North Warwickshire Borough Council selects TRIM

TRIM Context Electronic document and records management (EDRM) software to enable a series of regulatory and information management initiatives

6th September 2005 – Wokingham, Berkshire – North Warwickshire Borough Council has selected EDRM software from TOWER Software to enable a series of regulatory and operational improvement initiatives. The £190,000 system will eventually span 300 users and will not only be designed to support information sharing across the authority, but also to achieve savings as detailed by the Gershon Review of public sector efficiency as well as progress the delivery of the authority’s Priority Outcomes objectives. It will also provide an important tool for meeting standards required under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and e-government.

Trudi Barnsley, the IT Project Officer at North Warwickshire Borough Council explains, “We’ve just completed a administration review and now plan to scan all letters and documents and store them electronically for internal action. The EDRM system will form the backbone of that process, and will greatly assist our new document retention and disposal policy. Once these policies were in place, we needed a system capable of handling it all, while meeting all of our product requirements such as being XML and e-GIF compliant. I was also keen to employ a system flexible enough to run a fat, thin or browser client.”

The authority had last deployed a document management system 12 years ago in one department and more recently we attempted to implement in other departments, we became disappointed with its ongoing costs and functionality. Barnsley continues, “It just wasn’t flexible enough for information sharing across the council’s divisions. Customising it was not easy. If we wanted to add a field such as ‘addressee’ for example, it created two days work. So, we went through an open tender process for a new EDRM partner and selected TOWER Software from an original line up of 13 vendors,” she added. “Thirty people across the authority scored them based on a series of demonstrations and ability to deliver within budget. We were impressed by their records management functionality and TNA approved status. We had also taken credence from a recent Butler Report on the leading EDRM vendors.”

“To date, we’re impressed with the speed at which we’re able to retrieve the information we need, along with all of the related documentation,” concludes Barnsley. “It’s a vast improvement on the paper-based process where only certain people knew where to find certain documents. Getting the right information to the right people at the right time is reaping enormous rewards in terms of service delivery and cost savings from streamlined processes. TRIM Context has not only improved access to information internally but to the electorate as well, thus dramatically raising external service levels. We’re now equipped to deliver best-in-class online services and to enable mobile working for our front-line staff.”

Tony Sumpster, Managing Director at TOWER Software EMEA adds, “The project has started off simply, with ‘quick wins’ in two small areas of the authority using TRIM Context for filing. By the end of September this year, the system will be rolled out to all 300 users across two sites including the Housing and Planning, and Revenues and Benefits departments. It will also be integrated with the council’s core systems, case files, desktop tools and CRM operations, including the call centre. Eventually, TRIM Context will embrace the Geographical Information System (GIS) as well as the land and property gazetteer currently held on an Oracle database.

About North Warwickshire Borough Council The Borough is a mainly rural area with over half within the Green Belt. Over 61,000 people live there, in towns and villages ranging in size from Atherstone parish with 8,000 residents to Seckington with just 51. North Warwickshire Borough Council’s overall aim is to maintain and improve the quality of life within the Borough, both through its own actions and in encouraging and enabling others.

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