Using NPS software in the cloud helped the London Borough of Southwark to sustain high-performing Revenues and Benefits services from Day 1.
The Exchequer team at Southwark has partnered with NPS since 2011, using NPS Revenues and Benefits, NPS Housing and NPS Information@Work. As early adopters of a cloud-first and agile approach, they were able to shift to full homeworking and design new community support schemes from the moment lockdown started.
Southwark’s Director of Exchequer, Dominic Cain, explains: “In Revenues and Benefits, we’ve used NPS software in the cloud since 2016. Having high-functioning and resilient services that could already be used from home made a vast difference to the speed
of our response.”
Very quickly, the team needed to roll out new national grants, deliver locally-tailored support and manage a huge increase in demand.
This work included:
• Administering the new Business Grant process
• Delivering additional hardship support through the Council Tax system
• Dealing with a 450% rise in Council Tax Reduction claims
• Enhancing the existing local welfare support scheme
With the software and cloud infrastructure already well-embedded, staff were able to sustain high levels of productivity in difficult circumstances. The systems ran quickly and with minimal downtime, updates could be rolled out overnight to meet new legislation, and the council could easily scale up if needed.
Developing automation for new claims and changes in circumstances for Southwark’s Council Tax Reduction scheme just before lockdown also made a huge difference. It would have been difficult to administer such a huge increase in applications without a high degree of automation.
“Having NPS as a trusted partner has been invaluable to our pandemic response. It’s helped us to support our communities through a unique set of challenges.”
As well as the software and cloud services themselves, Dominic believes the nature of the partnership itself made the difference:
“We’ve worked with NPS for many years. Not only do they respond to our needs, they’ll also engage with us on future challenges. As well as delivering really resilient services, it’s their willingness to listen that’s been the key to building trust. There will be new challenges round the corner, and I have complete faith that this partnership will help us to meet them.”
“NPS’s combination of flexible software, solid infrastructure and quick response continues to make a huge difference to how we work. We couldn’t have faced this challenge without it.”
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