The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) was established in April 2013 when eight separate fire and rescue services merged to form a nationwide organisation with 8,000 firefighters. After merging, SFRS wanted to ensure that it unified the eight separate operational processes and remained compliant with the Freedom of Information (FOI) regulation, which is part of the Scottish Data Protection Act 1998, to mitigate the risk of being prosecuted up to £500,000.
Previously, SFRS used manual processes to log FOI requests on paper or an electronic spreadsheet, convert them to the correct format and forward them to an appropriate staff member to be actioned. However, as the volume of requests continued to increase, SFRS was challenged to create a case management solution to capture, track and manage these requests across Scotland.
Working in collaboration with public sector specialist Optevia, SFRS implemented a customer relationship management (CRM) solution based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM, enabling it to track FOI requests from the initial point of enquiry through to completion. Using the CRM solution, SFRS can route requests to the appropriate service delivery team, allowing the organisation to develop better communication channels between members of the public and partner agencies. In addition to improving resource management, the solution has also allowed SFRS to create a content management system that enables users to store and access all data in a central location.
Implementing Dynamics CRM has also enabled SFRS to automate and track data protection requests and environmental requests. This allows citizens to find out what personal data is held about them by the fire service and access the service’s environmental data.
“The new SFRS CRM system has been developed to improve our internal processes and ensure compliance with legislation,” says Stuart Chalmers, business services manager at SFRS. “In turn, this ensures that the customer experiences the service they both deserve and expect. Working alongside technical partners from Optevia, we have successfully introduced a uniform process for the new organisation, replacing eight previous processes and ensuring consistency throughout the experience.”
Chalmers adds: “Successfully implemented to budget, the primary goal of this project was to provide a single Scotland-wide solution that would allow requests for information to be tracked from their point of enquiry through to completion. The overall project has been a great success.”
In the future, SFRS anticipates that it will achieve additional benefits by using Dynamics CRM within its other operations, such as managing legal casework and its Assessment Development Centre process, which is used to assess individuals for promotion.
“We are delighted to be working with SFRS as its technology partner to assist in the development and implementation of a fully integrated service-wide CRM solution that is scalable to meet their future CRM needs,” says Tim Vernon, managing director at Optevia. “SFRS has already seen how Dynamics CRM enables change and acts as a catalyst for significant efficiency savings, best practice and return on investment.”
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