Dudley Council partners with Arvato CRM Solutions to accelerate its digital transformation journey

Datchet-headquartered Arvato CRM Solutions has secured a brand-new contract with Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council to use automation to transform its accounts payable department.

The arrangement will see Arvato implement its ProcessAutomate solution, which combines the business’s public sector expertise with robotic process automation (RPA) technology, to deliver a 12-month managed service for the Council. This will include the set-up, optimisation, maintenance, monitoring and reporting.

The initial proof of concept will include the safe and accurate data migration of seven million records and automating invoice processing over a 12-month period. The business will also provide training and mentoring to the local authority’s own employees to transfer technical knowledge, removing the need for future third-party support.

This project forms part of Dudley Council’s wider digital strategy to strengthen its internal operations, as well as deliver new efficiencies, reduce cost-to-serve and provide citizens and suppliers with an improved and streamlined service.

RPA works by creating an agile, virtual workforce, which can mimic human processing of repetitive, and often time-consuming, tasks. Rather than replacing human workers, the software is there to enhance and free-up employees to concentrate on more complex or creative tasks. Efficiency is created and more value-added work produced, delivering better results and improvements for organisations.

For other organisations implementing RPA has delivered cost savings of up to 95% per transaction, 100% accuracy, and thousands of hours of employee saved time.

Councillor Phil Atkins, cabinet member for Corporate Strategy, said: “We want to make sure our employees spend as much of their time as possible on work which directly improves the lives of our residents and businesses.

“Our workforce is highly skilled and dedicated with a wealth of knowledge and experience of the things that matter to the people of Dudley, but there are always many demands on their time.

“By using automation to complete repetitive and routine administrative tasks, we can free up officer time to spend on things which need human expertise and decision-making.”

James Towner, Chief Growth Officer at Arvato CRM Solutions, added: “Like many local authorities, the challenge to meet citizens’ ever-changing needs and regulatory requirements, whilst doing more for less is a tricky one.

“We’re seeing more and more local authorities implement innovative technologies, such as RPA, to help them achieve their overall objectives, as well making the most of the time and skills of their human employees.

“Our partnership with Dudley Council will enable us to implement those essential changes – utilising our extensive experience of digital transformation in the public sector – with cost-effectiveness in mind. We’re excited to be part of its journey and being able to add to its wider digital transformation strategy.”

This new partnership with Dudley Council builds on Arvato’s extensive experience of helping public sector organisations across the country drive digital transformation, including Department for Transport, Neath Port Talbot Council, Department for Education, and Wales Air Ambulance Charity.

In a similar partnership with Hertfordshire County Council, Arvato’s ProcessAutomate solution has meant that 87% of all invoices are now fully handled and completed through automation, 50% faster versus manual processing and with improved employee satisfaction.

In the private sector, Arvato CRM Solutions has also worked with global entertainment company Fremantle to implement the technology, which has saved Fremantle’s team hundreds of hours by applying digital transformation to its key finance processes.

About Arvato CRM Solutions

Arvato CRM Solutions is a trusted partner to the private and public sectors, with expertise in delivering award-winning customer relationship management, business process outsourcing (BPO) and public sector and citizen services. The business focuses on providing customer service which is driven by technology and powered by its people. It designs and delivers innovative, individual solutions for some of the most respected global consumer brands and UK public sector organisations, through long-term partnerships. A division of Bertelsmann, Arvato CRM Solutions employs approximately 1,500 people across five UK locations and a site in South Africa.

For more information, visit: www.arvato.co.uk

Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council

Dudley MBC is a metropolitan authority in the West Midlands, serving the historic capital of the Black Country. The council provides a full range of services to more than 323,000 residents. It also works closely with local heritage partners such as the UNESCO Black Country Geopark, Dudley Zoological Trust and Black Country Living Museum to attract visitors from all over the world.