The Metropolitan Borough of Sefton, extending from Southport in the north to Bootle in the south, is a diverse borough of over 280,000 citizens containing some of the UK’s most affluent and most deprived districts.
Arvato agreed a 10-year partnership with Sefton Council in 2008 to provide a wide range of services, including customer services, revenues and benefits, payroll, pensions, transactional human resources, accounts payable and ICT; supported by transformation and change expertise to ensure successful transitions to new ways of working. Approximately 450 Council staff were transferred to Arvato on their current terms and conditions.
The partnership delivered an immediate cost saving of 10%, equating to £20m over the ten-year contract and includes more than £4m investment in ICT infrastructure. Following the Comprehensive Spending Review, the Council carried out a detailed review of its controllable budgets, working closely with Arvato to prioritise its activities in order to achieve its required targets.
In 2011-12, the partnership delivered an additional £1.6m of contributions on top of the 10% day-one savings, including £600,000 ‘one-off’ savings, £500,000 in additional income and £500,000 of annual, sustainable savings. At the same time, it delivered 97.68% of all Key Performance Indicators. Customer satisfaction is at an all time high averaging 89.7%.
There are regular meetings with staff representatives, who are consulted on policy changes. This fosters a sense of involvement in higher level decision making and promotes good relations with management. Equally, the staff perspective on improvements has produced a smoother change process.Investors in People Report, November 2011
Winner: ‘Outsourcing Works – Delivering Business Value in Outsourcing’, National Outsourcing Association Awards 2012
Winner: Silver Award for Partnership Working, Institute of Revenues, Rating & Valuation (IRRV) Performance Awards 2012
Finalist: ‘Public Sector Outsourcing Project of the Year’, National Outsourcing Association Awards 2012
Finalist: Most Improved Team of the Year, Institute of Revenues, Rating & Valuation (IRRV) Performance Awards 2012
Automation: Delivering major transformation for Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council
In 2015, Sefton Council became the first local authority in the UK to implement Robotics Process Automation (RPA) in its revenues department. The pioneering project, managed by Arvato, was designed to automate transactional processes and prove that the technology lends itself to being used in local government. Following the successful implementation, RPA now processes a number of high-volume tasks across the department, including inputting direct debits, single person discounts, refund applications and disability relief applications. Successes include Council Tax direct debit payment input times being reduced by 80%, with 100% accuracy and cost per transaction being cut from £1 to 20p.