Birmingham City Council
About the Client
Birmingham City Council is Europe's largest local authority serving over one million customers.
City of Birmingham, UK
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While the website needed a massive re-think, Birmingham’s back office processing and contact centre needed a re-invention. Birmingham City Council’s customer service teams used a massive, enterprise CRM to process all customer service requests across the entire council.

This multi-million legacy platform was costing the council unsustainable amounts of money and was impossible to change or maintain without heavy investment – relying on vendor and service integrator support to maintain and change.

The council recognized that to begin its transformation and to shift the council services to be better, more efficient, and focus on customer needs, it needed a completely new digital platform.

By implementing a low-code, cloud-based case management service, the council empowered internal teams to redesign services in an agile way, quickly delivering a whole suite of new, customer-focused digital services centered around a Citizen Account.

The “BRUM” account initially launched in late 2018, with some simple services and over time, expanded to a rich self-service offering. It is now widely adopted by almost 500,000 users, over half of people who live and work in Birmingham.

By 2022, the council began embarking on a substantial “Customer Programme” focused on the customer and delivering digital experiences using agile principles, by fully leveraging the Jadu Case Management and Web Experience Platform.

The Website is the CRM

As more citizens join the BRUM account, Birmingham City Council plans new customer services, all based on Jadu Low-Code technology.

BRUM account, the Birmingham City Council online account for its citizens, built on the Jadu Low-Code platform, grew to 500,000 registered users during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns, enabling Birmingham City Council to continue delivering vital public services.

In addition, the BRUM account ensured the council was able to deliver central government grants to protect the vulnerable and the local economy.

The Challenge

The Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns highlighted which local authorities could instantly switch to a remote and digital operating model, and those that could not.

Local authorities with a digital core were able to seamlessly provide their essential services online and take on new responsibilities from the national government with relative ease. In other areas of the country, local government bodies struggled.

Fortunately for residents of Birmingham, the City Council adopted the Jadu Low-Code platform in 2019.

As the pandemic gripped the UK in 2020, Birmingham City Council saw registrations and demand on its BRUM account grow, with 500,000 city residents having a BRUM account now.

Birmingham has a population of 1.1 million, meaning close to half of the city’s residents have a BRUM account.

The BRUM account provides City Council forms, payments and connects to the council customer relationship management (CRM) system, so citizens can manage their council tax, benefits or request services.

The Solution

The digitalisation of internal processes was accelerated during the pandemic lockdowns. Birmingham City Council used the Jadu Low-Code library of application features, some of which were developed by other local authorities that use the Jadu platform.

This ensured that Birmingham City Council was able to download code, make minor changes, and release new features to meet the needs of its citizens.

Launched in 2019, the BRUM account powers the website, forms, payments, Intranet and CRM at Birmingham City Council.

This enabled customers to register for access to personalised information, including council tax, benefits as well as housing, and crucially, the ability to track any service requests made to the council.

Using the BRUM account digital service, the council has successfully replaced its legacy CRM system. The council’s customer services agents are now able to quickly raise cases for customers on the telephone and invite them to use the online BRUM account to track and comment, as well as encourage them to raise cases online the next time they call.

Exponential Growth of Personalised Digital Service

When the COVID-19 pandemic started, the council leveraged its investment in the low-code Jadu CRM tools to build new webforms and case workflows in real-time, reacting to the daily evolving crisis and delivering services to the community.

This led to exponential growth of knowledge and skills that has now become business as usual at Birmingham, with growth continuing in 2022 at pace.

The growth of case submissions through the contact centre and online via the BRUM account, is now all in one central, low-code digital platform.

Automation and Integration

Automation and integration are key to delivering a frictionless service, and Birmingham have fully leveraged Jadu’s Integration Hub strategy and toolset. 1 way integration iCasework 2 way integration SSO integration Brightly (formally Dude Solutions) Confirm Asset Managment

This enables the free flow of data using APIs and other services to help keep customers notified and updated on their cases. * PayBridge JADU HUBis Middleware NEC Group (Northgate) M3 Standard web services.

This prevention of failure demand is helping to save tens of thousands of pounds in operating costs.

To date, since the launch of NEC (Northgate) Revenues and Benefits online via the Single Sign On connection at Birmingham City Council, 260,000 users have registered for the service and its currently averaging at 7,000 self-service transactions per month.

This is calculated by the Council to save £2.50 per transaction which quantifies to 84,000 annual transactions at a saving of £210,000 per annum.

Paperless billing is calculated at 45p per household and to date, Birmingham has 6,500 registered for e-billing.

Since the start of March 2019, integration with ‘Brightly Confirm’ the council’s asset management system for Highways, the platform has seen a steep rise in monthly self-service volumes and a reduction in call centre calls.

The Results

“We have been able to deliver more and at pace, so now there is a much closer connection between the city councillors and residents,” said Peter Bishop, Director of Digital & Customer Services at Birmingham City Council (CIO).

The council has over two million customer cases being tracked through the BRUM account and has 2.7 million digital forms being used, which automates processes and reduces the cost base of the local authority.

“BRUM account is the technology platform for being able to provide those excellent online experiences that the council want to provide for our citizens by giving them some key information in one place, that is easy to access and it’s easy for us to scale,” says Cheryl Doran, Assistant Director IT.

Birmingham City Council is now developing a new customer service strategy, which will use the BRUM account as its foundation. Birmingham City Council will be able to pro- actively deliver street cleaning and traffic management, either in response to requests from its citizens, or from insight derived from better information management.

Birmingham City Council states: “We want to create a shift in how we think about and interact with you, so that you are at the centre of everything we do.”

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