15 Dec Learn how local councils are navigating future budget challenges
It’s been a tough year for everyone – not least the local councils working hard to keep things running. With proper planning, 2021 doesn’t need to be the same.
Collective efforts of local councils have helped the UK steer the course of the global pandemic. But each initiative introduced to help each other will incur financial consequences in the coming months and years.
“We are seeing significant losses to our income – for example, from leisure centres – as well as increased demands and costs for some services, such as housing.” Cambridge Council
Drops in local taxation, such as business rates and reductions in revenues like town centre parking, will impact budgets for 2021. In combination with new support, this could cause cash-flow problems. And it may lead to cuts, putting vital services at risk and threatening long-term sustainability.
But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. There are stories of council success we can take inspiration from. Therefore, by making a few changes, build for a brighter future.
By evolving your workforce
One of the most important ways local councils are navigating future budget challenges is by looking at how their workforce operates. Every industry in the UK has had to adapt to new agile and remote ways of working. And they’re finding that there is a long-term opportunity for both reduced costs and increased growth and productivity.
To position yourself for success, you must make meaningful investments in your technology and processes to support your people and better manage your budgets.
By increasing business resilience
Hindsight is 20-20 but imagine if you could have predicted this years’ events. You would have put things in place to prepare. You would ensure you could react and adapt quickly to change and capitalise on each new opportunity.
Well, we’re still working in uncertain times. And now we know the importance of creating business resilience, we need to put it into practice. Look at how your local council can embrace technology and software to provide greater insight and flexibility – and respond more effectively to demand and market factors.
By looking after your people
Creating a more agile workforce and increasing business resilience could lead to significant cost-savings over time. It will protect services and staff and ensure your council can maximise delivery.
But perhaps most importantly of all, it lays the foundations for you to better look after your people. You will create a more productive and positive environment that not only empowers their ability to do their jobs but also supports their mental health and wellbeing.
Local councils are collaborating with Ricoh to ensure future success
Working with a partner can be a fantastic option to hit the ground running in 2021. Here are some of the inspirational success stories that have enabled local councils to increase revenue, sustainability, and financial returns.
Camden Council has put in place a Smarter Working Programme to improve community service delivery. A key part of the programme is a Ricoh Business Process Service that is helping the council reduce costs, increase business process agility and make services more efficient and effective.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, with our digital strategy and Ricoh services in place. The council was functioning and working remotely. Staff used MailSmart from home to send letters, knowing they would be delivered. This is exactly what agile working means – doing things in the right way, measuring performance, and delivering value for money.”
Creative Services Manager, London Borough of Camden
Coventry City Council
Ricoh Smart Locker
Coventry City Council was about to deploy Ricoh Smart Locker as part of its initiative to develop a more agile workforce. But when the Coronavirus crisis hit the UK, it instead transformed the Ricoh solution into a critical tool for protecting staff and ensuring business continuity.
“The Ricoh Smart Locker solution has become critical to protecting the Coventry City Council workforce and enabling it to deliver essential services to the community. Without it, I doubt whether we could have implemented such effective social distancing measures as we have done.”
ICT Engagement Lead, Coventry City Council
Coventry City Council was concerned about the growing threat of ransomware attacks. Lockdown sharpened focus on the risk since good security practice was difficult to apply on staff working from home. To ensure the best defence, the council decided to deploy Ricoh’s RansomCare solution.
“Ricoh’s RansomCare solution is an insurance policy. If we didn’t do this and had an attack, we’d have to justify why, for the cost of the solution, we could have prevented months of system lock down and millions spent repairing data.”
ICT Engagement Lead, Coventry City Council
Conwy County Borough Council
When Conwy County Borough Council launched a modernisation programme, one area that needed addressing was its inefficient print facilities. Therefore, through a national framework agreement, the council selected Ricoh as its improvement partner. The print estate has since been cut by 70% while still improving the service. More efficient business processes are being adopted and the council is starting to see significant cost savings.
“Ricoh’s solution is more than just printing. It’s about rationalising resources, using technology to improve processes and help staff to be more efficient and agile, and ultimately filtering those improvements through to the services Conwy County Borough Council provides to the community.”
Corporate Project Manager Information Technology and Digital Transformation, Conwy County Borough Council
Get in touch with Ricoh today and we’ll discuss how can meet your local needs
Ricoh has years of industry experience in collaborating with its partners to deliver solutions tailored to their business’ needs.
We adopt a people-first approach. That not only enables your entire organisation to adopt and adapt to new technologies and solutions. But also empowers the individuals who make up your teams to achieve their best work.