Norfolk County Council has decided to improve the service it is providing to Blue Badge applicants whilst preparing for criteria changes implemented by the DfT in 2019.
This has been achieved by adopting IEG4’s Blue Badge Case Management System – enabling it to manage all applications, from submission to the issuing of the badges.
Ross Cushing, Contact Centre Delivery Manager and James Richardson, Blue Badge & Processing Team Manager explained that the council needed “a system that would work better for us and our citizens”.
Ross said: “The IEG4 system manages our entire Blue Badge process on one single platform with APIs that link seamlessly into GOV.UK and the Government’s Blue Badge back-office system, Valtech. This means that applications that used to take several weeks to process, can now take a matter of minutes, if all information required from the customer is provided at point of application.
“We now have a single CMS for applications and assessments with automated workflows and integration, reducing administration time and making the process quicker and more efficient.”
Previously, the council had used a system developed some years ago. When applications were received, advisors would record them and any supporting documentation onto a dashboard to await assessment. If the applicant was successful, staff would then have to log into another system to manually trigger the issuing of a badge.
The system and associated processes were cumbersome, and the dashboard was becoming obsolete. Recent changes to legislation enabling those with hidden disabilities to apply to the scheme, also meant that there would be an increase in the numbers of applications.
“We knew the system we had in place wouldn’t be sufficient” said Ross. “We also didn’t have adequate resources to handle any significant increase in applications.
“We had to look for a more efficient and modern way to work and the IEG4 solution met our requirements. It offered us efficiency through streamlining and automating processes; as well as additional resilience, being cloud-based, and was capable of being adapted for any future changes in the scheme.”
The council usually receives on average 18,000 applications a year and issues nearly 15,000 Blue Badges, but since going live- shortly after the scheme changed- Norfolk initially experienced a 30% increase in applications.
James added: “Since implementation, our rate of online applications has increased steadily and is currently 82%. Our aim is to encourage more and more people to self-serve. This will not only give them freedom of being able to apply and check the progress of their application at a time convenient to them, on any day of the week, but for the council it means a cheaper and a more efficient way of working.”