Velrada helps Penrith take out the trash

Velrada helps Penrith take out the trash

Council system implemented to assist in fielding up to 80,000 requests a year

Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft partner Velrada has launched a new customer relationship management for Penrith City Council to help digitise its waste collection service.

Taking three months to July 2019, the consultancy designed the environment and deployed the Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Customer Service solution for the local council, according to Dominic Nolan, general manager of solutions at Veralda.

“Penrith City Council is a forward-thinking council delivering a large program of customer-service led, digital transformation and Velrada has enjoyed the challenges and complexities of helping create their Microsoft Platform,” Nolan said.

The council previously did not use a customer relationship management (CRM) system of any kind and requests were handled mostly by phone.

By deploying the platform, Veralda has allowed residents to raise waste-related requests via a digital portal which can then be sent directly to the waste contractor’s system.

This wasn't the first project that Velrada assisted Penrith City Council — the consultancy was first involved with the local council in a field services mobility project, which started at the end of 2018.

For Ian Kirby, delivery director, there's the potential to expand this digital transformation to other areas of the council.

"The the key thing for CRMs is, it was really the underpinning, for me, the vision of a council around customers' experience and their customer promises," Kirby said.

"It started off within waste services, but it's just applicable across all departments. And I think where Penrith Council will go from here is it will be across the council.

"To me, it's underpinning wide transformation."

Jane Howard, ICT operations manager at Penrith City Council, said since the implementation of the solution in July, there has been 16,000 requests from customers.

“The majority are still received by our customer experience team by phone, but we’ve undergone a recent campaign trying to channel-shift customers from the traditional ‘phone-up council’, to registering them online,” Howard said.

“This channel is now growing, since starting the campaign and is becoming very, very effective.”

She also claimed the Penrith City Council Council is the first in NSW to have this level of integration with a waste service provider.

Prior to deployment, queries like missed collections and damaged bins had to go through the local council’s waste provider by phone. Over one year, there can be as many as 80,000 calls.

“Our vision is for the customer to be kept informed, and receive feedback through the duration of the requests they’ve made of council, until finalised,” Howard said.

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