Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire police forces will implement shared software as part of a drive to reform service delivery. The solutions from Advanced will go live in April 2017 and support a plan to share 50 percent of all services by next year.
The alliance is deploying the eFinancials financial management suite, the Collaborative Planning budgeting and forecasting solution, and mobile approvals tool Advanced Air Approvals, as well as HR and payroll technology from Midland HR and duty management software from Northgate.
The three separate forces have been collaborating since 2011 in a number of areas including armed policing, road policing, major crime investigation and scientific services. They are now looking to share back-office functions, with a best-of-breed integrated system for HR, finance, payroll and duty management, as well as frontline services. The project will also enable the three forces to eventually adopt a single, shared finance department.
Chief Constable Alec Wood of Cambridgeshire, the lead force on behalf of the three forces for this project, says, “Police forces, like all public sector organisations, are under pressure to be more resourceful, so having efficient back-office functions with single ICT systems along with the mobile self-service element ensures that we maintain a strong frontline presence and give confidence to the communities we serve.”
The forces are currently using individual disparate systems. They are embarking on this significant IT transformation project with the aim of streamlining back-office systems and achieving efficiency savings across force boundaries. Mobile and self-service access will be enhanced by enabling all 8000 staff across the three organisations to obtain information from the system.
Philip Wells, Assistant Chief Officer of Bedfordshire Police, says, “Up until now, our police forces have been using a number of different IT systems to deliver the same services. Having a single way of working, a single integrated system and access to data across forces will enable us to operate more efficiently and productively, meaning that staff will be spending less time on administrative tasks and more time on the frontline.”
The eFinancials suite includes the eProcurement module, invoice management and cloud invoicing modules to automate and simplify procurement and invoice processing. Bedfordshire Police was already using eFinancials but the solution will now be shared across the three counties for accounting processes.
Meanwhile, Collaborative Planning will enable the forces to gain greater control of budgeting and generate further cost savings by replacing spreadsheet-based processes with an automated system. It will also give them a consolidated view of data across the three organisations while retaining the ability for each force to separate its own data. Air Approvals integrates with eFinancials and enables transactional functions to be delivered from a mobile device.
Advanced’s software was procured using the Crown Commercial Service agreement (framework number RM1042), and was selected from a shortlist of five suppliers due in part to its integration and self-service capabilities
Philip Wells says, “We made it clear that we were looking for a partnership rather than just a traditional customer-supplier relationship, and Advanced demonstrated that they wanted that same relationship with the three forces. Their solutions provide us with a platform that enables us to completely restructure and transform our finance, HR and duties management activity and departments.”