Innovation and changeCloud ComputingNew ERP system delivers efficiencies for Warwickshire County Council

New ERP system delivers efficiencies for Warwickshire County Council

Setting example in cloud adoption at local authorities, Warwickshire County Council saved over 300 administration hours a week by replacing its ERP system

Warwickshire County Council has saved the equivalent of 300 administration hours a week by replacing its enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

The council has transitioned to MHR’s market leading, cloud-based HR and payroll ERP system, iTrent, a move that has enabled it to introduce a single system which also covers the individual needs of each subsidiary organisation.

The implementation project was a two-phase plan. Phase one involved the installation of core HR and payroll modules, extending the functionality with Employee Self Service (ESS) and people manager, completing within 18 months in October 2018. Phase two started in December 2018 to implement modules such as recruitment performance and HR case management.

Councils are, of course, under pressure to deliver excellent customer experience and need to provide their citizens with the cutting-edge service that they crave for.

Improved  ERP system

Felicity Davies, Your HR programme lead said: “Warwickshire County Council is pleased to be working in partnership with MHR to deliver a new HR and payroll system which we believe will deliver efficiencies and an improved way of working.

“As part of the council’s transformation programme we are looking at our processes to see how we can do things differently. iTrent offers greater functionality and flexibility for WCC and enables us to future-proof our operations.”

Anton Roe, Chief Executive Officer at MHR commented: “We are delighted to have helped Warwickshire County Council bring its HR and payroll processes right up to date. By making clever use of iTrent’s self-service functionality the council has been able to reduce the amount of administration carried out centrally and generate important cost savings. We look forward to learning of further savings and efficiencies when phase two is completed later this year.”

Flexible solution

Warwickshire County Council had been relying on its legacy payroll system which had been in place for 15 years. Over time this was failing to cope with the demands placed upon it. It had been heavily modified and was proving expensive to maintain and difficult to deliver any additional required functionality. With over 28,000 employees across subsidiary organisations to consider, including district councils, schools and fire and rescue services, it was crucial the new system could offer a robust yet flexible solution.

Warwickshire County Council ran a full procurement exercise through the G-Cloud 7 framework. After a comprehensive selection process MHR with iTrent were the successful supplier.

The new ERP system generated benefits through the streamlining of business processes. Apart from this, significant time and cost savings was achieved through the de-centralisation of administration, with most tasks, including data input, transferred to subsidiaries to carry out for themselves.

iTrent has offered a cost effective solution with a flexible pricing structure. It will also provide greater functionality and flexibility enabling the streamlining of business processes and improved efficiency, helping the council to future-proof its operations.

Save over 300 hours per week

Using the new ERP system, the council was able to decommission about five or six systems with different purposes that had been developed previously. Things like time and expenses will now be processed faster. Additionally, there was a reduction in errors as it was no longer done manually in a central location.

Further to the improved HR processes realising efficiencies that lead to cost savings, the change of support and maintenance model from an on premise locally maintained system to a cloud based SaaS solution will lead to a reduction in IT resources required.

Owing to these changes, the council was able save over 300 hours per week, and the personnel can be utilised elsewhere.

Cloud adoption at local authorities

It’s now five years since the government implemented its ‘Cloud First’ policy for all technology decisions. Cloud First is mandatory for central government and strongly recommended to the wider public sector.

Two recent reports based on responses to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests concluded that legacy IT systems are the main reason that that local authorities struggle to fully embrace the cloud.

Richard Blanford, CEO of Fordway observed, “Local authorities have been much slower to adopt cloud than central government departments. This might initially seem counterintuitive. Cloud should, in theory, help them to address the challenges of shrinking budgets by eliminating or substantially reducing in-house infrastructure. It would also help them to meet rising expectations for digital engagement, and in many cases offers added security and functionality, enabling them to benefit from the economies of scale of cloud providers.”

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