East Renfrewshire Council went live with NEC Revenues & Benefits in December 2020. To keep processing residents’ claims in a timely fashion, the council asked us for some extra support. Senior Revenues Manager Alison Ballingall explains:
“We’re a small team and we’d been using our old system for 20 years. To keep meeting the needs of local people, it was clear we’d need a bit of help to clear claims quickly.”
From June 2021, we provided 1.6 full time equivalents (FTEs) to process housing benefit and council tax reduction claims. By the first week of January 2022, we had processed 40,000 transactions and cleared the backlog.
The first step was to understand the fine detail of how East Renfrewshire worked:
“I felt the onboarding process was really effective,” says Alison. “The information NEC requested was designed to get under the skin of how we worked. We were able to complete the documentation in our own time, and it got us off to a great start.”
Weekly calls kept things on track, and these became bi-weekly once everything was running smoothly. We sent through monthly data on progress, which gave a real insight into the progress being made by the NEC team.
The council had tried to use agency staff before, but it was often hard to find people with the right skills. Alison believes the NEC team made a big difference, as they knew the system – and processes – inside out.
“I always ask my team what they think, and their experience of NEC has been hugely positive. It’s been great for our customers too.”
After the success of the work on benefits claims, East Renfrewshire has now asked us to process self-isolation support payments too.