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Newport City Council addresses the economic challenges through effective use of location information and customer insight

  • Knowing who our customers are, where they live and what services they use is crucial. Further developing an appreciation and understanding of their needs, behaviours, beliefs, desires and experiences is fundamental to success.

    Shaun Powell, Corporate Spatial Data Manager

The challenge

Although efficiency savings have already been achieved, the council faces further reductions of 13% on its current budget, which will require additional efficiencies of around £30 million by 2017. To meet the challenges, Newport City Council needed to innovate and uncover new ways to deliver change and efficiencies beyond traditional methods. The council recognised that if it could tailor service delivery according to customer demand and preference, and drive online transactions, efficiencies would follow.

The solution

‘Knowing who our customers are, where they live and what services they use is crucial. Further developing an appreciation and understanding of their needs, behaviours, beliefs, desires and experiences is fundamental to success. If we are better placed to answer these questions then we will be able to make critical informed decisions with confidence – ensuring that we try to get it right first time.

Shaun Powell, Corporate Spatial Data Manager, Newport CC

The introduction of a single source of unique property referencing has enabled the council to use the most accurate and up-to-date address information and share information between systems more efficiently. The Unique Property Reference Number (the primary identifier in AddressBase products) has provided the perfect architecture to embed online services and subsequent integration between the customer relationship management system and back-office applications. The council has developed a resilient delivery framework which is now driven around efficiencies whilst ensuring that the public continue to get the services they need.

The use of location data and complementary technology is having a significant impact on business improvement, efficiency, and the types of services we deliver and how we design them at Newport City Council.

Shaun Powell, Corporate Spatial Data Manager, Newport CC

In 2013, the council launched its ‘Save time, go online’ campaign. As part of its customer services strategy, the council wanted to increase choice for the public and introduce more self-service opportunities. According to the Society of Information Technology Management (Socitm) figures, it costs £8.62 to facilitate every face-to-face transaction, £2.83 per telephone transaction, and 15p per online transaction.

We have made a commitment to listen to our customers and tailor what we do around customer needs and choice. Previously, decisions were based on assumptions, but we are now able to establish a baseline to support effective decision-making.

Shaun Powell, Corporate Spatial Data Manager, Newport CC

In just under 11 months, online transactions have increased to 46%, helping to make significant savings while offering an enhanced, 24/7 service for citizens. The council has also embedded customer insight profiling as a key improvement priority to help it better understand its communities and build a detailed picture of the public’s needs, preferences, behaviour patterns and trends. The council is using customer insight, underpinned by AddressBase, to develop a series of targeted projects in a number of areas. This includes increasing electoral registration participation and take-up, reducing waste management landfill deposits and increasing recycling rates, reviewing library and leisure service provision, and increasing the number of ‘pay as you play’ leisure customers to active members.

The benefits

  • Estimated savings of £500,000 over a five-year period facilitated by ‘Save time, go online’.
  • Seamless integrated front and back-office systems to facilitate the delivery of a number of services, including public reporting of potholes, graffiti and lighting.
  • Creation of My Newport – an online geographic information observatory and portal, which provides citizens and businesses with specific information in relation to their location.
  • Significant increase in the number of people registering on the electoral roll.
  • Ability to develop tailored marketing and effectively cross-sell council services.

The products used

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