​Toowoomba Regional Council embarks on digital transformation

Council moves from paper-based organisation to digital

Toowoomba Regional Council in Queensland is transitioning from a paper based organisation to a digital one over the next five years.

The council went live with TechnologyOne’s offering for local governments as part of a whole-of-council project on 29 June 2015. It had previously used a JD Edwards eOne solution.

Toowoomba regional council finance and business strategy group and CFO, Arun Pratap, said that its previous setup would no longer support the size and complexity of the organisation.

“We needed to have the latest technology in place to support contemporary business processes and deliver efficient and effective services to the community - which is the whole reason council exists,” he said.

“We’re expecting that, with better strategic and operational asset management, we’ll also have a 2 per cent gain in our depreciation figure - which equates to a savings of about $2.5 million per annum.

“Council will make an ongoing investment in continuous improvement to drive further efficiency gains moving forward, and will make a full return on our investment within five years.”

Pratap said the council has required comprehensive change management in order to take such a significant step forward.

“We’ve taken a manual, very paper-based organisation and brought it into the digital world,” he said.

Toowoomba Regional Council service improvement coordinator, Rosie Bugg, said it was still in the process of the digital transformation.

“We will be for several years as we had an aspiration of mobility within our project implementation. We are now moving that into scope for delivery,” she said.

“We have about 1600 employees and of that, about 900 employees went into the self service desktop model for timesheets and my details.”

“We are still in a transition where some of our staff are completing daily timesheets, however over 50 per cent of our staff are now in that digital space. There are other improvements that technology has given us outside of a fully digital space. It has been able to give us an end-to-end process that we didn’t have as much transparency over before.”

With the use of the eOne solution, the council was only using finance, supply chain and payroll.

“Now we have finance, supply chain, payroll, corporate performance management which encompasses budget and business intelligence,” said Bugg.

For example, it can view an end-to-end process across modules.

“We can start with a budget and progress that right through asset life cycle and back into the financial reporting at the other end.”

The council also has a goal of getting its field staff more mobile. This includes mobility across asset management so being able to use a digital device to capture defects or schedule inspections on assets whilst they are out in the field.