“Fewer queries, fewer appeals and much more time”

– City of Bradford MDC applauds impact of Response Master and RM Self-Serve – 

“The results have, quite simply, been outstanding.” According to Michaela Hall, The City of Bradford’s Assistant Parking Coordinator, Barbour Logic’s automated correspondence and self-serve solutions have transformed the efficiency of the Council’s parking operations.  “Response Master and RM Self-Serve have not only helped to overcome continuous administrative and operational fire-fighting, but also saved us a huge amount of time.”

“We have seen a significant and sustained improvement in back office efficiencies and are saving around 300 hours a month,” continues Hall. “What’s more, the introduction of an interactive 24/7 self-serve platform has helped to drive up customer service levels and the time spent answering phone calls from frustrated customers has fallen by nearly 40%.  Many motorists who visit our website to challenge their PCN choose not to, after getting advice from Self-Serve. Now running in tandem, the two systems have truly transformed our operation.”

The City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council introduced Response Master in 2015 to provide greater consistency and accuracy when replying to letters from drivers about Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs). Initial reticence among the 11-strong Parking Services back office team was replaced with enthusiasm as the simplicity and effectiveness of the new approach quickly became apparent. The system’s success has now prompted the authority to renew the Response Master contract and sign a new contract for RM Self-Serve.

“We’ve developed a performance management programme to maximise efficiencies within the Council’s parking operation,” says Anne Saville one of the Council’s Parking Services Officers.

“It’s not just about speed, though. This programme audits 10% of everything we produce and has shown very clearly just how much impact Response Master has had. Letters generated by Response Master are written in plain English without any jargon and are very easy to understand. This has led to a huge drop in avoidable repeat contact from motorists.  And, because Response Master is configured to reflect all of our policies, a consistent approach is assured in all cases.

“The introduction of a dedicated self serve platform alongside this automated approach for writing letters has improved things even more. Our central contact centre now refers motorists to the easy to use online platform. Simplifying access to relevant information in this way has improved the customer journey significantly.”

The City of Bradford MDC has a team of 85 Civil Enforcement Officers based within the city and in neighbouring towns and local areas. The authority issues well over 100,000 PCNs a year covering parking, environmental and bus lane contraventions.

Michaela Hall acknowledges the cultural change within her operation following the introduction of Barbour Logic’s award-winning solutions, and says there are still more benefits to come.

“The extra time that has been freed up – around 300 hours a month – has been put to very good use,” she adds. “Everyone in the team now has the scope to undertake special projects to further improve compliance levels and develop different aspects of our service.  So far, the range of projects has covered everything from the management of car parks and the issue of waiver permits to the development of a more user-friendly and informative website.  This has improved motivation and career fulfillment for everyone in the team, while also helping us to push forward with exciting new service initiatives.

“As Response Master also overcomes the dependency on input from more experienced members of the team, we are less vulnerable to performance shortfalls during staff holidays and sickness. And recruitment is a much easier undertaking as anyone can hit the ground running with minimal training and supervision – in stark contrast to 3-6 months of training and hand-holding required in years gone by.”