CapacityGRID was born out of the limitations of shared services. From experience we knew that sharing lowers costs and provides more resilient services. However, there are challenges. It takes a lot of time and investment to get things up and running. Moving work to shared service centres often results in a loss of local employment. And too frequently sharing means that services are no longer tailored to local requirements. We needed an approach that had all the benefits of sharing services, but without the drawbacks.
So that’s what we did. We started by digitising as much as we could. For example, while it’s not possible to digitise an inspection, it is possible to capture the inspection information digitally and send it anywhere in the country for onward processing.
We then organised the work to take advantage of individual skills. By knowing what a person did well, we were able to route work to them that matched their strengths. And we discovered that organised work provides great performance data. Our teams could see how well they were performing, and which had the best approach to delivering quality and productivity. People could now collaborate to make everyone better.
But we still had problems with peaks and troughs. Not the forecast peaks – we were good at managing these. The unplanned peaks resulting from sickness, unusual volume and system downtime could push us into backlog very quickly. But as soon as we went virtual – moving work across the network to the person with the right skill, something miraculous happened. One authority’s unplanned peak was another authority’s unplanned trough. Et voila! The peaks and troughs became much, much flatter.
The challenge now was scale. We were only delivering service to the Liberata BPO customers. If we could attract more authorities, there would be far greater savings opportunities available for everyone. By joining the network, local authorities could deliver savings and resilience without system changes, lengthy procurement cycles staff relocation or upfront investment.