Council teams up with libraries to offer integrated face-to-face service hubs

Staff across the region are freed up to concentrate on service delivery

Working with KANA Software, Medway council has created three community hubs in three major libraries within the district.  The hubs integrate council services with the library service desk, enabling members of the public to report local problems, gather advice or return documentation.

The community hubs are open twelve hours a day from 8am-8pm, providing an accessible route to council services both within and outside of normal working hours.

Community hubs expand on the traditional library service desk and provide space for up to four members of staff.  Library staff are freed up to perform their primary roles, no longer distracted by answering the phones.

A fourth hub is due to be launched at the beginning of 2015 with more expected to follow.

Key achievements:

  • Three Community hubs established, two more planned
  • Most services being delivered with self service capability, with more coming on line in April and May
  • One central CRM and EDRMS system, interfacing with key IT services (e.g. asset management) allowing a one touch process
  • Supporting a programme of savings with a 2 year target £5.91m, achieved £5.98m. 5 year predicted savings £14.6m
  • It has significantly reduced the amount of duplicate processing making transaction faster and removing keying errors.
  • Many service areas are also benefiting from the changes as they no longer have to handle routine telephone calls. This has been particularly significant on the libraries and leisure centres where they can now concentrate on the customers who are present and not have to be distracted by telephone calls.
  • Medway has achieved its target savings for the transformation process, with the last phase about to start to deliver further savings.

Bob Wilde, Change Manager, Medway Council said:

“The new community hubs give us a fantastic platform to connect with the public and bring council services directly to the heart of these towns.  Libraries are a fundamental part of local communities and our presence there encourages engagement with council staff.  Whether reporting local issues or looking for advice, we offer many of the functions of the primary council offices.

“The reaction from the public has been incredibly positive.  We’ve seen an increase in public engagement alongside an increase in first time resolutions.  Many service areas are benefiting from the changes as they no longer need to handle routine telephone calls. This has been particularly significant at our libraries and leisure centres where staff can now dedicate their time to helping customers who are present, rather than fielding calls.”

David Moody, Global Head of Government and Public Sector Practice, KANA Software said:

“Medway is a great example of a council evolving to meet the needs of a modern community.  The integration of Lagan software to blend library services with council functionality is efficiency in the truest sense of the word.  This means reducing operating costs whilst offering a more streamlined process for both staff and the public.  Back-office staff can get on with the important roles they need to perform whilst front line staff can focus on service delivery, improving the experience for customers.”