Improving and iterating.
An online visitor parking solution already existed for residents to apply and purchase visitor parking permits. The application form was built in Achieve with the data stored in SQL. However, given the decommissioning of Achieve and the implementation of MyAccount, it made sense to rebuild the visitor parking solution in Mendix and integrate it with the BHCC single sign-on solution.
We worked closely with the parking service to understand their future goals and plans, to ensure that we developed a solution that had scope for change and improvement.
Key project details
Integrated with MyAccount
Improved customer experience
1,598 applications in 3 weeks
By incorporating visitor parking within MyAccount, we will be able to improve the overall customer experience of transacting with the council going forwards. Not only will residents be able to log into one portal to apply, contact and renew transactions with multiple services, but we can improve the amount of effort and time residents need to spend in providing the same information to different services, multiple times. The business logic for visitor parking depends on proof of residency. So if we are able to determine proof of residency by first verifying residents in the council tax MyAccount app, then we can use that verification to determine eligibility for visitor parking permits.
Working towards a One Council solution
Integration, integration, integration.
At present, the visitor parking permit application requires users to upload proof of residency, but it also makes an automated Boomi call to the Customer Index to retrieve the person record. If a record is found in the Index, it is displayed in the staff view of the visitor parking app. Once we have received a sufficient number of submissions and can prove that the Customer Index lookup accurately determines proof of residency, we will be able to remove the document upload functionality from the application process. This will greater improve customer experience and further demonstrate the value of integrated corporate level data.
The IT&D Development Team were already working with us to put the visitor parking permits online, as a test case, with a view to possibly having them build integrated solutions for all our permit types, when the Covid-19 crisis hit. It quickly became clear that the customer service centre would have to shut. The development team understood the problems we faced – maintaining customer service and protecting income – and have responded impressively. They are now helping us to provide our customers with online routes to contact the service, apply for or renew all permit types, and give staff more efficient processes to follow. This includes the very complicated logic for administering surcharges with low income exemptions.
I do not think we could have come this far so quickly if we had had to rely on the usual multiplicity of external suppliers. Apart from the benefits of single sign-on, system integration and appropriate information sharing, that improves the customer offer, increases efficiency and reduces fraud, the Covid-19 response has demonstrated the value of having our own capability, that understands what our organisation needs, and is able to ramp up capacity and respond quickly to changing priorities. They are proving they can deliver, and we should back them. This is a great opportunity that we should not let slip.
There have been 1,598 successful visitor permit applications and payments since launching on 22nd June 2020.