City of Joondalup - a case study
Local Government reduces costs and improves efficiency with leading address management solution
The City of Joondalup is one of the largest and fastest growing local councils in Perth, serving over 150,000 citizens and managing some 60,000 properties. Joondalup is a rapidly growing city that was planned 25 years ago, resulting in a well laid-out City consisting of commercial, industrial and residential areas.
The City of Joondalup is a body corporate responsible for the provision of 'good rule and government, convenience, comfort and safety of persons in the municipality'. This can include anything from the maintenance of streets, footpaths, drainage and rubbish removal through to street lighting, sweeping and signposting, the numbering of houses and planning for major recreation centres, libraries, crèches and pre-school centres. The city also runs food inspection services, immunisation clinics and nursing services and is responsible for the control of bushfires, dogs, parking and a variety of other Local Law issues.
This wide ranging remit results in the City of Joondalup being responsible for the management of many properties, and in May 2003 it looked to implement a new property management solution to increase efficiency within this department.
New solutions - Dirty data
The city of Joondalup opted to work with Technology One deploying its Proclaim property management software solution to streamline operations. Technology One are Experian QAS partners, and offered QAS Batch and Adhoc Letter solution as part of the Proclaim property management package.
Margot Glasscock, Business Analyst, Joondalup City Council said, "Prior to implementing the Proclaim solution the City of Joondalup had been utilising old software containing rather average data in a variety of address formats. This dirty data had been transferred into the new system, continuing the inefficiency."
"When implementing our new property management software we were offered the Experian QAS address management software as they partner with our suppliers Technology One. We purchased the software but it was not immediately implemented. One of my projects when I started at the City in August 2002 was to set about the deployment, and it turned out to be one of the easiest products I have ever had to implement."
"With the dirty data being transferred into the Proclaim system Experian QAS provided the ideal tool to clean our address database and help us get the best return from our investment. We ran QAS Batch on our address database, some 120,000 records. QAS Batch cleaned and barcoded 100,000 of our records, identifying issues and flagging the remainder for manual follow up."
Experian QAS addresses dirty data
QAS Batch verifies addresses against Australia Post's Postal Address File (PAF), ensuring that all the address data in the system is true and accurate, avoiding double handling resulting from incorrect addresses. All address data is put into a standard format and assigned the appropriate postal barcode, entitling the City of Joondalup to discounted postal rates from Australia Post.
The Experian QAS solution was also implemented outside the property management suite, into Joondalup's day to day templates to ensure data accuracy at all points of contact.
Glasscock continues, "We now have over 200 users that use QAS on a day to day basis. As soon as users launch a template in word it launches QAS Adhoc Letter. There was no real challenge in implementing the software, my biggest difficulty was getting staff to attend training on how to look up addresses when using the Adhoc Letter solution, although the software is extremely intuitive to use and quickly became second nature."
The City of Joondalup has realised significant returns on their investment in QAS software, gaining a substantial saving in postage costs and a decrease in return to sender mail, as well as a more professional look to their mail by applying the postal standard.
Experian QAS delivers definite results
Glasscock said, "We have seen a dramatic decrease in return to sender mail which provides a huge saving in resources, time and energy. The QAS solution has meant less resources have to be spent chasing people for payment of rates or rent due to inaccurate addressing, which was previously a huge cost for little recovery. The software has also reduced overheads due to discounted postage rates from Australia Post."
"The Experian QAS solution represents great value for money by delivering rapid ROI, a key consideration for any IT worker in today's environment. QAS is estimated to save the city in excess of $10,000 per annum in postage alone, with at least another $5,500 in labour savings. I can only see these savings increasing as we develop further efficiencies and processes that employ QAS in document production and mail merging," she added.
Glasscock concludes, "Experian QAS' QAS product has been simple to operate and maintain from day one, delivering huge improvements in efficiency and accuracy. We recently upgraded to the latest version, a process that proved as painless as the initial installation. The upgrade took minutes and was non-intrusive to users, who now enjoy the enhanced functionality without having to endure any inconvenience. The support I received from Experian QAS has been excellent from day one, and continues to be."
"I believe the City of Joondalup was the first local government in Western Australia to adopt the QAS solution, but I am sure we will not be the last," she concluded.