Slough Borough Council faced the challenge of significantly increasing efficiency while at the same time improving the quality of services for residents.
Having already implemented all the possible changes across its transactional services with the capacity it had available in-house, the Council decided to look for an outsourcing partner that could help develop alternative, innovative ways of delivering the services at a price it could afford.
arvato was chosen because of its extensive public and private sector experience, its ability to use innovation to transform services, and its credible commitment to the Council’s values.
In March 2012, Slough Borough Council entered a 10-year partnership with arvato to provide a range of transactional and corporate services, including revenues and benefits, payroll, finance services, HR and logistics services. The partnership was subsequently extended in December 2013 to include customer services and ICT.
In total, 198 Council employees were TUPE-transferred to arvato.
Investment in people and training has been a key strategy from the outset, to ensure the partnership has the talented people needed to drive transformation and deliver excellent services to residents.
At the beginning of the partnership, all transferred employees completed an introductory training in Lean Six Sigma, a management technique designed to identify improvements and further efficiencies. Staff were then given the opportunity to review services, focusing specifically on their individual work area. An employee survey showed that people felt more empowered to make changes to reduce costs and improve services to customers.
As part of arvato’s commitment to provide 117 apprenticeships over the course of the partnership, Slough Borough Council and arvato created a joint apprenticeship programme. Young people from Slough aged between 16 and 18-years-old are offered roles in youth services, adult social care, finance and procurement, logistics, HR and customer services, leading to an NVQ Level 2 in Business Administration. More than 50 apprentices have either completed their training or are currently enrolled in the programme.
In customer services, employees are improving their knowledge in a number of service areas, enabling them to resolve more customer queries at first point of contact. Working with the Council on its location strategy, the partnership continues to reunite teams in one place to promote team working and facilitating faster and more effective resolution of complex customer enquiries.
arvato and Slough Borough Council are committed to continue to invest into the transformation of services over the course of the partnership. A combination of process improvements and intelligent technology has already delivered significant progress across all services:
As a partner sharing the same values as Slough Borough Council, arvato has been actively engaged in the local community.