Tameside Council use Destin’s VISION to Drill Down on Debt
Tameside Council are responsible for collecting council tax from 100,000 domestic properties and 7,300 non-domestic properties each year and following recent budget cuts, like most authorities they face the challenge of balancing an ever increasing workload with reduced resource and funding.
Whilst there are numerous technologies that assist with handling the processes around the collection of tax, the data that these systems hold can be used alongside powerful analytics tools to present a more consolidated and insightful view of debt.
Tameside Council recognised the value of this approach and selected Destin Solutions to implement their ‘VISION’ council analytics and reporting solution.
One of the key requirements Tameside Council were looking for when investing in a system like this was ease of use and making sure they could maintain a good collection rate whilst using everything available to them to ensure they could collect money in the most efficient way possible.
Working alongside Destin Solutions’ software development team, Tameside have now created more than 60 reports unique to them that allow them to drill down on various areas associated with debt. Typical reports the Council can run include; seeing what actions individual team members have taken over a specific time frame, outstanding balances, amounts outstanding at different recovery stages and types of debt and detailed analysis of liability and exemption categories.
The level of detail Tameside Council has at their fingertips puts them in a stronger position to influence and shape future recovery action policies. Going forward they will be able to identify the most successful forms of recovery based on demographics and subsequently get to those points of recovery much quicker. Reports which had previously taken days to number crunch through requiring complex spreadsheets and specialist staff are now a thing of the past.
Amanda Chadderton, Team Manager of Revenue Systems at Tameside Council comments “the biggest challenge we faced when collecting taxes was really identifying our customers. Before we implemented VISION we weren’t able to drill down into any level of detail to understand where the debt sits or if there were patterns among particular customer types that would help us more with recovery drives. We are now able to drill down into specific groups of people or issues to get to the finer details of an account so we can apply a more focussed approach to recovery collection when contacting customers.”
The VISION product has also been used to assist with Freedom of Information enquiries, the Council receives a lot of enquiries each month in relation to empty properties and properties owned by charities. Similarly Tameside can now provide their planning department with a tailored list of empty properties, which help them identify opportunities for regeneration. In the past, this would have meant a lot of man hours and resource spent sifting through data and multiple reports, this information can now be provided at the touch of a button.
Ultimately Destin’s VISION tool will enable Tameside to forward plan and forecast future income based on real data and not solely on what has gone before.
Amanda goes on to comment “We have had a great experience working with Destin Solutions, they are approachable and every time we ask them for something – they deliver. The Destin team are helpful and responsive and the VISION product is user friendly and intuitive. We have no issues obtaining the information we need and its helping us build on what we are trying to achieve by taking our debt collection to the next level.”
Following the implementation of VISION at Tameside, the council have been able to refine and hone their collection and recovery strategy and redeploy resources to where they are needed most, ensuring they get the most out of their people, technology and budgets.