, which often led to bottlenecks in the Capital Works projects execution process.
Projects, therefore, were not always scoped as well as they could be, and it was difficult to deliver new spaces or infrastructure successfully because it relied on our teams thinking on their feet and using their experience, rather than a robust process. The newly improved automated business process removed the need for word templates and provided the structure that was missing.
Nicola Glassey, Business Transformation Lead at Bass Coast Shire Council explained, “The Project Owner completes the form, it then goes to the Project Manager and Infrastructure Delivery team and they confirm if it is deliverable or not via the Power App. It means every individual’s responsibilities are clearly defined, giving our team the clarity they need to know how to move forward with each project. It’s a really robust process”.
Increased efficiencies across team departments
The newly improved automated process meant every stakeholder received the information that was relevant to them, they were able to decline or approve each step in the application for new works, and the project would only get signed off once there was clarity of responsibilities, project scope, acceptable timeframes and accuracy of planning. This greatly benefited Bass Coast, giving them increased efficiencies across numerous teams, saving time and resources, and ultimately, ensuring that the Council can effectively put new initiatives in place on time and within budget.
Glassey shared, “Councils experience significant community and political expectation when it comes to delivering large Capital Works Projects, which can cause increased stress and pressure amongst our teams. When plans are lacking in accuracy, timeliness, and scope it makes it very difficult to move forward with confidence. Before implementing Power Apps with CSG we weren’t able to assure ourselves that we had the full picture.”
“The new automated process and App provides us with the clarity and peace of mind that we can rely on the process and each team member can do their job and feel good about it” according to Nicola Glassey, Business Transformation Lead.
Financial Hardship Application meets community needs
Before implementing Power Apps, the process for ratepayers to apply for financial hardship was cumbersome and outdated, ratepayers would need to download a PDF form from the Bass Coast website, print it, sign it and scan it to finally send it back – making it a less-than-desirable customer experience. Cloud Solutions Group were able to support Bass Coast to build an automated online process that removed the burden of the traditional process with an online form that would automatically be submitted to the rates team via another CSG built Microsoft Power App.
“Obviously the subject matter for applying for Financial hardship is very sensitive so the new process needed to be highly controlled and only available to our Rates Coordinator and Rates Hardship Officer. CSG whipped up the process, online form and App very quickly and also included an audit trail so we could see who accessed it and for what purpose. It’s been a really useful addition.”
Glassey continued, “We have a strong customer focus for our council and are working step by step to move further towards the best customer experience possible, particularly when it comes to hardship that our community is experiencing. You need to make it as easy as possible for customers to be able to work through the process and that is exactly what CSG helped us to create.”
Find out more about how Cloud Solutions Group can help you to automate your business processes and enquire about an introductory session for your organisation here.