Birmingham City Council
How Europe’s largest local authority is transforming using low-code
Customer service transformation with low-code
Birmingham City Council's customer service teams used a huge, multi-million pound legacy enterprise CRM to process all customer service requests across the entire council. The back office processing and contact centre needed a re-invention.
The council recognised that to begin its transformation and to shift the council services to be better, more efficient, and to focus on customer needs, it needed a completely new digital platform. The council chose the Jadu Digital Platform and by implementing a low-code, cloud-based case management service, the council empowered internal teams to redesign services in an agile way, quickly delivering a whole suite of new, customer-focused digital services centred around a new Citizen Account.
The 'BRUM' account initially launched in late 2018, with some simple services and over time, expanded to a rich self- service offering. It is now widely adopted by almost 500,000 users, over half of people who live and work in Birmingham.
If we didn’t have the BRUM account, we wouldn't have been able to distribute the enormous amounts of business grants that the government asked us to do.
Peter Bishop, Director of Digital & Customer Services on how Birmingham City Council responded to the pandemic lockdowns
The Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns highlighted which local authorities could seamlessly provide their essential services online and take on new responsibilities from the national government with relative ease. In other areas of the country, local government bodies struggled.
Fortunately for residents of Birmingham, the City Council adopted the Jadu Low-Code platform in 2019. As the pandemic gripped the UK in 2020, Birmingham City Council saw registrations and demand on its BRUM account grow, with 500,000 city residents having a BRUM account now.
Birmingham has a population of 1.1 million, meaning close to half of the city's residents have a BRUM account.
The BRUM account provides City Council forms, payments and connects to the council customer relationship management (CRM) system, so citizens can manage their council tax, benefits or request services.
Using the BRUM account digital service, the council has successfully replaced its legacy CRM system. The council’s customer services agents are now able to quickly raise cases for customers on the telephone and invite them to use the online BRUM account to track and comment, as well as encourage them to raise cases online the next time they call.
The digitalisation of internal processes was accelerated during the pandemic lockdowns. Birmingham City Council used the Jadu Low-Code library of application features, some of which were developed by other local authorities that use the Jadu platform.
This ensured that Birmingham City Council was able to download code, make minor changes, and release new features to meet the needs of its citizens.
Launched in 2019, the BRUM account powers the website, forms, payments, Intranet and CRM at Birmingham City Council.
This enabled customers to register for access to personalised information, including council tax, benefits as well as housing, and crucially, the ability to track any service requests made to the council.
The benchmark we compete with today comes from the Amazons, Ubers and Airbnbs.
Deborah Cadman OBE, Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council
The council has over two million customer cases being tracked through the BRUM account and has 2.7 million digital forms being used, which automates processes and reduces the cost base of the local authority.
Birmingham City Council is now developing a new customer service strategy, which will use the BRUM account as its foundation. Birmingham City Council will be able to pro- actively deliver street cleaning and traffic management, either in response to requests from its citizens, or from insight derived from better information management.
Results in numbers:
- Over 2 million Jadu Connect cases tracked
- Over 500,000 active users of the BRUM account
- Over 2.7 million Jadu forms submitted
- Over 167 million payments processed
- Webby Awards Honoree (‘Mobile Sites and Apps’ category)
- Two Gold awards at the European Lovie Awards (Europe’s leading awards organisation honouring excellence in design and user experience), including the converted ‘People’s Choice’ award
- A Gold award at The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS) in the ‘Websites and Government & Civic’ category
- Special Designation for Innovative Web Design' Award at the Adobe Government Creativity Awards, which recognise the best work in connecting government and citizens through technology
- Plain English Award
- UKUX Shortlisted
We have been able to deliver more and at pace, so now there is a much closer connection between the city councillors and residents
Peter Bishop, Director of Digital & Customer Services at Birmingham City Council (CIO)