Integra Mobile empowers Shetland Council to embrace modern, digital ways of working
Streamlined, fully mobile, digital approval process
Instant approval of orders and invoices while away from the offices
Increased KPIs – 90% of invoices paid within 30 days
Shetland Council looks after the needs of 23,167 citizens in the most northerly area in Great Britain. The 100 Shetland islands lie 168 km from the Scottish Mainland and 280 km south east of the Faroe Islands, covering an area of 1,468 sq. km. As well as its remote location, a key challenge is the poor internet service in many of the outlying areas. This frequently made it difficult for council users to reliably log onto Integra to place an order or pay an invoice, delaying critical services and adversely effecting numerous citizens.
Shetland Council has used Integra for almost 20 years to manage its key financial processes. The Council was happy with its performance, but realised that its approvals process was being hampered by the inability of managers to access Integra whilst out of the office when travelling for business.
The council learned about Integra Mobile, a new, fully integrated application that enabled mobile access to the approvals function via smart phone, tablet or laptop. Critically, Integra Mobile required significantly less bandwidth, offering remote users a reliable way to log-in to the service.
IBSS and Shetland Council teams worked together to tailor the functionality of Integra Mobile to meet the Council’s needs. The Council took the decision to initially roll out Integra Mobile to a small number of ‘digitally native’ users to assess their reaction to the new solution. This gave the council time to understand the best way to use the application, develop training
materials, and prepare to roll out. Integra mobile to other user groups. Following a successful trial, Integra Mobile was made available to the majority of users by the end of 2017, with plans in place to offer full functionality to all during 2019.
Early results show the significant benefits that Integra Mobile is starting to deliver. As well as speeding up the approval turnaround process, it has radically reduced admin and increased supplier engagement, lessening the number of suppliers needing to contact the Council to chase payments. Approving managers can work effectively even when they are out of the office for days at a time, boosting productivity and performance. A further bonus is that Integra Mobile empowers multiple approvals for high volume/low value invoices – enabling managers to ‘sample check’ a number of invoices and instantly approve them, significantly speeding up payments and ensuring cashflow amongst the many small local companies upon which the council depends.
Integra Mobile has also increased accessibility for remote island users. Now, rather than wasting valuable time trying to battle poor connectivity, they simply use the Integra Mobile App.
What’s more, Council staff can now access improved management information (MI) and produce enhanced financial reports based on accurate and up-to-date approvals information. The MI data is easy to maintain and payment processing across the Council has become more efficient. The turnaround for payments has increased from 85% within 30 days to 90% during the test phase and the Council believes this will increase further after rollout across the entire Council.