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Coffs Harbour Council Takes the Pain out of Digital Transformation

Council Staff are building smart web forms. See how they removed the pain associated with their transformation initiatives.

Coffs Harbour City Council (CHCC) in northern NSW decided to improve its customer service delivery and streamline its internal workflows. The challenge was that major improvements could only be achieved through digital transformation of the paper-based processes that customers and council staff had relied on for years.

The term ‘digital transformation’ tends to drive fear into the hearts of most people, because the move to a completely new technology can be highly disruptive. A new approach is to use form-building software that makes it easy for staff to create customer-facing ‘smart web forms’, which capture customer data for processing with existing IT systems.

Intuitive form-building software 

After a standard tender process, CHCC chose Formlify from CIBIS, a Newcastle-based software house. ‘Formlify offered terrific functionality at an attractive price point,’ said Adam Ellison, Group Leader for Business Improvement. ‘Responsive support based in Australia was another important consideration for us.’

Formlify has the smarts to guide customers through electronic forms, to display only content and form fields relevant to them, and to prefill forms with data from council’s databases. Since CIBIS is a full-service software house, its programmers can write the code needed for integrating Formlify with databases that don’t provide standard APIs.

User Experience is Key

After a one-day training course and some hands-on work with the CIBIS trainer, CHCC’s staff were building smart, customer-facing web forms to replace paper processes. After just eight weeks, more than twenty of CHCC’s paper forms have been digitised and are available on Council’s website. Despite a low-key launch, the first two weeks have seen more than thirty forms submitted electronically, clearly demonstrating the community’s readiness to engage with Council online.

‘The people from CIBIS were experienced and proactive,’ Ellison said, ‘and made sure that we got the best outcome based on our needs. Ours became a productive partnership, and we ended up with a far better result as a consequence. Everything has gone really well; we couldn’t be happier.’

For more information about support for Local Government, contact CIBIS on +61 2 4925 8500.

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