It’s safe to say that this pandemic has helped a lot of workers and companies alike find new ways to adapt to work and their output in general. Some of these methods have proven hugely positive, while others may have taken a little longer than expected. It is clear that some industries were prepared for this new approach in welcoming the ‘work from home’ style change. It has also been an equally massive shift for the customers, who have had recent restrictions to contend with in terms of being able to actually go in person to various outlets in city centres.

Digitisation is where this approach, which is of course set to continue for so many industries and businesses, can be beneficial to both employees and customers alike. 

Surely it’s a positive aspect when discussing the fact that queues for bureaucratic forms and such can become a thing of the past. The general public’s attitude would begin to change when thinking about trips to council offices. Whereas before, in person appearances were marred by long waits and having paperwork or having forms prepared in advance, now with digitisation some companies are already set up to do so with minimum fuss.

Keeping track of records and a solid, secure back-up at all times 

As a run-down of things that people expect to do in these situations, such as paying bills, keeping account of financial plans or logs, applying for permits…the process can be a bit awkward. When talking about a streamlined platform to tackle these, all of it becomes so much more manageable.

Printing, scanning and other tasks in this line really add time that is not always a clearly free thing.  This also leads to an air of dissatisfaction, in the sense that many clients or customers could come to associate the process of applying for tickets ‘time-consuming’ and have a negative attitude of sorts before the process even begins.

For professionals, the shift to no longer track down these forms and layouts can only be a good one. Less emphasis on this printing and paper-based approach will have obvious saving costs as well as the natural environmental benefit.

This would in turn change a lot of people’s attitudes when dealing with councils and forms in general. Another positive is that, in keeping with the updates required regarding digitisation, all the council’s history would be saved and organised online. 

All of this goes towards building and improving the reputation of any organisation. Word of mouth with customers would accelerate, as the vast majority would then find it vastly preferable and more accessible than the previous paper system.

Additional benefits in any office plans 

We’ve talked about the time saving aspect of moving all the records to a new, organised system.

As well as this, there is the time taken by staff to handle paper, which could usually include: 

  • dealing with correspondence
  • filing reports
  •  sourcing archived records
  • checking records are up-to-date
  • mailing (or emailing) documents to other locations

That is to name but a few tasks which don’t get the recognition they deserve in terms of the time it takes to get set up. The tasks individually seem straightforward and easy, but think of the time saving that is possible and how much more efficient the rest of a day’s work could then be. 

Adding together the hours that it would take to do all of these would give a strong impression of just how time is managed. It would be so much more useful if the staff could spend time on other issues which could come to the front more. 

Keeping actual records in terms of paper copies is also a cost issue in and of itself. The storage can be both an expense and issue of free space, while taking time to locate amongst cabinets.

Converting space for storage and other layout advantages would save money in the offices, particularly those in city centre locations where it is already at a premium. 

The way in which many councils are set-up presently is to depend on a good filing system with strong organisation, a lack of human error, and available storage space. The potential problems here come when clients request information that may not be easily found, sometimes meaning additional staff get sent to search for the files. 

With an organised grant management system, this is another hurdle that would be overcome, and the days of trawling through filing cabinets would be replaced with a few clicks of a mouse instead.

Web and digital based workforce become more available

We must also discuss how the ‘new normal’ approach has led to flexible working, and a number of companies are open to this. They understand that the employees can still deliver a great service working from home, or equally going back to the site with the ability to use the new system.

The state-of-the-art document management systems and specialised folders are set up to be based online, in order to ensure ease of access. This is also available to satisfy the requests of the various departments in the council, depending on the nature of tasks. Information is then both easy to access for all team members across platforms, and recording/uploading/saving data becomes much more manageable. 

The productivity would see a massive acceleration here, and previously mentioned issues with paper documents would no longer be an issue of any kind. Such security would also help boost the morale of working in such companies, always a positive in any environment!

A case study in successful grant management with Submit

It is always worth referring back to a client’s direct experience when discussing grant management systems in order to get a good understanding of how they operate. To see examples of remote working in terms of a specific council and the grant management system used, we can look at the following case study.

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown council has benefitted from the services of Submit when digitising its records and maximising its production. Digital strategy officer Ronan Herron explains that they were initially unsure about making the change; ‘We thought our applicants might be too used to paper-based applications and would find the use of an online system difficult. (However)This fear proved to be unfounded – our application numbers actually increased, and feedback from applicants was overwhelmingly positive.”

From that point onwards, the council has been working with Submit directly in managing its projects while generating specific types of reports and tags to aid the process for their own applicants. For more information about that particular case, please read their customer story here

Looking to the future for ease of access and security

To summarise the points discussed here, there are many aspects of digitisation which would be hugely beneficial to any council or establishment looking to move on with a grant management system.

It becomes easier to share information through the office (where we talked about the process of forwarding, and sending constant ‘catch-up’ emails etc) and this can in turn be more accessible too. Also, in a digital platform the possibility of losing something is lessened, as the information will always be on the system somewhere. A far cry from the ‘needle in a haystack’ result of looking for that elusive document in a box of hundreds more.

The consumer and public will be able to access these records from afar without having to be in the office themselves, which is another massive leap forward. 

Increase in staff productivity, being able to attend to more urgent matters and stay on track with other tasks are additional positives for any employees in the council.

With all of these advantages and more, Submit.com is ready and available at all times with our team to guide you to this next stage. The time is right and, in this moment, it’s never been more necessary to go digital.

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