NCC operates in a challenging financial environment and, through its ‘Norfolk Forward’ transformation programme, was focused on modernising operations to manage significant cost reductions and maintain performance with the help of address capture online.
Norfolk County Council (NCC) works to meet the needs of more than 800,000 people in the east of England. It is the county’s biggest employer and has an annual budget of around £140 million. It is driven by ambitious goals that will ensure Norfolk inspires and facilitates social and economic success.NCC is leaving no stone unturned in its quest for efficient and effective operations and is working with Experian Data Quality to deliver accurate and up-to-date contact data, helping it and its staff to work faster, better and smarter.
NCC operates in a challenging financial environment and, through its ‘Norfolk Forward’ transformation programme, is focused on modernising operations to manage significant cost reductions and maintain performance. Its 22,000 employees (this includes schools employees) are obviously critical to success and so HR is similarly critical in helping to manage this change — whilst also making its own contribution to overall efficiency savings.
“To deliver to the needs of the council and its staff — and by extension, the people of Norfolk — our HR needs to work faster, better and smarter,” said Paula Bethell, Norfolk County Council’s HR Support and Development Team Manager. “We’re constantly looking at the way we do things to find more efficient and effective solutions. Address cleaning online is part of this mission.”
Keeping track of the home addresses of thousands of staff is a fundamental requirement for effective HR operations, but it can also be a time consuming one. NCC’s current process is cumbersome, requiring staff to contact HR with details of any changes, with HR then typing in information manually. Streamlining and improving data entry has to overcome two main problems: removing the ‘HR layer’, which unnecessarily ties up HR staff time; and providing accurate data entry so that important communications such as payslips get to staff and data legislation is adhered to.
To ensure effective HR, NCC adopted Oracle® Human Resources Management Systems and, with this in place, looked for a better way to manage employee address input and accuracy.
Objectives were to find a solution that allowed council staff to simply log on to Oracle® and enter their own information, which would be verified at source. Paula Bethell said, “We evaluated a number of solutions, but only address cleaning online fitted the bill perfectly.”
The tool ‘fits’ for a range of reasons. Experian Data Quality, an Oracle® Gold Partner, was able to provide a solution that integrates impeccably into NCC website and browser based applications. Users can perform their own online address verification before submitting their contact details — without the need to go to an external application. There are fewer barriers to NCC staff entering their own data and the whole process is faster, reducing the number of uncompleted, incorrect or duplicate entries. As well as bringing NCC greater confidence in their databases, the option of pay-as-you-go licensing is ideally suited to NCC’s budgetary constraints.
Work on implementing address cleaning tool took place between August and December 2011 and NCC is now phasing in the solution to staff. NCC’s HR needs to meet exacting spending targets, which means that everything they use has to earn its keep by proving efficiency savings and ROI. By enabling employee ‘self-service’ and point of capture accuracy, the tool is contributing towards providing a better service to council staff, saving HR time and cutting costs.
With the current system, data cleaning is extremely resource intensive, with major address cleansing exercises taking months. With the accuracy and speed delivered by the address cleaning online tool, this will take just half a day and running a report just five minutes.
“With the tool our employees will be empowered to update and ‘own’ their address records, which will liberate HR staff from unnecessary data entry, empowering us to focus on core tasks,” said Paula Bethell. “Importantly, we have the confidence of knowing that Experian Data Quality is the leader in address verification as well as an Oracle® Gold Partner which together provide a level of assurance. In tough financial times, we’re committed to achieving the best possible value for money for the people of Norfolk. HR alone is committed to realising £400,000 of savings — and solutions such as address cleaning online are helping us to get there.”