Touchstone and CRM National Programme unveil CRM Business Benefits Calculator for English local authorities

~The Benefits Calculator provides English local authorities with a comprehensive list of high-level business benefits~

With the help of Touchstone, the IT services group, the CRM National Programme, one of 22 Local e-Government National Projects that are helping English local authorities to deliver better services to citizens and improve efficiency, is implementing a ‘business benefits calculator’ tool, developed by Touchstone, with substantial input from the London Borough of Newham. The Business Benefits Calculator enables councils to identify a comprehensive list of cashable and non-cashable benefits to help them make more informed decisions about implementing or redesigning their CRM system. Local authorities using this solution have reduced their reliance on sketchy documentation or anecdotal evidence and have been able to build a proper business case for the implementation of CRM. Through better business planning local authorities can make a robust assessment of the efficiency gains CRM can potentially offer in the delivery of better services.

English local authorities are under mounting pressure to meet Local e-Government targets by December 2005. The Business Benefits Calculator enables local authorities to evaluate their strategy and effectively helping them achieve their Local e-Government targets.

For the past two years the CRM National Project has supported 388 English local authorities to implement CRM by demonstrating what the real benefits can be achieved . The ultimate goal is to help local authorities modernise so that they deliver more effective and accessible services such as transport, planning, and environmental information to citizens via channels such as the Web and telephone. It also aims to provide back office support to use these channels effectively.

Touchstone provides technology services to over 1,400 commercial companies and public sector bodies. The expertise that the company has gained in solving many different business issues for these organisations meant that it was well placed to develop a project management tool to enhance the existing CRM National Programme portfolio of 41 support, advice and guidance documents aimed at assisting local authority decision makers with implementing CRM.

Mark Bassham, Programme Manager, the CRM National Programme, says: "The business benefits calculator aims to bring clarity and definition to CRM and demonstrates how valuable it is to achieving a better understanding of citizens' needs."

The CRM Programme's delivery to English local authorities is well under way and thanks to the business benefits calculator, councils are better able to implement CRM and take advantage of the CRM Programme's service. Bassham says: "One of the founding principles of the CRM Programme was to establish solid support procedures and infrastructure for the local authorities involved in the programme. The Business Benefits Calculator is proving to be one of the cornerstones of this."

John Chapman, Touchstone’s Project Director, says: "We are not the sort of company that sells technology on a stand-alone basis; we put our skills and knowledge to work for the benefit of our clients' businesses. In the case of the Benefits Calculator this means creating a Return on Investment product for a robust assessment of the benefits that can be realised by customers across the whole life time of a technology project. We are delighted to have worked with the CRM National Programme to develop a resource that can support local authorities in delivering modern, successful services."

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